Everyone knows you need online presence.  So you receive the mandate to find a digital marketing agency.  An abundance of options seem to exist.  You reach out for proposals and a company with great credentials is selected.  Month’s later and hundreds of thousands of dollars later you have great looking reports for the CEO to offer at the next shareholder meeting.  But behind the 300,000 likes on Facebook there is no ROI.  What’s happening here?

What is Online Vanity Marketing?

Nobody told you that 99% of those likes came from Sri Lanka.

Most online marketing firms target traditional brick-and-mortar businesses that don’t depend on web-originated income for their survival.  The real goal is to produce results that look good on paper.  But a short dig beneath the surface reveals a general lack of real world substance.

A telltale sign of a vanity marketing company is a cookie cutter, menu driven service offering.  There is no getting inside your business to understand where you are trying to go and your typical customer mindset.

Real Online Marketing is a lot Like Publishing a Newspaper

You have to figure out who your readers are and provide content they want to read.  This process creates meaning for your audience around your brand identity.  It also creates indexability with Google and Facebook.

Your future customers need to be pulled into your Brand Experience gradually with repeated exposures to your content and identity.  Trust and desire develops over time.  A loyal genuine following will eventually be open to buying practically anything you offer them.

Everything begins with a strong brand identity and a content strategy that resonates.

Getting to the Cashflow

Top of the Funnel

This is where content lets your audience know you understand their needs, their situation and their mindset.  This content orients them to your general solution to their problem.

Middle of the Funnel

This is where they want to know more.  It might require some offering on the part of the client to gain access.  For example giving their email address.  Or it might just mean they invest a little of their precious time to watch a short video.

Bottom of the Funnel

This is the beginning of the paid brand experience.  Offer to solve one problem for them with a low risk offer.  This opens the relationship up and if the client is happy and satisfied: trust has been established.  Now they are open to making a substantial investment in the other components of your solution.

All these stages can happen in a matter of 2 minutes or over time.

The Customer Avatar

It all begins with getting into your customer’s mindset and to do this you need to specifically define who they are.