• Randy Sklar

Digital Marketing 101: The Basics Every Business Owner Should Know

How’s your year going? Did you kick off 2018 strong? Or are you still struggling to get a good pace to achieve your Q1 goals? When things feel stagnant, I say it’s time to check out your marketing strategy. If there are weak areas, it’s better to tackle them at the beginning of the year, rather than play catch-up in September.

I’m by no means a master in this field, but I certainly know my way around the digital landscape. Here is some basic knowledge every business owner needs to have about some important tools of the digital age.

Your Website

Most people will spend a lot of money designing and driving traffic to their website, thinking it will bring in more customers. I have a question for you: How much money has your website made? Exactly. No one knows! It’s difficult to track. Websites are dying, and if you don’t get into the new funnel game you will be left in the dust.

The primary function of my website is to give prospective clients the opportunity to confirm I’m legit. We research everything online these days, from the restaurant where we eat to the people we date. If I didn’t have a website for people to learn more about my company, they would assume I was a fraud. Blogs, infographics, and videos hosted on the website all help convince people I’m the real deal. Everyone needs to have a website — just don’t expect it to do all the work for you.

Google AdWords

I’ll keep this short: No one I know has had any success with this digital marketing avenue. It might be a great resource for certain retailers, but if you’re selling a service, your efforts are better spent elsewhere.

Sales Navigator

If you haven’t heard of this tool yet, Sales Navigator is a program for finding quality prospects through LinkedIn. Based on your existing network in LinkedIn and the contacts you select, Sales Navigator will recommend potential organizations that fit a similar profile. There is a huge difference between buying a list and curating your own.

I’ve been using Sales Navigator for a while, and it works remarkably well. We have seen some great results since we incorporated it into our strategy. Keep in mind Sales Navigator won’t be the answer to all your problems. It’s just a tool, and tools are only as effective as how they are used.

Conversion Funnel

The conversion funnel isn’t a tool — it’s your entire campaign. Everything you do as part of your digital marketing strategy should follow the format of a conversion funnel. The three categories every funnel falls into are acquisition, activation, and monetization. Need to turn cold prospect into leads? Develop an acquisition funnel. Need to turn existing leads into customers? Turn your campaign into an activation funnel. Need to encourage your customers to be multi-buyers? Switch your strategy to a monetization funnel.

Building a conversion funnel is an in-depth process that could be a whole series of articles. If you need to refresh your knowledge on this topic, I recommend checking out what Russell Brunson has to say on the topic at thrivinglaunch.com/salesfunnel-stages-russell-brunson/.

One more thing about digital marketing — it can’t do all the heavy lifting alone. The internet is a crowded space. You can have a killer digital strategy plan, but your marketing plan shouldn’t end in cyberspace. It’s important to reinforce your online plan with offline marketing to really deliver that one-two punch — for example, a solid newsletter your clients read every month.

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