Back when I got started, it was easy to make a killing with digital marketing. All you got to do is rank some random blog spot website, or WordPress.com website. Throw on some affiliate links and boom, you're off to the races. But things have changed a lot in marketing. In order to get decent results, most business owners have to invest a lot of money in traffic and a lot of money in automation, or content creation, or even social media. The question is, how do you invest money, in order to get results with digital marketing.
I'm going to break down, can you still do digital marketing for free? The real cost of digital marketing.
The answer isn't short, and I have a much longer version as well, which I'll go into. But the answer in short is, what doesn't cost you money, will cost you time. You can do digital marketing for free, as long as you're willing to make a consistent investment in time and effort, in order to get good results. So let's say hypothetically, you're willing to put in the time. Well if you're willing to put in the time, let me break down how you can do it for free and get results!
The first tip I have for you, is give away something that's invaluable, for free. Unlimited guides, free courses, self discovery journeys, quizzes assessment tools, proprietary industry reports, data stats, this all helps. Anything that's above and beyond. You'll notice that I didn't really say, "Hey just write a blog post." Well everyone's giving away a blog post for free. If you're not going above and beyond, doing something that's different, more unique than the competition, you' won't do that well.
The second tip for you is, leverage third party audiences. Co-host webinars. Co-host live and social media sessions on YouTube, or Facebook, or Instagram. Do round ups. You can hit up other people, do round ups, everyone wants to participate, because they're getting some love and some PR and you can link out to them. Then when you post that content, you can ask them to share it. That does really well. You also want to blog consistently. You want to create video content and even do podcast interviews. And I know this may sound like a lot, but marketing has changed to Omnichannel approach, in which one channel won't be enough now, because everyone's doing more than one channel. And these channels are getting competitive, which is why you need to take an Omnichannel approach.
The third tip I have for you, is content marketing. Look when you're creating content, you can create evergreen content that continually ranks and continually produces results for you, year after year, even though you wrote that content you know, two, three years ago. That's the beautiful part about content marketing. Sure you may need it updated here and there, but that doesn't take that long. Now the key with content marketing, because there's already over a billion blogs on the web. That's roughly one blog for every seven people. That means there's too much content that already exists. So the key with content marketing, is to write stuff that people really want to read. What I want you to do is, type in the key words that you're trying to write content around and to Ubersuggest. It could be one or two word phrases. It can be, you know, general theme based key words, like SEO or marketing. And in Ubersuggest, I want you to click on the content ideas report.
This will show you all the other blog topics that were written on this subject, that were popularly based on social shares and backlinks. Typically, if a post has a lot of backlinks, that means it's getting a lot of traffic, and social shares means that's it doing really well from the perspective that people want to share it on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. And the cool part about the content ideas report on Ubersuggest is, it also shows you how much traffic each blog post gets from Google, based on the queuers that they rank for, even shows you those key words. So it will tell you what you should be targeting, versus what you shouldn't be.
Now the fourth tip I have for you, push out a ton of video content and when I mean video content, I'm not just talking about recording your video, like you're watching right here. That could be on YouTube or Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn. I'm also talking about doing live video, right? You can do simulcasting, so that way you can go on live on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, all at once. Keep this in mind. YouTube is the second largest search engine. So by producing video content, you can get a ton of love, just from YouTube. The Neil Patel YouTube channel alone, gets more than 20% of its views just from search on any given month. On the good months, I'm getting over 30% of my views, just from search.
The fifth tip I have for you, is podcasting. At interesting stuff, according to Nielsen, 51% of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast. 80% of the people who listen, listen to almost each of the whole podcast episode. In other words, they're truly glued. They're not just there for a few minutes and the bouncing away. 80% listen to the whole episode and are truly engaged, which means that when you have offers that you're pushing out in your podcast, there's a good chance you can get conversions from it as well.
Also with podcasting, you can use syndication platforms, like Omnystudio, Podcast Blastoff, Zencast FM, Acast, Pinecast, Podomatic, ShoutEngine, Podigee. Repurposing your other content and turning it into podcast content, is super easy. You can just bust out your iPhone, start recording on it and then boom, start uploading it. I use LipSyn. That's what most people use for their podcast. This strategy is so effective, that my Podcast marketing school that I co-host with Eric Siu, gets over one million downloads a month, literally, one million downloads a month.
The sixth tip I have for you, Facebook groups. Create a benefit oriented group. For example, you can create a group about growing your local business through Facebook apps. Yeah, you may not get a million members, but the members you have will be super engaged, and are much more likely to convert in the long run, because it's about a specific topic and that topic should be related to products and services that you offer. You want to give away a ton of valuable tips, create content and video content, not just link out to your site, but content that just keeps people on these platforms and educates. The moment you create content that links people off, you'll find that your reach just dwindles down.
And what you want to do is, 10% of the time is promote your products or service. So when you're creating 10 pieces of content, nine should be about education and helping. One should be about promoting your products and services. And typically, when I do that one that's promoting my product or service, I still educate, but at the same time, I promote. Right, so for example, I'm giving all these tips about marketing. I could say, "Hey if you're struggling "and you need additional help, "you can check out my ad agency Neil Patel Digital." Right, it's true. I'm promoting it, but at the same time, I'm blending it in for example. Now I typically do that throughout the end, or wherever it makes sense within my content, but that should help you, because when you do that smooth transition, I found that it converts much better.
The seventh tip I have for you, is build an email list and leverage automation. So you can use tools like Hello Bar, to build an email list. It's free. It allows you to collect emails through sliders, exit popups, super effective. I know you may not like them, but if someone's leaving your website, what do you have to lose? Over 90% of the people are probably never going to come back. So might as well have an exit pop up, that collects information, so you can get them to come back. And if you're doing this, might as well leverage push notifications as well, because then through push notifications, through tools like subscribers, you can also do automation. For example, for your e-commerce site, you can be like, "Hey this product's almost sold out. "Or get free shipping, "click here to actually buy this product." And you can do that based on what pages people are viewing on your site.
The eighth tip I have for you, is use funnels, instead of going straight to selling. Look, everyone's just like, "Sell, sell, sell." You know, think about this. Let's say you're in a relationship, or if you're not, your parents were in a relationship. You know and they had you, hence you're here. Your parents probably didn't just meet each other and be like, "Hey let's get married." You probably would've never existed, and they would've run away from each other. What's realistic is, they met each other, they liked each other, they went on a few dates. They got to know each other. Then eventually they went out to have coffee, or a restaurant. Fast forward another six months, they may have moved in together. Keep fast forwarding. They may have met each other's parents and all their friends. And then after a few years, then they get married. See, think of that same concept, but on the internet. Someone comes to your website, you're like, "Marry me, marry me, give me your wallet. "Spend, spend, spend." That doesn't work as well as educating, getting to know people.
So what I like doing is creating a ton of content. Like this video. My blog content. Podcast content. Then I create email sequences that keep messaging, sending messages out to you and educating at the same time. From there, I then can sell you on products and services, after I'm helping you out and educating you. It's a great way to generate sales, versus just being like, "Buy, buy, buy." In other words, you want to continue to add value, and don't just put selling first, but put people first and help them out before you try to ask for anything.