The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing

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The Ultimate Guide to Digital MarketingPage 2The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -How do you find paying customers for your business??Growth doesnt just happen. Most of us will never luck our way into creating a viral post that brings in 100,000 new subscribers. And a $100,000 marketing budget wont do you any good if you waste it trying 1,000 different tactics that dont work.Growth comes from deliberately creating a consistent flow of traffic to your website. After all: More traffic creates more readers More readers means more subscribers More subscribers is the key to more salesMore sales opens up all kinds of doors in your business. You can hire a team to free up your time. You can develop new products and services. You can invest in better software or technology.And of course, on a personal level, more sales means more money for your family. It means more freedom for traveling. It might even mean being able to try new things like hiring a personal trainer or chef. (Those last two have been life-changing for me.)All of this is possible using free or low-cost digital marketing strategies.What is digital marketing?Digital marketing is anything you do online to:1. Grab attention2. Drive people to your website3. Convince those people to join your email list, buy your product, or download your appPage 3The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing is measurable. Which means you can identify whats working, do more of it, and stop wasting time on failed campaigns.In boardrooms across the country, executives still look at their marketing budgets and ask: How many people actually watched our TV commercial? Did anyone buy because of the billboard? Did we really build brand capital that year we sponsored the baseball team? Hows the response to the headline on our newspaper ad?But more than that, its insanely expensive. A single billboard in Atlanta, Georgia costs $3,000 a month. (Actually it costs $30,000 a month because you cant just get a single billboard. The broker requires you sign up for at least 10.) And once you buy, you cant make any changes to your ads without overhauling the entire campaign.Digital marketing, on the other hand, is measurable, inexpensive, and easy to test and pivot.Common mistakes people make with digital marketingDigital marketing begins with traffic. And when it comes to driving traffic to your website, there are two common mistakes:1. We dont try any traffic strategies:We think our material should sell itself. Its great, so people will just naturally find itright!? We write posts thatshouldgo viral, thatshouldinspire people to share, thatshouldlead to people flooding our site and paying for our services. But Page 4The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -the truth is, it just doesnt work like that. We need to be active about promoting our material by getting it in front of our ideal audience. Ill show you how in this guide.2. We try every traffic strategy:Its easy to get sucked into the digital marketing vortex SEO, PPC, Twitter, Snapchat, Affiliates you name it, theres some guru out there telling you its the ONLY way to make money. Get on board or youll be left behind! The result is that we spend our time (and sometimes our money) haphazardly chasing the next big thing in digital marketing. This guide is designed to help you avoid what I call marketing tactical hell.Neither plan ever works. But focusing on a few key strategies can take a small blog that nobody reads and turn it into a multimillion-dollar business. I know because thats what I did, and thats why I created this guide.In this guide, Ill show you how to be strategic about digital marketing. Youll discover how to start with the fundamentals, and scale up as you grow.Well talk about 5 strategies that work: Email Marketing, the Lifeblood of Your Business (Part 3) Harness the Traffic-Building Power of Remarkable Content Marketing (Part 4) Social Media that Sells (Part 5) Build a Customer Machine with Pay Per Click Advertising (Part 6) Creating & Leveraging Relationships that Boost Your Traffic Quickly (Part 7)But first, well create a plan to get you started whether your business is currently making $0/year or $1mm/year.Page 5The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -In this no-nonsense guide, youll discover: Whoare the digital marketing experts Ive studied (and you should, too) Whatare the exact digital marketing strategies Ive used to grow my blog to a million readers per month Whyyou cant ignore these tools even if you write amazing material, if nobody knows about it, its worthless (I know because for years nobody read my material) Whento use each of these digital marketing strategies (hint: some of them may not be for you right now, and thats good!) Howto start using them today for free or with minimal investmentThis stuff works and Im living proofOver the last 12 years, Ive used digital marketing to grow my first company (I Will Teach You To Be Rich) to over 1 million readers per month. In January 2016, I launched a new brand calledGrowthLab. Since then, GrowthLab has generated millions of dollars in sales, been read by hundreds of thousands of people, andbeen featured on Tim Ferrisss blog.But in the beginning, I had no clue what I was doing.A few years ago, I Will Teach You To Be Rich was just a tiny blog nobody read. Want proof? Just dig into some of my earliest posts. I went months and months without a single comment. But through the years, I kept writing. 6The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -I kept improving my craft. And, most importantly, I figured out what people actually wanted to read. Over time, I got more eyes on the page, more comments and more shares.Today, millions of people visit my blog every month. Yep, that dinky little blog that nobody read turned into a site with more than 1,000,000 readers every 30 days.I started out by using the strategies of email and content marketing (parts 3 and 4 of this guide) and as I grew, I hired a team to teach me the more advanced digital marketing strategies youll learn later in this guide.Page 7The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Who am I?Hi, Im Ramit Sethi,New York Times bestselling author, and founder and CEO of GrowthLab and I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Ive helped millions of readers get ahead in life using psychology, tough love, and tested, step-by-step systems that work in the real world.When I started, I had no idea what I was doing and nobody read what I wrote. But as I grew, amazing opportunities opened up. Things like speaking in front of thousands of people and being on national TV.Being in business for over a decade (and growing year after year after year) has also led to some awesome media opportunities and publicity, including a 6-page spread in Fortune magazine and being featured across from Warren Buffett in Forbes Top 20 Wealth Wizards.My 6-page Feature in Fortune (left) and me next to Warren Buffett in Forbes (right)Page 8The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Im not telling you this to brag. But theres a lot of horrible information out there about digital marketing.Some of it is even dangerous. The unproven, short-term trends touted by some marketing ninjas not only damage your business now (think of all the lost time and money), but can do irreparable damage to your brand in the long term.If you want to avoid jumping from one shiny object to the next, you need to be able to trust the person giving you advice.In this guide, Youll discover what it took to grow from nothing to an 8-figure business with only digital marketing. And how you can apply those principles to do the same thing for your company. What you wont find is any super-secret push-button magic bullets.Instead, Ill show yourealstrategies that work. Youll see what you should be doing right now (no matter where you are in your business) and what can wait until you grow (for example, I didnt start experimenting with paid advertising until Id had a business for many years).As an added bonus, I also brought in a few of my expert friends, bloggers, and other writers. Theyre revealing their secrets for creating huge audiences and mobs of passionate fans.Now, will you get a million readers overnight?Lets be realistic: no. But can you get hundreds or even thousands of readers and build from there? Absolutely.Page 9The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -But first, a word of warningA lot of people will tell you, You need to get affiliates. You need to do PPC. You need to get on social media. You need to do all this stuff.Jumping from one technique to the next puts you in what I call Marketing Tactical Hell. Thats when you waste your time on pointless tactical maneuvers that never move the needle in your business.Not a fun place to beIts important to remember that there are different stages in your business. In each one of those stages, you can focus on different strategies and tactics.But you dont need to overcomplicate things in the beginning.I mean, lets say you want to start going to the gym. On your first day in the gym, youre going to stretch, walk on the treadmill, and get an idea of the gyms layout.Page 10The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Youre not going to go over to the bench press and lift 225lbs. That wouldnt be a great way to start working out. Even if you could lift the bar, youd burn yourself out, get frustrated, or just kill yourself because you dont know how to hold the bar and youd drop it on your throat.Whereas, if youd been training for a while lets say you were an Olympic athlete you already know how to stretch, and you know the layout of the gym.Your workout is going to look very different than someone who is just beginning.Growing your business works the same way.Youll try different things at different stages of your business, moving from beginner to more advanced later on. But you cant do it all up front.This guide is your first step. Well walk you through the digital marketing strategies you need to focus on up front (making a plan, email marketing, and remarkable content). Master these and youll already be ahead of 92% of your competition.Then, for more advanced readers, well cover next-level strategies like social media, pay-per-click advertising, and affiliate marketing.Heres what were covering in this free guide:Page 11The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Part 2: Your 5-Step Digital Marketing PlanIve seen thousands of sites randomly try out digital marketing strategies one after another, hoping for the magic traffic and sales secret to riches. In part 2, Ill show you why this is the WORST thing you can do. What step do 99% of bloggers skip? Creating a plan. But this is the ONLY way to skip the trial and error and do what works from day one Ill show you which specific digital marketing tactics to focus on first and what to ignore for lasting growth.Take me to part 2Part 3: Email Marketing, the Lifeblood of Your BusinessMaybe youve heard this before: The money is in the list. Your most valuable asset in business is a crowd of people who like you and have given you permission to email them about your product.After 12 years of running an online business and generating millions in sales, I can tell you this is 100% true. Ill show you how to build your list and what to send your subscribers so they look forward to hearing from you (and ultimately become buyers).Take me to part 3Page 12The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Part 4: Harness The Traffic-Building Power of Remarkable Content MarketingHow do people like Tim Ferriss, Neil Patel, Brian Clark, or other big-name bloggers regularly produce high-caliber material readers cant get enough of? Their amazing content turned them into respected experts, helped them build loyal fan bases, and opened up huge opportunities in their business and personal lives. The real question is: Can you do the same? Yes, you can. Ill show you how.Take me to part 4Page 13The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Part 5: Social Media That SellsToo much social media advice (even from the so-called experts) consists of vague and useless soundbites like Join the conversation! and Engage! In this advanced section of the guide, Ill show you how to get real results from social.Real results, aka profits not just likes, retweets, and followers. Because last time I checked, you cant pay your bills with Facebook likes.Take me to part 5Part 6: Build a Customer Machine with Pay Per Click AdvertisingPPC, or pay per click, means paid advertising. Youve seen these types of ads on Google, Facebook, and Twitter. PPC is great for more advanced businesses because when you get it working, its very scalable and provides a predictable ROI. It is a Page 14The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -powerful tool for growing your business. But the downside is that you need to know your numbers or risk running ads that cost more than theyre worth (bye, bye money and time). Ill show you how to get started without using your money to guess what works.Take me to part 6Part 7: Creating & Leveraging Relationships That Boost Your Traffic QuicklyOne of the quickest ways to build authority is by getting other people to share your material. You can use other peoples lists to gain credibility, build your email list, and get more sales. But spamming top-name bloggers with your affiliate marketing proposal is the wrong way to do it. In Part 7, Ill show you how to build relationships with journalists, bloggers, and podcasters. Those connections will grow your fan base, build your reputation, and position you as an authority faster than you would have ever thought possible.Take me to part 7Page 15The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -PART 2Your 5-Step Digital Marketing PlanMost people dont plan at all. They just come up with a marketing idea, pursue it blindly, and hope for the best. What happens is, they inevitably run into roadblocks and when they do, theyve already spent so much time and money that theyre hesitant to change anything and thats where they get into big trouble.Before moving forward with any of the strategies in this guide, decide WHY youre marketing and WHO youre marketing to.(WARNING:) DO NOT skip these first two steps. I call this The Shrug Effect. When you say know your market everyone nods and shrugs Yeah yeah, Ramit, I got it but nobody actually does it.Page 16The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Step 1: Know who your customer isA huge mistake is trying out digital marketing (running just a few Facebook ads, writing blog posts, or creating social media profiles) without first being crystal clear on WHO youre trying to reach. In my flagship course on starting an online business, Zero to Launch, I talk about the Immersion Strategy, which is a way to understand your customer better than they know themselves through deep research.Its easier to set up a bunch of websites and landing pages and Google Analytics than to actually understand people. But when you do the work up front, everything becomes easier: You know exactly what to publish on your blog every time you sit down to write You instinctively understand the perfect audience of buyers for your ads You naturally start to form relationships with bigger businesses, creating profitable partnerships almost effortlesslyKnowing your customers better than they know themselves: Immersion Strategy 1011. Be playful and approach research with a childs mind. What I mean by that is, be open to whatever you may find gather notes on things like interesting phrases you find or surprising admissions from your market.2. Use a variety of sources when researching your market Google searches, articles, Amazon reviews, Q&A sites like Page 17The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Quora and Reddit, and 1-on-1 conversations with people.3. Keep a running list of every time someone in your market mentions something about the following: a pain point, a fear, a hope, a dream, an obstacle. These are the deep emotional words and phrases that give you a clear picture of your market.Make sure your market will pay. Take Immersion a step further with this exclusive video from Zero to Launch. In it, I dive deep into the strategies, systems, and secrets you can use to check if your idea will make you money.Well talk about: How to find a market that will beg for your product or service (and why your market cant be everyone) The 3-step validation method you can use today to see if anyone cares about your idea and what to do if they dont How to get OTHER people excited about what you have to offer. Im talking about people like customers, bloggers, and market influencers people who will help you SELL your idea 18The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Step 2: Know where your customers are & what they REALLY wantWhen I was an undergrad at Stanford, I decided to teach my friends about personal finance.I printed up all these agendas (double-sided, to save money), reserved spots, even got a bunch of my friends to say they would come.Nobody came.It took me years to figure out why. Do you know?First, I talked about financial literacy. Big mistake. People want more money, freedom, options. Nobody wants to be financially literate. Its naggy!Second, I focused on a group of people (college kids) who NOTORIOUSLY hate being nagged about money. Its irrelevant, since theyre not earning it yet!But like a delusional entrepreneur, I told myself that people should listen. Once you use the word should, youve already lost.It didnt matter how technically accurate my talk was. It didnt matter what my friends logically stood to gain. I chose the wrong audience, and that was it.Its like you telling your friend she should break up with her horrible, no-job-having boyfriend. Yeah, she shouldbut shes not going to. Not until shes ready.Page 19The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Same thing with digital marketing. Youll see a bunch of people giving you tactical tips like 14 Ways to Make Money with PPC, but one of the most important lessons you can actually learn isGO TO THE BUYERS.There are tons of looky-loos, especially online which means its easy to waste your time and resources marketing to people that will never buy.If you take away one thing about running a profitable online business from this guide, make it this: You have to find people who will pay.When you learn how to find the buyers, youll get these kinds of results:This is not random. A huge part of your success in starting an online business comes from consciously choosing who youre attracting and who youre repelling.What if you could find the people who already get it? People who are all-in, paying attention, and dying for you to share your special something?Page 20The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Let me show you how in this video:Step 3: Set one goalWhen it comes to digital marketing, people tend to jump from one shiny object to the next Twitter! Facebook ads! Blogging daily! All of these can make money, but only when done with intention. Most people never focus on a strategy long enough to see any results. In fact, they often dont even know the result they are looking for! (For example Twitter followers is not a result unless youve found a landlord that takes that as payment.)The way to grow is to focus on the ONE result you want from your marketing plan. Do you want: To grow your email list? Make more sales? Snag a high-profile speaking gig? Get featured in the New York Times? 21The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Once you laser in on ONE goal, what you need to do to get there becomes much easier to figure out. Then, when you reach one goal, you can apply what you learned (planning, timing, and focus) to checking off the next from your list.Heres an excerpt from an interview I did with my longtime friend Noah Kagan.Noah is a master at helping people (and himself) get laser-focused on their goals. Pay special attention at 3:53 where he talks about the strategy that has made him the most successful, financially and otherwise.Now, I want to challenge you to do what Noah said.Pick the biggest goal that you want to accomplish with your digital marketing. Maybe its to get 10,000 people on your list, make $25,000 in revenue, or get featured in a major publication like Forbes or the New York Times.Whatever that goal is for you, declare it. And then mark your calendar for one year from today. 22The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -I work with a lot of people who want to start an online business. Its a very exciting time for them but its also challenging to know what to focus on, who to listen to, and what bright and shiny objects are worth their time.So I ask them, Whats your number one goal? If they say, I want to get 5,000 people on my list in one year, then we have something very concrete to work with.When they come to the group and say, I was doing such and such on Twitter the other day, the group will immediately call them out and say, Is Twitter going to help you get to 5,000 people on your email list?In 95% of the cases, the answer is no. Twitter might be more fun than doing what it takes to get 5,000 email subscribers, but its not going to be a real win for the business.Having that kind of focus is what has enabled me to grow my business from nothing 12 years ago to now being a million-dollar business with 30,000 students all over the world.Limiting your options may seem scary, but if you do it, your chances of accomplishing your goal increase exponentially.Step 4: Where you are comes before where you want to beWhen you open the Maps app on your phone, whats the first thing that happens? Before the route is laid out, before you even plug in your destination, the app pinpoints your current location. Its impossible to map out your path before you know where youre starting.Page 23The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -At GrowthLab, we approach online business as a SYSTEM.Thats why were not digging right into marketing tactics and instead looking at high-level strategy. We figure out where we are. Map out the route. And then execute.To start, I highly recommend you focus on email marketing (Part 3) and content marketing (Part 4). Then, once you are more advanced, move on to the other parts of this guide.Every day, people come to me frantic and frazzled by all the details of their businesses. No wonder theyre overwhelmed! In this video, Im sharing the secret to successfully operating your business and your life without getting overwhelmed.Throughout this guide, I will be mainly sharing free ways to market your site. However, some of the more advanced strategies like Pay Per Click advertising cost money. Its important when deciding which strategies to focus on to understand how (or if) youll make that money back.Thats why I encourage you to focus on the fundamentals first. 24The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Get a good idea of your market, your audience, and your numbers. Then, as you grow, you can invest back into your business.Step 5: Work BackwardsOnce you know your market, know your goal, and know what to focus on, its just a matter of simple math to create your plan.Noah Kagan (scroll up for an introduction to Noah) calls this quant-based marketing.Lets say the following two facts are true:1. Your goal is 1,000 new email subscribers in one year Currently you are getting an average of 10 new subscribers per week2. At the current rate, youll get 520 subscribers if you continue doing what youre doing now. (10 subscribers/week x 52 weeks per year).ACRONYM TO KNOWROI: Return on InvestmentEvery dollar that goes out of your business (including for digital marketing) should result in more than a dollar coming in. Thats a positive ROI. If you spend more on an activity than you make, thats a negative ROI and you should stop doing it. Its that simple. You need to know if a promotion is making or losing money so you can adjust accordingly.Page 25The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -So to reach your goal, you need to essentially double your current subscriber rate.To do that you have 2 options:1. Double your conversions (meaning twice as many of the people that visit your site opt in to your list)2. Double your traffic (meaning more total people land on your site each week)Do you see how now you have a solid start to work from?If you look at your numbers and decide that you want to double your conversion, you can ignore all the other shiny tactics and just work on getting more opt-ins.If you decide to focus on traffic, you can use the digital marketing strategies that I detail in rest of this guide.If more subscribers is your goal, I have an in-depth guide to getting more email subscribers. Get the exact list-building strategies Ive used to grow my list to over 500,000. You can get it here:Get the exact strategies 26The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -PART 3Email Marketing, the Lifeblood of Your BusinessMy friend John Lee Dumas runs the top-ranked business podcast Entrepreneur on Fire. He asks this famous question to all his guests:Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world, identical to earth, but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have. Your food and shelter are taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500. What would you do in the next 7 days?To me, the answer couldnt be any clearer.Start building an email list.Maybe youve heard this before: The money is in the list. 27The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -After 12 years of running an online business and generating millions in sales, I can tell you this is 100% true.Here are 3 reasons why all your digital marketing efforts (at least at first) should be focused on building an email list: 28The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Email should always be a benefit to your reader, not just to youToo many marketers preach how to suck every penny out of your email list. Upsells, downsells, cross sells, trip-wires the list goes on and on. Here at GrowthLab, we have a different approach.We want our subscribers to be excited to open our emails. Every single email we send out has to be valuable whether the reader is ready to buy or not.I have students that were on my email list for 5 YEARS before they bought anything. And we were here when they were ready.How do we do it? How do we keep someone engaged for half a decade?Ive made a commitment to give away 98% of my material for freeand to make that free material better than anyone elses paid stuff.For example, I often offerfree email coursesto my list. The most popular was our20X Your Potential Challenge, a course I co-designed with a former Navy SEAL on how to build mental toughness and overcome self-doubt.Thousands of students have participated, sharing their experience with#ICanDo20Xon Twitter.My good friend David Kadavy atDesign for Hackersgrows his list dramatically each summer with his free mini-courseSummer of Design. For 40 days, he teaches the theories behind design, so you can understand how design works. 29The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -When people are excited to open and read your emails, theyll be more excited to buy from you later.Anybody can buy a domain name, publish a few blog posts, and post on Twitter or Facebook. But if you want to build a real online business, with real revenue one that pays you to share your passions with the world you have to know how to build an audience. Not just passive social followers who liked you when they were bored one day, but engaged email subscribers who cant wait to hear from you.That means keeping those subscribers engaged, and converting them into paying customers.This is by far the most challenging part of starting an online business.I created a guide on how to turn traffic into customers. In this guide, youll learn:ACRONYM TO KNOWCTR: Click Through RateYour click-through rate is how many people click a link in your email. Whether you send them to a sales page, a post to comment, a survey, or a bonus to download, click-through rate measures how people are interacting with your email. A high CTR means that people are interested in what youre giving them. A low CTR means your readers may be skimming or ignoring your content.Page 30The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing - A technique to crush writers block and consistently create high-quality content that people want to share How to quickly grow your email listeven from scratch A guest posting strategy that virtually guarantees tons of traffic back to your siteYou can get instant access to the guide here:Get instant access to the guide 31The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -PART 4Harness The Traffic-Building Power of Remarkable Content MarketingYou know it when you see it.From the opening words to the very last sentence, you cant stop reading it. It effortlessly pulls you down the page. It intrigues you. It tells a great story. It makes you feel good.When youve devoured the final word, you bookmark it and share it with your friends. Turns out, youre not the only one who loved it either. At the bottom of the post, you see hundreds of comments. Thousands of social shares.All from people praising the writer. All from readers begging for more.Page 32The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Welcome to the world of remarkable content.Youve seen awesome writing like this, right? Work that creates reputations and builds businesses.Maybe you read people like Tim Ferriss, Neil Patel, Brian Clark, or one of the other big-name bloggers who regularly produce high-caliber material you cant get enough of.Their amazing content turned them into respected experts, helped them build a loyal fan base, and opened up huge opportunities in their business and personal lives. And it all started with great content.Neil Patel Remarkable Content Master In 2015, my friend Neil Patel published a comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide to Search Engine Optimization. It has video lessons, definitions, infographics, easy get-started tactics, advanced strategies, and more. Most $500+ SEO courses dont share this much. The result? Its been shared on social over 2,000 times and has over 200 comments that continue to add up almost a year later. This is the power of remarkable content.At GrowthLab and IWT, remarkable content has been the 33The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -cornerstone of our success.Before email. Before social. And long before I spent a single penny on ads, I produced great content.To this day, content is what keeps my readers coming back and new readers coming in. Content like my Ultimate Guides. I give more away in my Ultimate Guides than most bloggers offer in their paid courses.Publishing remarkable content isnt some weird strategy that only worked for big bloggers like Neil Patel and me. Thousands of my students have grown their traffic with content marketing.Page 34The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -SUCCESS STORYJoyce AkikoThe self-taught coder who got over 25,000 views on LifehackerJoyce spent years learning how to be a freelance programmer. One day, she decided to share what shed learned along the way in a single, detailed blog post. Because she spent time upfront making the content truly remarkable, her post resonated with tens of thousands of people. In fact, it was so good, one of the writers at Lifehacker decided to feature her work. That one feature alone got more than 25,000 views and brought hundreds of new subscribers to her list.SUCCESS STORYSelena SooThe publicity coach who made $30,000 from one guest postAnother one of my graduates, Selena, created one viral guest post. Because of how personal and detailed the post was, it received 250 comments, over 1000 shares, and she attracted over 2000 new subscribers to her mailing list.The end result: she earned more than $30,000 from that ONE guest post.Page 35The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -So how do you do this in your business?Every piece of remarkable content mentioned above has the same 7 critical features. 36The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -So how do you know if content is remarkable?Great content should have comments like these, from a post I wrote ongetting a meeting with anyone.Readers are excited to interact with content that they love. They comment on, reply to, and share your content.ACRONYM TO KNOWKPI: Key Performance IndicatorHere at GrowthLab, we use Google Analytics. But no matter what analytics software you use, there are a few key performance indicators, or key pieces of data you should look at regularly. These KPIs give an overall indication of the effectiveness of your digital marketing. For blog posts, one KPI to track is the bounce rate. The bounce rate tracks how many people leave your site after visiting just one page. If your reader is engaged, they will click other areas of your site, so a low bounce rate is a good sign of remarkable content. 37The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -You can start using content to drive traffic right now (and it doesnt cost anything to use content marketing). I break down how to make time and write, edit, and promote your own remarkable content in my Ultimate Guide to Remarkable Content. You can download the entire guide below.Download the guide 38The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -PART 5Social Media That SellsYears ago, I actually hired a firm to help with social media.They posted those stupid inspirational quote board pictures, saying things like If you dream it, you can do it. Or:When I logged on and saw that picture, I almost threw my laptop out of my window. Can you imagine me ever saying anything like that? After I explained that I would rather tie my own neck to an elephants tail and let myself get dragged for miles along a rocky Page 39The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -desert, they continued posting sayings more appropriate for a life coach convention. I fired them.Thats the problem with most social media experts out there today. They give vague and useless soundbites like Join the conversation! and Engage!But social media marketing is like any digital marketing strategy you need to have return on investment. And trust me, theres no ROI on generic, off-brand, inspirational phrases.Marketers expect social media to be a magic bullet that will drive thousands of visitors overnight. Theres a reason that social media marketing is behind strategy, email, and content in this guide social media should not be the first strategy you focus on.Theres a few reasons for this:1. You dont own your social media followers. If Twitter goes out of business or Facebook changes its policies (which it has, several times, to the detriment of many businesses), youre in trouble.2. Think of how you use social you are looking for quick hits. You scroll quickly, click quickly, and leave quickly. Its difficult to make lasting or long-term impressions.3. Social can get out of hand quicklyFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, Vine, LinkedIn, Pinterestthe list is continually growing and theres always someone out there trying to convince you that you must be on the newest platform.In fact, for years, I didnt do any social media marketing at all. But, as I learned from my friend Laura Roeder, once you have the foundation, social can be a powerful force multiplier in your business.Page 40The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Laura Roeder A Different Approach to Social After the life-coachy social expert from above, I was ready to abandon social all together. Then Laura Roeder showed mea new way to look at social media marketing. Social is simply another way to go where the fish are (seePart 2of this guide for more on this concept). You are bringing your message to where your customers are already spending time Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. So I started using my already-written content and the strategies below. Now GrowthLab consistently gets new leads from multiple social media channels.Content Marketing + Social Media Marketing = Unstoppable Traffic MachineStrategy #1: Put your best content on autopilotYou dont have to (and shouldnt) spend hours posting on social media. You can take the remarkable content you created inPart 4 and schedule it to automatically post on multiple channels. Many tools out there will do this for you. The two that we use at GrowthLab areBufferandEdgar. 41The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Free Option: BufferGo to Buffer.comBuffer shares your content at the best possible times throughout the day on multiple social media channels.Advantages Buffer is free to start and easy to set up. You simply link your social media channels, add a post, and its done. You can also add a Chrome extension to quickly share and schedule interesting articles you find.Disadvantages You still have to schedule posts one at a time. While it saves time over adding each link in to each social media account, it still is a time-consuming task. When we were using Buffer exclusively, it took hours every week to load the posts for the week. 42The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing - Youll have to watch to make sure the time you spend is giving you positive ROI.Paid Option: EdgarGo to MeetEdgar.comEdgar draws from a library of posts you create, then schedules them at times you choose or times that your audience is engaged. You may have months or years of great content that your new followers would normally never see now your followers always get great content, and you dont have to constantly come up with original posts.Advantages Edgar is a huge time saver. You only have to load each post once and then its saved forever. You can also create types of content like blog posts, outside links, funny jokes, that will rotate on a schedule. 43The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Disadvantages At $49 per month for the starter package, youll have to evaluate if youll be able to get ROI on the tool. Weve found the time saved alone was worth the investment for our team.Strategy #2: Turn your thank you page into a viral loop machineHave you ever signed up for an email list through a website, hit the opt-in button, and been redirected to another page? We call those thank you pages.Most people overlook this critical piece and leave a generic confirmation message on there. But you can turn your page into an engine that drives your viral loop across the web.First, let me explain how we did it with a free 5-day course.As usual, we sent everyone to a thank you page after they entered their email and signed up.On the page, we embedded a tweet and Facebook post. And we asked readers to share or retweet.Page 44The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Heres what it looked like:So on your thank you page,embed the tweet(and screenshot the FB post) and write a line or two asking them to share it.The copy doesnt need to be fancy. You can follow our example 45The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -above and write, Retweet on Twitter Hit the retweet button, or click here to retweet.Or, Share on FacebookClick the share button above, or click here to share.Strategy #3: Get your biggest fans to spread the wordYouve got the foundation down. Next you want to get your fans to help you out. Send your email list a message announcing your sticky idea. Heres an example of what we sent out:Of course, your email list will be the #1 source of sign-ups.But when you mention the free course, since its a sticky idea, something else happens. Your readers will want to spread the Page 46The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -word to people who are interested in the same thing.When they see the social sharing buttons on the thank you page, theyll think, I dont want my friends to miss this!And with the option to share right there, theyre more likely to take action.You can see the results for yourself: 474 retweets and 124 shares on Facebook.For a company that didnt focus on social media until recently, thats a lot. It also got tons of engagement and built a lot of buzz.The friends of your biggest fans who see these retweets and shares will go directly to your landing page for the webinar or mini-course. And a good number of them will sign up, which Page 47The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -means fresh names for your email list.At GrowthLab, we set benchmarks for campaigns like this. On two recent ones, as I mentioned, we crushed our opt-in goals by 49% and 57%, just by using those exact steps.You can do the same to boost your opt-ins. How do you decide which content to promote on social?No two pieces of remarkable content are the same. But there are a few key components that every extremely successful piece must have.I show you exactly how to create content ideas for social or ACRONYM TO KNOWCTA: Call To ActionEvery post, no matter what the medium (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Email all of them) should have a call to action. This a prompt for your reader to DO something. Examples of actions are commenting, sharing, and opting-in. The CTA gets your reader involved and engaged with your content. If there is no call to action, they will read your content, move on with their lives, and forget all about you. By making them take action, you take the first step in building a relationship, which is the center of effective digital marketing.Page 48The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -evaluate the content you already have in a free resource,The Anatomy of a Viral Blog Post.Click here for instant access 49The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -PART 6Build a Customer Machine with Pay Per Click AdvertisingYou wouldnt believe how many people I know who run companies doing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in revenue with pay per click advertising.And they brag about getting customers at $0.25 a click. They say to me, Its so good, Ramit. I have a scalable engine.What theyre talking about is going to Facebook or Google, spending $1, and making $2. Thats the dream. Thats when paid advertising really works.Pay per click advertising is also called paid acquisition, PPC, or pay-per-click. It all means the same thing the ads you see people running on Facebook and Google. There are other channels for pay per click, but the big ones are Facebook Ads and Google AdWords.Page 50The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Timing is everythingPaid acquisition strategies (like PPC) can work. But the key for you as a business owner is knowing which of these strategies to apply, and when.For example, if you start off from day one spending $5,000 a month on PPC, youre dead. You dont know your numbers yet. Youre just throwing away money and burning it.We spent years and years doing guest posts before we even thought about PPC. Follow our lead and remember: Timing is everything. Dont be in a rush.Now, some businesses have cracked the code and done it beautifully.But its difficult. It takes a lot of sophistication to know if its actually working.I have friends who spend $5,000 to $25,000 a month on paid ads. And many of them dont even know if they are making a profit.Hows that possible? Because they spend $25,000 and then they make $40,000 but theyre not sure if its from people who came through paid ads or from something else. They dont have the tracking in place.For successful pay per click advertising, you need to know your numbers. It comes down to one key number, your CPA.Page 51The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Lets break down how we figure out our CPA and use that information to find out if were getting a return on investment for a sample Facebook ad.ACRONYM TO KNOWCPA: Cost Per AcquisitionThe cost per acquisition is simply, how much money does it cost to get one paying customer? Its easy to get distracted by other data points (likes, shares, clicks, conversions), but the ONLY way to calculate your return on investment is to know how much money you are spending for each customer. So for example, if you sell a $10 ebook using advertising, your CPA needs to be less than $10. That means if you spend $100 on ads, you need at least 10 paying customers (not just email subscribers) from the promotion for it to break even.Page 52The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing - 53The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Start with simple Facebook Ads (NOT Google AdWords). Heres why.Facebook allows you to advertise to a very specific type of person the kind most likely to buy from you. You can filter who sees your ad by criteria like: Location Age Gender Interests (what pages they like or follow) Education level (including fields of study, schools theyve attended, or graduation year) Behaviors like recent websites theyve visited or if they use mobile And connections like friends of people who follow meWhen youre ready to advertise on Facebook, you can use the information you gathered in the Immersion Phase (Find the Immersion Strategy in Part 2) to get very specific about who you target.If you wanted, you could target females in your town under 35 who followRamit Sethis IWTto build an email list of potential brides.The point is, when you get super-specific with who you reach, you avoid spending money showing your ad to people that will never buy from you.(See how doing the work to understand your customer makes advanced marketing strategies like paid media easier to execute, and more profitable for your business? Thats why we encourage taking the steps in order.) 54The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Derek Halpern Doing PPC Right My friend Derek Halpern uses Facebook ads to promote his remarkable content. In this ad, he collects email addresses in return for a free mini-series on how to build profitable online courses. People that want a free mini-series on this topic are the perfect market of potential buyers for his premium material.Do you need a fancy website before you drive traffic to your site?Absolutely not.Its a huge mistake to delay driving traffic to your website for reasons like design, colors, or font choices.You can convert traffic to buyers with only theremarkable content you created in Part 4and a simple website.I recorded a 9-minute video that shows you the 5 components you need for a website that sells.Watch video now 55The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -PART 7Creating & Leveraging Relationships That Boost Your Traffic QuicklyWhat happens when the big boys play together, when you see a guest post on a major media site? When you see an article on Lifehacker? When you see theNew York Timesciting an author or even letting an author write his own post on their blog?These things dont happen the same way that ordinary guest posts happen. Theres one distinguishing factor, and that is relationships.There are a ton of sites out there about affiliate marketing. And to be honest, a lot of them promote tactics that may work in the short term, but cannot create a sustainable marketing strategy.In this guide, Im not going to talk about ClickBank or where to find people who will pitch your products to your list without knowing you. Just like anything, there is no magic push button Page 56The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -business strategy, despite what the rest of the internet will tell you.The truth is, for the people that are doing affiliate marketing right, its all about relationships. You may not have those today, but Ill show you how to have them tomorrow. This section is all about what happens at the highest levels and it starts with content and building your email list (are you sensing a theme in this guide?). Personally when I started off, I would have killed to have known how it happens because it was all dark magic to me.How big partnerships happen onlineI want to take you behind the scenes and share what happens when big partnerships go down.Tim Ferriss Using the Surround Sound Effect My good friend Tim Ferriss launched the wildly successful Four Hour Work Week with no money and no connections by creating what he calls thesurround sound effect. The more people hear about your product or site from different sources, the more theyll start to take it seriously as something they need to check out. Incidentally, two of my most popular guest posts ever were on Tims site:The psychology of automating your financesand more recently, The real-world blueprint for a $5 57The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -million week. (Note how comprehensive these posts were. If I hadnt focused on content first, these would not have brought the success they did.)Check out this video for how this is done.Next, Ill show you how to start the process and meet people who youd like to have partnerships with.How to use email to meet powerful new partnersThis is trickier than you might think. We know people whove tried to schedule a call with a busy person, and after repeated back-and-forth scheduling emails, the busy person simply gave up and said, Sorry, I just dont have time.Your goal is to minimize the back and forth and make it easy for the busy person to find time to talk to you.Here are a five important things to keep in mind when you write the email: 58The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -1. You (the lower-status person who wants to talk to the busy person) should initiate the call, but provide your phone number in case they want to speak to you right nowBy the way, dont get offended by my use of the phrase lower-status. Lets be candid: If you want something from someone else, in this situation, you are lower-status.Whether its less famous, less wealthy, less successful, less important, or less busy, thats just the way it is. Remember, YOU want something from THEM. Its important to recognize this and work around the busy persons schedule. That means:2. Dont make them thinkYou cant ask them to work around your schedule, but at the same time you want to make it easy for them to say, yes. Dont make them come up with a bunch of times that work. Instead, offer them a couple of different options for times that would work for the call. That respects their schedule, and leaves the final decision in their hands, but doesnt require a lot of thought.3. Send your email when theyre most likely to read itYou wouldnt believe how many people email complex questions to a busy person on a Friday afternoon.Why? Why would you send something requiring lots of work to someone on their way out for a weekend?The answer: OhI didnt think about that.Page 59The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -If you dont think about the busy person, you lose.To maximize your chance of getting a response, email a busy person when theyre most likely to read and process it.In other words: Do NOT email a busy person on Monday morning Do NOT email a busy person on their birthday (unless its a simple happy birthday message)Instead, think when theyre most receptive. Maybe at lunch? Maybe Sunday night when theyre prepping for their week?4. Make it impossible to skip with great formattingBad formatting can scuttle even the most helpful, interesting email.Use paragraph breaks and bullet points liberally to make your email easy to read.Also, send it in plain text rather than HTML so it can be easily read on a mobile device. For VIP emails, I like to send myself a test to make sure its readable and any URLs are clickable.5. Use correct grammar and spellingLazy typos signal laziness. Use proper punctuation and capitalization.Dont use lower case is or texting abbreviations. An email should be more polished than a text message.Page 60The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Always proofread your email. Let the reader focus on your well-crafted message, not the fact that you still do not know the difference between its and its.You wouldnt think Id need to say this, but I do.If you keep those 5 things in mind, youve got a great shot at getting a positive response, but let me give you an example of these principles in action.Lets say a college student (low status) needs to email a CEO (high status). A great email would look like this:Page 61The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -With a couple of tweaks, this email can be used to email any busy person in any situation.How to use these partnerships to build your list, promote your events, or sell your coursesThere are advanced (and expensive) software platforms that you can use to track affiliates, but you dont need these at first. These are 3 strategies you can use todaySimple Strategy #1: Guest post to build your listI love talking about guest posting because Ive written guest posts on sites like Lifehacker, Four Hour Workweek, evenThe New York Times. All of them have been instrumental in helping me grow my business. So the strategy Im sharing works and continues to work.And I really want to share it with you because almost everybody does this the wrong way!Watch this quick video for 3 strategies for effective guest posts.Page 62The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Simple Strategy #2: Dollar-per-lead campaignOne way we entice affiliates to help us build our list is by offering a dollar for every confirmed lead they send us.Heres how to do it:1. At first, start off with just a few affiliates. You can do this using social (we used Instagram affiliates) or a more traditional email campaign.2. Based on your numbers (which we went over in Part 6), offer your partners and affiliates a bonus for each confirmed lead they refer. We offered a dollar per lead during this promotion.3. Set up a unique landing page for simple tracking this way you can easily see where the leads came from.4. On the landing page youll want to offer a lead magnet or carrot to entice the referrals to opt-in. (Heres how to come up with a good carrot). 63The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Simple Strategy #3: Coupon code for courses and eventsAn easy way to ask your friends and partners to promote a course is by offering them swipe emails to send to their list with a coupon code. You write an email selling your product, service, or event, and then they can edit for their own voice and list. Its best when they add their own personality, because lets face it, weve all received generic emails that we know the sender didnt write himself. At the end of the email, offer a coupon code ACRONYM TO KNOWLTV: Life Time ValueThe lifetime value is how much a customer is worth to you over time. Here at GrowthLab, our customers have a high lifetime value because they often purchase multiple products as their business grows. We already talked about cost per acquisition with a $10 ebook in Part 6. Lets say your CPA for the ebook is $10. If thats all you offer, then you are breaking even on the promotion and its a waste of time. But, if your customers upgrade to a $99 video course after purchasing the ebook, a CPA of $10 or more is great! Your customers have a LTV, or lifetime value of $109 dollars, meaning youre getting 1000% ROI. Once you know your LTV, you know how much of a cut you can profitably offer affiliates to sell your products. The higher your LTV, the better deal you can offer affiliates, and the more the traffic in the market tilts in your favor.Page 64The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -for a discount at checkout. That way, you can track where the buyer came from and you can offer an affiliate bonus without expensive software.FIELD REPORTTripling your email list in less than a yearOne of myZero to Launchstudents, Felicia Spahr, tripled her list by focusing on guest posting. She wrote a 3-Step guide for how to write a perfect guest post.Step 1: Write for their audience, not yoursYou know what your audience wants and loves to read. But the site where youre guest posting has a different audience. Look at the sites homepage, most popular posts, and read the comments to find out what that is.Page 65The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Step 2: Instantly attract readers to your websiteTo grab peoples attention, in your bio, you want to direct these readers to a special gift just for them. Everyone likes free things, so youre giving them a compelling reason to click and visit your website.Step 3: Get readers to give you their email addressesYouve given readers a link to a free gift. But where does that link go to? You want to create a dedicated landing page solely for that offer. This takes less than an hour (I recommend using a program like LeadPages), and the reward is huge.Simple Landing Page Checklist: Write a headline that greets your readers, like Welcome GrowthLab Readers! Describe in precise detail what your offer is: is it a PDF? Video? Audio recording? eBook?Page 66The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing - In about 3 bullets, tell the reader exactly how your offer is going to benefit them. What is it going to help them do? Make sure this is crystal clear so its a no-brainer for people to sign up Include an opt-in form, where people enter their names and emailsFor Felicias full guest-posting report, including examples of her most effective posts, click belowWhy would anyone publish or promote my stuff?Why do we hesitate to buy someone a drink at a bar, delay sending in our job application, or avoid asking for help?Its a simple answer. Were afraid.Were afraid of bothering someone. Were afraid of rejection. And, were afraid of what happens after they say yes.Its the same way with affiliate marketing. Were afraid to reach out and start forming these partnerships.The truth is, if youve followed this guide so far, what you have to offer will be extremely valuable to them and their audience.But, Im not going to sugar-coat it, these bloggers have hundreds of people asking them for stuff every single day. So how do you cut through the clutter and get them to say YES without Get the full guest-posting report 67The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -seeming scammy, sleazy, or self-promotional?I recorded a special video that shows you how to make an irresistible pitch (without the fear). Click here to watch the video 68The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -PART 8Whats next?Whether youre just getting started, or you already have a successful online business, youve learned some of the key systems and strategies of digital marketing and driving traffic to your site.And youve seen how to implement these in days or weeks, instead of the years and years it took me (I didnt use a few of the strategies in this guide until I hired a team to show me how).What weve covered: Too much vs. too little: how to be strategic about digital marketing (Part 1) How to deeply understand your market so you know more about their fears, hopes, and dreams than they do themselves (Part 2) The counterintuitive way that free mini-courses lead to sales of paid courses (Part 3) 7 critical features that every piece of content should have if Page 69The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -you want people to share it (Part 4) How successful businesses really use content as a free promotional strategy (Part 4) One key indicator of remarkable content and how to spot it (Part 4) The reason I fired a social media agency on the spot (Part 5) Free and paid options for saving time on social media marketing (Part 5) How to create a viral loop that makes social sharing automatic and natural (Part 5) Timing: the secret sauce of pay-per-click. Miss this and watch your money disappear (Part 6) Why I recommend Facebook ads over Google AdWords (Part 6) How big partnerships REALLY happen in affiliate marketing (Part 7) A word-for-word email script for reaching out to potential partners (Part 7)Page 70The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -We also heard from experts in digital marketing:And we deciphered some common digital marketing acronyms. Heres the ones you should know before you spend any money on marketing:Page 71The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing - 72The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing -Whats next?Now that you know the basics, I recommend two resources to continue mastering digital marketing and growing your business.#1: General Assemblys FREE Digital Marketing 101 CourseIn this free email course, youll get fundamentals of digital marketing delivered straight to your inbox. Every other day, youll receive a new lesson from brand strategy to marketing analytics to campaign management. Just like GrowthLab produces free material thats better than other peoples paid stuff, General Assembly went above and beyond with this free course.Click here to sign up, absolutely free.#2: My How I Doubled My Revenue videoI give away tons of free material about these topics. I even have a full course that takes you step-by-step from no idea to a successful online business. The course is closed now, but if you want to get a heads up when it opens again, click here and enter your email.Join the waitlist, and in the meantime, Ill send you a special video: How I Doubled My Revenue.