If you were to write a book, one single amazing book, and have that book eagerly snatched and devoured by the public, that would be pretty awesome wouldn’t it? Let’s call this experience The Bounce. Now let’s say you write this awesome book and you do some press, you might even be invited to speak at some exciting venues. Then a couple years later you write another book and you publish some articles, and do a few more speaking engagements.You get asked to teach what you know to other aspiring authors. This could be followed by yet another book, and maybe another one. Let’s call this second experience The Roll. The Bounce took some effort and gave you a big one-time experience of recognition. The Roll took effort over a much longer time period and continued to give you recognition slowly, and in different ways. The Bounce is a one time event, the Roll is a career.
The Bounce and the Roll is a comparison created by MOMA Artist in Residence Kenneth Goldsmith. Goldsmith was talking about the winding life of a poet, but we can also apply this idea to marketing your small service-based business.
There are two buckets your marketing tactics can fall into: the Bounce or the Roll. Marketing tactics that Bounce include things like Google Ads and Social Media Ads. These tactics create a big splash in terms of increasing the number of eyes on your brand but they don’t tend to lead to converting those eyes into clients. Tactics that Roll include optimizing your website for searches, content marketing, responding to comments, and engaging with your audience through social media and your website and offering a regular email newsletter with valuable information and offers.
With your marketing efforts the Bounce may look exciting but it is the Roll that helps establish your brand as a sustainable business. A strong, effective Digital Marketing Strategy is built around the Roll with the occasional and strategically placed Bounce to help energize your online presence.
Focus your marketing on generating the Roll and you will not only grow a committed client base, you will also shape an efficient marketing strategy that gets the most value for your time, effort, and money.
7 Digital Marketing Tactics That Make Your Marketing Plan Roll
#1 Buck the Trends, Know Your Audience
The Online Marketing world can seem all about following the latest trends. Building your marketing efforts around trends is a sure-fire way to quickly burn out your marketing energy. Jumping from one TikTok trend to another will not only make your head spin but will do the same for your audience. Trying to stay on top of the hot topics or industry fads is not the best use of your resources. By responding to trends, instead of rooting your marketing decisions in the needs of your community, you create a frenetic experience for your potential audience. Your content may be fun to engage with at first (the Bounce), but will unlikely lead to developing long-lasting relationships or returning clients (the Roll).
Instead of looking for what’s new or trendy, focus on your target audience. Allow what you know about them to direct your marketing efforts. What challenges do they face that you can help with? How do they engage with digital content? What do they need most from you? Frame your strategic plan to meet your audience where they are and deliver what they need to build momentum and get your Marketing rolling.
#2 Fertilize Your Long Term Goals
Knowing where you want to go with your business, the vision you hold for your work, is the anchor of a marketing plan. Many small businesses come into marketing out of necessity, and usually with a short term goal in mind like “I need to get more students enrolled in my training by next month” or “my client base is not large enough to support me, I need to grow it fast.”
Marketing your business with these sort of short term goals is inefficient and ineffective. It is like trying to harvest from an unseeded piece of land. Marketing efforts that produce the Roll have tilled the soul, planted desirable seeds, fertilized and tended those seeds so that when it comes time to harvest they have an abundance of healthy plants to draw from. Trying to draw from an untended online audience to fill your upcoming event or grow your client base will never work. You must put in the time to grow a positive relationship with your audience before you ask them to invest in your offerings. Identify your long-term goals and build your marketing plan to move your business forward toward those goals.
Start planning your marketing efforts now, in order to be able to harvest next year and the year after. Remember you are building relationships. Healthy, long-lasting relationships take time and commitment to grow. Aim for a marketing plan to support your larger vision, tend to your growing audience, and over time you will see your efforts pay off.
#3 Give It Time
Digital Marketing requires time. If anyone is promising you significant return on quick actions, turn and run the other way. Quality clients come from quality relationships that begin before you ever meet in person. The content you share online takes time to be found, digested, shared, talked about, shared again, and then engaged with. The steps you take to optimize your website require time to be indexed in the search engine and engaged with relevant searches.
Bounce tactics rarely lead to the connections that build a sustainable business. Bringing more eyes to your online brand is only a part of the plan. How to turn those eyes into real people who pay for your services and offerings – the Roll – that’s the point.
It takes time to build the trust and familiarity people need to invest their time and money into your services or offerings. Create a marketing plan now, take it step-by-step, put your plan into action, and give your audience the time they need to get to know you and what you have to offer.
#4 Create Evergreen Content
Creating Evergreen content that holds long-lasting value for your audience and can be engaged with repeatedly, is not only more desirable for your audience, it is also a better use of your time and energy. A simple way to do this is to build your content plan around a long-form content format. Long-form content formats include blogs, vlogs, and podcasts. Utilizing one of these platforms to feed your smaller content pieces helps to tie your online content together and move your audience toward the services you offer.
When creating long-form content, it is tempting to choose topics that are salacious or headline worthy. This is the tactic used by many media outlets. Drawing from what is “of the moment” without it being rooted in what your audience needs can result in temporary attention (the Bounce) but will unlikely lead to converting this audience into clients or students (the Roll). Centre your longer-form content pieces around your audience needs or challenges and turn these pieces into Evergreen content that your audience will want to read, listen to, or watch over and over again.
Creating Evergreen content is the Roll. It keeps performing for you months or even years after its publication day.
If you want to learn more about how to start a blog, check out our post “How to Start a Health & Wellness Blog.”
#5 Water The Seeds You’ve Planted
When you think of marketing do you think about the need to continually create new content, new ideas, and new offerings? Doesn’t this sound exhausting? The newness of your online content is the energy of a Bounce, but it is the value and the usefulness at the centre of your content that supports the Roll. Base your marketing efforts around key content pieces and nurture those pieces. Over time they can garner significant returns.
As an example, creating a new reel on Instagram, daily, with that day’s trending sound could require a fair bit of your daily time and energy. If you have a lot of free time on your hands then go for it, but as a small service-based business owner free-time is probably not something you have a lot of. Instead, try to create one social media post that draws content from your most popular blog post, tag it with your highest performing hashtags, and share it across several social media platforms. The first approach required daily creative effort to generate new ideas and new ways of sharing these new ideas on one specific platform. The second approach utilized content you already know has traction to create a single piece of content that can generate engagement for a longer period of time across platforms. One quality post can do the work of 5-7 superficial posts. Pick how you want to spend your time.
#6 Foster Your Owned Audience
In Online Marketing there are three types of audience groups: Potential, Rented, and Owned. A Potential Audience are those who hold characteristics similar to your ideal clients but have not yet engaged with your brand. A Rented Audience are those who interact with your brand through a third party, like a social media platform. Their contact information is held within the platform and if you were to leave the platform your relationship would end. Most brands build their marketing plans on growing their Rented Audience. The third type is an Owned Audience. This group has interacted with your brand directly and freely given their contact information, looking to continue the relationship, through an email subscription or membership.
Growing your Owned Audience is essential for a long-term sustainable business. Once an audience member moves into this group they have chosen to shift your relationship; hey want more from you and are willing to give back in some way, through payment, feedback, or promotion.
Creating your Marketing Strategy around building your Owned Audience is all about the Roll. This audience group requires the Roll: the reliable, and valuable, on-going online activity through which they can learn about your brand and develop a true connection.
When you focus your online marketing efforts on your Owned Audience your tactics move beyond growing your Facebook followers. Your strategy will now include ways to move your Facebook followers into becoming Newsletter Subscribers or membership purchasers. Bridging the gap from your Rented Audience to your actively-engaged Owned Audience is a cornerstone of any successful Digital Marketing Strategy. Rented Audiences can be built, though only temporarily, by the Bounce, but Owned Audiences require the Roll.
#7 Tweak Your Plan
Once your marketing plan is in action you will want to continue to assess how it is working for you. This involves looking at your social platform insights, website analytics, tracking your registrations, bookings, and subscriptions or memberships.
Looking at statistics for your reach and engagement on your social media profile is only a small part of the effectiveness picture, as those statistics only tell you about the effects of your content on that one platform and not across your business goals. Understanding how your marketing efforts have impacted your ultimate end-goals is much more important for keeping your strategy on track.
Weekly social media and website statistics can fluctuate significantly. Making changes to your marketing plan based on weekly numbers is not only unnecessary but potentially destructive for building the long-term effects you are aiming for. Generating the actions you want from your audience takes time and consistent effort. Looking at your analytics weekly is helpful to create a picture of your audience behaviour, but is not the basis for adjusting your overall Marketing plans.
Knowing when to hold steady, and when to adjust course, is the art of Digital Marketing. Give most of your marketing tactics 3 months or more to show their effect. Looking at how your planned actions have impacted your long-term goals will inform what small changes you may need to make to your plan. Remember, this is all about long-term effect not short-term impact. If your marketing tactics aren’t creating the outcomes you hoped for, you rarely need to scrap your whole plan; often a simple tweak to frequency, verbiage, will help create the desired effect on your marketing outcomes.
One last piece of advice when structuring a Marketing Strategy that builds the Roll: keep it manageable and pace yourself. Digital Marketing is truly about the Roll. Sprinkling in a Bounce tactic, like a Facebook ad, once in a while to support your current strategy, can inject some short-term energy into your efforts, but remember, the higher the bounce the more velocity there is to lose. Get your Marketing tactics to roll and you will see long-term and sustainable growth results over time. Patience is key, so start planning your marketing strategy now.
If you need some guidance, book a free Discovery Call today. We love to talk strategy and are here to help you market your business so you can do what you love, helping other people.