One of the first steps of venturing into the digital unknown is to ask yourself exactly what it is that you’re seeking to achieve.
Are you looking for new business? Or are you looking for respect? Perhaps you are seeking both?Sit down (actually do it!), write down what you want out of this exercise, and then repeat it to yourself. More than anything else, this is the most important element of your strategy.
How on earth is someone meant to understand what you do if you haven’t clearly defined for yourself the things that make you unique?
In business speak, this is called your USP – Unique Selling Proposition.
What is the ‘thing’ that people keep coming back for, time and time again?Maybe you’re an architect and it’s the way you collaborate with your client to get an incredible design outcome?Maybe you’re a town planner and it’s the freakishly talented way in which you can distil a complex City Plan into simple to understand language?Maybe you have developed a software product that will revolutionalise the way we connect?Whatever it is, it is critical that you define and truly understand your uniqueness.
Don’t waffle. Be direct. [See what I did there?]
In our busy lives, the last thing people want is ‘War and Peace’.
The average time on-site for TheUrbanDeveloper.com is just under 2 minutes. That doesn’t mean it’s not effective, it just means that people are getting what they want and then moving onto the next thing. You do it. I do it. We all do it.
Get clear in your head about what you want to say before you embark on how you say what you want to say.
In a connected world, it is quite the paradox that whilst it is easy to source information, it is still a challenge to identify and build knowledge.
American social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk [weird guy, but makes a lot of sense!] recently released a book entitled ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right-Hook’ in which he shares hard-won advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition. In short, it’s a very simple principle – give away more than you ask for and you will reap the dividends.
In the past, we use to be able to hide and protect our intellectual property quite easily. In today’s world, there’s so much information available that your status as a thought-leader is defined by WHY you do what you do, more so that HOW you do what you do.
If you haven’t seen it already, check out Simon Sinek’s incredible TED Talk in which he captures this beautifully.
Don’t be afraid to share your ideas and thoughts. After all, this is why people will want to utilise your products and services.
The digital world is far more than a platform to talk to your customers. If it, in fact, the most effective listening device you can use.
Never before have you been so close to your customer. Never before have you been able to communicate with your favourite celebrity. Never before have it been possible to vent your frustration at a global brand so easily.
Think about this.
If the Taxi Industry was providing an amazing service by listening to their customers and being genuine about their product offering, do you think UBER would have exploded in the same way it has?In all of this, it’s important to remember who you serve. The experience of your customer is central to your brand, so listen to what they’re saying and your will be appropriately rewarded.
Don’t be fake. People crave authenticity. Your customers will see through the contrived ‘corporate speak’ of the past and you’re your brand will be quickly disrupted by someone doing it better.
What is to lose in wearing your heart on your sleeve? People crave it.
If you genuinely believe you have a unique offering and your customers are delighted with what they receive, then let them do the talking. There’s nothing more powerful than social proof.
If you want to understand more about the magnetic power of social proof, spend some time reading through this cracking article.
If you’re going to undertake a digital marketing exercise, then it is important to approach it from a strategic perspective and program it.
There’s no need to get silly about it and fire up Microsoft Project to show off your weird obsession with Gantt charts [who you looking at?], but it is important to plan.
Who do you want to target?
Where will you find them?
How will you target them?
What are your key messages?
What is my budget?
What is the duration of the campaign?
What is success?
“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.”
The last part of that quote is so true, particularly in this rapidly changing and increasingly complex world. We need to be flexible to ensure we adapt to what’s working and change what isn’t.
The upshot of this is that the digital world is incredibly flexible. We can chop and change so easily to extract the best return on your investment.
There’s no point utilising the most innovative construction product unless you’re foundations are solid. And there’s no point building a digital brand if the basic building blocks of a brand are not in place. Get the basics right.
- You’ll need a site that captures who you are, what you do, and why someone should engage with you. It can be simple, but it should also be pleasing on the eye. Don’t forget contact details!
– Invest in a brand identity that you like and feel represents your business.
– Set-up simple LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles. These are free, simple and powerful.
I’m no marketing genius, nor am I even qualified to give this advice. I was a terrible university student, but let’s not go into that.
I’ve learnt very quickly that marketing is not about a silver bullet. It’s about having a plan and doing the little things well. And then improving. Constantly improving.
There’s a Japanese concept – ‘Kaizen’ – which is defined as the practice of continuous improvement.
Marketing, and specifically, digital marketing is so akin to this. The best examples of success that I have seen have been built on continuous improvement.
Digital marketing is not a fad. This is the new world order and it’s here to stay. So get used to it! Thank you for your time.