31 Ways a Digital Marketing Consultant Can Help You Win New Clients

Win New Clients | Impact Digital Marketing

The modern digital marketing consultant has a number of different weapons in their arsenal. All of them can help you increase exposure and win new clients.

In the past week I’ve been asked to design and develop a new website, advise on a content marketing strategy, and host a re-branding workshop. This is a long way from being a complete list, but these are three typical requests.

On the other hand, clients often reach out to me with no specific task in mind. They know they need to attract more website visitors, convert more sales leads and win new clients, or generate more revenue from existing customers. And they think they may need the help of a digital marketing consultant.

But their first question can sometimes be a bit like ‘how-long-is-a-piece-of-string?’

“How can you help me?” they ask.

It’s difficult to give a definitive answer at this point, without knowing more about their current situation. It might be tempting to start talking about a specific tactic… “YouTube is where it’s at”, or “email marketing is the silver bullet”. But that would be irresponsible.

Instead, a digital marketing consultant should recommend tactics based on needs unearthed by a carefully considered audit. There are many, many ways I can help you win new clients and grow your business through digital marketing…

…but today I’ve outlined 31.

This list isn’t meant to represent my design for the ultimate digital marketing strategy. But hopefully it’ll go some way to answer the “how can you help me?” question, and it gives us plenty to talk about!

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Digital Marketing Basics

1: Marketing strategy

When you start with a specific desired outcome, you can work backwards to design an effective digital marketing strategy. Within the constraints of a budget, you can skilfully combine and balance some or many of the tactics listed below. For maximum return, it’s critical to first define the outcome, and then design your strategy with an integrated system in mind.

2: Website

Your website is the hub of your digital marketing activity. It’s the foundation stone. It’s the solid platform that you’re going to build upon. You need your website to attract an audience, capture sales leads, nurture prospects, convert customers, and develop relationships. All these things. Getting people to visit and read your website is far too small a goal. It needs to deliver results, or it’s not doing its job properly.

3: Branding

Think of your brand as your company’s personality. Your own personality is born out of how you look, what you do, and what you say. How do you want your audience to view your company? Branding is not just about a logo, a colour palette, and a new sans serif font. It goes much further, to include your vision and mission statements, your values, your media messaging, tag-lines, and your key value proposition. Together, all these elements combine to form your company’s personality.

Search Marketing

4: Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Within the space of one generation, the customer buying journey has undergone a 180-degree shift. Today that journey will usually start with online search. It’s my guess that your customers and prospective customers are online right now, making decisions about whatever it is you want to sell or promote. Two thirds of all searches are made with Google, and more than three-quarters of searchers will only click on those results on page one. Process all these facts and you’ll understand how important it is that your website appears on the first page of Google for key search phrases. All serious marketers put SEO at the top of their list, and commit resources to it.

5: Paid search pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

Whilst SEO produces results after time and with consistency, if you need to deliver website traffic fast, then PPC offers instant visibility. A well-managed and well-targeted ad program can generate sales leads and customers efficiently. On the flip side, if you’re inexperienced in this advertising channel, errors can be expensive. Try our five PPC shortcuts to simplify your life and save time.

Content Marketing

6: Content strategy

Content marketing is the fuel for your SEO strategy. It’s the very substance of your search and social media programs, and plays a critical part in almost every part of the buying cycle: attraction, education, persuasion, and conversion. Long term consistency is the key to success here. Many smaller businesses and start-ups fall down because they fail to commit the resources necessary to achieve a momentum which supports their growth plans.

7: Commercial blogging

The blog or news updates page is usually the space on most companies’ website where they showcase their content marketing efforts. But before a single word hits the front page you should take time to formulate a strategic plan for your content. Your plan should include targeting a specific audience and keywords, and an editorial schedule. Forward planning is vital to maintain a consistent stream of quality writing which engages your audience.

8: Guest blogging

Getting a blog post published on a respected and authoritative website in your industry is one of the best ways to expand your reach, enhance your credibility, and drive traffic back to your website. Guest blogging has the added benefit of boosting your SEO efforts as well.

9: Content curation

Curation involves presenting the words and ideas of others on your website. But it’s not a simple exercise of copying and pasting content to add more pages to your site. Rather it’s an opportunity to present your own comments and opinions. Done well, curation can heighten your authority and position you as a thought leader within your industry.

10: Content promotion

Nine times out of ten, someone will describe their content distribution strategy to me as “we post an update on Twitter, Facebook, and maybe LinkedIn.” You work hard to produce great content on a regular basis, so take advantage of the multitude of media channels available and amplify your reach over a period of time.

11: Copywriting

I’m not a trained copywriter, so if I have some content I want to publish online for the world to consume, I’ll run it by our copywriting team first. They’ll spot the howling spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. More importantly, they’ll give my copy that extra 10% that makes it compelling and something people actually want to read. People go to the Internet to read. Even if they’re watching videos or listening to audio, it’s likely that at some point they’ll consume some copy. Great copy garners great results. If you’re writing is weak, guess what…?

12: Re-purposing content

Probably the two biggest challenges I hear about from content marketers are consistently producing quality content, and keeping it varied. Re-purposing is the solution to both challenges, and gives you the biggest bang for your buck. The process involves producing larger pieces of thematic content that can be broken apart, then efficiently edited to produce value-added content in new formats. For example, a 10,000 word downloadable white paper adapted to create a webinar, then split into separate chapters to create a series of blog posts.

Social Media Marketing

13: Social media strategic planning

Similar to other elements of the digital marketing mix, to get the most out of social media, you need to plan for an outcome and develop a strategy. Simply selecting a few random platforms to share updates on will likely produce disappointing results.

14: Market research

Social media channels provide an effective ‘listening’ tool. Think of social media as a radio, broadcasting what your audience needs. All you have to do is tune in and respond.

15: Online advertising

Online advertising can include pay-per-click advertising, display and native advertising, re-targeting, and social media ads.

16: Influencer marketing

Social media provides an opportunity to develop relationships with influencers and thought leaders within your industry. These relationships allow you to increase your reach, grow your network, and build your credibility. A smartly conceived influencer marketing program involves strategic collaborations, and can result in a variety of new opportunities.

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Marketing Automation

17: Marketing automation

Investing in a marketing automation platform makes good business sense. It’s technology that reduces the time and effort otherwise needed to execute many of the tactics I’ve listed here. Think of an automation platform as an earthmover compared to your teaspoon. Metaphorically shifting more soil in less time means you improve conversion rates and unearth more sales leads. You’ll also be better equipped to measure performance and perpetually improve results.

18: Email marketing

Although email is a relatively old-hat channel, it has stood the test of time and remains the most effective method to directly reach an audience. It’s direct, it’s personal, and as long as it’s permission-based it is most likely to yield the highest ROI. It’s the most effective way to nurture sales leads. Build an email list of willing subscribers, and send them emails they find valuable. Don’t forget to continually test, measure and refine your tactics.

19: Marketing analytics

Marketing analytics allow you to create measurement systems that guide you towards your goals. Gut feel can sometimes prove to be inspired thinking, but insights from actual data will allow you to master the science of marketing and ultimately deliver higher ROI. Armed with real data, you can make informed decisions, and stop with the finger-in-the-air tactics.

20: Testing

I’m continually in search of the perfect dry martini. Each time I make one, I tweak the recipe ever-so slightly, to see if it’s an improvement. The same thinking applies to data-driven marketing. Tools make it easy to test your various customer touch points, such as landing pages and emails. Typically you’ll test two versions to see which returns favourable results, keep the winner, and discard the loser. Introduce a new contender. Rinse and repeat.

Customer Acquisition

21: Landing pages

Think of your website’s landing pages as the Special Services elite corps of web pages. They usually have a singular mission, and they’re the best of the best. Their objective is invariably to achieve a conversion. In e-commerce, this could be to direct a visitor to a product page, but usually the goal is to capture a sales lead via an online form. Landing pages will normally have different creative requirements compared to the home page, or other generic pages.

22: Conversion

Whilst increasing traffic to your website is an important goal, it’s worthwhile remembering that until those visitors engage with your site they remain anonymous. Typically 98% of visitors to a website will come and go. That leaves a massive opportunity to convert visitors to prospects and sales leads. Making just small improvements to each of your touch points in your conversion funnel can have a tremendous impact on the aggregate sales revenues generated.

23: Lead magnets

Lead magnets are free offers you make to encourage people to join your email list or to give you other valuable information. Lead magnets can come in a variety of forms, including e-books, how-to guides, mini-courses, templates, and webinar recordings. Generally, the content you are offering needs to be perceived as having superior value, to warrant the exchange of personal information. Make sure the content is first class, as this has the added benefit of positioning you as an expert in your industry.

24: Qualified sales lead generation

Establishing a cost-effective process to generate qualified leads is one of the biggest challenges facing many companies today. Every hour that an expensive salesperson spends cold-calling potential customers is an hour they’re not spending closing new business or developing relationships with existing customers. Businesses need to be able to engage and nurture their prospects in order to generate qualified leads for their sales people. This helps sales teams focus their efforts on specific customers, and ultimately win more business. Sales lead generation is a function companies are increasingly looking to outsource.

25: Social proof

Social proof can boost the performance of landing pages as they present prospects with evidence of past success. It’s powerful, and it’s the digital equivalent of ‘word of mouth’. Social proof can take the form of testimonials, reviews, customer logos, mentions in the media, accreditations, favourable feedback on social media, and so on.

Multi-Media

26: Visual marketing

It’s been mentioned already that people jump online to read, but as the saying goes “a picture paints a thousand words”. Visual marketing embraces everything from images for web pages and social media, including photos, diagrams, illustrations, and infographics, through to presentations, webinars, e-book design, and much more. Remember, branding is a lot about how you present yourself. Professional design says a great deal about your brand. Equally, the same can be said for unprofessional design, so be mindful.

27: Video

Consumers are increasingly preferring to consume video rather than read text. Every day YouTube users consume over one billion hours of video content every day. That equates to 114,000 years! Producing video content can definitely boost your success in search results, and it’s an effective tool to generate sales leads and improve conversions. And budget is no longer a barrier to video production; a smartphone is all you need to capture ideas and share online.

28: Podcasting

Podcasting is another great tactic you can employ with minimal equipment to make a personal connection with your audience. Hosting an interview, or better still being invited to appear on an interview program, will dramatically improve your credibility, and it’s a terrific way to reach new audiences and expand your network.

29: Interactive marketing

As a marketer you can step up your game from static content to create interactive pieces such as games, calculators, quizzes, competitions, and assessments. Impressive marketing is about creating positive experiences, and interactive tactics have the added benefit of letting you collect considerable amounts of user data.

30: Presentations

Today a corporate presentation can reach way beyond the conference room. They can form a powerful part of your marketing mix and amplify your messages. LinkedIn’s SlideShare gets millions of views every day, and can help you communicate with a wider audience. SlideShare presentations are often shared, and even embedded in numerous blogs. Think guest blogging on steroids!

31: Webinars

Marketers consistently rate webinars as one of the most effective tools in their box. They can reach wide audiences at low cost, and if you can record your webinar it remains an asset you can broadcast again. A well-researched, well-presented webinar has many added benefits in terms of authority and credibility. And if orchestrated correctly with a persuasive call to action, they can generate immediate conversions and even sales.

Helping You Win New Clients

That’s the end of the list. Well done for getting this far! If I’ve highlighted one or two items you think could help you make your digital marketing more effective and hopefully win new clients, then let’s have a conversation.

Complete the competitor analysis audit form and I’ll conduct a free competitive analysis audit of your website.

Digital marketing audit

 

Ryan Sedgwick
Managing Director & Marketing Consultant at Impact Digital Markeitng
A Chartered Marketer, Ryan has gained extensive B2B and B2C marketing experience working across a broad spectrum of industries. Having graduated with a Masters in Marketing Communications from the University of Huddersfield, Ryan successfully utilises his skills and knowledge to effectively support businesses in getting the most from their marketing investments.