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The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing in 2023 (Updated - FREE)

Updated: Sep 27, 2023



Table of Contents


"After 12+ years working in software, digital marketing, and tech for Fortune 500s and SMBs I'm giving away ALL the industry digital marketing secrets in this guide FOR FREE. Enjoy!" -Rich Tavetian, Founder Red Rat Media.
Rich Tavetian, founder of Red Rat Media

How it all started: Rich’s Story

By the way, if you want to skip my story and get to the juicy stuff.. I get it. It’s all good, I won’t cry. :) To get to the juicy stuff skip to the next chapter.


At 8 years old my parents got divorced. (I know right.. A weird way to start a guide).


I grew up with my father in a beautifully modest home in the Hudson Valley New York.


My father, an amazing man and single parent, had the sole responsibility of taking care of me all on his own.


My father, a well-educated man, always pushed me (to this day) to be smart with my finances, get an education, and have a great job.


We were considered middle class.


We were not poor financially by any means but looking back I definitely grew up around a scarcity mindset around money and finances.


My father was no businessman, nor had a desire for business–or people for that matter, and had worked in a trade and union most of his career and retired with a pension.


He would always say things to me like:


“Get an education. Get a good job. Save your money. Put it away. Only use your credit card for emergencies. Get rid of any debt. And don’t have any debt.”


My father was an Elevator Mechanic in New York City and worked his ASS OFF for me every day to support me, my wellbeing, and my future.


He would commute 3 HOURS A DAY on the train from home down to Manhattan, FOR over 20 years!


One day father sat me down and said, “Rich, when I’m not here I need you to take care of yourself.” As a single parent and a long commute every day I knew this was hard for him to do this but he is very practical and had to teach me to take care of myself first at an early age–and I’m glad he did.


At 8 years old I had to grow up REALLY FAST and start taking care of myself.


I did my own laundry and I cleaned...Well… sometimes I did... Honestly my room was usually a mess. My dad can attest to that.


Growing up I really enjoyed computers early on in high school in my Computer Repair class which led me to pursue this industry.


After working in the corporate world for 5 years, moving across financial services, software, and consulting I had saved up enough money for a down payment on my first home.


I took months to search for a home and decided to buy in an area close to my hometown.


Unfortunately, however, a few weeks before closing I received a phone call from my manager at the time.


“Rich, I’m sorry to tell you this news but we’re laying off a large number of people and unfortunately you’re one of them.”


I was in COMPLETE shock I could barely respond to him so I said, “thank you”, and hung up the phone.


There were so many thoughts going through my head: How will I pay my rent? How am I going to eat? How will I find a new job?


This was the moment in my life that shaped me into the Entrepreneur I’ve become today.


So to prevent me from becoming poor I applied for unemployment, which gave me the means to help pay for my rent, but I needed more money to continue my lifestyle.


On this day I decided two things:


1. I am going to learn how to improve my skills through A TON of self development to learn things like Investment, Wealth, Entrepreneurship, Sales, and Marketing.


AND


2. I’m going to learn how to start my own business.


I started going to the public library EVERY DAY, would take out the maximum number of books I could, put them in my backpack, and bring them home.


The library was my new heaven of knowledge.. And the best part was it was FREE!


I eventually started a small creative agency.. It was based on the knowledge I learned from all of these books, my professional experience, and the electives I had taken in grad school.


I would help build websites and teach small businesses how to use Social Media, do digital marketing (which was pretty new at the time), and basic SEO for their brands.


I WAS DETERMINED TO SUCCEED.


Then I got my first client. A company launching their retail store.. They needed a website, Social Media help, and SEO consulting.


I was SO PUMPED UP. I made my first sale!! The best part was when I got paid of course.


Then after months and months of interviewing with the top tech companies in the U.S. I finally landed a job in a little southern city called Charleston, South Carolina.


I couldn’t pass up this opportunity because I had been unemployed and it was my ONLY JOB OFFER… despite going through multiple rounds and getting to the last round of every job interview I had.


So I got up and moved to Charleston where I worked at a company for a few years while building myself back up.


Over those years I spent EVERY EVENING working on myself and skills EVEN MORE SO THAN BEFORE.


I thought to myself: “I’m never going to let another layoff happen to me again”.


Every evening I spent learning about Business, Marketing, and Sales.


I took evening classes, got my Real Estate license, and started another Marketing Agency under a new name.


I must have spent over $50,000 in self development courses, conferences, and seminars over those years and learned from some of the best in Masterminds, Business, Marketing, and Sales.


I wanted to build my brand SO MUCH that I became obsessed with reading a book every SINGLE day.


I listened to podcasts, watched YouTube videos, listened to millionaires, read blog posts, and read biographies about billionaires on my commute into work, on my way back, and when I got home… with the occasional Netflix binge of course.


Sooner or later I started executing the ideas I had learned over the years and I was crushing it. It took a lot of consistency, grit, and always tapping into the foundations but eventually it paid off.


My business started to grow.


Other people took notice and started reaching out to me on my Social Media and email.


Other business owners wanted to know what my “Secrets” were and wanted to know how they could build their brand like I had.


This is when I started charging more for my expertise for Marketing and consulted with other business owners to build their brands.


In particular, my Marketing & Ad Agency today “Helps small and mid-sized businesses get more traffic and sales”.


That’s what this guide is all about.


HELPING YOU GROW YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR BRAND.


A recent quote I heard that really resonated with me in business: “If nobody knows you they can’t [cash]flow you.”


Introduction


Simply put: Without marketing nobody knows you. If nobody knows you they can see what you’re offering and buy from you. Without sales supported by effective marketing efforts you just don’t have a business.


It's even more important nowadays in the digital marketing space, because THIS is where peoples' attention is.. but more on that later.


I wrote this guide because I realized that many people get digital Marketing wrong. I don’t say this to be negative or off putting in the beginning of the guide but if you’re reading this right now you either have a Marketing problem or several problems you need solved or you’re just starting out and you want to learn how to market your business or brand. This guide is for both people.


Here are the problems I hope to solve for you in this guide:

  1. Get more traffic

  2. Get more leads

  3. Get more brand awareness

  4. Get more sales


I also commend you for picking up this guide and having the humility to go back to the basics. If there’s one thing I’m great at is stopping and reminding myself to always go back to the basics.


If you look at the greatest athletes, actors, entertainers, businesspeople in the world.. What do they all have in common? Focus and the continuous use of the basics or the foundations.


We’ll be going deeper into the foundations but I wanted to start off by saying “Thank you” for trusting me to help you with this required and ever changing part of business.


What this guide isn’t:

This guide isn’t an all-encompassing “how to do everything Marketing”. To write such a guide would be a massive undertaking. There are certain strategies and tactics that are not as effective in written form and just require patience, testing, measurement, and adjustments–hence a lot of what is required for effective marketing and advertising.


Also, we won’t be talking about “traditional” media such as radio, billboards, newspaper ads, etc. That stuff in my opinion may work well for some, even to this day, but it really depends on who your ideal audience is and if they’re actually “hanging out” on these mediums.


I will be solely focusing on “digital” marketing and advertising. i.e., anything you consume online.


What this guide is:

Throughout this guide I will clarify what digital marketing and advertising means to me and how it has helped me grow since I first became addicted to content creation back in 2012.


I’ve written this guide with some frameworks, philosophies, mindsets that are timeless and I hope can be used forever. However, I’m not naive to the ever changing nature of marketing and advertising software and platforms out there. Having said that I will be mentioning these platforms and if you’re reading this now they may have changed. But remember that the frameworks and mindsets don’t. If you focus more on the philosophies behind what I’ll be teaching you in this guide then the platforms and software don’t really matter because you can apply the frameworks to anything and it will still allow you to grow.


There are several directions you can go after reading this guide.

  1. Start applying the principles immediately to your own business or brand

  2. Help other people apply these to their business or brand

  3. Build on my principles and help others do the same


I wrote this to actually help people receive shortcuts from my experience. I genuinely want to help as many people as I can with the content in this guide and make a massive impact on others lives. So let’s get into it!



The Basics: So you think you know what digital Marketing is?


What exactly is digital Marketing? It’s just creating content right? It’s just posting on my social media right? Is it just sharing posts? It’s just commenting on other people’s stuff right?


Wrong. If you’re like any consumer.. Most people get it wrong.


You’ve heard about all the benefits of “an online presence”...but what does that actually mean and how do I do it right?


Maybe you’ve seen someone “go viral” from a dancing video, funny video, controversial video and are wondering, how do I do that without having to do silly dances?


I’m gonna tell you right now, if you’ve picked this guide up on a way to “go viral” then you need to put the guide down because “going viral” is a short-term game. The long-term game is to have the consistency of creating content and a strategy to provide value to others–more on that later.


You might be asking yourself: What is this magical Marketing pixie dust that people are taking advantage of every day and how can I use it to grow my business?


If you’re not in the industry it actually may sound somewhat intimidating, even to traditional marketers.


Don’t let “digital marketing” intimidate you.


It’s simple but not easy.. Unless you want it bad enough. Remember, everything worthwhile takes time and effort consistently to get to the result.


Currently there are many confusing terms and acronyms out there for folks in the online arena.


If you’re new to this I know you have a million questions up front. Here are the common ones:

  • Why am I not getting more followers? I’m posting but I’m not getting any engagement.. What the hell..

  • I just create a Facebook page, Youtube channel, TikTok, Instagram and that’s it, right?

  • How do I market to customers online the right way?

  • What the heck is SEO, SEM, and PPC?

  • How do I rank #1 on Google?

  • Isn’t digital marketing very expensive?

  • Is Social Media really social? :)


The intention of this guide is to give you an introduction to the digital marketing topic while keeping the technical jargon at a minimum and in plain english so you can start taking action now. This is a NO BS guide... I’m gonna tell it to you straight.


Unfortunately there are many definitions floating around for digital Marketing, so let me clarify that.


Here’s my plain and simple definition, This is how I think of digital marketing:


Digital Marketing

A collection of activities conducted online to communicate and connect with potential buyers with product(s) and/or service(s).


To simplify it even further, digital Marketing is a way to communicate your product(s) or service(s) to buyers online… and eventually convert them online (if you have online products/services) or offline (if you have in-person products or services).


It’s really that simple!


Notice that I emphasize communication. Communication is the lifeblood of marketing. That’s the whole point. You are communicating with potential customers, whether through the written word, graphics, audio, video, or all together.


Some people will like you, some people don't. That's okay. Usually when you get people unsubscribing or unfollowing you it's an indicator that they're not the right fit for the messaging you're putting out.


Why is it so important to have your online marketing solid nowadays?


The reality is people are spending most of their time on their phones each day.


On average, in the United States consumers spend on average 5-6 hours a day on their phones.


WOAH.


Over 60% of that time is being spent on Social Media: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Tiktok.


How to get more eyeballs - now


It’s actually nuts.. Do this quick experiment today. Take a look around you. When you’re traveling at an airport, commuting on the train, or eating at a restaurant…


What are most people doing nowadays? What is the activity that most people are doing at that moment..


Checking their phones.


This is where we used to be.. people commuting with their faces planted in their newspapers making little-to-no eye contact.

People reading newspapers on their commute


This is where we are NOW.. people planted in their devices making little-to-no eye contact.

People reading their phones on their commute

“Micro-checking” Social Media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or reading the breaking news notification on their phone.


The truth and reality is.. THIS IS WHERE EVERYONE'S ATTENTION IS.


THIS IS WHERE THE EYEBALLS ARE.


You need to put your brand in front of those people in order to get business. If you’re not, you’re missing out on billions of eyeballs.


The primary goal of your business is to reduce one thing: Obscurity.


Obscurity is likely the biggest problem you most likely have with your business right now.


Destroy obscurity.


People don’t know who you are SO TELL THEM WHO YOU ARE… OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.


And when they buy. Add them to your list and continue telling them who you are and what your brand is about and the awesome value you provide to your customers.


Once you get over the obscurity barrier you must keep them engaged with valuable content and offers.


You need to start executing RIGHT NOW.


Well.. after you finish this guide of course.


The best part: You can start online Marketing for FREE.


To be an effective online marketer you need to have the drive to take action!


Don’t overthink it. Just get started.


“But what if I don’t have a good camera? Which camera should I buy? What about lighting? But I’m not a professional photographer or videographer..”


Who cares! Stop whining. Start using your smartphone now, take video, and take photos.


The best time to get started is right now. You don’t need a full blown production crew to get started unless you want to hire an agency or company to do this for you.


But.. You know that little device you have in your pocket?


IT’S A MONEY MACHINE.


It will drive more paying customers to your business.. even if you suck at it at first.


Look--your photos, videos, captions, emails, and copy don’t have to be perfect.


You can adjust this later and improve your quality or hire a professional to do it for you.


So take action NOW! Don't be a victim of analysis paralysis.


Don’t paralyze yourself with too many articles, seminars, and videos.


The sooner you take action the better.


Get out there (online), listen to the conversation to see how folks in your niche are discussing topics, then start having conversations, and get people talking about it for you...for FREE.


I intentionally made this guide short for three reasons:

  1. You're busy

  2. I'm busy

  3. In plain english and at this foundational level this topic doesn’t need that much content


Here’s the thing--the more you communicate about your business online the more you will be heard, the more you’re heard the more opportunity you have for paying customers.


However, that communication must be strategically planned (but not overplanned).


Now is the time to take action, continuous strategic action, and learn lessons from those actions along the way.


The truth before you get started: You will have haters commenting on your posts.. but if you don't post anything you'll still have haters anyway. Also, you will have unsubscribers, you will have unfollowers. It's all good.. those are vanity metrics that don't really matter. Sure is it easier with a larger following? Absolutely. But in the beginning subscribers and followers aren't the main goal.


Strategy vs Tactics

Let’s pretend for a moment that you were dropped in the middle of the jungle with a friend and you have a machete and binoculars. You have no idea where you are, you look around and you’re surrounded by acres of tall green trees.


Your goal is to get home but you don’t know where to go so you start chopping away at trees in front of you.


You’re chopping and moving and chopping and moving but then you turn to your friend and say.. “Wait a second, where are we going?” Your friend says “I dunno let’s just keep going.”


Not very wise to keep chopping in a direction if you don’t know where you’re headed.


So you stop chopping trees down aimlessly and you decide to take your binoculars and climb the largest tree you can find near you.


As you get to the top of the tree you take out your binoculars and you see buildings and civilization due east.


You realize that you were actually chopping west.. The completely wrong direction.


This is the difference between strategy and tactics.


Strategy is thinking and planning. Tactics are doing the things.


I've also heard it said as "Air Work" and "Ground Work".


You can chop away all day at creating content or posting but if you don’t know where you’re headed in the wrong direction it’s


Some may argue though that just starting is important, and while I agree with that to an extent (if you haven’t done ANY content then do this) it’s important to first have a vision and figure out where you want to go first before chopping away.


A strategy translates into balancing planning (looking ahead, having a vision towards what you want) with tactics (doing the work).


The way this translates into marketing is having a well-defined plan to create content to an audience that will resonate with your offers and business so that you’re solving their problems and making them happy. Countless brands such as Amazon “focus on the customer first” which has led to major success. So knowing what your offers are that actually solves someone’s problem then communicating it to them properly will absolutely be a winner for you.


Rich vs Poor Marketing: 5 Key Mindsets of Rich Marketing

Now let’s talk about the key mindsets of Marketing. Without these solid mindsets you will fail.


Mindset #1: BE LOUD.


BE LOUDER than everyone else.


We’ll be getting into what that means later on but the point here is you need to be heard and known before anyone would trust what your business has to offer.


Mindset #2: CREATE VALUE.


Always ask yourself “How do I CREATE VALUE for my customers?”


Are your posts entertaining, educational, or both? If all of your posts are not thinking about your audience and how you can provide value then you’re on the right track.


Although value is in the eyes of the beholder, through enough online research, value can actually be defined and used to your advantage online.


When you communicate VALUE LOUDLY--this is where you want to be and the ideal state.


Here are some examples of creating value:

  • Be Entertaining

  • Be Educational

  • Be Fun

  • Solve a Problem

  • Special Offers

  • Discounts or Promotions

  • Social Events

  • Contests

  • Giveaways

  • Be Remarkable

  • Do Something Memorable

  • Make Someone Feel Special

  • Give Insider Access

  • Show Behind the Scenes

  • Share specialized knowledge

  • Give Out Something Free That You Normally Charge For .. Hint hint.. like this guide :)


Mindset #3: YOU ARE A MEDIA COMPANY.


“But wait.. I’m a [business owner], [chef], [carpenter], [plumber], [HVAC technician], [landscaper], [writer], [dentist], [Realtor], [insert title here]”


YES. And you’re REALLY good at that.


But when it comes to online Marketing you’re A MEDIA COMPANY.


With this mindset you’ll start to see your business MUCH differently.


Next time you step foot into your business, think “how can I capture this moment for my audience” or “who can capture this moment for my audience”.


If you constantly think like this year-over-year soon you’ll have content up the WAZOO and your customers will flock to you.


Don’t get me wrong, be the expert at your trade, but at the same time Think Like A Media Company.


Many business owners are very good technicians at their specialty. I don’t expect you to be a Marketer overnight but think about who can help you document the day or some scenarios throughout the week that would be valuable to your audience.


Mindset #4: Be Consistent and Persistent.


This is self-explanatory but has to be said. If you’re not posting at least once a day on Social Media you’ll be falling behind. At me currently writing this it takes a minimum of twice a day posts to get any reach on Social Media.


Mindset #5: Differentiate, Differentiate, Differentiate.


In order to be heard you MUST stand out and differentiate yourself from the masses.


Think of 3 Things you want your brand to be known for online.


They must be significantly different from your competitors.


What makes your business different from the others in your niche? .. and NO I’m not talking about “better service” or “high quality” to describe the differentiator.


For many businesses it’s your story as the owner or your background. You alone or someone on the team can be a differentiator. Stories sell so why not tell yours.


Define what those unique qualities are and stick to them when marketing yourself online.


“Be unique” sounds so cliche but the reality is you have to BE UNIQUE. And what I mean by be unique is find unique things about you or your business that you can communicate to others.


You MUST stand out somehow otherwise you’re just another business on the block.


Some examples:

  • We Want To Be Known For A, B, and C

  • We’re On A Mission to <X> Join Us!

  • We’re The Only Business with <X> In Town!

  • Our Story goes way back to <X>

  • Our Team Is Made Up Of The Best <Y>

  • Our Owner Was On <TV Show/Movie>

  • We’re The Only Business That Uses <Z>

  • Our Ingredients Come From <X>

  • Our Dishes And Recipes are <X> Years Old And Span Multiple Generations from <Y>

  • When You Come In To Our Business You Can <X>

  • For Every Sale We Give <X> To <Charity> and Volunteer <X> Hours (actually this really isn’t a differentiator anymore because most consumers expect a bigger picture view and community contribution from companies now.. But worth noting if you want to keep up with competition)


Once you decide how you want to differentiate your business.


OWN IT.

OWN THE HELL OUT OF IT.

PUSH THE LIMITS OF IT.

TELL EVERYONE.

MARKET IT EVERYWHERE.

AND BE KNOWN FOR IT.. ALWAYS.



Action Item: How Will Your Business Stand Out? Write it down on a sheet of paper:

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Why is Marketing essential for Business Owners?


Marketing is an essential part of running a successful business.


It helps businesses connect with potential customers and support them with content to remind them to look deeper into or to buy their products or services.


Without marketing, businesses would have a much harder time reaching and engaging with their target audience, and as a result, they would likely struggle to generate sales and grow their business.


Marketing also plays a crucial role in building a strong brand and establishing credibility and trust with customers.


By developing and consistently communicating a unique and compelling brand identity, businesses can differentiate themselves from the competition and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry.


Furthermore, effective marketing can help businesses retain existing customers and encourage them to continue doing business with them.


By providing exceptional customer service and staying top-of-mind with personalized and engaging marketing efforts, businesses can build long-term relationships with their customers and keep them coming back for more.


Marketing is essential for businesses that want to reach and engage with their target audience, build a strong brand, and generate sales and grow their business.


To me, you can either 1. Outsource it to an Agency or 2. Do it yourself.


Marketing vs Advertising vs Sales


In business, Marketing, Advertising, and Sales need to all work together.


Leads come from Marketing & Advertising. Sales come from nurturing and closing the leads.


Marketing & Advertising is a one-to-many play whereas Sales is a one-to-one play.


After years of having failed businesses myself I realized that "if you build it..they will come", right? WRONG.


"If you build it, they WON'T come".. unless you market yourself. Seriously. I remember building an e-commerce brand, spending hours and hours setting up the products, the website, everything.. then I launched! Voila! First month, no sales. Second month, no sales. Third month, no sales.


Why? Because I was naive to think that people would just magically come to me because I have an amazing website. I was completely wrong.


Every business that I started it was clear to me. Without marketing nobody knows who you are. With nobody knowing who you are they can't buy from you, therefore no sales.



Organic vs Paid Social Media Posts


It really grinds my gears when someone thinks you'll get rich just from posting on social media.


Shh.. Don't tell anyone BUT I HATE social media.


Honestly. Why? Because I can't control crap on Social Media. You're at the fate of the algorithm. Sure, you can use a really good "Hook" to grab someone's attention but the Software Engineers at Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube control what is shown first.


For an entire year I posted every single day on several platforms like Facebook and Instagram.. and while I did 3X my followers most of them weren't my "ideal audience".


They're probably not going to buy from me and many of them haven't. It was a year long experiment that made me realize just how worthless Social Media can be.


Now don't get me wrong.. if I had millions of followers that were interested in my service I wouldn't be complaining.


However, my point is that you're at the mercy of the algorithm when you post for free online.. you have zero control over who sees your stuff, unless you pay-to-play. More on that later.


For now let's differentiate between organic and paid social media.


Organic social media posts are posts that are shared on social media without the use of paid advertising. These posts are shown to users in their regular newsfeeds, based on factors such as their previous interactions with the business and their connections with the people who share the post. Why is it awesome? IT'S FREE! (BUT, if you have the time to post it's great OR just hire someone to do it for you)


Paid social media posts, on the other hand, are posts that are promoted through paid advertising on social media platforms.


These posts are shown to users who are targeted based on factors such as their location, demographics, interests, and behaviors.


There are benefits to using both organic and paid social media posts in your marketing efforts. Some of the main benefits of organic posts include:

  • They can help you build relationships and engagement with your followers.

  • They can increase brand awareness and reach a larger audience.

  • They can be shared and spread organically by users, potentially reaching even more people.

  • They are often free or have a low cost.


Some of the main benefits of paid social media posts include:

  • They can help you reach a specific, targeted audience.

  • They can increase visibility and reach for your posts.

  • They can be used to promote specific products, offers, or events.

  • They can be tested and optimized to improve performance.


Marketing is more about creating some form of content to show your expertise on a subject that is actually valuable to the consumer.


There is more on this later when we talk about Ego Marketing vs Value Marketing but in the meantime just remember that if you think something is valuable that doesn’t mean others do.


This is why it’s critical to do your research on what other people are searching for online so you can serve them with your content or advertising.


For example, you might be really passionate about ostrich racing or naked bungee jumping but if the majority of people are not searching for it then it may not be a great topic to discuss. Caveat: In a rare case these obscure topics do become viral because it’s so different from what people are used to.


In other words, build a bridge for the demand. Create content around what people are already searching for to help assist them in their search. Platforms like Google, YouTube, and others will reward you for it because it’s actually helping others.


Most importantly, make sure you position your product or service such that you’re solving one or more of their problem(s).


The Rule of 7’s


The Rule of 7’s is a well-known concept in marketing that suggests that it takes an average of seven interactions with a brand or a person before anyone gets to know who they are and start building trust with them. In other words, it takes time and consistent effort to establish a strong reputation and a loyal following.


However, with the advent of digital marketing, there are more opportunities than ever to create content and get in front of others. One of the biggest benefits of digital marketing is that you can start by creating content online for free, even if you think you don’t have “valuable” content to share yet.


This means that you can start building your brand and your reputation online without having to invest a lot of money or resources. All you need is a bit of creativity, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to posting content on a regular basis.


But why is it so important to post content on a regular basis? Well, the answer is simple: if you’re not posting at least once a week, you’re falling behind in terms of getting in front of others and building your reputation online. With so much noise and competition on the internet, it’s easy for your content to get lost in the crowd if you’re not consistently putting it out there.


So, if you’re serious about building your brand and your reputation online, there’s no excuse not to post something on a regular basis. Whether it’s a blog post, a social media update, a video, or a podcast, there are plenty of formats and platforms to choose from. And with the power of digital marketing at your fingertips, the possibilities are virtually endless.


3 Strategies for Digital Marketing Success

I constantly see businesses marketing for the wrong reasons. If you don’t have clear strategies for WHY you’re marketing then you’re basically wasting your time. My job is to prevent you from wasting your time and be extremely clear as to why you’re spending your time creating content and getting it out to the world.

  1. Get More Awareness (Brand Recognition): To stand out from the crowd you need to build brand awareness. People need to know who you are. You do this by differentiating, providing value, understanding Marketing & Advertising principles, and knowing human psychology. The most important thing is to do this from a value perspective. Figure out what people want and give it to them.. Often times for free.

  2. Get More Customers (Leads & Sales): This means sales from converting leads. With more leads doesn’t guarantee sales. With a ton of followers doesn’t guarantee sales. There are tons of “influencers” out there that have many followers or “go viral” but don’t know anything about actually selling a product or service to those leads. Get more leads and know how to sell to them to solve their problem(s) and provide insanely valuable services/products to solve those problems.

  3. Loyal Customers (Recurring Sales): As the saying goes, it’s much less expensive to retain customers than get new ones. Retain existing customers and increase their average order value by also providing insane value to them over time. This is where many people fall short, they build an audience and make their sales but fail to keep them because of a lack of listening. Amazon for example is customer-centric and they actually listen to what their audience wants and adjust accordingly. Am I saying to listen to every single thing the customer wants? No, but if it’s creating friction and is a consistent pattern then you need to adjust. The old saying is “give the people what they want”.


8 Steps to Camera Charisma


So you’re scared to be on camera? Welcome to being the majority. When you don’t want to get on camera to promote or market yourself or your business you’re preventing yourself from a ton of exposure and opportunity.


Just by creating content you differentiate yourself from others significantly.


When you film yourself and talk about your area of expertise it’s even more powerful.


So what are you waiting for?


Step # 0 (MINDSET): Have a Mindset that, whatever happens on video IT'S ALL GOOD.. WHY?... NO MATTER WHAT.. everything can be edited.. your "Ums and Uhs'' can always be edited out.. I start here because I want you to realize that being on camera is not a big deal… it shouldn't be.


Once you shift your mindset to that it removes a weight of perfection, gear frenzy, and excuses to just get started.


Step #1: Just document your moment: what you're doing, what you've done, what you're going to do.


Step #2: Fail A LOT: By taking imperfect action. Forget Perfection.. Take Imperfect Action.


You don't have to be perfect on camera.. Just do something to give you momentum. Misspellings and issues can be fixed, you’re better off publishing something than nothing.


Step #3: Trust Your Instinct: When you feel compelled to talk about something instinctually.. just pull out your phone, film, and start talking.. don't overthink just DO!


Step #4: Use Your Smartphone: You don’t need fancy equipment (for now): For video you don't need fancy equipment and lighting (although it does help).. there's a time and place for higher end quality production like brand videos or testimonial videos but for now keep it simple and don't go down the "rabbit hole of endless gear".


Step #5: Drop Your Ego: It’s not about you, it’s about them.


Nobody cares about you, but more importantly what YOU can do for them. You don't have to be "the expert" .. the goal is to show people your personality and provide some form of value.


Always think What’s In It For Them - WIIFT. Stop caring what others think! What others think about you is of no concern to you, especially if you're providing value to your audience.


Step #6: Realize You Don’t Need a Script (yet): No script needed (yet): Every video doesn't have to be scripted.. although there are cases when you do want to write a script in the beginning it's more important for you to practice becoming comfortable on camera first.


Step #7: Just be yourself:.. as cliche as it sounds just talk to the camera like you'd talk to a friend, coworker, or family member .. the Ums and Uhs are okay..it makes you human.


Step #8: Put In Your Reps: Your first 100 will SUCK.. it's okay, put in the reps and keep going.. Eventually it will become a habit.


5 Levels of Content Creation


There are certain "phases" we're all in when it comes to content creation. If you decide that content creation is something you want to invest time or money into then you'll definitely want to see which level you are.


Level 0: No content at all... You're a consumer..you spend hours scrolling watching other people's stuff. Shift from content consumer to a content creator. This is the biggest shift. As a consumer of content you’re the one being marketed to. You’re the one being informed of brands, services, products.. What I hate about this level is you don’t have any leverage for your own business or brand. You’re in consumer-mode instead of creator-mode. If you’re not creating and distributing then nobody will remember you.. Or the amazing services or products you can provide them. If you recall from the Rule of 7’s, you need to be consistently creating content to get in front of people.


Level 1: Randomly posting.. photos, status updates. The problem with randomly posting is that everyone sees that you’re inconsistent. If you’re inconsistent with this subconsciously your audience feels this and it translates into your products or services. Many business owners do this because they don’t understand the importance of having a consistent content marketing schedule. Some good rules of thumb to follow:

  • Post daily on Social Media: If you can’t do daily yet, then just start monthly, then every few weeks, then every week.

  • Scheduled weekly for the channels e.g., “Live every Monday”, “New episodes every Wednesday”


The point is to become more consistent. If you feel like you’re too busy working in your business to do this then maybe it’s necessary to hire someone to help you.


Also, at this level you’re primarily posting text-based updates or even some photos. The problem with these updates are they’re not nearly as engaging as video. Do they still work? Yes. But not nearly as effectively as video. Video gives you audio and visual data, which generally captivates an audience more than someone reading text or viewing an image. This is why we’ve had a massive increase in users consuming short-form video.


Level 2: Some video content here and there... Still not that confident with filming yourself. Once you’ve defined a schedule and realize photos and text are not as effective as video you start dabbling with video. You feel “scared to be on camera” or “I don’t know what to talk about”. This is natural if you’re new at filming yourself. If you’re stuck at this level and need someone to help you through it then check us out at RedRatMedia.com (We make video marketing less scary). But if you’re not quite there yet with your budget I’d suggest just practicing, over and over again. Make sure to revisit the 8 Steps to Camera Charisma as well to help you. The challenge with this level is you need to “try and fail” many times before you become more confident on camera where you can naturally pull out your camera and start filming no matter where you are. In the beginning you don’t need a fancy production setup so don’t fret it, just grab your phone (I call it the money machine) and start filming yourself. To get a little more advanced you’ll need to research keywords and provide content that people are actually searching for. More on that later.


Level 3: Understanding human psychology, why people watch videos, what keeps their attention. Once you’ve become more comfortable with video content then you need to understand how humans work and how to create videos that actually captivate them. There are several reasons why people gravitate towards some videos and go “viral”:

  • There’s a HOOK that reels them in (with the worlds short attention span, you literally have 3 seconds to get someone interested in what you have to say)

  • There’s a compelling story with at least one character

  • There’s entertainment (e.g., music, dancing, attractiveness)

  • There’s polarity (you have an opinion on something that might be a little controversial)

  • There’s a reason for them to comment

  • There’s comedy and it’s funny as hell!

  • There’s an emotional response (e.g., anger, happiness, sad, nostalgia, joy)


Level 4: Content Strategy with video that gets actual business results.. Higher quality production and Post-production with an emphasis of business growth content that combines entertainment, education, and a CTA that provides value to your ideal audience.



Today’s Digital Marketing Landscape

Let’s talk about the digital marketing landscape today and the distribution channels you can use. I share this with you not so that you do all of them at once.


If you’re first starting out it may be tempting and overwhelming to think you have to do ALL of them together. I’m here to tell you that it’s not necessary to do all of these at once.


Is it better to be doing all of these? Absolutely. Being "Omnipresent" should be the ultimate goal but it's not always easy when you first start out unless you have the budget for an agency or staff.


In general, the more distribution channels you have the better but if you’re starting out find the one that resonates with you most.


Choose the one that either comes the most natural to you, feels most natural, and you can see yourself doing over the next 3-5 years and beyond.


By the way.. All of these work if you work them. The reason why I’m sharing each one of these is so you can determine which is best for you. In the beginning, don’t try to do all of them at once, unless you hire someone to help you. Instead start with one, go deep on it and become the expert at it. Then grow your audience and distribute them into other channels.


Social Media Marketing

This is the most common form of digital marketing for two reasons: It’s Free (unless you do Paid Ads) and most prevalent, everyone is on these platforms. Why it's challenging? Because you need to STAND out from the crowd AND it can be the most time consuming of them all. You're also at the mercy of the algorithm. However, if you have TIME on your hands this is a good one to start with.


Content Marketing

This one ties very closely with Social Media marketing but the main difference is you’re strategically creating content (e.g., blogs, videos, graphics, downloadable content) to establish yourself as an expert so that others know, like, and trust your expertise.


SMS/Text Marketing

This is an important channel because the majority of people read or at least see their text messages. Compared to email marketing, for example, this is fairly high converting and a quick and easy way to connect with your audience and ensure they see your content.


Email Marketing

Still a strong contender to build loyal customers and market to your audience. Emails are digital currency. The larger your list the more paying customers you’ll have. So build up your list and send out valuable content to your list on a regular basis.


Influencer Marketing and Brand Deals

The process of reaching out to people who have micro or large followings or are well-known by the masses and offering value in return to the market or being an affiliate for your business.


The idea is you partner up with them for a post in exchange for a payment. You pay them per post to promote your product or service which could be a


An example is, “Hey creator or influencer, we’ll pay you X for 3 posts this month.” The strategy here is find someone with 100k followers or less in a specific niche and reach out to them if they’d like to be a part of a brand partnership.


Podcast Marketing

Voice content (and/or video) published online. Can be great for building an audience in your niche. Usually good for business owners that don’t feel comfortable on video but still want to be heard. Nowadays I’m seeing successful podcasts adding videos. This can serve as long-form media which can be repurposed into smaller short-form, micro-content.


Blog Marketing

Still a viable marketing option but can be time intensive to do effectively because you’re battling SEO. Requires a content management system website and hosting to get started. A great way to get your written word out, build a following, and establish trust and credibility in your space. It also takes years of posting and backlinks to build your following online.


Sales Funnels & Retargeting

Absolutely vital to any business. Building sales funnels for all of your products or services is a necessity for your business.


This allows you to bring Cold traffic or Leads into your brand experience, convert them to Warm, convert them to Hot with a sale, and continuously retarget them to eventually turn them into loyal, lifetime customers.


Many ad platforms have a “pixel” (aka a piece of code you put on your website) or retargeting actions that allow you to serve ads to customers that have interacted with your brand.


The more exposed you are to them the more likely they are to convert, then eventually buy.


LIFETIME CUSTOMERS = The ultimate goal.


Video Marketing

Simply put, when people see your face on video, you build more trust with them.


You don’t have to have a special script or memorize lines like in Hollywood but there is a time and place for these scripts. In fact, unscripted and natural videos tend to be better for building trust. Overly scripted videos are obvious.


However, it takes practice and skill to get comfortable on camera but once you do over time it becomes more natural and a powerful way to communicate with others online.


Live Video Marketing


One of the most effective digital marketing strategies today. This is the most engaging medium because people feel involved in the conversation and comment directly to you. Most Social Media platforms have this feature today and is very important to do for marketing.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


Everybody Googles. 90% of the U.S. uses Google as their search engine. So why aren't you on there?


“Okay Google, what are the best BBQ Restaurants in the area?”


If your business isn’t showing up on the first page then you won’t be seen. It’s rare that anyone actually goes to page 2 of Google results.


If your brand isn’t showing up from a keyword search this is even worse.


It’s key that your digital marketing content and website aligns with the ever-changing expectations of these Search Engines.


I don't want to burst your bubble but "SEO" isn't something you just set and forget. It's an ongoing effort that you need to be monitoring as Google changes their algorithm. Also, there isn't just one type of "SEO" out there. You brush your teeth every don't you? So why not optimize for Google every day.


What kinds of SEO is there?

  1. On-Page SEO: Optimizing the tags on your page that the SERP likes to see. Page Title, Meta Description, H1 tags, image alt tags, etc to name the primary ones.

  2. Off-Page SEO: Mostly this consists of backlinks. Are high domain authority sites pointing to you? Are you getting enough "votes" from reputable sites that are pointing to you?

  3. Technical SEO: Sitemaps, robots.txt file, is your site mobile-friendly, is it fast, and Google Search Console configuration.

  4. Local SEO: This is the BEST way to rank on Google for your local area. Known as the "Google 3-pack" this is the listing of 3 businesses that show when you do a search for a business. It's super easy to create or claim your Google Business Listing profile and update it regularly. I treat mine basically like a Social Media profile.

  5. Social Media SEO: While most of the previous SEO relates to Google as a Search Engine to show up on the results page creating content on social media can also benefit you from an SEO perspective. When you post content always make sure your content has the keywords you're trying to target and so when someone searches for those keywords there's a chance your post will show up there!


Webinars

This is another way to establish your expertise and credibility on a topic. What I’ve seen most effective here is a weekly basis or at least a monthly basis with the purpose of actually helping people solve their problems in a 30-60 minute series.



Social Media Platforms Breakdown

Which one is best? The only you have the most following on already (i.e., leverage) AND comes naturally to you AND you can see yourself posting on for the next 3-5 years.


Facebook


I consider this platform a “hybrid” you can do anything on it and currently has the most users worldwide.


If your brand does not have a Facebook Page you’re missing out on billions and billions of users getting to know your brand.


Right now the most powerful features of Facebook to grow your business are: Facebook Advertising (paid), Facebook Live, and Native Video.


More recently Facebook has Reels, short form videos... a massive opportunity to get more eyeballs.


Instagram


This is what I call the “highlights” platform.


Use Instagram to showcase parts of your business to your customers whether it’s in the form of photos, videos, or stories.


Right now the most powerful features of Instagram to grow your business: Reels, Instagram Stories and Instagram Live.



YouTube


Use this platform to build trust with your customers and create long-form marketing.


Video is currently the dominating content type for engagement.


YouTube is basically the new cable television.


Users are accessing YouTube from their smart TVs, tablets, and phones through the app.


Come up with content, post long (at least 5 minutes worth of content) videos here and point to your other Social Media accounts.


Also make sure to use YouTube live. More recently YouTube is using Shorts, short-form video.


Snapchat


Appeals to a younger demographic but currently a strong platform with a large following.


This platform is key to keep your audience engaged and you can share things like fun behind-the-scenes stories and filters.


Use this to have a more intimate personal connection with your customers.


Use Snapchat to “humanize” your brand.


You can use others with video or stories to do this but Snapchat has a more deep-rooted quality about it making your customers feel like they are part of the action.


You can save your Snapchat videos from here, edit them, and share them on your other platforms.


X (Formerly Twitter)


This is the “Loud” platform.


Use this platform to send as many short, character limit messages as you want.


It’s okay to post here 10, 20, 30 times a day. I like to use it to test what people respond to.


Compared to the other platforms this is the only one I’d recommend posting this often.


X is great for finding trending topics, messaging influencers directly, and testing your copy for high engagement.


TikTok


This platform has had the fastest massive growth of any social media platform.. EVER.


It’s as addicting as sitting at a casino and watching the slot machine by swiping your finger up to watch the next form of content available.


All ages are on this platform and people are becoming addicted to it everyday.


In the beginning people thought it was just kids on TikTok dancing but now it has grown to be a juggernaut in the media space.


So what’s this mean? Get on there and get your brand known. The videos are usually short in length varying from 15 seconds to a minute long. Anything shorter or longer usually isn’t as effective.


My advice is to take your long-form content and break it down into little chunks of 30-40 second clips and post every day on TikTok.


Short form video is taking over and it’s clear because of the growth of this platform.


LinkedIn

I think of this platform as the “more professional social media platform”.


For example, if you have a business-to-business B2B you can be great to find other business owners that may need your services.


If you also want to be perceived as an expert in your skills this is a great place to share your content.



Do the work of Digital Marketing

I probably should have started with this framework but I wanted to save the best for last.. now that you can see there are a ton of ways you can market your business online it may be overwhelming to some.


Shoot, it was overwhelming to me to think "holy crap I have to do all of this?". I can assure you that if you do all of this you'll definitely get your customers attention, however, unless you have an entire staff or agency doing this for you it's almost impossible to do it ALL on your own no matter how efficient you are.


I remember attempting to try to do all of this on my own and I just got burned out.


The Digital Marketing Quadrant



So I would recommend using the framework here, created by yours truly. It comes down to two main things: time and money.


You either have,

  1. No money, and no time.

  2. No money, but lots of time.

  3. No time, but lots of money.

  4. Lots of time, and lots of money. (The ultimate dream, right?)


So let's break down each one:


No money, and no time.

Being in this place SUCKS. This is often an excuse for people to not take any action at all causing them to be stuck. I was there before but I chose to learn a high-paying skill that someone will pay for so that I can have the money to get help from others.


What are your Digital Marketing options? Nothing. Stop making excuses and do this instead.


1. Make more money, 2. Make the time. It's really that simple.


So stop scrolling mindlessly on Social Media, watching Netflix for too long, and start using that time wisely to do the work of digital marketing to get you business heard. You have the time. We all have the same time in the day but you choose not to focus on the tasks that actually move the needle for you.


Shift your relationship with time and dedicate at least an hour a day to doing some of the marketing tactics I discussed above.


No money, but lots of time.

In this case, you don't have a budget for ads or to hire anyone so you are forced to go the "DIY" route. This can be a good place to be if you have the time to learn, dig deep, and do everything on your own. This is what I refer to as "startup" or "bootstrapped". While this can be good to learn the ropes in the beginning it's not scalable and eventually you'll get burned out. What I found quickly was I cannot do everything on my own, but I can learn and delegate once I had enough cashflow to pay someone else.


What are your Digital Marketing options? It's all about DIY and learning with the time you have.

  • SEO

  • Content Creation

  • Social Media

  • Outreach (cold and warm)

  • Email Marketing

  • SMS Marketing


No time, but lots of money.


What are your Digital Marketing options?

  • Run Paid Ads: PPC such as Google Ads, Meta Ads, etc. With money your best play is to run digital advertising campaigns.

  • Hire an Agency

  • Hire employees that specialize in Digital Marketing

  • Hire proper leadership like a Fractional CMO or Growth Leader


Lots of time, and lots of money.


What are your Digital Marketing options?

  • Build an In-House Marketing Team

  • Hire an Agency

  • Build a referral or affiliate program


So how do I get more traffic and customers?

There are several ways to get customers.. but guess what.. you gotta put in the work! After making thousands of cold calls when I was selling Real Estate I can safely say that I hate it. This is my running list of ways so keep in mind this changes over time.

  1. Things you can do:

    1. Cold Outreach

    2. Warm Outreach

    3. Paid Advertising

    4. Post Content Online

    5. SEO

    6. Be a guest on a podcast

    7. Attend networking events

    8. Join local business groups

  2. Things other people can do for you:

    1. Referrals

    2. Affiliates

    3. Employees

    4. Agencies



"I hope you thoroughly enjoyed this guide... after all, it took me YEARS to write it. If you want to learn how to work with us visit RedRatMedia.com" -Rich Tavetian, Founder Red Rat Media.

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