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Ed Hanchett

Digital Marketing - yes, it's MANDATORY

Have you been thinking about doing some “digital marketing” but you’re not sure what’s involved….
Well, it’s a little like putting out a welcome mat and inviting someone in for coffee! The conversation might go like this:
HOST: welcome to our website! We’re so glad you’ve stopped to enjoy a cup of coffee with us. Do you take cream or sugar?
PROSPECT: I don’t drink coffee but I would like a cup of tea.
HOST: I’m sorry, we only have coffee. Our coffee is rich and warm and roasted with care.
PROSPECT: But I don’t drink coffee. YOU invited me in and now you won’t serve me tea! I feel deceived and am leaving….and they click on to another website where they  are served tea, never to visit you again!

Now you’ve done it. You invited the wrong person to join you for coffee and because you can’t meet their needs, they will go elsewhere and likely not come back! So does that mean you stop extending invitations? Absolutely not!

Our short story is intended to help you understand that if you are attracting the wrong people to your website, you might be getting lots of visitors but it’s likely nobody is engaging with you. It would be a lot better if you only invited the folks that enjoy and appreciate your coffee – and it would save you time and them some frustration. Not only will your visitors interact with you but they’ll likely come back to visit again!

Extending the welcome mat to just the folks that you actually want to talk with can seem impossible but it’s actually fairly easy when you dig into the details.

It starts with today’s favorite digital marketing buzzword - SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is basically the mechanism by which your website gets included in organic search results. Being included in these search results is one of the mechanisms by which you can invite visitors – targeted visitors - to your website. Your website will be included in more of these search results if the content is authoritative and relevant to what the user is looking for. The tough part is that Google (not you) determines how good your content is and whether it qualifies to be presented to someone. Yes, it takes intent and effort to create quality content but it is definitely worth doing. With the right content, you’ll find the people being invited to your website are actually interested in what you have to offer.

Next let’s explore social media. Everybody seems to be on social media somewhere these days and while it may be a good place for you to be, you need to understand the unique attributes and audiences engaged in each of the multitude of social media channels. This is essential before you invest a single minute of your limited time posting content and engaging in conversation. If you’re talking to an audience that isn’t interested, no matter how much effort you put into it, you simply won’t get a positive response. Know where you’re going before heading down this road with lots of potential detours.

Connecting with your prospects through email (like this newsletter) is another form of digital marketing. While effective, your message must be compelling and helpful or the recipient won’t bother reading. So thank you for getting this far!

Blog articles and videos are yet another format for interacting with prospects. Both can be very effective if your messaging is relevant and important to the folks that are looking for that type of information.

In short, Digital Marketing is any type of marketing effort/activity done through the internet that is intended to attract prospective customers to your website and to enhance your web presence.  

How you tackle this will quickly demonstrate whether you are wasting your time or connecting with folks that you really want to meet.

The best place to start is by creating a plan that will provide guidance and some framework for the effort and activities you’ll engage. Tell you what, let’s get together for a cup of coffee and see where the conversation goes.

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