Most business leaders accept today that they need marketing for their business to get more clients. This is even more so true today during COVID-19 when we are no longer gathering in public spaces and chatting with acquaintances. Word of mouth marketing is by no means dead, but it certainly has been a less reliable source of business lately (we posted about how to get more word of mouth marketing during COVID here).
What most business leaders struggle with when it comes to marketing, though, is where to start. I get this question all the time in discovery calls and in my Sparks of Marketing Facebook group
In this blog, I will cover the basic elements of a content marketing system. In the coming weeks, we will walk through each element in more detail.
The goal of these blogs is for you to understand what you for the basic components of marketing, either to DIY it or to hire someone to do this for you.
The challenge of digital content marketing for business leaders today is that it never ends
Digital marketing can seem like a treadmill. You get going, and you are never done.
Just this morning I was working on a blog post about wound care for a healthcare client. There are so many ways to do this blog. I can tell the story of the patient with a positive outcome and how my client is making a significant difference in patients’ lives by treating wounds that seem unhealable. The challenge is that once I get started, there is really no end to the possibilities. I can create multiple long-form, keyword researched blogs, a guide to choosing a wound care treatment center, social posts, videos, ads and more. I could focus on just wound care for the next year.
You get the picture.
Knowing where to start and where to end is why people get so overwhelmed and confused when it comes to content marketing.
What is the big picture for the content marketing system?
I’m going to break down for you what is the big picture for how content marketing works and then I’m going to go deeper in those categories over the next several weeks on this blog and on my podcast. My goal is that you will learn enough to know what you need to do your business or hire someone to do for you.
Key to avoiding the overwhelm is staying really focused on the area that you’re working on at the time and trying not to get distracted by what other people are doing or what more you could do.
Here are 4 basic elements every business leader needs to understand in marketing
- Social pages
- Lead magnet
- Email marketing
Sounds simple, right? Let’s break that down.
7 steps to a robust marketing plan
There are 7 categories of steps I recommend to develop your 4 basic elements of marketing, and they all work together.
Do your research. The first thing you need to do is research and identify the ideal client and problem that you solve for them. You might think that you know who your ideal client is, but I would argue that it is still worthwhile to do a really targeted survey of your clients to find out the following:
- Who are they?
- What is their job position
- What is the problem that they came to you for?
- What was it like before working with you?
- What was it like after working with you?
- How did you help them?
You can swipe my Google survey and make a copy to use for your own business👇
All of these answers will help you identify even better what it is that you do well.
You as a pediatrician may focus on your breath of experience you bring to every patient in your marketing because this is what you value most. But once you ask parents, you find out that they like you most for your convenient morning and early evening sick hours, as well as because you are also a parent and parents can relate to you. Once you find that out, your marketing sounds totally different.
Build a website that works. Once you know more about why your ideal clients work with you, you need to create a website that speaks to them. Most people focus on the style, branding, colors and photos for a website. This all matters, but if all you do is create a beautiful piece of art for your business, you might as well put it on your coffee table. More important is using simple language to address your clients’ problems and let them know why you are the right person to solve it. You’ve only got a few seconds to do this before visitors scroll away, so it’s important to get this right.
You can learn more about writing website copy that works here👇
Website blogs that address specific problems. Once the bare bones of your website is complete, you’ll want to create blogs that address specific problems your clients have. You can develop this slowly, week after week and ideally with some support from an SEO expert. Using the keywords your ideal clients are searching for is key to getting them to your website over your competition.
Create a useful lead magnet. Once you get visitors to your site, you want to send them along your customer journey. This is why you need a helpful freebie.
Examples of freebies include:
- Video where they can learn more about your area of expertise
- Guide or how to
I have a healthcare client who creates therapy technology. They have a therapy gaming platform where patients can work on therapy exercises by playing digital games. A lead magnet for them is where a user can exchange their email for a chance to try out the games on their own computer.
Set up your Google page. Most of your clients will see you first on Google, so it’s important that you show up there and your page has the correct information. This requires you set it up once, and then make any relevant changes as they occur in your business. Google walks you through this process and makes it really easy. You’ll want to set up your Google analytics as well, and this is a great area to outsource to an expert. It’s not that you can’t learn it as well, but as the business owner, this is an obvious task to delegate.
Social media pages. Since you know your ideal client fro your research, you know which social media channel they enjoy. Start there and don’t get distracted by all the other ways you can show up on social media. If your clients are on LinkedIn, you don’t need to be overwhelmed by Instagram stories. Focus on one channel at a time and use it to promote the ways you help your ideal clients.
Send weekly emails. I know. You don’t want to annoy anyone and don’t like getting SPAM. Nobody does. But if you send helpful or entertaining emails to people who agree to sign up for your list (in your lead magnet), you are more likely to see them continue along the buyer’s journey.
Fun fact, according to HubSpot, email generates $38 for every $1. That’s a crazy ROI. Plus, you own your email list. Contrast that to social media, where Facebook could change its algorithm, shutdown your pages or go extinct, and there goes all your content with it. Email might not seem as flashy, but the ROI on email is much higher than social even today and it’s content that you own.
Speaking of email, I send weekly DIY marketing tips out to my email list and promise to never be boring. Scroll back up a wee bit to sign up in the form above and get a guide to writing your homepage website copy.