1.) Let go of the idea that there are a “top 10 principles of digital marketing”

Literally, folks, there is NO SUCH THING as a universal top 10 list of digital marketing principles! These types of posts and articles are designed to increase engagement and click-throughs. Your brand is one-of-a-kind so your marketing plan should be one-of-a-kind too!

2.) Know when to NOT use digital-first marketing strategies

Digital-first is boss. Except when it’s not. Sometimes you need mobile-first. Or just good old in-person marketing like flyering, networking or street signage. Each type of marketing has its place, as well as strengths and weaknesses.

3.) Build systems, not campaigns

Marketing has changed. Even the best campaigns – by themselves – just don’t cut it anymore. To succeed, you need marketing systems. We’re talking a robust sales funnel, an intimate understanding of your user lifecycles, thorough marketing analytics and a deeply holistic approach.

Compartmentalization will slowly kill your business. Please don’t let it!

4.) Delegate (to technology)

Keep posting manually if you want to:

  • Forget
  • Feel overwhelmed
  • Be interrupted constantly
  • Have zero focus
  • Have no work-life balance
  • Burn out before you see results

Posting manually is a bummer. It doesn’t matter if it’s on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, your blog, YouTube – wherever. It’s gotta go.

And automation isn’t just for social media posting! There are endless scheduling and marketing automation apps out there. They can help you with everything from scheduling blog posts at the most optimal times to managing drip email campaigns for new leads. Marketing automation apps to make your work (and your life!) more effective, efficient and sustainable.

5.) Start solving your customers’ problems before they buy

One of the best ways to increase conversions is to give amazing value up front BEFORE they buy. Free value increases trust and interest while decreasing skepticism, doubts and fears that customers may have about your service or product.

6.) Keep learning

Marketing is so vast with so many niches, technology options, markets, sub-markets, audiences, accessibility challenges, intercultural complexities… how could you ever run out of things to learn?

Cultivating a genuine love of learning will set you apart from your competition because you’ll always be hip to the latest trends. And you’ll always have interesting tid-bits to tell clients and share on social media!

7.) Check your assumptions

Honestly, I Google EVERYTHING. Even if I “already know” the answer to a question, I still Google it. Why? For three reasons: recency, perspective and accuracy.

Recency: Things change RAPIDLY. A keyword or hashtag that is top-ranking one day may be usurped the next day. You have to constantly check if your knowledge is still relevant in the face of changing technologies and social trends.

Perspective: 99% of the time, when I Google something I “already know,” I learn a ton! I learn about other peoples’ methods, differing opinions, new thought processes, or how to apply a tactic to a specific market or niche. This informs my perspective and makes me a more valuable consultant to my clients, even if the new information doesn’t change my approach or opinion.

Accuracy: Another major problem with assumptions is that they get in the way of data. Every decision you make should be based on either quantitative or qualitative data. How well do you know your customers? What are the best times of day to post? What hashtags should you use? It’s okay to start with your intuition, but always double-check it!

8.) Actually be yourself

Seriously, be yourself, especially on social media! Modern users can sniff out inauthentic content faster than a hog in a truffle patch. People connect with brands on social media for a closer, more intimate, more engaging experience. Don’t let them down by being distant and formal. It will come across as robotic and fake.

9.) Iterate & refine

Live test. A/B test. Multivariate test. Split test. All the tests!

Never stop refining your digital marketing plan. That includes hashtag lists, keywords, customer personas, website copy, stock images, you name it. Iterate it.

10.) Find the balance between being generous with value and knowing your worth

You 100% should be giving away tons of awesome free content up front, before customers purchase anything! This can be through social media, a sales funnel, free webinars, your blog, your YouTube channel, a podcast, etc.

But you also want to make sure that your services and products are priced right. Consider financial sustainability for you and for the customer. And consider what type of clientele you’re looking for.

For example, high-end clients generally expect to pay higher prices. If your prices are too low, they may assume your service or product is not up to their standard.

On the other hand, if your clients are primarily small businesses, for example, you’ll have to keep your prices within their budget. You may consider ways to streamline your services or product production so you can stay in their price range without sacrificing your wellbeing.

11.) Don’t stop marketing when they convert

Truly, this is one of the biggest mistakes we see when overhauling a client’s failing marketing plan. The MOMENT a client buys a service or product, you immediately begin reinforcing the marketing that got them in the door.

Make sure they’re happy with their service or product. Point out the benefits. Ensure they have access to how-to videos, so they understand how to use the service or product. Follow up. Thank them. If they’re happy, ask for a positive review or referrals. Follow up down the road to ensure they’re still happy. Add them to your newsletter.

Cultivate each and every client into a passionate advocate for your brand!

What would you add to our “Top 10 Digital Marketing Principles” list? Share your ideas in the comments!

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