Digital Marketing 2020: Tips for planning your online strategy this year

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By Dr. Bryan Hawley

When it comes to digital marketing, the challenge is that most people have one mentality: If I build up enough followers on social media it will make me a bunch of money period. Well this used to be true—until the algorithms changed.

A little less than a year ago, Facebook changed its algorithm (yes again) with something called organic reach. As a result, trying to get free traffic from Facebook at any type of scale to make money or sales really doesn’t work.

Of course it’s great if you get 100 likes or even 1,000 likes for a couple of posts; however, you can’t eat “likes,” you can’t deposit “shares,” you can’t pay bills with smiley faces and thumbs up, so just getting notices on your posts isn’t going help.

So, what are some of the tricks that you can do going into 2020? Well let me share three with you right now. They’re kind of secretive, so don’t go telling anyone else; we’ll keep this just between us.

  1. Start off by what I call “actually caring about the customer trick.” You see, people can actually tell if you are trying to sell them on something. It’s almost as if we were energy beings putting off vibrations (what a concept) of intent and goodwill, or just trying to make a sale and get something from someone.
  2. Take the time to listen to what your customers have to say. You might think that they want “X” but what they really desire “Y.” By listening, you might be able to show customers how to go directly to Y and not even worry about X—but you won’t know that unless you listen.
  3. Finally, try actually helping them with their issues before pitching an offer. Now that’s a mindful concept right there!

It’s sounds good, but how do we actually do it? Maybe you have a product or service and know deep down inside that if you could only get it out there to the masses it would help millions. How do you do that and follow the 3 steps above?

Social media is a great channel, since billions of potential customers and people you can help are online everyday. However, to make it work you need to know the latest trends. Now, I will admit that a few years ago you could create a course, write a book or invent the latest widget, place a paid ad on social media and voila, you had pillow profits coming in. Not so much anymore, so you need to follow the steps herein.

In aligning with step 1, writing ads or blogs from a desperation or lack-of mentality will never have the effect of getting the masses to stand up. The energy is just not there to attract customers. It works the same in digital as it does in real-life contact with people. So, when you are writing copy or doing an ad, make sure you are doing it with the right intentions—that you are literally trying to help others, and your payment or reward is simply a byproduct.

For step 2, you must know your audience, what they want, how soon they need it, and have a follow-up sequence to keep in contact with them. Most people will not act immediately when they see your ad or content. Here are some rough stats from our customers in 2019. We have found that.

  • Five percent are ready to take your offer NOW and are actively looking.
  • Thirty percent are not looking but will be open to your offer within 30 days.
  • 60 percent are not looking now but will be within a 60- to 90-day period.
  • Five percent you don’t desire and will never purchase your product.

Shoot for the 30 to 60 percent group, while taking the low hanging fruit from the 5 percent immediate sale. How do you do that?

That leads us to the secret of step 3: actually help people. For example, if you are a coach, write a blog post or even do a short webinar and give away your best stuff to help others solve problems. You can simply do a PowerPoint, record it using Screencastify (it’s a free app) and upload it on YouTube for everyone to see.

Once you do that:

  1. Create a Facebook ad under the category “traffic” for $5 per day, and drive targeted viewers to your free webinar. No pitches, no sale, just good ole help.
  2. Do another, but this time offer a free e-book (you can even convert a PowerPoint into a PDF document and upload it as an e-book) in exchange for a simple email address.
  3. Next, set up an email drip campaign by sending out a bi-monthly newsletter to all the email sign ups with tips and helpful hints.
  4. Then set up a retargeting campaign in Facebook for everyone who watched 25 seconds or more of your recorded webinar. Use this campaign for a “private offer” or “exclusive offer” because this is now a “warm audience” that you hopefully have already helped in some way. Now you are the guru or expert in your field (you basically pre-framed yourself as the authority and helped others at the same time during step 1).

This is something that you can do over and over, and the beauty of this approach is that you only need to create content a few times; the program can run on autopilot while you sleep (pillow profits).

Stay tuned for next article where I will discuss the aspects of opening and marketing an online store.

Dr. Bryan is a published author, national speaker, and personal growth consultant. He also owns an online digital marketing agency and has created a simple online course on digital marketing to help other coaches, and authors break out into the world and reach audiences. You can find out more on his website or email directly at

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