When getting your digital marketing started focus on your audience with an actionable doable plan. It might sound simple, but sharing quality content that your audience will be interested in and having a digital marketing plan that you can manage are two of the most important things that you can do for effective digital marketing.

Key points

  1. Start with a real purpose.
  2. Your audience is always discovering what they can appreciate.
  3. Your opportunity is to help your audience with their goals and challenges.

Start with a real purpose

Your purpose guides your decisions and helps your message stay focused. Your purpose is your authentic aspirational reason for doing what you do.

Knowing the why about what you are doing on digital marketing guides your decisions about what you contribute and gives you something to work towards.

For your purpose consider how you measure success (ignoring the dollars) and take into consideration the comments from your customers that make you the most proud. Your purpose should translate into what your audience wants. A good purpose can be used to motivate your preferred customer to consider how you can solve their problems. A great place to start is with aligning your purpose with helping people.

Whilst you are thinking about it, reflect on how well purpose shines through what some of the worlds most reputable brands do, for example, Google's purpose "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" can be seen in everything that they do. At websitePlus before we post we test with our purpose which is to "making it easy for small business to get results from digital marketing" and if it aligns then we share.  

Staying true to your purpose helps build trust collateral with your audience. In practice, this means to earn trust with your audience teach them about something they will be interested in that you understand well. Consistently posting on topic sends a very clear signal to your audience about what you consider important. Trust is earnt by offering value and expecting nothing in return.

Your audience is always discovering what they can appreciate

From your perspective content is vital for helping people start to learn and discover more about how you can help,  from your audiences' perspective it is all just a big learning experience.

Before making a decision people first need to become aware of a product or service to be able to make a consideration. This is commonly known as the first step in a buyer's journey which typically consists of awareness, consideration and decisions phases.

During the awareness phase, informative content is used for helping people discover information that aligns with their interests and values. People learn from content that helps to solve their problems. At this stage post content that will help your audience with informative blog posts, and share tips and how-tos.  

Next in the consideration phase where you are starting to nurture your audience towards a decision. Share content that will potentially be on your customers' gap analysis. This is a good time to start helping with the important intangibles like trust, commitment and thought leadership with webinars, reports and case studies.

Finally, during the decision phase, people use content that helps with making a choice about a proposed solution, and in some cases this content will be presented in-person. Content should demonstrate how you can add value. Content that can help people with making decisions include personalised proposals, free product trials, demos and customer testimonials.

It is important to note that the buyer's journey is not necessarily linear, meaning that your audience might be moving from awareness to consideration phases, and then back again many times before entering into the decision phase.

Your opportunity is to help your audience with their goals and challenges

Share content that helps your audience because your audience is always interested in what is going to help them.

Sharing content that helps your audience with their goals and challenges presents you with an opportunity to start creating awareness about what you have to offer and to start building a relationship.

In practice, share helpful informative educational articles, infographics and videos that help to frame your product or service as a possible solution for potential customers.  Whilst content should be shared without any sales pressure, consider asking for a little commitment for access to checklists, reports and other feature rich content so that you can start to create an opportunity for building a relationship. A good digital marketer always has an open mind, is ready to learn and knows that their audience consists of many different types of customer - all with their own unique set of goals, challenges and needs. With your digital marketing always listen, analyse, test new ideas and repeat.