What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the act of promoting and selling products or services using online marketing tactics such as social media marketing, search engine optimization, digital advertising, and email marketing.
Different tactics are needed for digital marketing to be effective. They work together to create a repeatable system for attracting prospects, nurturing relationships, making offers your audience will appreciate and respond to, and ultimately helping you achieve your goals.
Digital marketing, when done right, presents the right offer, at the right time, in the right place, to the right people.
What Are The Benefits Of Digital Marketing?
Having a strong digital presence helps you in multiple ways:
- It makes it easier to create awareness and engagement both before and after a conversion.
- It helps you convert new buyers into rabid fans who buy more (and more often).
- It kickstarts word-of-mouth and social sharing—and all the benefits that come with them.
- It shortens the customer journey by presenting the right offers at the right time.
Digital Marketing Methodology
The Customer Journey Digital Marketing Strategy
The Customer Journey is your customer’s experience: from initial contact as a prospect, through the process of engagement, and onto a long-term relationship as your repeat customer or member.
It applies if you sell goods or offer services. It also applies if you’re an organization that seeks members, students, subscribers, or benefactors.
The Customer Journey outlines the stages for acquiring new customers, but it also shows how any digital marketing effort is not just a simple, solitary exercise in attracting new visitors or promoting an offer. Effective digital marketing operates within a repeatable and coordinated strategic framework that moves prospects and customers seamlessly and subtly through each phase of the Customer Journey.
By intentionally and predictably moving people through each stage of the Customer Journey your digital marketing return on investment (ROI) can be maximized. No more wondering about where leads will come from and hoping they’ll turn into satisfied, repeat customers.
Step 1: Awareness & Attraction
Before someone can buy from you, they have to realize you exist.
Step 1 in the Customer Journey is where a person becomes aware of you. After all, nobody is born knowing who Apple or Amazon are. At some point they have to become aware of these companies if they are to become a customer. The same thing is true of your company or organization.
There are any number of ways to make prospects aware of you, your products, or your services: Facebook ads, Google search results, or videos posted on YouTube are just a few ways to do that.
The best digital marketing tactics for improving awareness and attracting prospects who need you, are:
Step 2: Engagement & Evaluation
Your prospect is now aware of you—they know who you are—but you’re still in the early stages of a relationship. They don’t yet “know you”, like you, or trust you. So the next step is to start developing relationship with your prospect so they can evaluate whether or not to do business with you.
Step 2 is conversing with prospects. Engage them through some form of content that provides entertainment, information, or both. But, engaging your audience is also something that must continue throughout the Customer Journey.
Engagement typically comes in the form of content or community like: an email newsletter, joining a Facebook group, or following your LinkedIn business page. Engagement can be boosted with content that’s as entertaining as it is useful.
The best digital marketing tactics to improve engagement and help your audience evaluate if your offering(s), are:
Step 3: Conversion
By this step, your prospect knows who you are and has engaged with you in some way or another. However, if you fail to get their contact information, odds are high you’ll never hear from them again.
Because people are inundated with marketing messages, creating a scarcity of attention. Just because someone reads one of your blog posts today does NOT mean they’ll remember to revisit your site in the future. Instead, you need to get that person to progress to Step 3 in the Customer Journey, which is to convert.
Conversion is usually a two step process.
Step 3.1: Subscribe
A person subscribes when they give you their contact information. In doing so, they have granted you permission to contact them again in the future.
Most often, this transaction is an exchange, sometimes referred to as a lead magnet. You promote a valuable offer, but instead of asking for money, you ask for the prospect’s contact information. When they give it to you, not only do you give them access to the content, product, or service that was promised, you also add them to your subscriber list.
The lead magnet exists to increase leads, and although no money changes hands, it should be considered a transaction, often the first transaction you will have with a prospect. The lead magnet is usually offered on a web page called a landing or squeeze page that is optimized to convert even cold traffic into leads. To be most effective, a lead magnet should solve a specific problem for a specific segment of your market that finds it valuable.
Step 3.2: Convert
If the subscribers you gain in Step 3.1 of the Customer Journey remain engaged, some of them will be ready to increase their level of commitment. They like what you shared and have begun to trust you, so they’re ready to invest in one of two ways: either with time or money.
This is a critical stage in the Customer Journey and one that frustrates many business owners. The key to success in this stage is to employ tripwire offers that are designed to give the new prospect tremendous value without forcing them to put too much “skin in the game.”
At this stage, to ask for a significant investment in a complex product or service would be asking too much, too soon. You’re still in the early stages of building a relationship and the goal of the tripwire is to fundamentally change the relationship from prospect to customer.
In fact, it may even be too early to concern yourself with profitability. You might actually lose money on the prospects you acquire. The convert stage of the Customer Journey is about acquiring buyers or ramping up the commitment level of the leads you already have. Depending on you product or service, it may NOT be about profitability. Profit can come later.
Customer Acquisition Cost
One of the costliest (in time, money, and resources) marketing activities your business will undertake is the acquisition of customers. The most valuable businesses in the world all understand this. It’s why Sprint is willing to buy you out of your Verizon cell phone contract and give you a free phone, Netflix and Audible offer 30-day free trials, VistaPrint sells 500 business cards for $9, and Square gives away its credit card reader.
Once you’ve acquired a customer, you don’t need to pay to acquire them again, and they’re more likely to purchase higher ticket, more complex products and services from you, and do so more frequently.
To improve conversions, the best digital marketing tactics are:
- Digital Advertising
- Content Marketing
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Email Marketing
- Purpose Driven Web Design
Step 4: Delight
Once a customer has acquired his/her tripwire, the job then is to make sure the transaction is a good one and the excitement of that transaction develops into good will and trust. This step of the Customer Journey uses digital marketing to give your customers the opportunity to get value from doing business with you—and to enjoy that value right away. A customer won’t proceed through this step and purchase more expensive things from you if they did not enjoy and perceive value from the convert step.
It’s also worth mentioning again, until this final step in the Customer Journey, time, money, and resources have been invested to acquire leads as well as customers. It’s entirely possible that, until this step, you have yet to turn a profit. In fact, if you’re in a competitive market you may be losing money on the front end of this process to acquire customers. That’s perfectly acceptable, and here’s why: You’re investing in future profits.
Always remember that it costs more to acquire a new customer than to sell to an existing one. The first sale may not be about profits. It’s about converting a prospect to a customer, so you can begin a long (and profitable) customer relationship.
Buying customers on the front end is just shrewd business, but only if you can monetize those customers on the back end.
The delight step of the Customer Journey is where customers are positioned to buy more and more often. If your business has a core offer, this is the place to make that offer. Once your customers purchases that core offer, it’s time to present them with profit maximizers (or other relevant offers) that turn them into repeat buyers.
Step 4.1: Core Offer
You likely already have a core offer. It’s your flagship product(s), service(s), or offering. Most businesses get nowhere by making core offers to cold prospects. But core offer sales typically explode with the lead magnet and tripwire offer lead-ins.
In some cases, sales from the core offer will make you profitable. But it doesn’t have to. If the entire Customer Journey is implemented, you could take everything you make from the core offer and reinvest it to acquire more customers. You can do this to build a system in which you can spend more to acquire customers than your competitors. Many of the most successful businesses in the world actually make no profit until they sell their the profit maximizers.
Step 4.2: Profit Maximizers
The goal of profit maximizers is to increase the average transaction value per customer. If you simply live and die selling cold prospects your core offer, you will most likely struggle. McDonald’s makes almost no money on their hamburgers. The hamburger is the core offer, but the fry and soda profit maximizer is what built the Golden Arches. This type of profit maximizer is called an immediate upsell.
Amazon makes a cross-sell profit maximizer offer when they display, “People who bought this product, also bought that product.” Amazon also makes a bundle profit maximizer offer with their “Frequently Bought Together” offer.
Premium subscriptions (recurring billing) for like membership websites and other continuity offers also make fantastic profit maximizers. Basically, any offer made after the core offer sale is a profit maximizer.
To identify your profit maximizers, answer the following questions:
- What could you be offering as an upsell or cross-sell?
- What could you bundle with your core offer?
- How can you incorporate a subscription or membership into your business model?
- How can you increase the number of follow up transactions per customer.
The key to successfully selling profit maximizers is to have frequent, strategic communication with your customers that cause them to buy again and again. Remember, the single biggest expense most companies will incur is the cost of acquiring the customer, which is the job of the tripwire offer. Everything after increases the customer lifetime value and subsequently your profit margins.
Step 4.3: Advocate/Promoter
You now have a happy customer who has made several profitable purchases with you. The next stage in the Customer Journey is to direct your marketing so that it encourages your most loyal customers to advocate for and promote your business or organization.
These advocates and promoters speak positively about your brand and actively seek ways to spread the word about you, your products or services. In some cases, the happy advocate simply had a great experience with your company and wants to share their story with friends and family. In other cases, they promote because there is an incentive to do so.
In either scenario, new audiences hearing about you from a trusted source are more likely to become customers themselves.
Yet, this important final step of the Customer Journey is often thought to be outside of the control of marketing, but that simply isn’t true. Marketing can intentionally generate more advocates and promoters on your behalf.
Here are a few examples:
- A customer enters a contest to win something from you by shooting a video review detailing how much he/she loves your products.
- You offer a 20% commission every time a customer refers a new buyer via an affiliate link.
- A member can attend a conference for free because she arranged for 5 of her colleagues to go as well.
- A business partner resells your products or services for a commission.
- You simply ask customers for their feedback and then promote those positive reviews for others to see.
Bottom line, advocates and promoters help you get more customers at a lower cost, even when you reward them.
To delight more customers, the best digital marketing tactics are:
The Costumer Journey Is Your Digital Marketing Strategy
To sum it up the Customer Journey is where digital marketing begins and ends.
- It outlines the stages on the path to acquiring new customers or members.
- It reveals how any digital marketing effort is not just a simple, solitary exercise in attracting new visitors or promoting an offer.
Effective digital marketing operates within a repeatable strategic framework that can move your prospects and customers seamlessly and subtly through each phase of the Customer Journey.
By using the Customer Journey, you have an online marketing strategy that intentionally and predictably moves people through each stage while at the same time maximizing your digital marketing return on investment.
Digital Marketing Services
Whether you’re a business, an organization, or a soloprenuer with a promising side hustle, our Customer Journey approach to digital marketing helps you achieve your goals. We offer the following full-service Internet marketing solutions that drive traffic, convert visitors, and measure a positive return on your investment.
Get in touch today to experience how Ella J Designs digital marketing services will help you achieve your goals.