Business owners and marketers are often overwhelmed when it comes to digital marketing. There's a mindset that I push folks to adopt as they think about sales and marketing online:
- It's always going to change – every platform is going through intense transformation right now – artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, virtual reality, mixed reality, big data, blockchain, bots, Internet of Things… yeesh. While that sounds terrifying, keep in mind that's all to our industry's benefit. Consumer safety and privacy will improve, as will the channels and strategies that we can deploy to reach them when they're seeking our products and services.
- Adopting early is advantageous – though a bit risky, new digital marketing channels provide a fantastic opportunity to snatch up an audience that your competitors aren't serving. The risk, of course, is that the medium may be shut down as it fails or is acquired. However, if you can impact your new audience and drive them back to your site where you can capture an email or insert them into a nurturing campaign, then you're going to see some success.
- Do what works – don't apologize for being incapable of doing it all. It's rare that you'll find a business that utilizes all mediums and channels. It's virtually impossible to find a business that has mastered all of them and is using all of them effectively. If you're driving results with email, use email. If you're driving results with social media, use social media. Do what works – then test and add other mediums as you automate and build efficiencies internally.
People ask me how I keep up… I don't. As fast as I consume information and educate myself, new platforms pop up every day. It's one of the reasons why I freely promote other leaders in the marketing technology industry. Put all of our sites together, and you're still only going to learn a fraction of what's happening in our industry.
Where do I get started?
That's the million-dollar question with our community. Where does one begin? Well, here's one recommendation for you – Google Primer.
The Primer app delivers fast, bite-sized, jargon-free lessons on business and marketing topics. It’s designed for time-crunched business owners and ambitious professionals who want to gain new skills and stay competitive in today’s ever-changing digital world. Primer’s lessons are curated and created by a small team at Google. Google partnered with top industry experts to bring our users the latest and most relevant topics, tips, strategies, and tutorials.
Search in Primer for the skills you want, track your progress as you go, and learn them all. Key categories include:
- Agency Management – Discover methods for building a healthy working relationship with your agencies.
- Analytics – Take lessons on digital metrics, Google Analytics, and more.
- Brand Building – Discover how to choose a strong business name, develop your brand identity, and more.
- Business Insights – Get to know your audience with lessons on user testing, research, and customer insights.
- Business Management – Take lessons on leadership, work-life balance, hiring a team, and more.
- Business Planning – Learn how to start a business and set it up for success.
- Content Marketing – Get lessons on planning, creating, and sharing compelling content.
- Customer Engagement – Learn how to create your business story and find your target audience.
- Digital Marketing – Find out how to market your business online.
- Email Marketing – Find out how to build an email list, use email automation, avoid spam filters, and more.
- Mobile Marketing – Get tips for engaging your target audience on their mobile phones.
- Selling – Pick up some tips on making your first sale or getting even more sales.
- Social Media – Learn how to create social ads, work with influencers, and more.
- Startup – Learn about growth hacking, prototyping, crowdfunding, and other startup tactics.
- User Experience – Learn about helping users get the most out of your website, mobile store, apps, and more.
- Video Marketing – Learn about creating actionable online videos, hardworking video ads, and more.
- Website – Get tips on creating a business website that appeals to customers.
Get started today! Whether you're new to business or an experienced marketer, the application provides some fantastic advice and direction.