One of the most significant influences on my approach to digital marketing has been Simon Sinek's book, Start with Why. The Golden Circle concept outlined in the book has helped me create a more compelling message that resonates with my target audience.
The Golden Circle has three pillars or principles: why, how, and what.
So, what are these and how can you use them to reach your audience?
The first principle is why, which refers to the purpose or the reason you are doing what you do. In digital marketing, the why could be a mission statement, values, or the problem you are helping to solve. By communicating your why effectively you can create an emotional connection with a target audience. In business terms this will lead to brand loyalty.
The second principle is how, which refers to your approach to achieving goals. Which strategies, tactics, and tools should you use to reach the target audience? People and businesses that communicate ‘how’ effectively can demonstrate their expertise and build trust with their target audience.
The third principle is what, which refers to the products or services that you’re offering; what are the features, benefits, and unique selling points? Communicating your what effectively means differentiating yourself from competitors and persuade a target audience to take action.
That covers the Golden Circle and its application to digital marketing, but what about specific strategies and tactics?
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing involves promoting yourself, your business through social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. This can include organic posts as well as paid ads.
One of the best approaches when using social media is to create engaging content. Whichever social media platform you choose, create content that showcases your brand’s personality enabling you to connect with people on a more personal level.
For example, your WHY might be to gain a new contract, or promote a new service, the HOW is using, say, Instagram or LinkedIn and creating engaging content, and the WHAT is to focus on how your new service solves a particular problem or challenge that a potential employer or business has.
Using hashtags is another tactic that can increase the visibility of your social media posts. Hashtags allow you to reach a wider audience by categorising your posts with relevant keywords. It is essential to research the most effective hashtags for your audience–and deploy them consistently across Instagram and Facebook. This helps to ensure you are reaching the right people.
Targeting the right audience. Instagram, for example, has robust targeting options that allow you to narrow down your audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviour. By targeting the right audience, you can ensure that your ads are seen by people who are most likely to be interested.
Email marketing involves sending helpful emails to your subscriber base in order to build relationships and promote your products or services. Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach your target audience and build customer loyalty.
The subject line is the first thing the subscribers will see in their inbox, and it can determine whether or not they open your email. A good subject line should be attention-grabbing and give subscribers a reason to open your email. In general, ‘does what it says on the tin’ subject line tends to work best but, as a creative and knowing your industry, you may find that something more unusual works – this may be a question of doing some testing.
Always remember that, by referring back to the WHY and WHAT of the Golden Circle, you’ll be able to create subject lines that will resonate with your audience (and work for you and your business).
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) involves optimising your website or landing pages to rank higher in search engine results pages.
One of the key strategies for SEO is thorough keyword research. By identifying the keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for, you can create content that is appropriately optimised. This increases the visibility of the landing pages in search results, drives organic traffic, and maximises conversions.
Creating high-quality content is also important for SEO. Search engines prioritise websites/landing pages that provide valuable and relevant content to their users. By creating content that answers the audience's questions and provides value, it can increase the authority and credibility of your website. Your content should be inspired by the WHY and WHAT of your ‘Golden Circle’.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
Pay-Per-Click advertising involves paying for ads appearing on search engine results pages or social media platforms. If you have your own business PPC can be a cost-effective way to reach your target audience and drive conversions.
An important approach for PPC is to target the right keywords. I have found that the ‘Answer the Public’ tool is one of the best ways to identify the keywords that are most relevant to your business and target them with your ads; you can ensure that your ads are seen by people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services.
Creating compelling ad copy is also important for PPC success. The ad copy should be attention-grabbing, informative, and persuasive. Be sure to tailor your ad for each platform as they all have different requirements. Ads, in particular, should address the WHAT – specifically WHAT you can do to help solve a problem or challenge.
With PPC it's important to monitor how effective they are and tweak your copy, targeting and bidding strategy so your spend has the biggest impact.
Bring your creativity to your digital marketing. And also remember that it is a long-term process. You also need to be systematic and follow through. That way you’ll get the best results from all your effort!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cristina Plamadeala is a member of Toastmasters International, a not-for-profit organisation that has provided communication and leadership skills since 1924 through a worldwide network of clubs. There are more than 400 clubs and 10,000 members in the UK and Ireland. Members follow a structured educational programme to gain skills and confidence in public and impromptu speaking, chairing meetings and time management. To find your nearest club, visit www.toastmasters.org