Many digital marketers carry out their daily tasks in a furious frenzy.
They send out email blasts, update social media, perform keyword research and so on, trying to accomplish as much as possible.
Working hard and staying busy makes us feel we’re being productive.
But how many people stop to think about why they’re doing what they’re doing?
Of course, you want to generate leads, increase brand exposure, improve conversions, etc.
But what’s the underlying purpose of your digital marketing?
What specific goals are you hoping to achieve?
In this post, I talk about how knowing your why can help you optimize and ultimately revolutionize your digital marketing strategy.
I’ll explain some specific reasons why this is worth your time.
In addition, I’m going to provide a basic formula to help you figure out your why so you can start seeing immediate benefits.
The golden circle
In 2009, author, speaker and marketing consultant Simon Sinek delivered a TED Talk called How great leaders inspire action,
He pointed out that some of the world’s most successful brands and leaders had something in common.
I believe he specifically mentioned Apple, Martin Luther King and the Wright brothers.
The overlap among them was they understand why they do what they do.
While everyone knows what they do, and many know how they do it, very few know why they do it.
He breaks this all down into what he to refers as “The Golden Circle,” which is illustrated like this:
Knowing why means you understand your purpose.
You’re not merely going through the motions and haphazardly completing tasks each day.
There’s a distinct purpose that’s driving you, which is important for three key reasons.
Digital marketing is a wide umbrella.
Here are just a few components you might integrate into your digital marketing strategy at any given time:
If you’re not sure what you’re trying to achieve, you won’t be very effective.
There’s just no way around it.
In fact, the brands lacking a purpose are often get caught up in a so-called spray-and-pray mindset, where they tinker with this and that without thinking ahead.
Taking this type of approach seldom yields favorable results and usually wastes time and money.
When you know your why, you have a clear vision of what you’re looking to accomplish and what your purpose is.
Having clarity inevitably helps you pick and choose specific digital marketing strategies and lets you know which metrics you need to measure.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say your goal is to increase leads to your website by 25% within six months.
This would provide you with a sense of direction.
All of a sudden, you know why you’re choosing certain strategies and which actions you need to take to give yourself the best possible chance of reaching that goal.
For instance, you might do the following:
- look for an analytics tool that provides in-depth insights on website traffic
- identify which three strategies/channels are bringing the bulk of your traffic
- put more of your effort into optimizing those three strategies/channels
- continually examine key metrics to spot areas of improvement
- consistently strive to improve those areas until you reach your goal of 25% more leads
Following a step-by-step approach like this is much more efficient than a spray-and-pray campaign, lacking any forethought.
Let’s say you were getting the bulk of your leads from SEO, YouTube and long-form content, but the rest of your tactics were having minimal impact.
With this knowledge, you would know you should place a bigger emphasis on SEO, YouTube and long-form content and spend far less time on the other areas.
This is basically following Pareto’s Principle (or the 80/20 Principle), where focusing on a few vital tasks allows you to achieve the biggest results.
In turn, this would make your digital marketing strategy much more efficient and enable you to hit your goal of 25% more leads more quickly and with less friction.
3. A tactical advantage
I’m a firm believer that finding success in digital marketing requires you to be a master tactician.
Everything should have a purpose, and there should be no wasted motions.
Knowing your why is critical because it enables you to plot and plan and develop a strategy.
It lets you know what data to analyze, which topics to research, which competitors to assess, which trends to capitalize on, etc.
This all boils down to giving you a tremendous tactical advantage over most of your competition.
How to figure out your why
At this point we’ve established that knowing your why is incredibly beneficial.
In many cases, it can even revolutionize your digital marketing strategy.
Now the question is, “What steps do you need to take in order to know your why?”
There are a few different ways to go about this, but here’s the formula I recommend.
It involves asking yourself a series of questions and letting your answers dictate the direction of your digital marketing.
What’s my goal/purpose?
I don’t see the need to overthink it or make things more difficult than they have to be.
At the end of the day, finding your why is simply identifying the goal/purpose of your digital marketing strategy.
What is your number one overall goal?
The trick here is to be as specific as possible.
In the example I used earlier, there was a specific goal of generating 25% more leads in six months.
It wasn’t just to “generate more leads.”
Being specific will help you develop an intelligent approach and allow you to measure your progress along the way.
Who’s my target audience?
At the core of any successful campaign is a digital marketer with a clear understanding of whom they’re trying to reach.
In other words, you must know your target audience:
You probably (and should) have at least a basic understanding of this, but if there are any questions, you need to answer them ASAP.
I won’t go into all the gory details here, but check out this guide for more on this topic.
It will help you figure out your target audience in a hurry.
Which digital marketing techniques/channels allow me to reach my target audience?
This is where things start to get interesting and where knowing your why begins to pay off.
Once you have a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish and whom you’re trying to reach, you need to figure out which avenues you’ll take to do so.
I recommend evaluating your existing techniques/channels as well as researching other possibilities.
For instance, let’s say you’re trying to figure out which social networks to focus on.
You might want to see which networks are most popular according to your target audience’s age group:
Or you might want to see which social networks produce the most shares in your industry.
You can find that out by using BuzzSumo, which you can learn more about in this post.
Which tools should I use to measure my impact?
Finally, you’ll need a way to track your progress and determine which areas need your attention.
For a basic overview of the leads coming to your site and how they’re getting there, you may want to use Google Analytics.
To check the status of your SEO campaign and to see how many backlinks you’ve acquired or which keywords you’re ranking for, etc., you might use SEMrush or Ahrefs.
And to see how your social media campaign is coming along, you might use Hootsuite Analytics.
You get the idea.
The point I’m trying to make here is that measuring your digital marketing strategy every step of the way enables you to make the right adjustments and capitalize on opportunities to increase the likelihood of your goal being actualized.
I’ll admit that “knowing your why” sounds a little bit like something you might hear from a cheesy motivational guru.
But it’s incredibly important on many different levels, especially when applied to your digital marketing strategy.
Understanding the underlying purpose of your strategy ultimately dictates what you do and how you do it.
It provides you with a clear direction.
I know I have come to some amazing revelations after taking the time to ponder my why, and these epiphanies have contributed directly to my success as a marketer.
If you take the time to know your why, I can practically guarantee it will positively impact your digital marketing strategy and provide you with the necessary framework to get the results you’re looking for with minimal setbacks.
What’s the primary goal of your digital marketing strategy?