You are awesome.
I’ll tell you why in a bit.
But before that a story.
Around the same time about 4 years ago, I was slated to speak at a TEDx conference in Udaipur. The conference happened. I became friends with my fellow speakers and super awesome people (Jayesh, Jay, Amit and others). We sang, had fun and all came back to our homes.
This is Amit Ray who I have linked above – during our jam session that went past midnight. Next to him on the right side is Anuj Sharma, fashion designer known for his famous “Button Masala’ concept. The guy on the left was part of the organizing team. If you are curious about how I looked in that conference go to my website and see my picture on my speaking page.
I remember that conference for friendship.
I also remember that conference; because a day before the conference – just after I had reached Udaipur – I witnessed the biggest traffic spike – on my small blog (mohitpawar.com) till that day.
Derek and I had become friends – thanks to the digital world 🙂 – and he and I ended up writing a book(my 1st) together.
I then realized the true power of connections and power of digital.
We (You and I) are connected now.
We are talking to each other across the screen (Yes I know you are reading. My hope and wish is that you feel as if you are listening. And and I also hope that you do the talking – by writing back to me.)
But before that – let’s begin with the course.
–> To read this email as a webpage go here.
You and more than 8000 other professionals are part of this course.
We did not know each other since few days back and now You and I are here.
How did this happen?
Digital marketing made this happen.
The part that connected us – is known as audience building. You’ll learn about audience building in the next lesson 🙂
After audience building, you’ll learn other important skills to build a solid foundation as a digital marketer.
I’ll keep it simple.
Because you can get complex (ideas) at many other places.
That said, I cannot promise to keep it simple all the time; because there will be concepts where you’ll have to exert yourselves and take more time than usual to understand and apply.
And, for those who love jargons and numbers – here are some to start with.
Digital ad spending will soon surpass TV as the biggest advertising category.
(Source: NYTimes, Dec 7, 2015)
By now – you must have read it somewhere. Digital is also eating print.
It’s true as you’ll see below.
But if you are working in Print or TV, you need not be paranoid. More so because you are now learning through this course 🙂
If you are building a startup – times have never been better. Thanks to digital marketing, you can quickly build audience and get traction for your startup’s product or service. And, you can do that in way more efficiently than in older days.
You will learn how to do that step-by-step in this course. So, stay tuned.
If you are working in digital space as an employee – then you have reasons to be happy because there is more growth and there are more opportunities.
You also need to put more efforts to stay afloat and move ahead. Otherwise, people who are more hungry than you will hustle – will take such a course 🙂 and then take more advanced learning and move past you.
So, you have an advantage because you are already here – but to stay here and move ahead you better keep the hat of a newbie, a learner on.
And – will digital eat print or TV?
May be – but not in near future.
Don’t believe in all the hype!
You have heard this before:
Social media is big.
You need to be on social media to be successful.
It’s not true for everyone.
Social media (marketing) does not work for everyone.
Not everyone needs to be on social media – to be successful.
Social media marketing is working for who it is right.
What else is working in digital marketing right now?
– Email Marketing is working.
– Search Engine Optimization is working.
– Search Ads are working.
– Blogging is working.
– Content marketing is working.
– Marketing automation is working.
– Digital events (webinars, podcasts, live chats, video interactions via Blab and Periscope) are working.
All these work – when you know who you are trying to sell to.. (i.e. when you know who your customer is). Once you have that figured out – you start with digital marketing.
What do you do then?
You see where your customers hangout – where they spend their time.
If your (prospective) customers watch a lot of video then you run campaigns on YouTube. If your prospects are like “Us” (You and I) then you focus on talking with them over email (In other words you do email marketing).
Almost everyone searches online (Google mostly) for what they are looking for. So in most industries and products – you run “search or pay per click (PPC) ads” using a product called Google Adwords.
And when people search online – they mostly click on the results on 1st page. Top 3 results on 1st page get more than 60% clicks.
As per a report from the online ad network Chitika.com in 2013, around 33% of searchers clicked on the first organic result in Google.com. This is followed by 18% clicks on the second result, and 11% on the third result).
You know how search works.. right?
You search for a term (for example – “cool t shirts”). And you see the results page.
I did that and saw what you see in the image below.
Now imagine if people in India search for the search term “Cool T shirts” 10,000 times a day – which is a conservative guess for a country with a population of more than 125 crore people (of these 80 crore+ are in 15-64 years range.)
Then Happily Unmarried which is ranked 1st site will get about 3000 visitors from this search. Imagine this for hundred other terms and you’ll notice that a top ranked website (in Google) can get lakhs or millions or visitors for free every day – many of whom end up buying.
The Jabong site which is ranked 5th – will get about 600 click through this search term (Cool T shirt).
Also look at the revenue angle (which is the ultimate goal).
I did this simple math. If you go to Happily Unmarried site – they sell these Tees for ₹400-800 (mostly for ₹799). Now if the average revenue per T shirt is ₹600 and if a search terms like this gives them 3000 click throughs and 30 sales – then they are getting about ₹18000 daily (and ₹540,000 monthly) revenue from this search term alone. When you add other similar search terms – at least hundreds of them – it adds up nicely.
For these visits – Happily Unmarried or Jabong do not pay any money to Google.
The companies which are using Google Adwords are the ones you see inside the red rectangle. Whenever someone clicks on their link they end up paying Google some money whether that person buys from them or not. That’s why this form of advertising is known as Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising.
Google, by letting you places ad on its search results page, allows users to click through to your online ad and you pay Google on per click basis.
Now you know the value – of coming on top in search results.
So, how do you appear in search results in a top rank?
You do that by doing search engine optimization also known as SEO. Which is to optimize your website is such a way that your website comes among top results when someone searches for a term related to your brand.
In the example above, Happily Unmarried is ranked 1st because they are investing time and some money in search engine optimization (SEO); and YepMe and Koovs are showing up there in results because they are paying Google some money every time a visitor clicks on their ads. 1st one is an organic digital marketing activity and 2nd is paid.
SEO is powerful; because you do not need to invest in ads and you get free traffic. Research suggests that this free (organic) traffic is more likely to buy from you – as compared to paid traffic.
To reiterate, when you get users for free to your website, you are getting organic traffic. When you pay money to Google, Facebook or YouTube, LinkedIn or any other platform – then it is known as paid advertising – and resulting traffic is known as paid traffic.
Not every brand owner has money to spare on advertising. So, it’s ok to be scrappy when starting up.
When short on money, it wise to invest more time and energy and less money to grow. Content Marketing allows you to do that. When done right it costs less than traditional online marketing channels and brings more sustainable results.
In content marketing – you educate users through content related to your product.
If your free education is good – users will start trusting you enough and like you enough to buy from you.
Here is how it works:
(Free) Content → Trust + Likeability → Transaction
In a transaction – money exchange hands or bank account.
Transaction is what a business wants – it wants money – it wants profits. And content marketing helps you do that by spending way less money than paid advertising.
Blogging is a key part of your SEO and Content Marketing activities. A blog is nothing but publishing your thoughts on the web. You do that by using a blogging software like WordPress.
In the lesson on blogging, you’ll learn how to do this and more. You will also learn how not to do random blogging but result oriented blogging. Blogging that gets more targeted visitors and more leads. You then use email marketing to convert these leads into customers.
It is easy to be lost is the sea of different digital marketing activities (audience building or email list building, email marketing, search engine optimization, blogging, content marketing, paid digitalmarketing using Google Adwords).
To avoid that – you analyze the result of your digital marketing effort. Is there a tool to analyze that can help you do it?
Yes, there is. It is Google Analytics – Google’s web analytics software. You’ll learn how to use it to analyse and measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts. And, then use these insights to decide which activity to focus more on and what to do less (this means you learn to optimize your digitalmarketing campaigns). You’ll learn all this as we move ahead with the course
Now, you see there is a lot that you can do to grow your brand using digital marketing.
If you are small team or a solo entrepreneur – it can be overwhelming at times. Even if you are part of a large marketing team; there is always more to do. This is where Marketing Automation comes in picture.
Marketing Automation helps automate a lot of these tasks like emailing and tagging visitors to your website as warm leads and hot prospects ready to buy. Full-fledged marketing automation software also allows you to access a single dashboard where you can do blogging, email marketing, content marketing and lead nurturing. You can tell the marketing automation software – what to do when a customer goes from one stage in customer lifecycle to next (like from a website visitor to a lead to a customer and beyond).
So, I have told you about most of the digital marketing activities that an entrepreneur or a digitalmarketing professional undertakes to grow their brand.
As shared, all these activities can be grouped under two categories.
Organic – where you (and your team) invest time in non-paid efforts like SEO or blogging skills to bring traffic (i.e. get people to visit) to your website or app.
Paid – where you pay money (to a company like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn or media company like Times of India, Conde Nast and others) to run ads and promotions – in order to get traffic.
Most of the digital marketers you’ll meet or people who call themselves digital marketers are focused on 1 or 2 digital marketing channels. They know what a channel does but they are not a proficient user of multiple channels. It is good to specialise but if you are an entrepreneur or if you want to get into leadership roles in digital marketing – you should understand the big picture.
Chances are someone who has a background in PPC (Google Adwords) might tell you that Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which Google Adwords is a part of – is the greatest thing after the sliced bread. Same goes for someone with background in SEO or blogging.
A person who has background in organic growth usually prefers it over paid and those with background in paid go for it over organic. Mostly, because this person is comfortable with this channel.
Smart marketers use both paid and organic channels to grow their business.
If you want to make a name for yourself as a digital marketer then aim to be Smart Digital Marketer who understands both paid and organic channels.
Use paid to drive instant results. Use organic to build scalable content assets like writing blog posts which gives you increasingly larger number of leads on an ongoing basis or work on building search rankings for your website.
Other habit of smart (digital) marketers is that they do not try to do everything themselves.
If you aim to be a “Smart Digital Marketeer” then take help wherever you need it. Hire team members who specialize in a particular channel or skill or outsource it to a freelancer on a platform like UpWork.com
What to do if you are starting digital marketing for a new startup or a brand.
Imagine you are about to launch a startup or have already launched it some time back. Or may be your company is launching a new brand a new initiative. And, you are the one responsible for leading digitalmarketing for it as an entrepreneur or as an employee.
What do you do then?
1. You figure out who your customers are.
2. Then imagine (or ask your customers if you already have them) – what questions they have in mind and what search terms they type in Google to find a website like yours.
3. Then you write answers to those questions and post answer to these questions on your website’s blog and optimize your website for these search terms.
4. Before this or side by side – you build an email list of people who are interested in the product you make and the content you write.
5. Once you build an email list – you use email marketing to keep in touch and also to sell your product and services. You do that by sending new blog posts – and also updates about your product (with offers and discounts) to this list.
6. Once you have revenues and you can afford – start paid advertising. Smart entrepreneurs and marketers use paid advertising to grow quickly.
7. Also invest time to experiment with new emerging digital marketing channels – some of which I’ll talk about as we move forward.
8. While you do this use web analytics software to get data inputs and use your understanding of your product and marketing to optimize your campaigns and decide on the next steps.
This brings us to the end of today’s lesson.
And now why I TOTALLY believe that YOU ARE AWESOME.
You are awesome because you took time to read till the end.
Because you have decided to invest in your growth.
And because I believe that you will follow through and stick with it till the end of 12 weeks.
Once you do that I can guarantee you that you will come out richer with better understanding and a good overview of all important digital marketing channels; and you’ll be more confident about your skills.
Before you go – here is the assignment for the week to go with this lesson.
This assignment is in fact a gift and the first real investment you’ll make in yourself.
This gift is the Digital Marketing Learning Roadmap.
Download this roadmap here.
Take a print out.
As you’ll notice, the “Reading Completed” column for 1st week is already ticked – because you have already done it. You are already a winner because got started. Now sit and block time for next 12 weeks (1 x 30 minutes slot for reading and two or three 30 or 45 minutes slots for action – per week).
This week’s action (taking a print out + blocking time slots + pasting it where you can see it everyday) will take 30 minutes or even less.
Complete this week’s assignment by printing out the roadmap and blocking time there.
It’s ok to change it later. But be honest and fill it with an intent to follow through. Change in case of a real situation which can happen to anyone including me – unexpected travel, social commitments, or down time.
Good bye for now 🙂
Send me any questions over email.
Now, I’m sure you remember what that I told you in yesterday’s email – that today I’ll give you a chance to win a copy for my book on digital marketing. This book is still not available in the market unlike my first book.
Three commenters will win a copy each (worth ₹1199) shipped for free anywhere in the world. I will select the best comments by tomorrow morning.
It’ll be fascinating to see everyone’s responses! So check the comments and participate.
Mohit – A Curious Digital Marketer
P.S. Stay tuned for the next lesson. It’s on list building. A really important one. It creates the foundation for effective digital marketing. I am going to teach you a secret technique for audience building. You don’t want to miss it 🙂
P.P.S. Remember to comment with your answer: