The Challenges of Digital Marketing

Everyone quoted in this article is dealing with digital marketing and its challenges *right now*.

The Challenges of Digital Marketing

Everyone quoted in this article is dealing with digital marketing and its challenges right now.

Executive Summary:

Digital marketing is absolutely necessary but consistent success is hard to achieve.

The popularity of your content can change very rapidly, without much clear feedback about what you did well, or how you could improve.

It is vitally important to be careful about exactly how you measure your success - you should choose metrics that are at least somewhat under your control.

For example: The number of posts you make each month, or the clarity of your executive summary, or personal feedback from trusted advisers.

If you only use pure popularity metrics, then the feedback that you've chosen to receive will be vague and inconstant, and you'll go mad trying to figure out if you're doing good work.

Modern marketing involves a lot of metrics.

This article contains thoughts and observations from the attendees at the Business Breakfast meetup event on 2023-08-19, moderated and guided by Ofir Knimach (IT Asset Manager - LinkedIn).

Most attendees run their own business or marketing venture. Links to each person and their business are included on first appearance and at the end.

The Business Breakfast meetup events are organised by the Valencia International Business Club (VIBC) (Meetup, Instagram).

Quim Zomeño (Personal Finance & Crypto Influencer - Youtube):

  • How do you measure success ?
  • What are your metrics ?
  • Are you trying to build a community ? If so, what kind of community ?

Casandra Campeas (Portrait Photographer - Website, Instagram, LinkedIn):

  • How much posting is enough ?
  • You might get likes or subscribers, but the lack of personal face-to-face feedback makes you feel like you're just throwing stuff into the void.
  • There's a lack of visible, tangible reference points for your mind.
  • Physical community is important - you need to get personal feedback from someone who's giving you a real human reaction to your work.

Another problem: The experience of comparing yourself to seemingly perfect competitors. There's always someone better. You don't see their problems, only their successes. It makes you feel like you're the only one experiencing these problems.

Silvia Zaccarelli (Strategic WordPress Web Developer - LinkedIn):

  • People have different personality types. Those who are meticulous, analytical, conscientious - they can't produce or adapt as quickly, but their quality is better.

Lubins Yanis (Marketer - LinkedIn):

  • I use speed as a quality metric.
  • A higher quality of work can lose you money, if you are putting time and energy into work that people don't want, or don't find sufficiently interesting.

Need to think about the ROI for the effort involved in each content creation project. Is the quality worth it ?

Casandra Campeas:

  • Don't be so hard on yourself.

Ofir Knimach:

  • A -> B. In everything you do, you're always at point A, trying to move to point B.

It's always good to think about where exactly points A and B actually are.

Marie Tuason (Content Creator, Social Strategy Consultant - Website, LinkedIn):

  • It's good to charge for your energy, not just for your time.

Veronica Imasheva (Growth Marketing Expert - Linktree, LinkedIn, Instagram):

  • I recommend thinking carefully about whether you're marketing your instrument (your product or service), or whether you're marketing your personality. Your content sells an image.
  • You want people to invest emotionally in the image, at least a little bit (they need to care enough to be willing to hear more from you or your company), and the image should then lead to a product or service, and present it to the viewer.

Marie Tuason:

  • I think of my marketing agency as a school - I try to make sure that people who work with me learn and grow.

A later thought from StJohn Piano (Blockchain Researcher - Website, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tela): Can a shared crypto token encourage people to mentor ? i.e. if both you and your mentee hold a coin in common, then there's a shared investment afterwards that links you together, and this makes it worthwhile for you to invest more heavily in their progress.

Marie Tuason:

  • Your content should resonate. Honesty resonates. It's real.

Barbara Vode (Nutritionist - LinkedIn):

  • It's difficult emotionally to put so much effort into making high-quality content, because you know that so many people are just flipping through it in half a second. Just a glance and they move on to the next thing.

Marie Tuason:

  • Remote work is isolating us emotionally. I've been focusing on services that can help with this. I'm hosting an entrepreneur retreat next month.

Brief advert:

Kaya Entrepreneurs Retreat
October 22-26 2023
Hosted by Marie Tuason
Valencia, Spain

Veronica Imasheva:

  • Yes. I really recommend finding a spiritual practice that works for you, and (if you can) making the time to go to a spiritual retreat.
  • It's important to really think about your own self-perception, not just the next task, or the next meeting, or the next post. You need to have congruency with yourself.

You need to actually be authentic in order to feel authentic.

Veronica Imasheva:

  • Avoid imposter syndrome via delegation.
  • Focus on your strong points.
  • Hire out to other people to handle things that are your weak points.

Ofir Knimach:

  • There's a big "toggle toll" when you switch context.
  • You have to have periods of time when you don't have interruptions, otherwise you can't do the deep work.
  • Example: Finishing the Excel spreadsheet when you're also thinking about your next meeting.

Quim Zomeño:

  • I try to avoid the toggle toll by batching the stages of my content production.
  • I record several videos at the same time.
  • Then I do all the editing.
  • Then I do all the publishing.

Perhaps use a scheduling tool to spread out the publishing, but do all the scheduling at the same time.

Silvia Zaccarelli:

  • Here's how I think about it:
  • Your website is sales.
  • Social media is marketing.

Marie Tuason:

  • I think about it differently - for me, social media is sales, because I'm selling the image.
  • When you're a content creator, people look at your website / product / service only after you've already made the sale with your image.
  • As an aside: When you're doing social media, you're really growing a small cult (in a positive way). You need to embrace being a cult leader.

Quim Zomeño:

  • I have 65k subscribers right now - I'm aiming to get to 100k, then I'll find a way to monetise.
  • I also do 1-hour consultations.
  • Views are not necessarily the best measurement.

Marie Tuason:

  • Yes. Views are a vanity metric.
  • I focus on shareability + consistency.
  • Instagram algorithm rewards consistency over a 3-month period.
  • Tiktok is about discoverability.
  • One of the best monetisation approaches is to use Linktree + Gumroad.
  • Social media is really all about having an ongoing conversation with your community. You need to engage with their problems.

Quim Zomeño:

  • A question I like to ask myself: If you could pick one metric and push it to 100%, which would it be ?
  • Which metric (or several) would explode your business ?

Veronica Imasheva:

  • The ultimate metric is: "How many new sales did you make of your product?"
  • 1k followers is fine if you are selling your services and they're happy to buy.
  • 2 videos / week for 100k followers isn't the only approach.

Nicholas Piano (Blockchain Researcher - Website, LinkedIn, Tela):

  • Be worth paying for.

Ofir Knimach:

  • It's difficult to know exactly when you should sell the product. There's always more work you could do on it. At what point is the MVP ready to launch ?

A conclusion from StJohn Piano:

Here we are - we've arrived at the end of my notes that I made during the event. I will conclude with a great point that many people brought up:

If you're a content creator, you're going to be engaging with other people's content in order to see what's out there. Continually interacting with the image of "the perfect competition" online produces imposter syndrome, even if you're great. But you need to remind yourself: It's an image - it's not real - focus on what you do well, and find someone you trust to give you good feedback on it.

More thoughts and observations on additional subjects follow after the attendee list.


Ofir Knimach: IT Asset Manager - LinkedIn

Veronica Imasheva: Growth Marketing Expert - Linktree, LinkedIn, Instagram

Silvia Zaccarelli: Strategic WordPress Web Developer - LinkedIn

Marie Tuason: Content Creator, Social Strategy Consultant - Website, LinkedIn

Nicholas Piano: Blockchain Researcher - Website, LinkedIn, Tela

Keeley Warren: Travel and Tourism Marketer - Website, LinkedIn

StJohn Piano: Blockchain Researcher - Website, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tela

Simon Flück: Digital Marketer - Website, LinkedIn

Lubins Yanis: Marketer - LinkedIn

Barbara Vode: Nutritionist - LinkedIn

Casandra Campeas: Portrait Photographer - Website, LinkedIn, Instagram

Kaisa Hansen: Sustainability Expert, Startup Founder, Mentor - Website, LinkedIn

Quim Zomeño: Personal Finance & Crypto Influencer - Youtube

Note: Quotations in this article are not exact but are substantially accurate. They are written from my notes and memory.

More thoughts and observations on additional subjects:

Lubins Yanis: Back in 2014, I ran a marketing agency in Latvia. Our clients were mostly Russian companies. Then Russia invaded Crimea, and the ruble dropped to a quarter of its value against the euro. This lasted long enough that our company went bankrupt. So exchange-rate risk is also something to think about.

Marie Tuason: It's a challenge to manage communication with globally-distributed freelancers... It can be hard to get people on the same page. Especially if they come from cultures that are very different. It's also difficult to figure out the reliability or the real identity of someone that you haven't met in person, both if you're being hired or doing the hiring. Social media content helps you to establish that identity, at least.

Marie Tuason: Good marketing varies by culture. The content that will work in the Phillipines is very different from the content that will interest people in India or Spain.

Think about how you calibrate your expectations for work effort.

  • Is 70% effort / quality from an external hire acceptable ?
  • If you make a 70% effort, instead of a 100% effort, will the result be acceptable ?

Some later thoughts from StJohn Piano:

Marketing freelancers today are in a similar economic bargaining position to freelance labourers and craftsmen in the past. There is the possibility of great rewards but also a high level of economic insecurity.

Perhaps creating an "influencer guild" crypto token would allow content creators to band together and share the rewards of gaining influence. The rewards would be smaller but less variable.

Perhaps such a guild could offer payment insurance products to its members.

Perhaps Tela could do this. Interview content creators, offer them the Tela Equity token, help boost their influence, and by doing so increase Tela's reach.