You’ve heard of the 4Ps of traditional marketing – product, price, place, and promotion. But in today’s digitally-driven world, everyone is connected 24-7. Every brand has the chance to grab a share of a potential customer’s attention. As a business owner, you know that digital marketing is a necessity. Simply being in the right place at the right time at the right price is not enough anymore.
But where do you even begin when it comes to digital marketing? Chances are, you’ve signed up for every relevant social media platform there, yet struggle to consistently post content. You see other businesses doing all kinds of things to reach customers online. Yet thinking about all these digital marketing buzzwords like metrics, bidding, interstitials, and native content is enough to make your head spin.
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed, that’s perfectly normal. At Vangoh Creative, we work with many small business owners and this feeling of frustration is a common one. As a small business owner, you’ve probably tried to do new things, but limited time and budget holds you back.
Knowing this, we’ve put together our version of the 4Ps of (digital) marketing, or tips for savvy business owners trying to go digital.
1. Pick the right channels based on your goals
When it comes to marketing, many business owners just want to “get it done” and start driving sales. This is completely understandable as sales are the lifeblood of any small business. Just make sure you are not rushing ahead without taking time to reflect on what your business really needs.
While it can be tempting to jump immediately into every social platform, take time to pause and identify your true goals first. Is your product very niche? Having a wide audience is not necessarily the best for conversions. Is your product a mass market daily essential? Pouring money and hours into meticulously-styled studio photoshoots may not be wise.
Take the time to learn what each digital marketing channel is for – a series of emails may be better for specialized products. And you may not even need to spend your ad dollars on Instagram if you’re marketing a service (because it is more visually-driven).
2. Prioritize what you do best
Instead of spreading yourself too thin by trying everything, focus on a few activities that you already are good at doing.
For example, a brick-and-mortar business trying to get online is probably already great at events. So why not throw a party? And then give people an incentive while they are there to visit the online store as well.
If you’re not great at writing but are an amazing salesperson face-to-face – don’t break a sweat trying to write lengthy blog posts. Get someone to help you shoot videos of yourself explaining why your product is awesome – or even quicker, start posting Instagram Stories from your business account.
Time is always in shortage, but every business owner has the same amount of time. Focus on what you and your staff do best. For everything else, outsource or put it in the back burner.
3. Practice today for tomorrow
Marketing is like a lot like fitness. You rarely (if ever) achieve success overnight or even in a few weeks. When you hear success stories of a marketing campaign gone viral, there is usually a lot of behind-the-scenes work that nobody ever talks about.
As a business, your sustainability is not going to be built on “one-hit wonders”. Instead, it will come from a foundation of good habits that you and your team have built. It takes discipline to do the groundwork before you see the results, like pushing for creativity before your social media posts even start getting organic shares. Being disciplined is not just a foundation for tomorrow’s results. It is also a safeguard against a marketing crisis.
For instance, many businesses, in a rush to go live, skip the tedious step of structuring the website back-end properly. Instead, they just focus on making things look good on the front-end. Eventually, they have to come back to it again (often much sooner than they expect) and deal with buggy code and security breaches in the worst case. Or in the best case, their SEO is poor, giving their competitors an advantage in search rankings.
As the saying goes:
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
If you want your digital efforts to bear fruit, some planning and vision is involved. Take the effort to chart out what you plan to do for the next 12 months, key in important dates, and work backwards for campaigns.
4. Polish your strategy by gathering and analyzing data
It’s okay to start with the basics and get the basics right first before moving on. Too many small business owners get caught up in trends and what others are doing.
The most important thing is understanding exactly who you customers are and what they want. From there, you’ll be able to figure out how to effectively target them and create value for them. You will not be able to do this immediately at the get go. If you are a brand new startup, you might find through analytics that your actual customers look completely different from who you thought your beachhead market was. The only way to learn about your customers and refine your strategy is by gathering data. Using the data you gather, constantly measure and test to determine what works and what doesn’t.
While these 4 digital marketing tips may sound simple and straightforward, too many business owners take them for granted. Don’t make the same mistakes in the rush to get the word out. Instead, channel your marketing efforts towards effective digital marketing activities that will maximize results for your business.