The 3 Wheels of Digital Marketing | Muletown Digital

The 3 Wheels of Digital Marketing

The 3 wheels of digital marketing is a concept that I came up with while watching “Lots of really big trains” with my 2 and 3-year-old boys. Many mornings we watch this awesome show where it’s literally what it says, “lots of big trains” backed by some generic country and folk music.

If you’re a nerd like me and look closely at a train engine, there are usually three wheels on the big steam engine trains, and they are tied together with a gigantic bar. As the bar pivots, it moves all three wheels, working together in unison. 

I was recently at a mastermind conference, and it hit me – our online presence works precisely like the wheels of the train. If you can get all three working together, even slowly, your business can move. Miss or impede even one of those wheels, and you’ve got problems.

Digital Marketing Wheel 1 - Build

Digital Marketing Wheel 1: Build

The very first wheel in the chain is what we call the “Build” wheel. In order to have the opportunity to have success in the digital world, your business has to address the 4 major components of this wheel.

They include:

  • Verbal Identity – this ties deeply into your business’s brand. How does your business talk about itself? Who is your audience? What does your audience need to hear you say? What does your audience expect from you? What is the vision for your business? What’s your nutshell and elevator pitch? All the verbal ways you communicate about your brand.
  • Visual Identity – when you take your verbal identity and you turn it into something people can see with their eyes. This includes your logo, brand colors, typography and fonts, and all of the visual facets of your business.
  • Content Messaging – this helps take your verbal identity and formulate this into a written strategy. It makes up things like your sitemap, your page structure, and how you communicate in every medium you use online.
  • Website – your website is the medium in which everything else functions. It largely acts as the brain for your digital business. It’s the way that your verbal and visual identities come across most frequently to your customers and potential leads.

It is the beautiful combination of those 4 entities that round out this wheel and allows it to start rolling on the track of your choice. Just imagine for a second, a website without content strategy? Ever seen a visually stunning website that says nothing and has no structure? We’ve seen that more than once, too often in fact. 

Addressing all 4 components will help you to BUILD the perfect foundation.

Digital Marketing Wheel 2 - Ignite

Digital Marketing Wheel 2: Ignite

In the “Ignite” wheel, we use another 4 parts of the puzzle in the build wheel, and we start igniting traffic into them (see what we did there?) 😉

Think of it like this, you can build the world’s most perfect fire, but at some point, you have to have a spark. The Ignite Wheel provides the big spark needed.

Ignite includes:

  • Organic SEO – all things considered, for your long-term business plans, this might be one of the MOST important things you pay attention to. This includes on-site SEO, off-site SEO, technical SEO, content creation, and more. What you’re doing here is making sure your website ranks for the terms that people will be searching for, no matter their location. It helps build the digital footprint of your company.
  • Local SEO – all the things above, but optimized for your local market (for example – you need to do some Nashville SEO). If you own a business that services a specific area, you’re going to heavily care about Organic and Local SEO combined. This includes citations, local specific content, on-site work, and more. It will ultimately help those local users find your business
  • Reputation Management – once your business starts to get big enough where people are wanting to find you online, your ratings play a big role. A HUGE amount of people will check for ratings and reviews before ever doing business with a company. A couple of angry folks that give you a 1 star rating can really hurt you. Making sure your reviews are spot-on will help you boost your SEO and conversion. Think for a second how you buy on Amazon. Do you usually look at the ratings? I know I do almost 100% of the time. We’re programmed for it now!
  • PPC and Paid Traffic – social media, Google Ads, LinkedIn, etc. These are all ways where you can actually pay for the traffic to come into your website. It’s not 100% always necessary – but if SEO is your long-game approach – PPC is the short-game. It can provide a great amount of value immediately if you need more work right now.

If you look above you’ll see the 4 most powerful things businesses need to IGNITE! Getting found drives traffic into your website and into your messaging. It is the true bridge between your Build and your business’s ability to GROW. Without the traffic to accompany the build, we’re stuck. With the traffic being IGNITED – you have the recipe for true business growth! 

Digital Marketing Wheel 3 - Grow

Digital Marketing Wheel 3: Grow

The “Grow” wheel comes into place once you have an awesome brand, can talk about your business well, and are driving traffic to your excellently built website. Now, we’re ready for the business to grow its online presence.

The Grow wheel includes:

  • Conversion Rate Optimization – also called CRO, this is a way to make sure that when people do find you on Google, and they are led to your landing pages, that they convert and take some sort of action. Traffic without action is a painful cost to your business. You want to be sure that customers are actually doing something when they arrive on your site, other than reading your bio.
  • Lead Magnets – you want to use lead magnets (downloads, videos, content, webinars, etc) to make sure that you can capture your customers information. Give them something in return for their email address. Make it something awesome that adds value to their business or to the business owner personally. The more giving you are, the more successful this usually is!
  • Email Marketing – once you have their email you have the freedom to communicate to would-be or could-be customers whenever you want to. Coupons, offers, free inspections, free appointments, free estimates, referral fees, etc. You have their attention, so have a conversation, and start to build a relationship with those potential customers.
  • Digital Dashboards – these help you understand how your business is doing. Are you getting traffic? Is your traffic converting? Are they turning into leads? Is the purchase, signup and/or contact process easy for your potential customers? Digital Dashboards let you know how well you’re doing in the business as a whole online. 

The GROW wheel is all about converting users into customers. When you start effectively converting, the business by nature, will GROW. When you have an awesome Build, you Ignite it with traffic, and then you optimize your ability to convert and start speaking more frequently to your leads you’re ready to GROW.

Why is your web presence is failing?

Chances are good that if you’ve made it this far, you’ve realized that your digital marketing is missing a few pieces. Think about these wheels on a train track – they each have 4 spokes. So there are 12 total things you should be paying attention to (listed above). What happens to a wheel if the spokes are uneven (or not there) – they collapse.

This is most likely what’s happening to your business. Maybe you have an awesome brand and awesome website, but your content is rubbish. Maybe you’ve got the best content and website, but nobody connects with your visual brand. Maybe you’ve got the whole Build wheel rounded, but nobody comes to your website, or nobody that comes actually converts. 

Starting to see the bigger picture here?

Whatever problems you have, we can help you solve them. Muletown Digital can help you get all three wheels working together so that your theoretical train (your business) will run more smoothly.

If you’re not sure where to start, we offer a couple of excellent starting places:

  • Free Website Audit – get a baseline understanding of what’s working and not working with your existing site.
  • Deep Dive Website Audit – get a much deeper understanding of what’s working and not working.
  • Muletown Digital Track Maker – figure out exactly what your presence, identity, and growth wheels need, and get an accurate estimate for us to fix it.


Thanks for taking the time to read this. We LOVE helping businesses overcome these obstacles, one small step at a time. Follow us on social media to get more information like this from our team (and feel free to share this with others)!
PS: Never hesitate to reach out if you have questions for us!

Muletown Digital offer Digital Marketing services to businesses throughout Tennessee, including Columbia, NashvilleSpring HillBrentwood and Franklin.

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