Speaking to My Business’ sister publication The Adviser, Beth Powell – founder of Digital Marketing Club and author of Drive More Business: A Five-Step Guide to Digital Marketing for Auto Dealers – outlines how business owners can break down the task of digital marketing into manageable steps, and that mastering each of those steps individually creates a more sound and much more workable overall strategy.
“I really focus on a particular framework called RACE. RACE stands for Reach, Act, Convert and Engage. It's a proven framework, and it's really quite simple,” explains Beth.
“You don't search up someone's name and then immediately book them. There's a get-to-know-you period, and so the framework, RACE, covers that.”
According to Beth, breaking down your approach to digital marketing allows you to maximise your returns and ensure your marketing efforts deliver for your business.
Reach your audience
“First of all, you need to be able to be found, so that's your Reach stage. I've started to introduce this idea about being ready to reach. I think this is really important,” says Beth.
“Being ready to reach means being really comfortable with your website and also your social media profiles, having some educational marketing content out there. Now that could be a blog, it could be a YouTube channel, something like that.
“Just having that content there and doing those things is going to make you more easily found in search. Rather than kind of focus on SEO, focus on content and the kind of words that people, who are looking for your special service, would type in – so not necessarily your name, but those words.”
Beth also says you should expect more give on your part in those early days, and prepare to share your knowledge for free as an initial attraction tool.
“In the RACE framework, I recommend that the first stuff that you produce, you're offering for free. So whether that's a decent-sized blog post – like something quite in-depth that gives value to the audience – a YouTube series or whatever, that's for free. And then you generate the interest.”
Act on those leads you generate
Once you’ve raised general awareness of your business and its offering, you need to act to bring in those new leads.
“Next stage is where you're asking for the email address, so you're doing something a little bit more complicated,” says Beth.
“It might be the e-book or the guide, the checklist. It could be a mini training series – mini video training series, that kind of thing. Something of value. Quizzes, as well, are marvellous here.
“So somebody's going to trade an email address, and then you can start building on that relationship. They're getting to know you; they like what you've got to offer.
“The Act phase is all about that, that kind of get-to-know-you period. It's about having more ‘marketing educational assets’ is what we call them.”
Convert leads into customers
Of course leads are all well and good, but you won’t generate any turnover without converting them into paying customers.
According to Beth, it is important not to overwhelm prospective customers at this point. Instead, you should look to make it a fast and easy process for people to complete a transaction with you.
“You've got to have a simple landing page; you've got to enable people to convert,” she says.
“So whatever that is, whether it's getting in touch with you – whether it's a form that works then that plugs into your MailChimp in the back end, or something like that – or if you're offering something for sale (somebody may be joining a membership club), then there's got to be a page where people can convert on that.”
Engage with your audience
The most profitable businesses are the ones that don’t just focus on landing new customers, but the ones that put effort into customer retention.
“You don't want to let those people go – you've worked quite hard to attract those clients,” notes Beth.
“You've got to have the processes in place, to just keep in touch, and that can be a combination of old school things, like cards, postcards in the post... that kind of thing, but also good-quality email.”