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Digital marketing can be one of the most efficient methods for attracting a new customer base, but not without a solid foundation. Unless you try to harness the slim chance of going viral, you’re going to have to build your audience from the ground up, cultivating it from social media, email, and community outreach on sites like Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and so on. This can also be one of the most fun and rewarding ways to build a loyal customer base.
Look at What’s Free
If you’re going to be saving money on marketing, becoming accustomed to the DIY approach will need to be the first step. Even something as simple as hiring an amateur photographer can cost anywhere between $25-75 per hour (as noted by PetaPixel), and while that’s not a bad price, it’s something not every entrepreneur can afford. That’s why learning as much as you can for free will pay off tremendously in the long run.
First, take a look at what digital assets you’re going to need consistently to be competitive with the rest of your industry. For example, if everyone else is producing short clips for Instagram, then look into free software to edit video clips.
Additionally, try to gauge how you can generate work consistently on your own using what you already know, such as if you’re talented at writing short-form copy or can take solid profile shots for Instagram. Whatever the case might be, try to make what you learn something you feel rewarded for taking on, giving you the best chance to build upon it into the future.
Be Great at Telling Your Brand Story
Beyond the technical aspects of producing content, the other half of it (and arguably, more important) is simply being a great storyteller. For people to follow your brand and want to engage with your content day-in and day-out, they’re going to want to see the things that either resonate with them or they aspire to learn.
A driving force to this is authenticity, which 80% of consumers cite as their top reason for following a brand. As anyone who’s successfully built a fanbase from scratch will tell you, it starts with telling an honest story, where the core is the change you’re aiming to make in the world.
When looking at your brand, try to brainstorm what type of personality it has, as well as the impact you hope it makes in the coming years (beyond just selling your product or service). Remember, this should be a story you genuinely feel impassioned to write about regularly, so make it a topic that you feel as though you want to become a thought leader on for years to come.
Start Learning About Your Customer Base
The right research can go a long way. Not only will you save time on doing different iterations and versions of your messaging, you’ll also save time trying to figure out who your base is, as well as why your message will resonate with them. A big reason for the rise of trends like micro-influencing campaigns and localized brand activations is that they’re much better at reaching the right number of small groups of people than trying to capture a massive audience all at once.
When looking at specifics on your audience, the first thing you should ask yourself is what type of general audience you’ve been following (as well as why you feel like they’re a fit for your brand); then, what type of people are currently following your brand (as well as why they’re a match). With those four points in mind, look at which demographics most closely align. For example, 64% of 18 to 24-year-olds are currently on Instagram. That could be a place to build your brand if the audience matches your base.
This should be a fun dive into research, giving you the best perspective on those you’re interested in engaging with. As the other half of this is also learning from those you’re engaging with, take this as a chance to become a more active member of your community.
Keep It Consistent
With a solid engagement and content plan in play, the biggest place where many fall short is simply throwing in the towel too early. No matter how little traction you might be getting at first, the goal is to keep a marathon pace for your content and engagement, not a sprint.
Your audience is going to have a certain expectation that comes with every interaction they have with you, which can often come with great reward. In fact, as noted by DreamGrow, 71% of consumers who’ve had a positive experience with a brand on social media are more likely to recommend it to someone else. Mastering that is no easy feat, though, which is why you need to come up with the proper procedures to ensure your audience gets the same treatment every time.
Beyond aspects like your content and social media calendars, another smart asset to have handy is a script of social media responses for comments as well as customer service calls. An expectation consumers have is to learn about a brand via social media, so you should have answers to their questions right away.
Stay active on this as you introduce new content or marketing techniques, being mindful of the type of responses people might have towards what you’re producing or the medium it’s delivered by. With enough practice, you’ll not only have marketing foundation that can scale but also bring an improved connection with your target audience.
What are some methods you’ve used to boost your digital marketing efforts? Comment with your insights below!