Best selling author and international speaker Adam Franklin on building a web marketing strategy that works in 2017, as well as comparing today’s marketing landscape to 2014, when he wrote his book about web marketing.
Questions You Can Answer After Listening To This Episode On Web Marketing Strategy With Adam Franklin:
1. Why should every local business have a web marketing strategy?
2. What kind of weird collections might you find in Adam’s closet?
3. How have web strategies changed since 2014?
4. What ultimate faux pas did Adam make when sending his first professional email?
5. How can I juggle a comprehensive web marketing strategy and a business?
Just to be sure we don’t pigeonhole Adam Franklin as one of those “indoorsy marketing types”, you should first know that he doesn’t know how to code, he likes surfing and his mates call him Frankie.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, we can tell you about the amazing (and pretty nerdy) marketing achievements that this young man has under his belt.
Aside from penning his Amazon Best Selling book Web Marketing That Works, Adam’s co-founded web marketing firm Bluewire Media and has also had a lot of success as an international social media speaker, blogger and podcaster.
Today Adam’s going to give us some real, useful tips on how to formulate a web marketing strategy that works in 2017, as well as comparing today’s marketing landscape to 2014, when he wrote his book about web marketing.
We also look at how effective web marketing strategies may differ depending on who your customers are, what locations you service and the length of your customer’s typical buying cycle.
INTERLUDE! If you’ve just discovered Vicinity Marketing, below is a short video about who we are and what we do. If you just came for the article, you can simply skip past the video and keep reading 🙂
Wait, What Exactly Is A Web Marketing Strategy?
“Basically it’s just getting everybody on the same page and knowing which direction you’re going in.”
Adam believes the key with a web marketing strategy is not to over-complicate it. Try to keep the entire thing to a simplified, one-page document that:
- Confirms the direction you’re going in
- Clearly states who your buyers are and how you’re going to help them
- Includes some basic ideas about the kind of content you’ll be publishing online
- Outlines the journey you want consumers to take, i.e. your web marketing funnel
Creating your strategy is the easy part. The hard part is inputting it and making sure you stay consistent, aligning with your strategy over a long period of time.
Why Is Having A Web Strategy So Important?
Why not just jump in and see what works, or follow what the big players are doing? In this ever-changing virtual landscape, what’s the advantage of having a plan?
The main reason is just so you don’t get distracted.
If you continuously bounce from one new shiny avenue to another, you’re not going to get traction with any of it. Once your business has plan and you know what you’re focussed on, it will be easier to succeed with the basics and you won’t need to forage for newfangled alternatives.
Creating An Avatar
While it is important to keep your strategy simple, one thing that successful business owners and marketers always flesh out in detail is their buyer persona, or “customer avatar”.
In order to reach your ideal customer, you need to know who they are first. Create your avatar and list things about them like where they work, where they hang out online, what they’re looking for, their wants, needs, challenges, aspirations and favourite flavour of ice cream (if you’re an ice cream shop).
Building A Funnel
Once you’ve identified who your customers are and where the best place to reach them is, you can create your web marketing funnel – unfortunately it’s not always as easy as “see ad > visit website > buy product”.
At the top of our funnel, we reach our broadest audience by publishing flagship content and lead magnets that our ideal customers will find useful and interesting, in places where they are most likely to find it. From there, we refine our audience by remarketing to those who engage with our content and website, eventually promoting a call to action to those most likely to respond.
What about businesses with a shorter buying cycle?
How could somebody like a locksmith still benefit from creating a web strategy and publishing relevant content? Blog posts like “6 safest locks for your home” aren’t likely to be read by a frantic mum who has somehow managed to lock the keys and the toddler in the house.
There are two reasons why businesses with shorter buying cycles can still benefit from creating an effective web strategy:
1. Return customers
Creating lead magnets are a great method of building your email database, enabling you to resell or promote other services to more people in the future.
2. Even if the customer never notices your content, Google will
Even if the customer never notices your content, Google will
Just by having that quality, relevant content on your website and shared on every possible platform, search engines will be able to see you as an authority source of information within your market and reward you with better organic rankings.
At What Point Should You Stop Planning And Start Doing?
Trick question, the planning never stops.
It’s important to have a clear plan laid out for your business’ digital marketing before getting into the tactical nitty gritty stuff. There is a certain point however where you really should start doing something, whether it’s publishing blogs, placing Facebook or Google ads – even recording a podcast.
Once you’ve completed your web strategy, it’s time to sit down and figure out how much of it is actually going to be possible. With your number one priority often being simply the day-to-day running of your business, marketing will understandably take a back seat.
As you implement your strategy you will begin to realise which elements are working, which are viable, which are a good use of your time and which are maybe just a bit too ambitious.
How Have Web Marketing Strategies Changed Since 2014?
In Adam’s opinion, basically there are less tweets, more live videos and the advancements in Facebook remarketing are the best thing since sliced bread.
Although new technologies are available every day, the fundamentals of a successful strategy have remained the same. We are still figuring out our ideal buying persona, how and where we can reach them, provide them with value and build their trust. We’re still planning a publishing schedule and we’re still tracking results — albeit with heaps more tracking options available.
Do Different Types Of Businesses Need Different Strategies?
Does a web marketing strategy change between brick-and-mortar and e-commerce? What is the difference between a small local market and a national one?
If you’re looking at two identical products with the only differences being the size and location of the market, both strategies are going to be pretty much the same. It is the implementation of those strategies that would differ.
This is where small local businesses can gain the advantage over bigger players, attracting more valuable leads when customers are searching for a specific product or service, in a specific area.
Smaller businesses can really customise their content, utilising more specific keywords in order to target their local niche. While big brands could technically create bucketloads of area-specific content, they must generally be more broad with their keywords.
Go It Alone, Or Get Help?
If you’re capable of running your own local business (seriously well done, give yourself a pat on the back) then chances are you’re capable of creating and implementing a web marketing strategy. The catch is that you have a business to run, where on Earth are you going to find time to do that?
For those lucky few who have the time, it is absolutely possible to develop your own web strategy, especially when companies like Bluewire Media have ready-made templates that make it super easy.
What if you have the time, but don’t have a clue about marketing? Perhaps you have both but in reality, your time and skills are more valuable when they’re being put to work for the actual business, not for the marketing.
“It really depends what your highest revenue activity is… chances are you’re going to be making more money on the tools, doing what you do best.”
Depending on the type of business you have and what position you’re in, you may need some expertise to guide you through the strategy process. This may mean hiring a consultant or an agency, or even taking a course to improve your skills in order to go solo.
Where Does Brand Storytelling Fit Into A Web Marketing Strategy?
People have been telling stories since the invention of language. For brands, storytelling has always been a crucial method of relaying messages to consumers and enabling them to stand out and be remembered.
“If you just bore people with the straight facts, chances are they won’t remember it very well.”
Regardless of the size or type of business, in order to promote a consistent message, a brand’s story needs to be visible in every single aspect of that business. This includes literally everything from the brand name, logo & uniforms to the tone of voice in your blogs & each employees’ customer service style.
People want to do business with people they know, like and trust, so in order to be known, liked and trusted there are only three things to remember: consistency, consistency and consistency.
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