A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Marketing

A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Marketing


Have you ever heard of any of these?

  • Landing pages
  • Facebook ads
  • Influencer marketing
  • Free Downloads
  • Email list subscriptions
  • Hashtags
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Webinars

Of course you have. You’re likely to have encountered some of these marketing tactics because today’s best companies use them. I noticed them all the time. I wanted to replicate the apparent success of the companies. Naturally I decided to try out some of these tactics. I made the mistake of thinking that because I had seen them, I understood them. These were just the tips of marketing icebergs. No matter how well executed, implementing any number of these tactics was NOT likely to yield any kind of tangible results without a good strategy behind them. I learned the hard way that it’s a horrible idea to begin implementing before understanding of the process as a whole. You’ll have much better time if you understand the big picture before you dive in. It’s essential to know how each of the pieces affects the other.

In a nutshell, the general concept of modern digital marketing, is to drive business towards you as authentically as possible.  This is in stark contrast to “the old way” which basically consists of somehow broadcasting your sales pitches to the world to see what sticks. Getting people’s attention is very difficult these days. They encounter all types of distractions in the way of messages, app notifications, emails, and more. Digital marketing done correctly seeks to retain the attention of an audience by generating genuine interest. An audience is paying the best kind of attention when they are genuinely interested.

Digital marketing, when done correctly is sustainable for all involved. It is sustainable to the company doing the marketing, because it should produce enough of a return on their investment to continue doing it. But it is also sustainable to the prospective audience because genuine interest suggests that they value the content that they are being provided enough to continue giving you their interested attention. Those that are not good prospective fits will simply not receive any continued marketing. In this way, the company’s brand and reputation cannot be tarnished and all parties are satisfied.

Now a days, people’s patience is low. They are no longer easily suckered into “click-bait”. Attention is more sparse than ever, and highly valuable. Authenticity and value are the new currency of marketing.

Ok, let’s begin.



Marketing, when done correctly, is a beautiful adventure that takes both creative and analytical ingenuity. There are few professions that work that way. Marketing can really challenge you, but it can also be absolutely fulfilling. Proper marketing undoubtedly takes time and effort. Luckily you can apply a structure to your approach to keep yourself from going insane.

The project summary gives a high level description of the objectives, strategy, descriptions of key elements, and a rough timeline for the project. Having an overall strategy is fundamental to your marketing and often overlooked. The strategy is the backbone for all endeavors to come. Your strategy guides the decisions for individual tactics.

I learned the hard way that without the proper preparations, I was setting myself up for failure. It took me months of research and sometimes paid material to learn the best ways to set up. Here are the documents you can draft up to prepare your marketing campaigns, and why they’re important.

      • Profile and Project Summary – Having your basic project information in a format that can be easily distributed facilitates communication and understanding. It will save you time by not having to repeat yourself and it will help to put all involved on the same page.
        • A Company Profile provides information the organization behind the project so that everyone understands the context of the project.
        • A Contact Directory provides information about key people involved in the project. This document can save you time from needless reference questions. This is a good document to keep on a collaborative platform such as google Drive or Dropbox.
        • Buyer Personas – The better you are at Identifying your target market, the better you will be able to create content that can connect and engage with them. Creating buyer personas is an exercise that helps you define your target audience in a way that can be used by everyone in your project.
        • Content Maps – A content map helps you layout the topics for each buyer persona. It uses the concept of buyer’s journey to encourage writing that is relevant to a prospect based on their level of interest and general knowledge of the topic.
      • Marketing Guidelines – One of the first things people think of when it comes to marketing is their logo. I have news for you. Your logo is important, but it’s only a part of your image. These days, your image is a very big deal. Because attention is so hard to acquire, you need to project the right image everywhere and consistently. Your image consists of how you look, what you say, how you say it, and where you say it. You can maintain a defined consistency by drafting up the appropriate documents such as branding guidelines and writing style guidelines. These documents will communicate to your team and any outside teams involved exactly how you expect the usage and implementation of your image and your message.
      • If you’re going to skip the branding guidelines at the bare minimum cover the basics of logo creation and try to understand the difference between vector & raster graphics and why vector is usually the best way to go. Keep the design simple so that it can be used on many applications.


Attracting Visitors

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that in order for any marketing efforts to work you first need to be able to attract visitors. When I first began to explore this topic, there were so many options available. I read about blogging, posting on social media, creating landing pages or squeeze pages, using paid advertisements, and all of these would require excellent copywriting. There were so many ways to get this part wrong. It took me a long time to learn to do it right. What’s the best place to start?

Each of these methods have their own rules. Here’s a bit of what I learned.

  • Blogging – Why should you blog? Blogging helps drive traffic to your page. It also helps convert that traffic into leads. It helps you establish authority, and it does so by driving long term results. Seth Godin in his book “All Marketers are liars  tell stories ” explains the benefits of blogging daily. Make sure to always have a call to action.
  • Social Media – Social Media has become the preferred way to get information. Most people trust that their network has tried,tested and found the best solutions to common problems. The conversion code that more websites were referred by facebook than by Google. Find is the new search.
  • Paid Search – Adwords and Retargeting. Paid search marketing means you advertise within the sponsored listings of a search engine or a partner site by paying either each time your ad is clicked (pay-per-click – PPC) or less commonly, when your ad is displayed (cost-per-impression – CPM)
  • Influencer Marketing – is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole. Word of mouth is always the best form of marketing and Influencer marketing is the best way to “buy” this method at scale. It takes a little research to find the right fit, but it can pay in dividends.


Converting Visitors to Leads

    Once you’ve solved the traffic issue, it’s time to make sure these strangers are converted into your prospects. Your pages should be optimized to register basic information from visitors that show interest in your offer. This is done through the smart use of forms. Forms should be well placed, simple and intuitive, and in some cases dynamic.

  • Landing Pages / Squeeze Pages – Hubspot says web pages with more than 30 landing pages do better. Landing pages have a single focus and are designed to perform one singular function.
  • Quality copywriting is essential to getting quality leads. If your content is not interesting or helpful, you won’t gain much traction. If your content is not resonating with your intended audience, your efforts will fall flat. If your content is not relevant, your leads will be of little use.
  • Search Engine Optimization – You may be thinking, where does SEO (Search Engine Optimization) fall into all of this? Well, the short answer is that SEO considerations are pervasive throughout the process. Search engines are increasingly contextual, intelligent, and based off natural language. The keywords and topics that you want to rank for should be considered, but increasingly natural language is prefered.

Nurturing Leads to Close Sales

Not every lead will be ready to be your customer. Some leads will want to know more about you before they make a purchase. Others are a good fit, but the timing may not be right. It’s good practice to follow up on your leads periodically. This activity is called lead nurturing. One of the best ways to nurture leads is by using Email Workflows – At a minimum, the email workflows help to remind those prospects that you exist. Done correctly they provide valuable insights, and position your company in high regard in your prospect’s minds. Only send quality content to avoid being regarded as spam.

A good CRM software, customer relationship manager software, can also help you follow up on your leads.These programs keep track of each time a client has been “touched” which can be a phone call, email and sometimes even messaging services. A good CRM program will segment your contacts in ways that make it easy to prioritize who to contact. They will typically show you the contacts history with your company and any notes that you or your team have left for that contact.

  • Qualifying Leads – There are two kinds of leads you should be aware of. Marketing Qualified Leads are leads that have been identified as likely to make a purchase at some time in the future. Sales qualified leads are leads that are ready to purchase today.
  • Closing Sales – Closing sales has become more about guidance and help with any final questions. Consumers are much more informed throughout the marketing process that closing the sale is usually about finding the last few concerns and ensuring the prospect about a good fit.

The best part about modern marketing, is that, if done correctly, the closing should be relatively simple. Many of the questions should have been answered with the information gathered during the rest of the process. Prospects ready to purchase will typically be asking very specific questions, or maybe trying to reconcile something about their own situation.  The general advice is to stop selling and just help.


Leveraging Results

      • Analytics – You should be analyzing all aspects of your implementation frequently. Every Piece counts. You should start by looking at how many visitors you’re getting. A good benchmark is to have anywhere from 1.6% to 2% of your visitors converting into leads.
      • A list of other good benchmarks here
      • Going Beyond – Hubspot calls it delighting customers. Others will call it earning repeat business and referrals. There was a point in my business where I was selling just fine but I had a customer retention problem. Getting to this point can be scary because you are now invested and yet losing ground. Your brand and reputation are always at stake. This part of the process is often underestimated. It is vital to your success. You must continuously project the value you provide to your customers or they will take it for granted. You must always be marketing.




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