Digital Marketing: A Short Guide to Selling!

Late nights, gray hair, and enough black coffee to give an elephant a heart attack. With all the trial, error, and no small amount of frustration, you’ve officially launched your minimum viable product (MVP). Congratulations! Now it’s time to hit the digital marketing circuit. Start your engines! 

Yay. With product done and out the door, how the heck do you now let the world know you’re open for business? Sure, it’s far from perfect and may have some bugs (especially if it falls in the digital spectrum), BUT, you’ve got something to show for the month’s (and years?) of hard work and effort. So let’s get started. 

At the end of the day, a product’s an illusion if no one’s there to buy it, adopt it, champion it and recommend it. 

Hoards of online articles prophesize “the art” of digital marketing. An elusive, confusing skill that has to be outsourced to be mastered and monetized. 

The truth is… Nah, not really. Digital marketing as such is really just taking four fundamentals, putting them into practice, and getting better as you go. No doubt, when done right it’s A LOT of work, but the fundamentals stay the same. 

Remember when we all first learned to read? 99.9% of us sucked at it! Slow, unconfident, and tongue-tied on every second word. But, string enough letters, words, and paragraphs together and you get a page, then a chapter, then a book, and finally, before you know it, you’re authoring your own digital marketing manual! 

So, in the same spirit, let’s keep it simple. Digital marketing has 4 core elements. They are… 

A product or service. 

The ground zero requirement for effective digital marketing is… having something to market digitally? Fair enough. This should be kind of obvious, but it’s so easy to overlook, especially when you’re in a rush and need to send your minimal viable product (MVP) out to the market in the quickest possible time frame.  

So what is it that you’re selling?

Once you’ve truly gotten to grips with the above question, you’re all set to start creating dynamic ad campaigns that draw attention and bring in returns.  

As your product offering moves from strength to strength, you’ll be able to make informed decisions as to where you’d like to allocate your budget. The most important thing to take into account right now is to not overspend your advertising budget on unnecessary zones, regions, targets, and the like. Avoid throwing money away on things that won’t help drive your revenue.

Some questions to answer? 

  • What problem or need does your product solve?
  • How does your product fix that same problem or need
  • Why should someone use it? (what’s in it for them?)

Remember, your company’s biggest shortfall would be to spend months (and endless budget) refining and mastering a product that NO ONE wants! It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to be in line with a consumer’s core needs.

Rather spend strategically and put a minimum viable product out. Advertise it online and measure the traffic you’re getting. If it’s a hit, start enhancing and refining your 2.0 version. If it’s a flop, go back to the drawing board and align it to your audience’s needs. Or, start again.

An audience

Like beard cream wouldn’t exactly be a hit with 23-year-old females from Spain, you need to ALWAYS drill down and know exactly WHO you are selling to. The last thing you want to do is cast your digital net too wide in the hopes of catching some traction along the way. So, when releasing your product or service to the market, and before you start advertising, list the attributes that make up your user base. Metrics such as…

  • Gender, Age, economic status, and buying power.
  • Region or country of origin.
  • Whether the product/service caters to lifestyle or business-orientated traffic segments

So, you’ve figured out what you’re trying to promote, but the ability to effectively identify your audience means that you can build a more reliable plan, messaging strategy, business funnel, sales pipeline, etc. Everything, pretty much, can be improved by knowing your customer.

This may sound a bit counterintuitive but, when you first start out, try to reach a specific, potentially small group of customers with particular demographics, identify a problem they are having and solve that problem for them. Make your offer incredibly special and unique to those specific people.

When you start out, you’ll probably have limited resources, so trying to fix the world ain’t going to happen (unless you’re Elon Musk and going to Mars on a DogeCoin missile). 

So, find the people you know you can help, and go after them exclusively. Once you’ve established a solid base, and found your feet, then you can begin to scale up and expand your audience.

As the “something for nothing” analogy dictates, you’re not going to get instant consumer loyalty if you don’t put something up in line with a unique offer, incentive, or discount (especially when first starting out).

Whether they take the form of coupons, discounts, deals, multibuys, or any other incentive when used properly, they’re incredibly powerful, but you should exercise caution; without proper thought and planning, they can, potentially, become unprofitable.

Deciding whether or not to use offers goes back to your audience and product needs. If you’re a high-end brand or have slim profit margins, offers may not be for you. On the other hand, if you have decent margins, discounting can really help you grow your business.

If you haven’t launched your business yet, you may want to consider pre-launch offers to help drive interest.

A website

Welcome to your digital storefront. It should be clear, concise, and engaging. It should let whoever’s looking at it know what you’re about and drive them to convert. And most importantly, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Most of the time when someone logs onto your site, they’re looking for the price per item (especially in eCommerce), images of the product/service, and how it can help them… (insert key selling point). I.e save time, save money, automate their workload, refine their tasks, or whatever it is you want to get across. 

If you’re starting fresh out the gate, don’t bother with long and elaborate manifesto’s missions and visions. That stuff will come in time, but for now, it’s all about getting your goods in front of the right prospect in the quickest possible time frame. 

Then, condense that into a very short, easy-to-understand message, that will form the basis for your communication on your website. Think 7 words or less. Then expand on that a little bit, to form the key benefits and arguments of your product.

Building a website that converts and performs well is a huge topic, but like many other things in this industry, the key is to test test test. You can always do a little better, so give it a shot!

Pro tip! Yes, you can start a WordPress site from scratch BUT, if you buy a domain name with existing backlinks, you’ve got instant credibility and site history without having to spend months creating content. Check out this Website Ranking Strategy from SEO machine, Craig Campbell to get a better understanding of how to get your site to page 1 in the quickest possible time. 

And lastly, you’re going to need…

The ways and means to market effectively

These are the channels that dictate where and how you’ll reach your audience. Whether you’re marketing and networking with different platforms on social media, building your email list with gated content, or buying the top ad formats and hosting them on relevant sites, this part of the game is how you get your name and your product out to the market most effectively, with minimal budget and top returns. 

Having a site is one thing but having a solid landing page is the difference between passing interest and quick sales. 

If done properly? Landing pages are conversions! Plain and simple. They’re the first point of contact between you and your audience. A “digital handshake” between advertiser and consumer, and the last line of defense for making sales. Landing pages answer questions like…

  1. Who you are?
  2. What do you offer? 
  3. Where do I get in touch? (ie. a solid and understandable call to action)

Check out the Guide to “Landing” Your Landing Page. From utilizing the best creatives to linking to your sales funnel. 

Pro Tip: Always structure your landing page with the intention of acquiring new emails from prospects and customers. To do this, using some kind of digital form can go a long way. It can also be a good idea to offer them something in exchange for their email, like, say an eBook

And lastly, we wouldn’t be Adcash without talking about (cue drum roll…) 

Ad formats. 

As a general rule, you always want to be finding the balance between effective onsite advertising that upsells and converts alongside quality UX that makes your end audience receptive to your offer without feeling spammy. Our pick for the top online ad formats in the market today are…

In-Page Push

These alert-like ads mimic push notifications but are more effective and less intrusive. Well-targeted, engaging, and with the sole purpose of increasing an advertiser’s bottom line. Check them out right here

Pop-Under

By appearing behind an active browser window, this format seamlessly integrates into the overall UX flow. And, as the last thing the user sees before exiting the website, they stay top of mind for the future. Check out why pop-unders are still so effective.

Interstitial Ads

The ultimate Cure for Banner Blindness, Interstitials appears while a website or page is loading. The time between browsing is used to reach the end-user with an immersive, tailored, and engaging ad experience.

Check out this short sharp guide to Choosing the Best Ad Formats for your campaign. 

That’s it for now.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to drop a comment in the box below if you have something in mind that we might have missed.  Or, you can submit a poem. You won’t win anything, but you’ll have my eternal (digital) adoration and respect. 

Bye for now.

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