It’s been a while on the blog. It’s also 2023 and I still have a blog… I mean what is that even about? I guess I was just tidying up my own digital marketing efforts, and I read some of my old posts and I didn’t hate them. So I thought, I still have thoughts about digital marketing as a whole, it would be good to keep sharing them.
So, if you’d like to hear some of my thoughts then the best place to hear them right now, fresh out of my actual brain, is to sign up to my newsletter here. I’m going to be sending out an email every other week – fortnightly – with some a short digital marketing thought and an actionable tip you can put to use right away. Sign up here so you don’t miss out.
Full disclosure then, this blog, and the ones that I’ll be putting up over the next few months are ones that I sent out to my first newsletter list a few years ago. I had a loyal following of less than 10 people who read each one of the 12 I sent out, once a week, over a 3 month period. And in the spirit of practising what I preach, and I preach that numbers don’t mean a thing, I can share that 2 of that list became clients of mine.
So, now you’ve read all the waffle, please enjoy the rest! Also, rereading this one, the references are a little dated, but not as much as I thought they’d be, so enjoy those too 🙂
Consistency – the one secret to digital marketing that we don’t talk about enough
The one thing that you need to do to make your digital marketing a success, in my opinion, and experience, is the big one – consistency.
Continuing to show up, create, and put time into your digital marketing is the thing that will give you results over time. It’s as simple as that.
Have you seen Dude Perfect on YouTube? Their trick shot and family entertainment videos have 42 million subscribers. This year, they are celebrating 10 years of their channel. That’s 10 years of showing up, creating their brand of entertainment on YouTube, and creating an audience that stretches beyond 42 million subscribers to adverts for NERF, a summer tour and a Nickelodeon kids TV show. That started when they made a series of videos and, based on the initial reaction, kept making them over time
You might say that this is an example where success wasn’t down to digital marketing or social media but to building a business that continues to be successful over the years. I would agree with that, Dude Perfect sell merch and have many commercial ties in, they are even going to open an amusement park!
But more than that, it shows that when you put consistent time into your content and social media you start to create a cycle where showcasing what you are doing is leading to a bigger audience and more chances for growth in your business and more business is growing your digital marketing reach to the next level. They go hand in hand.
And to give another example, consistency doesn’t have to mean doing the same thing over all that time. Sara Tasker of Me and Orla took a personal Instagram account and grew it to a size where she could make it her full-time income. When she first worked on the account full-time, she did consultancy for brands and influencer work but over time she now offers her own Instagram course and is an author. Consistency for her has meant taking her audience along for the ride with her, showing up to show them what she’s doing and how she is shaping her business, but not necessarily offering them the same thing.
So, when you think about consistency for your digital marketing what might that look like? Here comes the practical part…
Everything starts with your goals. Take 10 minutes and have a good think about what you want from your social media and content.
Do you want to showcase your business? Maybe show behind the scenes, and document what you are doing?
Are you using your social and content to document your already thriving business?
Do you want to grow an audience that will feed into your business?
What would you like your social media and content to do for your business?
You don’t have to have all the answers, but knowing what you are ultimately trying to get out of your digital marketing will help you make choices along the way. If you want to be the next Dude Perfect, a thriving written blog might not be the best choice vs vibrant video content!
You don’t have to be on every social media channel, and have a blog, and a YouTube channel. What you need are channels that will complement and best show off the content that you are sharing and the different sides to your business.
Look back at your goals. Think about the content that you have. Where might the two of those meet to find a good place online for your business?
How does that translate into actual social media platforms? I usually say that Facebook is a must for a local business like a café – it’s great to have a page and turn up in search there, a chance to collect reviews, as well a great opportunity to be tagged by others. Instagram is great for visual content, quirky businesses and discovery via hashtags. Twitter is good for personal brands, you as the face of your business, or as an author, freelancer, or founder.
And I’m sure you’ve heard people ask the question – what would you do if social media disappeared tomorrow? Do you have a website? A blog? An email list? We often don’t talk about these when we talk about digital marketing but they are all powerful tools. Having your writing on your own blog means that you can share it wherever you like but it is always in one place that you own. Speaking directly to your audience using an email list gives you the power to take things in any direction, knowing you have a list of people who you can email and ask to follow you there, no social media change around required!
A side note here that also touches on consistency. It is also good to have a consistent look to all your channels. Do they have the same logo or profile picture, contact details and description? Would your audience know they’ve found you? If not, it’s a good idea to have a social spring clean and get everything in line.
Now you have your channels, what about keeping them up to date?
This is not the part where I tell you that you have to post every day, every week, always at the same time, when your audience are online or any of the other ‘rules’ that you find everywhere.
The first thing is to find what works for you. Does an email every Monday fit in with your working week? Does posting to Instagram before breakfast appeal to you? If so, then do it! If not, then find what works for you and go with it. By working around what you feel comfortable with you are far more likely to stick to it, and therefore be consistent.
If you put aside time to do everything at once you might want to think about a scheduling tool like Buffer, so you can put together content that will go out over a longer period of time, posted to a schedule on your behalf.
And don’t sweat it if you ‘miss’ a few. Just pick it up and keep going. If you have had a break it’s a good idea to think about why if that helps you going forward. Did it feel like you were posting too often? Then get back to it but post less often. Was that time of the day/the week not working for you? Then choose another time and get back on it.
Engagement is something I will definitely come back to in the future. For me, it’s where the magic of social media and content truly lies. Let’s face it, none of us set up a business so we could sit in a dark room by ourselves and never interact with anyone else. So why do we often do this to ourselves online?
I often tell clients that they would be better off taking one post out of their schedule and spending that time interacting with other people instead.
Definitely find time to reply to everyone who takes the time to comment on your work, wherever they find it. I’m not saying engage with trolls but I think we are all running businesses where mostly people are kind and leave us lovely comments or send us nice messages.
And then go beyond that to find some internet friends and take the time to listen to what they are saying and give them a virtual high five.
Find a good Twitter chat in your industry or niche and take part. Browse some rocking hashtags on Instagram and comment on every picture you love. Spend some time on your timeline and give everyone who you follow a big thumbs up. Take the time to reply to a comment on a random post that you just love. These are the things that build your audience and start to make your social and content shine.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you’d like to get in touch with me and chat about anything then you can do that here.