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It’s Time for Digital Kindergarten

Let’s get down to basics. If you’re new to digital marketing, you may be struggling to figure out where to begin. There’s a LOT to learn, and the sheer volume of information makes many seasoned business pros panic. However, in the beginning, it’s more important to learn about the theory than the technique (after all, it’s easy to hire someone like Cup O Content to manage the nuts and bolts). What do you need to know about digital marketing if you are an absolute beginner? Instantly, we are reminded of Robert Fulghum's book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Written 30 years ago, this perennial bestseller took the most basic lessons of childhood and applied them to life as an adult.

While not every piece of Fulghum’s advice fits with the digital world, a surprising amount of kindergarten wisdom can easily be applied to content marketing.

1. Share Everything

This is a new concept for many businesses, but it’s an important one. To be successful in the digital world, your business must value honesty and transparency. It’s important to be real and share your ups and downs. Not only are picture-perfect corporate images a little boring, but they’re also obviously not you. Try using candid photos of yourself, your business, your staff, and even your customers. Even if the photos are a little grainy or off-kilter, your prospects will gravitate towards genuine sharing over slick marketing every time.

2. Play Fair

You know what’s right and what’s wrong. So play fair and treat employees, customers, and competitors with respect. Mud attracts mud, so please resist throwing it.

3. Don't Hit People

In the digital age, kindness pays. Literally. By now, you’ve probably read that Millennials prefer to buy from businesses with compatible ethics and values, but did you know they also prefer to work for these companies? Having a core set of values, living by them, and providing a kind workplace can be the bedrock of a strong digital strategy. And while hurting employees, communities, or the environment was always a risky strategy offline, it’s downright terrifying in the digital age.

4. Put Things Back Where You Found Them

It’s no longer an option to sidestep green issues. While some companies are still trying to pretend that simply providing jobs is a good enough reason to ignore environmental issues, this argument is losing ground fast. More and more large, successful companies, including Amazon, Walmart, L’Oreal, Cisco, and Accenture, are committing to minimalizing or eliminating their carbon footprint.

Locally, keeping your communities clean and green and “putting things back where you found them” is a smart way to stand out from your competition. Recycle. Plant a tree. Use solar energy. Whatever you’re doing to protect your community and your world, digital marketing can help you spread the word.

5. Don't Take Things That Aren't Yours

Plagiarism is the scourge of the digital world. Using content or images without permission sucks (and can have legal ramifications,) so don’t do it.

6. Say You're SORRY When You HURT Somebody

Digital media provides an immediate and effective way to correct errors, issue apologies, and make it right. It also offers many new ways to handle customer service inquiries and messages, including email, social media, forums, mobile apps, live chats, and chatbots. If your customer services are limited to phones and emails, you’re missing out.

7. Wash Your Hands Before You Eat

We don’t have a cute allegory for this one, but seriously, wash your hands before you eat.

8. Flush

Once you begin digital marketing, you need to continue monitoring existing content. Address outdated content on your social media and websites. Regularly update your business listings on listing services like Yelp and Google Business. Keep your website in good working order and fix broken links. Delete or hide offensive or inappropriate comments. In the digital world, if you don’t flush, you are leaving $h!# all over the place.

The Next Steps for Digital Kindergarteners

These are just some of the rules Fulghum offers to live a better life, but it’s easy to see that many of them ALSO work well for digital marketing. If you’re wondering how you can tweak your business in ways that make it ready to go full-on digital, talk to Cup O Content. We’re here to help.


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