Welcome back to another episode with Dario Sipos. In the last episode, we discussed how to increase our credibility through digital retail marketing. In today’s episode, Dario and I will be discussing six principles from his book Digital Retail Marketing.
The Future of Advertising and Dario’s Book
Dario always starts client meetings by asking, “How many of you woke up today wanting to see an advertisement on the internet?” After a moment of surprise, his clients grasp the concept; no one wants to see ads. Then Dario asks, “So why are you paying for ads?”
Usually, Dario’s clients say it has become a habit and they don’t know how to market their products in another way. In response to this, Dario had a set of instructions he would give them. Eventually, these instructions became large enough to be a book. A colleague of Dario’s told him to turn it into a book and he did.
Here are six tips from the resulting book Digital Retail Marketing.
Anyone Can Do It
When Dario went to research retail marketing to write his book, he couldn’t find any books already written on the subject. He also couldn’t find any book written on content marketing. Dario wanted to change that because he believes that anyone can do content marketing.
Part of his book’s message is that anyone can do it. Content marketing is free or low-cost. We can do it ourselves or hire someone to do it. It is fairly simple. Anyone who has an internet connection can do it.
1. Leverage a Higher Authority
Many of the clients Dario takes on are publishing sponsored articles in news magazines. There are a few reasons why this may not be the best strategy. First, many people can tell that it’s sponsored and know that it is fake. Second, they are not reaching potential clients through these news magazines; they only do it to see their company’s name in it. Third, they are spending thousands of dollars when there are cheaper ways to reach their audience.
Dario said it is better to use something like PR Underground, which is a press release distribution service that distributes to many sources in the US. This works especially well for his clients in Europe because, while it may seem unnecessary to publish press releases for non-American companies in the US, it helps these European companies have credibility with news outlets in Europe.
For example, Dario had a client in central Europe who couldn’t get into the local news. They wrote some articles for news sites and published them in the US using PR Underground. Then Dario called the local newspaper and showed them the attention they were getting in the US. The newspaper immediately became interested and wrote about the client’s company. Dario accomplished all this for about $55.
Dario was able to leverage the higher authority from abroad to gain credibility and be published in the place where his client would reach their intended audience.
2. Use Organic Positioning and Social Media Algorithms
There is a relationship between organic positioning and ad prices. If we have better organic positioning, our ads will not cost as much. We shouldn’t just pay for ads. We need things like social media to establish our brand credibility. People who look at our website will often look at our social media profiles as well to see that we are a real and credible brand.
“The internet algorithms are an emulation of real life,” Dario said. If we are relevant in real life, if our stores are well-known in our area, people will recommend us to others. Social media algorithms work in a similar way, mimicking real-life by collecting all the positive reviews and lifting us in the organic search. Dario said when we start doing social media marketing seriously, the results of our organic positioning will increase in three to six months and the cost of ads will drop.
3. Find People Who Love It
Often when Dario gets hired as a consultant, the companies assign someone for him to teach all about digital marketing and social media. At one company, the woman assigned to this role told him right away that she hated social media.
When we are choosing who is in charge of our social media and digital marketing, we must make sure they love it. In one company Dario worked with, he convinced them to give the job to a lower-level employee because he was so proactive; he had a lot of success, reaching 600,000 viewers per video on TikTok. In another company, Dario found the best employee for handling their LinkedIn had worked in the warehouse; he’d drawn Dario’s attention because he was already very active on LinkedIn.
If we find people who already work within our companies who love social media to take control of it, chances are they will do a good job. Dario suggested that we do this instead of hiring an agency to do our social media.
4. Tell Our Story
In his book, Dario used his experiences plus some experiences from Donald Miller’s book, Building a StoryBrand. Storybranding is about telling a company’s legacy. Where did it come from? Who built it? What did it take to build it?
“No one can tell your story better than you,” Dario said.
Many of the companies and entrepreneurs Dario works with don’t know the importance and value of having this in their online presence. Many of them don’t even have an online presence; they often don’t have websites, or if they do, they are outdated, and many of the entrepreneurs don’t have LinkedIn profiles.
At one company, when Dario told them they needed to update their website, which hadn’t been updated since 1998, they said, “Why? We have a 2.3 billion euro turnover rate already.”
The company didn’t feel the need to update their website because they were already successful. However, if they had updated it and added their story, they could have found even more success.
Their story is exactly what they needed on their website. We can use story branding to build our legacy. It will also provide an anchor for people to educate themselves about our company, and then we can publish all of our news and PR articles on the website and expand to social media.
Every company has an interesting story, and people love to hear how brands came to be. That, for example, is how the podcast How I Built This has become so popular because it tells those kinds of stories.
5. Use Storytelling in Our Content
Similar to story branding, our content should tell stories. If we have a company that sells refrigerators, we shouldn’t only be posting refrigerator specs on our social media channels. We should do research and find interesting stories to tell. For example, we could talk about how we are building our refrigerators to reduce pollution.
If our content team isn’t sure what to write about, they can research what other companies write about for inspiration. Or they can find interesting stories through their research that we can tell.
6. Write About the Customer’s Issues
Just like we don’t want to write about refrigerator specs, we also don’t want to write only about ourselves. Many customers turn to the internet because they have questions or problems. We can write our content to help answer these questions or solve these problems.
Dario used the example of J.K. Rowling. She doesn’t start the Harry Potter books with “Hi, I’m J.K. Rowling, and I’ve always wanted to write a story about a young wizard.” She starts with the story, diving right into Harry’s life.
We can help our customers by telling their stories. How did they solve a particular issue? What helped them through a particularly hard time? Not only is this good for SEO because our customers are searching for these answers, but it can also help with customer engagement.
Thank you so much Dario for sharing your stories and insights with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
1. No one likes seeing ads. We should use other ways to reach our audience such as content marketing.
2. Anyone can do content marketing.
3. We can leverage a higher authority to gain credibility.
4. When we have good organic positioning, the prices for ads will drop.
5. We should find the people who love social media to handle that for us. If they love it, they will do a better job.
6. Storybranding can build our legacy and provide an anchor for people to educate themselves about our company.
7. In addition to telling our own story, we should be telling our customers’ stories to answer their questions and help them solve problems.
Connect with Dario
To learn more about or connect with Dario:
- Connect on LinkedIn
- Visit his website at DarioSipos.com
- Check out Dario’s book Digital Retail Marketing
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