It’s May the fourth, the annual celebration of all things Star Wars, so we thought we’d update our quick rundown of some of the quotes from everyone’s favourite space saga that digital marketers everywhere from Ahch-To to Yavin 4 should know.
Fair enough, the Star Wars series of films has some excruciatingly bad dialogue (‘I hate sand, it’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere’). But they also have some memorable lines that we can apply to our online marketing strategies, so don your Boba Fett mask and read on.
That’s not how the force works!
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, businesses could promote their brand, product or service through traditional marketing methods that pushed out their message to an audience willing to take it at face value. Online consumer behaviour has changed dramatically, and people today are increasingly turning away from outbound marketing. They don’t want to be interrupted in their lives by blanket marketing that doesn’t appeal to them, they want to find their own path and discover what is most relevant to them before making a purchasing decision. Today, it is all about inbound marketing, bringing the customer to you with helpful content that steers them towards the ultimate act of choosing the product or service that will offer a solution to their needs.
Some may think that merely having an online presence is the answer, similar to simply being aware that the force is out there, but that is not how it works. Unfortunately, the internet is not a magic tool that will suddenly bring you lots of leads once you have designed your website. Just saying ‘sure, we will make a great website’ is akin to simply saying ‘we’ll use the force’ without having any knowledge of what that entails or how it will be achieved.
Thinking of the internet and the near-countless volume of content produced daily as the vast expanse of space, you can’t rely on consumers to happen to stray across your own like a rag-tag bunch searching for Alderaan but finding a moon-like space station. You need to make sure they can find you by using a good SEO strategy that means your business or agency will rank well in search.
I find your lack of faith disturbing!
Seeing the benefits of an effective and efficient digital marketing strategy takes time. No matter how great your content is, how good your ideas for lead generation and nurturing are, there is no instant magic fix that will turn your website into an optimised growth-driven lead capturing machine overnight. Have faith, be patient, and keep to your strategy, and after a few months, you will begin to see the benefits. Of course, the best digital marketing agencies will deliver quick fixes for you to ensure your website and online content is improved, and can help build out ‘the pain mountain’ to illustrate what needs to be done over time, but the full inbound marketing campaign takes a while to reap the rewards, and you should be given the right expectations when it comes to implementing your inbound strategy.
Great kid, don’t get cocky!
You have built your website, created great content and are seeing an increase in traffic. Great! But you can’t just leave it there. What can the visitor do next? You need to work towards setting up an integrated digital marketing strategy that will deliver more great content, offers, downloadables, and a lead workflow that will bring consumers along the buyer journey until they are ready to make a purchasing decision. You also need to be able to monitor, collate and assess what works best on your site, who it is attracting, and how you can tailor more content accordingly in order to qualify and close those leads through an effective conversion path.
It’s a trap!
We are all familiar with the type of terrible clickbait that entices people to look at content that turns out to be irrelevant and useless. Don’t make your website the equivalent of a Death Star that lures rebel fighters in, only to reveal at the last moment that it is a trap. Your content needs to be helpful to an online visitor in ways they expect it to be, and should be the first point of contact with them that will hopefully then guide them along the buyer journey as you provide more and more useful content they want and need.
Judge me by my size, do you?
Thankfully, the success of your business is not going to be based on how big its online presence is. Of course, visibility is one thing, but it is not as important as being useful and relevant, which are becoming the true factors in your positioning in search engine results. While having multiple web pages can increase your SEO, having an optimised website with interesting and intriguing content, compelling CTAs and effective landing pages will ensure you get the right leads and can nurture them with tailored email campaigns that will bring you more sales.
Similarly, your digital marketing agency doesn’t have to be the biggest in the world to be the best fit for you. Indeed, boutique agencies can deliver bespoke digital marketing strategies tailored to your business needs and are more likely to be on hand for ad hoc and urgent changes, content creation and other services.
This is not going to go the way you think
Even the best-laid inbound marketing plans will see unexpected results from time to time – both good and bad. That is why it is important not to make assumptions, and why you need to analyse results and measure success in order to make informed decisions on what to do next. Focusing all of your energy into solving one problem, like Kylo Ren forsaking his duties to seek out his father, means other important issues are left ignored. Pouring all of your resources into social media campaigns, for example, can work, but not if your buyer personas are not using those platforms, and simply wanting a strategy to work doesn’t mean it actually will.
An agile approach to your inbound plan that enables you to react to what works and what doesn’t is needed.
I need someone to show me my place in all this
Often, a new client will be wowed by the number of ways in which you can help them create a successful inbound marketing strategy, and will simply sit back and watch as you put it in place, akin to a star-struck Rey upon meeting Luke Skywalker for the first time. However, just as the Jedi could only protect Amidala, not fight a war for her, today’s inbound marketing agencies need to emphasise that they can’t do everything alone, and that the client plays an important part in the process. The inbound agency needs to outline that they are working with the client, rather than for them. Input is needed at almost every stage, from the creation of buyer personas to sign-off on content, and this should be mapped out early on in the proposal stage.
If the client knows their place in the process, and plays a proactive role in creating an inbound marketing strategy, both they and your agency are more likely to succeed.
If you want to find out how Get Focused can help you improve your digital marketing strategy and generate more leads for your business, download our Lead Generation Survival Kit, and if you have any more Star Wars quotes digital marketers should follow, let us know in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This blog was first published on May 4, 2017, but has been updated with new content which many Bothans died to get to us.