The prospect of choosing the right marketing mix and actually finding the time to implement it can feel pretty daunting. Just last week I was planning out my own digital marketing campaign for MayeCreate, and even though I do it every single day, I felt totally overwhelmed. Here are a few of the concepts I used as ground rules to guide myself and the workshop attendees as we began to plan their digital marketing strategies; my favorite tried and true.

View the Episode Goodie Bag >>
Hosted By
Monica Maye Pitts
Monica Maye Pitts Chief Creative Officer
Katie Guinn
Katie Guinn Designer & Content Developer

9. Digital Marketing Strategies So Good You’ll Want Seconds

This was the first podcast we ever recorded, and while we didn't launch with it, we're still super proud to share it!

When people talk about digital marketing strategies they’re usually referring to building marketing campaigns using the big six:

  • Website
  • Email Marketing

  • Paid Online Advertising
  • Social Media
  • Blogging
  • Directory Listings

The prospect of choosing the right marketing mix and actually finding the time to implement it can feel pretty daunting. Just last week I was planning out my own digital marketing campaign for MayeCreate, and even though I do it every single day, I felt totally overwhelmed. I thought, “Man, I wish I had a workbook…” and then I realized I did! First, I did the head slap 😏, because duh, and then I opened up a recent presentation I gave about planning digital marketing and started from the beginning, step by step. Here are a few of the concepts I used as ground rules to guide myself and the workshop attendees as we began to plan their digital marketing strategies; my favorite tried and true. 



Hi, this is Monica Pitts. Welcome to Marketing with Purpose. This is the first episode of our podcast and with me today is Katie Guinn. 


Hello, everyone. 


And we say it's the first episode, because it's the first one we've actually published, but Katie and I have been playing around with this whole idea of podcasting since we went to this conference, and we came back all jazzed, motivated, and then spent like an hour testing...


...some audio in the car. We're gonna record something, it's gonna be amazing. 


Yeah, and it was for ourselves. I mean, my kids love listening to it in the car. They're like, "Mommy, we ought to listen to your and Katie's podcast." 


The one-episode-only podcast.


Yes, but the audio was so terrible, it was just so terrible. So we thought that we would start by talking about digital marketing and do a series of podcasts about what it is because I feel like that's a question that I get from people all the time. What should I be doing to market my business online? How much? Where should I be? It's like a gigantic black hole of intangible stuff, right? And so let's just start by talking about first off what is digital marketing? And then I'm going to talk a little bit about the strategies that I use whenever I'm helping my clients and even myself make digital marketing decisions like my, my big picture, kind of, I don't know, golden rules. 




Yeah. So what is online marketing?


Well, some people refer to it as, like we've mentioned, digital marketing. I would assume that it's any kind of marketing you do that's online. That's just what I would assume.


And it's tricky because online marketing is only online. That's what that descriptor means. Then there's digital marketing, though. So here's the weird thing: I was trying to figure out whether people call it online marketing or digital marketing. I wanted to use the proper words when optimizing a blog post so people would actually find it and learn from it. And I realized that we might be the only people that call it online marketing.


There's something wrong with the rest of the world.


Cause digital marketing or digital advertising could be an add on an electronic billboard in a waiting room TV or it can be an app in your phone, but you don't necessarily need the internet to engage in that type of advertising. But what Katie and I do is online.


Yeah, well, you know, the internet.


For example, when we talk about digital advertising, what we're really talking about is your website, email marketing, paid online advertising, social media, blogging, and directory listings.


Yeah, and that's that directory listings just sticks out to me like a sore thumb. So, I don't know, I mean, like, I get it, but could you elaborate a tiny bit on that for me?


The reason that we include directory listings as a type of online marketing is because I feel like anytime that your brand comes in contact with a person or a prospect, that is marketing. So it could be one of your employees that's talking to somebody, and that is promoting your brand. So that's marketing. Now in the olden days...


In the before time...


When there is this thing called the phone book, which now does a very good job starting fires -- 


Boosting little people up to drive! 


And paper mache! 


Oh man, all of those things.


Yes. So phone books are still really important.


Don't let your little people drive unless they're 16 or over. I mean, that's all I have to say about that. Go on.


Okay. So, in the olden days, we had phone books, and that's how people found the company --


Your general information --


-- to do business with, right? And now you have directory listings. And I find that a lot of people actually ignore their directory listings. But Google thinks they're quite important. directory listings are today's phone book, and nobody would have just ignored their phone book listing.


That's true. That's kind of interesting, because I think every everybody looks at their website and they think, well, that's my online business card. So I don't need anything else in terms of how people can find me, or social media or whatever. But the directory listings are not a lost cause.


And we will totally go more into directory listings. we'll have a whole podcast about it. I want to like jump off the deep end and start telling stories about why they're so important. And we are going to stay on topic!


It's really hard, but we're going to do that.


We're going to do that. So we have defined for you what we feel online marketing is, or digital marketing, or online advertising, or digital advertising, or whatever you want to call it. And we will call it all of these things. But what we are talking about are things that are, say it with me, Katie, online!


We didn't, we didn't rehearse that. We will next time.


So, now what about SEO? Search Engine Optimization


That was not mentioned in the list of the things.


It isn't. It's not. I don't feel like it's one of the big six. And I debated over this a lot. Because people come to us and say, "Hey, I want to show up on the first page of Google, I want to have great search engine optimization." And so to them, they feel like this is a type of online advertising, right? Because people click on your listing in Google, so it feels like --


-- it should just be a piece of it --


-- like advertising. Here's the deal, though. Just like we said, directory listings are 8.5% of the pie that Google puts together to decide if you have good online health. So are these other things. For example, website content and behavior makes up 44.5% of local listing ranking. Then links coming into your site is 28%, reviews 6.5%, social media 3.5%, and the reason that I'm throwing all these stupid percentages at you is because I'm really just trying to illustrate that having a healthy online presence creates good search engine optimization. It creates the relationship with Google that tells them you're a great company and people go to you for the services.


Yes, SEO is basically your outcome of your marketing activities. 


Yeah, so without the marketing activities, you have no SEO 


or really bad SEO. It's not like credit, I don't really know. Anyway....


But there's actually things like credit testers out there where you can go out and like check out SEO.

Yes. Okay. Yeah, like Go out, enter your domain name in and they'll send you a whole report. Hmm. So I promise you after we define what online marketing is, I will explain the rules that I live by when planning digital marketing, like digital marketing strategies, so good, you'll want second, or thirds. But before we get into all those little nuggets of goodness, in case you're a visual learner, like Miss Katie 


Oh, I am.


She loves a good picture. And she loves to read and lucky for you over on our website at, which is called We have multiple ebooks that you can download, all of which are free. And you can also hop on over to our blog. There's tons of articles over there about this very topic.


Like several we've recently published, so they're all very relevant and fresh. 


So without further ado, let's start at the top. The number one rule -- and if you stop listening to this podcast, after this moment, it's okay, because you will know the number one rule: it's that, you do you. Meaning, whenever you're doing your marketing, you need to be authentically yourself. Don't be somebody else, represent yourself as yourself. So if you have a sense of humor, even if you're an accountant, tell jokes. People love you for who you are.


Even if they're bad jokes.


Yeah, because sometimes bad jokes are great jokes. 


So great! Or dad jokes, which can can be synonymous, but go on. It depends on who you talk to. 


And so, talking about yourself openly in your marketing can be really scary. When we first started MayeCreate, I wrote copy just like every other marketing company does. "We're going to help you, we love you, and we're going to care about you because we care about our customers." And listen to me making fun of myself, because that's what everybody does. And when I read that copy, years later, because you know, cobblers, children and the whole shoes bit -- I was rebuilding my own website -- and I realized that I sounded just like everybody else. And when we're in the office, yes, we really, really care about our clients. But we're also kind of snarky, and we say really funny things. Like, if you think your website stinks, so does everybody else.

Yeah. Which is true.

Yes. And so Katie and I, with a lot of chocolate, sat down, and were authentically ourselves. And, at first, we all had a tummy ache because we were like, "Oh my gosh, I can't believe that we're really going to say this kind of stuff out in public," because we've been saying it behind closed doors for so long, and then the leads started coming in from this website. People loved it. We had one woman who called and I said, "Hello, MayeCreate Design," and she said, "Yeah, well 1992 called they said they want their website back."


Throwing your own lingo back at you!


And I said, "Can I use that in my marketing? Because you are a genius. That's hilarious!" She's really funny, and she works at a donut shop... Makes her even better, right?


Right, donuts are the best.


So yeah, you have to be brave, but your belly button out there as my sales coach would say, and be yourself, because if you sound like everyone else then you are just like everyone else.

Alright, so a little less "self-helpy" and a little more actionable is segment This is number two, because your target market is not everyone. It's not. 


No, you speak to everybody you speak to nobody.




If you're talking your language, and everyone's not listening, but only some people are listening, those people who are listening are your people.


It's like you know, so right now coming into football season, or no wait... I mean, it is football season... the football, the football is on the television...


It's being thrown and kicked, mmhmmm.


And there are times where I watch commercials and I laugh so hard. They hit home. right? And then there are times where I watch commercials. I just do not get it over my head. What is even going on. My husband and his friends are laughing. They think it's hilarious. Okay, so those commercials where I don't understand I wasn't meant to understand them. I'm not part of their target market, they don't want


your business talking to you. I mean, they'll take your money,


but let me buy.

So when you are doing your online marketing, you need to segment. It's easy to segment because targeting allows you to do so. Create a message that speaks directly to the person that you're talking to. You don't want to talk at someone, you want to talk with them. You need to understand who they are and what their concerns are. Now, Katie, and I probably have similar concerns because we're at similar points in our lives, right? I mean, little kids and houses and husbands and...


Yeah, jobs and cars and...


But we talk to our moms. Right?




Our moms... Well, Katie's mom just moved to the Lake. 


Yeah, she's living at the Lake! What? Now she cares about things for pools and lakes, you know, I don't need to care about any of that. So


Living the retirement life...


What do you do with 24 hours a day when you're not sleeping?


Floating in a pool? 


Yeah. So that's, that's a different target market than someone who's working full time with two children. And well, two and a half of you include the husband, but yeah, two different markets. 


Yeah, she's not worried about the ingredients inside of wet wipes.


She isn't well, not that I know of. But anyway,


And you could sell the wet wipes to both of us, you just have to market it different ways. She may need it for other things, you know? We digress...wet wipes?


And now we're moving on... Relatable!


Oh, number three. Moving on to number three, 


One way to move on to number three is to just get right into it.


Combine your strengths and your assets to make a plan. I have people, especially when they begin their businesses, that really think they have to have this huge budget to make a marketing plan. They feel like their whole marketing plan revolves around this dollar sign. And especially with online marketing, and all the things you can do on your own. It's possible, like, you don't have to have a million dollars to grow a business anymore. I mean, now, if you want to grow a million dollar business into a $10 million business a million dollars wouldn't hurt!


To say the least!


But let's say that you're a small business either way, start with your strengths and your assets. And together you build your plan, and be real with yourself. If you hate writing, don't start a blog. If you freak out about public speaking, a podcast is probably not for you. And a video campaign is even further out on the radar. Just don't do it.


And that's a really good point because I think so many people are like, "I'm gonna make a plan for my marketing," and then they just work backwards. They try to work backwards and they just pigeonhole themselves into something that they don't even know where to begin. So I love this whole start with what you know you can do and, you know, you have to go from there.


Exactly. Start with your strengths, and then your assets. So people think about their assets. And they think, "Oh, well, that's budget, right?" Here's the deal, though, there are so many ways that you can build business with what you have. It's not just about budget. Let's think about a client who -- and these people come to us all the time -- we have a client who is a lawyer, and they have been in business for 20 years. They have a huge book of business right now. So they brought in some new lawyers, and they are starting to do a new type of law. All right, so now they're like, "Okay, Monica, we need to start running Google ads." And I'm like, "Whoa, wait. We've got 20 years worth of people that we've been working with, let's start with what we've got. We have relationships. We have email addresses, we have addresses, we have phone numbers, let's use those things and build on those relationships. You'll probably fill up your new lawyers fairly fast." And that's where we start, right? So it's with those assets. And the asset that I find that people overlook the most is processes. And when I say processes, I mean... so you run a restaurant, and a process that you have in a restaurant is checking out, right? Or looking at the menu, or waiting for a table. These are all processes. And these are all opportunities that you can utilize to communicate with your target audience, which is the people in the restaurant. And so when they check out, you can say, "Hey, would you like to sign up for our Facebook page to get our lunch specials?" Alright, so I've just leveraged the asset, which is the checkout process, to get people to sign up for my Facebook page, to bring people in for lunch, which could be like my slowest time of day 


Using a strength, which is a lack of fear of speaking to people.


Yeah, exactly. I mean, I would really hate to see what an anti social hostess would be doing.


Me as well. 


Yeah, I guess we've belabored that point. Start with what you're good at, pair it with the things you already have. And with those two things together, you create your plan. You got your plan, right? Now you need to do number four, which is select a marketing home.


Where all the things live.


Exactly like, well, and it's more than where they'll live, it's where they are going. Yeah, I mean, where will they live? That's right.


Live and end up and retire. I don't know.






The Lake. 


Right? They're all going to the Lake -- it could travel, online marketing can travel, we'll see. It needs a Home Base.


Exactly. So back in the day, it was easy because you had a storefront. So if I want to buy a car, I go to the car lot, right? Or I need to, you know, buy shoes, I go to the shoe store. And now that's not really the case anymore. When we were driving business into a storefront, we had to tell people how to get there, right? So now things are online. So where do you tell people? Where is your marketing home? Where are you telling them to go? You could send them to your website, I send everybody to a website. It might be because you know, we build websites.


We do.


Yep, we do a lot of website building. And I love websites because it offers the most control. It's a completely branded environment that you can send people to, so versatile. Now there are people though, who utilize their Facebook page as their landing zone and some people still use their phone number as their home. Either way, you have to know whenever you're making these ads, when you're asking people, where are they going and send people to the same place all the time.








Number five, were you a Girl Scout Katie?


I was, until fourth grade when I moved here. And I didn't quit for any other reason other than it was just too big of a transition to get back into, but I definitely loved me some Girl Scouts. 


So, are Girl Scouts, or fourth grade Girl Scouts, are they Brownies or are they Juniors?


Oh, I made it to Juniors. My older sisters made it to Cadets. 




Which was blue. Oh yeah. And they were precious. 


I always aspired to that. 


I did, too! And then we moved! I'm not bitter about it.


I think I started showing cattle and it all went down hill from there.


Right, yeah, you kind of have to weigh, you know, your interests at a certain point.


Use the buddy system. That's number five. 


The takeaway.


We learned it in Girl Scouts and we apply it to digital marketing. It's like chips and dip, you're going to want more than just one. Here's why. Everyone intakes their information in different pockets online, and it's hard to reach enough of your target market in just one pocket to make your efforts worthwhile if you're putting all your eggs in one basket. So imagine you are on the shore of a river, and on one side of the water is your audience and on the other is closed business. You have to build a way across the water to keep everyone from getting wet because no one likes wet feet.


Because they're angry.


It makes me so angry. Last winter, I went out and bought two pairs of waterproof boots that looked like normal shoes. She wore them every day. And they make me so happy that I bought my kids pairs.


Dry good, dry equals good.


So let's say the only way that you tried to move your audience across the river is via social media. Now, I am a very sporadic social media lady. Katie, are you on social media all the time?


I'm on a few. A few of the platforms. A few is even a strong word -- LinkedIn is included in that few. So and some people hardly even really count that, it's more of a networking thing. But anyway, yeah, it's social.


How much how much time would you say that you spend on social media?


Couple hours? A couple three hours a week? 


Yeah. That's not a lot of hours. 


That's not a whole lot.


No, I mean, so here's the deal, too. Katie's a Millennial. I'm barely a Generation X. And what that means is that she's a 30 something and I'm almost a 40 something. We're supposed to be on social media, and we're not even out there all that much. It's because we're out trying to find the perfect wet wipes.


That's the hook, that's the neverending..


That's exactly what it is!


So time consuming.


So if you're just on social media, you might miss Katie and I. By spreading your message out through multiple mediums, you create a way -- a bridge, a path across the river -- for people to get from where they are to your closed business. And spreading it out across different mediums is like insurance because some of the people on your email list will see it and some people on social media see it -- and I say some but not everyone because realistically not everyone is going to open your emails. The best case scenario is like 25% of the people will open your emails and maybe 10% of your followers will see your Facebook posts, so which It's better? 35% of a cupcake or 10% of a cupcake?


I'll take the 35% any day.


Only if the 35% includes the icing


It has to have at least some of the icing. I don't know. But if you're more of an icing person and I'm more of a cake person than we would just share, share the cupcake and we'd both be happy.






That is why I love my children.


The only reason...


Because my oldest child does not care about the icing. I love going to birthday parties with that kid! My youngest child, I don't like to go to birthday parties with her 'cause she eats all the icing on the cupcake and then she expects me to eat the cake! I'm like, "Girl, better backup. Gimme that cupcake. We're not coming again!"


That's tough!


Okay, so number six. So I just told you that you're going to have to market on multiple mediums. And that really freaks people out when I say that. They're like, "I don't even have enough time to do one thing, I don't even have enough time to do Facebook, how could I possibly have enough time to --


-- write an email campaign? 


Yeah! And create a blog and do all these other things? And the answer is using the reach and recycle technique. So you start, you pick a place to start -- most of the time for us, it's our blog -- we write our blog posts, and then we do what we're doing right now. We create a podcast that covers the content that's on the blog post. And we also post about that blog out on social media. We create multiple blog posts that have corresponding topics, we smash them together...


Smash sound sounds violent, but it's not.


I know, Katie, like, finesses them together --


Slowly and tortuously finesse together...


-- into offerings for white papers for people to download from our website. And then, also, every time that a blog post is put into our website, it's sent out via email. It all starts with the blog post, and then everything builds from there because you don't have to use new content everywhere.


No, you don't have to have your own social media plan that's different from your email marketing plan, or you know, or content...


Which sounds, like, why would they even be different? Because


Right. What are you promoting if it's not what you would put on social media anyway? Think of it that way!


“I'm just going to write something completely different for everything.” Seems like the craziest, the crazies have moved in. So don't freak, use the recch and recycle technique.

Alright, so how do you know which ones you're going to use together? I just gave you this elaborate example of how MayeCreate does all our stuff. And remember, though, that one of our assets is that we have all of these creative people who are really good that can do all this stuff around here, right? And also, one of our strengths is the fact that we can put together a marketing campaign.


That's true.


So we're using those two things together, but how do you know where to place things? You're going to balance active and passive together.


Now by active and passive, do you mean the kind of work you're putting into it, or the message or approach of the advertising?


I mean the actual places that you put your content. So when I talk about active marketing techniques, I'm talking about social media or email marketing or paid online advertising, because you're taking the initiative to reach out. You're often interrupting to gain the attention of prospects, that would be active, you're taking action. And then for passive, these activities are available to people whenever they're ready, and they can actually find it on their own. Some people call this inbound marketing -- another way to call it. And this would be like website logging and your directory listings, they're always out there hanging out waiting for somebody to find it, basically. All right. So your passive online marketing and passive kind of sounds sad, doesn't it?


I know, it sounds like you don't have to do much, but you still have to do the work.


And it sounds like people are gonna find them because it's all passive.


It's less in your face because sometimes you don't need it in your face just yet.


Maybe passive marketing is actually like passive aggressive.


When I think of that, I think of reverse psychological advertising messages. Like, you don't want this really nice purse. But I'm like, yeah, yeah, I do. 


Well, now I do, because you told me I didn't!


But that's not what we mean. 


So, like I said, your passive online mediums are available for people to see when they're ready and they find it on their own. So blogging and directory listings, your website, YouTube, podcasts, all these different things. They're all passive. And passive is just, it's just patient. It's not actually bad. I like to think of it as a safety net for my active strategies. I can build all this momentum with my active strategies, and then I have in the background waiting my passive marketing to come into action and close the sale when I need it.


Would it be safe to say that passive is a technique better... or type of advertising that's better reserved for people in the earlier buying stages of the buying cycle? Or is some of it kind of a catch all?


I think that is a great question. And I believe that it's more of a catch-all, rght? Because your blog is great for people early in the buying cycle. But it's also great for people throughout and late in the buying cycle, because you can answer the questions that they're asking. And your website, those traditional marketing pages, those are really geared towards people at the end of the buying cycle, asking them to marry you. And so if your website sells things, or it's an e-commerce site, then that last phase of the buying cycle is checking out on your website. Now but it's just hanging out there and and people can buy stuff from your website whenever they want to. So although they can take action on your website, your website doesn't actively reach out to them, and that's why it is a passive form. 

For example, you might be my friend but you don't know I'm having a party or that my husband makes excellent smoked meats. And so you're not just going to call me on a Saturday me like, "Hey, Monica, is Mike smoking meat today? Because I'd really like to come over and eat at your house," because that's just not what people do. I actively have to reach out to you and invite you over to my house to enjoy the excellent meats.


The smoked... smo-ked meats. 


Yes. He's totally making brisket this weekend. I know. I'm the luckiest lady. You can just go ahead and say it.


You're pretty lucky.


So then active, right? Active is when you take that initiative to reach out -- you're gaining people's attention. You don't want to not do any active -- that was a double negative. That was stupid. As awesome as passive is, that doesn't mean you should avoid active marketing. Active marketing is how you can get in front of people before they even know that they might need you. And also, it's a way to remind people that you exist. 


They do forget, sometimes.


They do, and --


it's not because they don't like you. They're busy.


Yeah, you've been to Amazon. You looked for waterproof boots, clearly.


And Amazon knows. 


Yeah. And they follow you around. Boots, stalking you. 


Yeah, until you buy them, and it usually works.


And so, it started off with you going to Amazon, doing the -- they did their passive marketing. They listed the waterproof boots, and then they ran retargeting ads to you, and you now have boots stalking you at every turn. And then your kid gets on the stinking computer and they're like, "Mom, are you buying me new boots?" and I'm like, "I have no idea what you're talking about." 


"Get out!"


"Get out of there! Who gave you that password?" So you're pairing these two things together. Gather you balance them. And that's how you decide what types of marketing you would do. You don't just want to do all of one or all the other, we need to do both. We need to put them together. 

Okay, now you know, they know all of my golden nuggets. These are the things that I use whenever I'm helping people make marketing decisions. 

And to wrap it up, I'm just going to re-establish them. One is you're going to be yourself; two, segment; three, rethink your plan. Start by building on your personal strengths and pair it with your assets that becomes your plan; (Four) Establish your marketing home; Use multiple channels, utilize the reach and recycle technique; and then balance passive and active activities to make sure that you make contact with your audience. 

So next up in our next few podcasts, we are going to revisit the big six. Yeah, we are.


The big six! What are those again? We have the website, we got email marketing, paid online ads, social media, blogging, and those ever-existing directory listings. 




Still around. They're just in a different form. 


We're going to dig into them each and explain maybe not everything that you need to know about that because, man, we could be here for a while. 


No, we're not gonna swim until our fingers get pruney, we're just gonna take a dip. 

Yeah, once again, if you would like to learn more about the different types of online marketing, or these little nuggets, these golden nuggets of goodness, you can go out to, We have ebooks there that are free for you to download. And you can also hop on over to our blog and read all the articles that we've written. I mean, just like, go to town. 

So many. 


So many. Thank you for sticking with us all the way to the end of this, our first podcast. I'm Monica Pitts.


I'm Katie Guinn. 


Now go forth and market with purpose.


Referenced Assets

© MayeCreate Design 2020 | 573-447-1836 | [email protected] | 700 Cherry St. Suite C, Columbia, MO 65201