Running a business tends to make your to-do list quite long. This cuts into your freedom and keeps you from growing — or enjoying! — your enterprise. The more you can simplify, the better. You may know that delegating and automating your tasks can help you gain more freedom. And you should eliminate as many tasks as possible.
That’s easier said than done. One area where many entrepreneurs struggle is their marketing. It seems to always take time and money — potentially with little payoff. However, you don’t necessarily have to “spend more to make more.” The opposite is often true.
As with many business problems, the solution is to simplify. Then, you can truly connect with your audience and convert more prospects into loyal customers.
The Problem with Digital Marketing
Digital marketing certainly solved many entrepreneurial woes. You can avoid the costs of printing, mailing, etc. But with all these digital channels, it’s easy to put your eggs in the wrong basket. Which channels do you need? Facebook? Instagram? YouTube? TikTok? You know you need to be where your customers are — but what if they’re on all of those channels?
Spreading out across the digital multiverse can dilute your message and drain your budget. Even if you’re not spending a lot of money on a particular platform, you’re spending time. And time, as they say, is money.
In this case, less is more. You don’t need to push out your message on every possible platform. That can seem spammy to your potential customers. Instead, you must send the right message to the right people in the right place. To do that, think like an archer: precise movements rather than a scattershot approach.
Simplified Marketing Means Simpler Communication
None of your customers want to be sold to, so seeing your brand on every digital channel won’t help with that. They want to solve their problems or fulfill their core desires. Either way, they’re seeking a better life.
That’s what you’re offering them through your product or service. To gain their interest — and trust — don’t speak sales to them. Speak to them like a person.
How would you communicate with your friend? Would you call them, send them a Facebook chat, and email them all with the same message? No, you would use the best channel for that message.
It’s the same with digital marketing. Simplify and streamline so that you can make a real connection with your prospects. Plus, this saves you valuable time and money, creating more freedom in your business.
Know Your Customer’s Journey
Traditional marketing is what we call “interruptive” marketing, like the commercial that interrupts your dinner. The goal is to persuade people to buy from you. Today’s consumers are tired of that. No one is thinking, “I’d better spend some money today.” Instead, they may be thinking:
“These shoes hurt my feet. I need new ones.”
“I want to eat healthier but I never have time to cook.”
“I feel like treating myself to some new jewelry.”
“My lawn is a mess. Should I do it myself or hire someone?”
These are triggering events that launch them on a journey. Perhaps that journey will conclude with a purchase from your business. Sometimes, it “ends” with gaining knowledge… but a new chapter can start. Their journey doesn’t truly end; they simply take the fork in the road. You’re there to help guide them toward their solution.
What is your business’s core promise? (You might know this as your value proposition.) And what is the expertise behind that promise?
Let’s say your business makes meal kits with healthy ingredients. Someone who wants to eat better but has no time to cook is likely your ideal customer. They don’t want to waste money, so they’re looking for a business with expertise in nutrition, recipes, etc. You could entice their interest by sharing your guide to fast, nutritional meals.
That’s why the best digital marketing is based on the value you offer rather than the sales goal you want to hit. By speaking to your prospects as people rather than dollar signs, you’re more likely to get conversions. Plus, by focusing on high-value content, you trim the fat on both your budget and your to-do list.
Lead with Your Expertise
The more digital channels and campaigns you try to wrangle, the more time and money you will spend — and waste. The simplest marketing approach is often the most effective.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t bother with Facebook or TikTok or whatever. If your audience would appreciate your presence there, by all means, use it! However, don’t push out random sales pitches on all your channels. Nurture that journey.
It may seem old-school, but email is one of the best ways to do this. It feels more conversational, it’s inexpensive, and it has a great ROI. Just be cautious with your lead nurture funnel. If you’re putting out a free e-book to capture leads, many people will drop fake email addresses to get the freebie. They’ve been burned by shady e-marketers.
However, many businesses make great use of email marketing. The secret is to keep it simple — and keep the focus on your audience. What value can you provide them? What solution can you help them solve?
Then, follow up strategically. Perhaps they visit your website and download your e-book. Don’t forget about them. Email them your monthly lawn care newsletter or healthy lunch recipe. Deliver a retargeting ad on Facebook. Marketing automation platforms can help you focus on the most meaningful messages.
In short Think about the messages that will most resonate with your ideal customers. Often, you’ll find that simpler is better.
In any aspect of your business, frustrations can be solved through simplification. Don’t fall for the allure of “business solutions” or the idea that you need all these bells and whistles. Less is more!
Let your expertise deliver your business’s core value to your audience. That should be the common thread throughout your digital marketing — allowing you to trim the fat and generate more revenue with less energy.
This blog is inspired by an episode of the Simplifying Entrepreneurship podcast in which I interview Darrell Evans, entrepreneurial coach and marketing expert.