Digital marketing is the new label for what once was interactive marketing, and before that online marketing. The term comprises an ever-evolving cluster of game-changing tools that let you do more than pitch new business in a magazine ad. With digital marketing, you can engage prospects in a “hot box” that makes and keeps customers (very affordably). So if you’ve not yet started email blasts, don’t quite get blogging, or think social media is for amateurs, it’s time to play ball. If I had a scoreboard, I’d write on it: “Digital marketing is the most immediately valuable action you can take to build your business this year!” The name of this game is to create a few channels through which you share relevant news, client successes, events, and promotions with your existing and emerging fans. These are your three Must-Have Marketing Bases:
First Base*: Maintain an e-mail list, segmented by type of contact (e.g., clients, prospects, conduits to clients, colleagues, and media). The media segment would include editors and contributing writers for publications in which you have, or would like to be, featured. Include a very visible sign-up link on your website, an invitation to sign up in your daily email communications’ signature, and at your store’s point of purchase.
Second Base: Publish a blog about what captures your professional fancy, your work impact, your expertise, and your ideas. Think of it as your own personal magazine and focus content on what your “subscribers” want to see. A blog post need not be a full article. It can be a link to something you’ve read, a brief suggestion, a few paragraphs, or a few pages. Your blog also needn’t include words. Use pictures or video clips if that’s your most fluent language. Post images of designs you love, or a client’s before and after pictures. (We love before and after shots!) Whatever you blog, make it relevant and your audience will stay engaged, despite an ever-full email box of competitive material. It takes some time to get clear about your “editorial focus,” but it’s a great investment. My biggest blogging tip: harvest posts from your daily work. This blog post was first an email response to an individual client.
Encourage people to sign up to receive your blog by email or RSS feed. No one, not even your mother, will visit your site periodically just to see if you’ve got a new blog post! You can also share new blog posts on…
Third Base: …social media. Facebook and Twitter are great for B2C businesses. Add Pinterest if you’ve visual content to share (like a design business’ before and after pics). Throw in LinkedIn if you’re B2B.
Now work these things into a triple play. I like this simple formula: post something on your social networks daily; blog one or two times a week; and send an email blast monthly and/or when you have time-sensitive news.
For example, when you subscribe to my blog, you’re also invited to sign up to receive email blasts with a reward of a free how-to article, “Fees or Famine.” If you sign up to receive e-mail, I ask you to sign up for my blog, the one that automatically posts on all my social networks each time I publish. And when I send out an e-mail blast about an upcoming class, I also post this on my social networks, and write a blog post that logically inspires a link to the class registration page.
Cover all three basic bases, and not only will I stop the baseball metaphors, but you WILL get more business.
*Any association with “bases” as used in high school to describe a progression of physical intimacy is unintentional, and in any case, obsolete.