If you’re trying to run and grow a business, you know you’re going to need smart marketing tactics to get you to the next level of success.
The trouble is, there is SO MUCH information out there. And not all of it can be trusted to actually work for you.
So I’m thrilled to have Amy Porterfield joining me on the Building a Story Brand podcast this week. She’s an actual expert on all things digital marketing, and she has four ways you can effectively dial up your digital marketing, no matter what level you’re at today.
Without a doubt, Amy’s strategies are fantastic. But one word of caution: they’re going to take your existing messaging and amplify it. So if you don’t have solid messaging, these strategies will only help you tank faster.
So before you put too much time and effort into your digital marketing, use our StoryBrand framework to clarify your messaging so it’s clear, concise, and persuasive. Our StoryBrand Live Workshops are a high-energy, hands-on way to do that, or you can request an invitation to the online version of the Workshop and learn the framework on your own schedule.
So, with that in mind, let’s dig into these four levels.
Level 1: Grow and Nurture an Email List
If you haven’t gotten serious yet about email marketing, then perhaps Amy can convince you it’s time. She tells it how it is:
“The strength of your business is directly tied to the quality of your email list.”
She’s right. Nothing moves the needle for our businesses quite like email. And because it’s so affordable, the return on our investment is staggering, especially compared to other marketing channels. (It’s $38 for every dollar spent, according to the DMA.)
But if you think that means you need to fire up “a newsletter,” think again.
Nobody wants to sign up for a newsletter.
You’ve got to offer something better than that. Here’s how.
First, Offer Something of Value for Free For New Subscribers
Give away some valuable content as a “thank-you” for people who signup for your email list. As you’re figuring out what to give away, Amy recommends you ask this question:
“What does my audience need to know, understand, or believe before they ever want to do business with me?”
Package up that information into a downloadable guide, checklist, or PDF. If you want to get fancy, you could turn it into a video series or quiz. But the most important thing is to get the content right.
Here are a few examples to inspire you:
Mom Blogger: 15 Fun Crafts You Can Do With Your Kids (With Materials You Already Have)
Mortgage Company: The Top 10 Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Make — Plus What to Do Instead
Bridal Store: A 5-Point Checklist to Help You Find the Wedding Dress of Your Dreams
Accounting Software Company: 7 Often-Overlooked Tax Tips for Savvy Freelancers
Tire Shop: The Expert’s Guide to Winter Driving: How to Drive Safely Even in Crazy Conditions
Next, Be Consistent in Your Communication
When was the last time you emailed your subscribers?
If you can’t remember, it’s been too long.
Now that you have a new subscriber (thanks to your irresistible giveaway), it’s time to turn that person into a customer by developing the relationship with consistent, frequent emails.
I already know what you’re thinking. “But I don’t want to bombard my customers! They’re going to hate me and unsubscribe.”
As Amy says: “There is direct correlation between the amount of times you email and the money you see generated from those emails.”
You don’t have to email people multiple times a week. It’s simply about staying in front of your audience, reminding them that you’re there, continuing to deliver value, and occasionally selling what you have to offer.
If you sell a big-ticket item, aim for a balance of sending valuable content 80% of the time, selling 20% of the time. If you sell something at a lower price point, feel free to keep a short call to action in every email you send.
The bottom line: Create short, original content and send it out on a weekly basis. You’ll be miles ahead of the competition.
Level 2: Host a Facebook Live
After you’ve gotten into a rhythm with your email marketing and content strategy, you can start looking at other ways to connect with your audience.
One simple, free way to do this is to host a Facebook Live event every week. This is an easy baby step to get comfortable creating content with your audience. You’ll learn a lot about what’s relevant and what’s not.
Frankly, a big part of your digital marketing strategy is just reminding people that you exist.
I learned this back in my mid-20s, when I was the president of a publishing company. I don’t know how that happened, but I was, and the company was growing. The absentee owner came in and said, “How are you doing this?”
This was in the dinosaur days before email, so I was sending actual mail to all these clients. A letter every week. I replied, “I think it’s just this letter,” and the owner said, “You’re kidding me. This letter doesn’t say anything. It talks about you going camping.”
I said, “Greg, they’re not opening the letter. They’re literally taking it out of the mailbox and putting it in their trash can. But they’re seeing our logo on the envelope every single week.” So when they were ready to actually buy something, we were top of mind.
So let that take the pressure off your Facebook Live events. Share value content, but remember that it’s really about showing up and staying in front of your audience, week in, week out.
Another bonus of Facebook Live events? It helps you get ready for the next step, which is…
Level 3: Host a Webinar
At this point, if you’ve been sending out emails and hosting Facebook Live events, you’re ready to host a webinar.
This is going to do a couple of key things for your business. First, it’s going to help you generate more leads because you’ll require an email address to register for your webinar. Next, it’s going to directly boost your sales.
So let’s tackle the two big questions most people have about webinars:
What kind of technical setup do I need?
Not much! You can use your webcam to put yourself on video, although Amy just uses slides and her voice. You can stick to free options like YouTube or Google Hangouts or pay a bit more for dedicated webinar services like GoToWebinar or Zoom.
What should I talk about?
At this point in your digital marketing efforts, you should have a pretty good idea of what your topic should be. What’s resonated the most with your audience in your Facebook Live events and email campaigns?
When you’ve got your topic, design your webinar content to cover the “What” and the “Why.” As Amy says:
“What’s the big idea, and why does it matter to your attendee?”
Take our fictional mom blogger from earlier. Her ultimate goal is to sell an online parenting class, so her webinar might be something along the lines of The Top 5 Discipline Mistakes Even Well-Meaning Parents Make.
Her slides then need to frame up what the big idea is and why it matters. For 20 or 30 minutes, she can just give valuable tips about the common mistakes parents are making with discipline and why it matters for their kids’ long-term wellbeing.
Then, she goes to the next logical step — her parenting class that gives loving but frustrated parents a complete system for disciplining their kids in a positive way.
When you structure your webinars this way, it won’t even feel like you’re selling. You’re just helping your customers take the next right step to solve the problem they have.
Level 4: Facebook Ads
At StoryBrand, we’ve had tremendous success recently with highly targeted Facebook ads. A huge reason for this is because you can really dial in the audiences. You never have to worry that you’re hitting people with a message they don’t want to hear.
And because we know our audience very well, we’ve been able to see good results.
Here are just a few ideas Amy gives us for reaching the right people at the right time with Facebook ads:
• Target all visitors to your website or Facebook page
They know who you are and were interested enough to look around. A follow-up ad may be just the nudge they need to take action.
• Target by location or geography
For local businesses, this can be a game-changer. It helps to use the name of your town in your creative so people instantly recognize that the ad is relevant to them.
• Target using basic demographics (moms ages 25-40 with kids in elementary school, for example)
• Target using social connections (Seth Godin fans, or the friends of people who are fans of your page)
• Target by interests or behaviors (fans of specific bands, shows, yarn stores, you name it)
That just scratches the surface of the possibilities. Plus, you can do it all on a fixed budget so you’ll know your audiences and creative are working before you make a bigger investment.
So, to recap: to boost your digital marketing savvy, you’re going to:
1. Build and consistently share content with your email list; then
2. Host regular Facebook Live events to get comfortable chatting with your audience; then,
3. Host a webinar to grow your email list and boost your sales; then
4. Start running Facebook ads to find just the right people for your content and services.
Amy is the real deal, so give her strategies a try. Start at whatever level you’re at now, and I know you’ll see results soon.
Clarify Your Message Before You Amplify It
Amy’s strategies will take your existing messaging and amplify it. So get your messaging right first before you dive into everything she recommends in this post. How, you ask? Join us at the next StoryBrand Live Workshop (January 8-10, 2017). We’ll walk you through an easy-to-understand communication framework to help you clarify your message and grow your business.
Executive producer: Tim Schurrer
Additional production and editing by: Chad Snavely and Nick Jaworski