Where to begin when digital marketing is overwhelming

Digital marketing can get really overwhelming really fast.

Digital Marketing is like Skeeball
Photo by drothamel on Foter.com / CC BY

I was at an arcade a few weeks ago. It was a fundraiser for my daughter’s school and it was total chaos. The place smelled like a dirty hotel, there were kids running around like wild banshees, and about a third of the machines were broken. Seriously. The air hockey puck kept falling into the table. We’d have to go get an employee who would saunter over, open up the table, grab the puck, and restart our game. It was a disaster.

But the arcade had my favorite game of all time – Skeeball. If I’m ever a gazillionaire I’ll have a whole room dedicated to skeeball. I love it. It feels like it should be an easy game, but once you put your coins in and those beautiful wooden balls come rolling down the track, you realize how challenging skeeball is. The first few rolls feel like a total crapshoot. And then you find a groove. And you hit the 5000 point slot 4 times in a row and the tickets come churning out of the machine and you’re a kid again. The sounds drown out around you and your focus is unmatched. It’s just you and the machine.

Digital marketing is a lot like an arcade.

It’s frustrating. There’s so much noise, so much chaos, and things that should be working just aren’t. 

I had a call with a client recently where we discussed how simple social media should feel, but in practice it isn’t easy. And she was frustrated.

I don’t blame her!

Digital marketing – or marketing in general – feels like a crapshoot. And it kind of is. But, just like skeeball, if you spend a few minutes tuning out all the noise and finding your groove, good things start happening. REALLY good things.

Sometimes you even hit the 10,000 point slot in the upper corner and tickets start flying out of the machine at an uncountable pace.

It’s all about finding your groove.

So, when digital marketing is overwhelming, here’s where to start:

Somewhere fun.

Tune out all the noise. You’ll make sense of it soon enough. But find the game you love to play, pop a few coins in, and just roll with it. Listen to your results. In skeeball, if you’re consistently rolling to the left, you adjust a bit. You take a half step to the right, or turn just a bit. And magic happens.

Digital marketing is the same way. Pick something you enjoy – facebook, pinterest, instagram, or an amazing referral program, and just start. Then adjust as necessary. Listen to what’s working, and what isn’t. Look at analytics. Listen to your customers. A wise coach told me once to view failures as educational opportunities.

And most importantly – remember that even one ticket is a good sign. Just keep adjusting, learning the game, one roll at a time.

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