This blog post is tailor-made for any local business that wants to start utilizing digital marketing to help grow their brand and revenue. Having trouble getting started? Then this post is just what you need. I’ve worked hard to create a step by step guide for anyone who wants to take action to learn more about digital marketing and conquer their fears of investing in their online presence.
What’s the best way for small businesses to get their brand out? Start with a website, social media accounts and blogging. But there is also a whole market of digital marketing tools on your side. It can all be overwhelming — where should you focus your efforts? Here are 5 steps that anyone with a business can follow to get started with digital marketing.
Step 1: Research the Market
The first step to getting your business started with digital marketing is to do market research. This will help you understand the needs of your audience, spot opportunities and avoid wasting time and money on things that don’t work. Your research will inform your content strategy and be a guide for what types of content you’ll post on which channels. The goal is to get the most out of your marketing budget by identifying exactly what you need to deliver in order to make a profit.
Start by researching everything about your target audience: who are they, where are they from, how old are they, what technologies do they use? Don’t leave any stone unturned as you learn about their habits and preferences—what magazines do they read, which websites do they visit, what social media channels do they use? Learn about their behavior patterns—what time of day are they online? Where does the majority of their traffic come from? What devices are used most often?
The more information you have about your customers, the better insights you can provide them with.
Step 2: Set your Goals and Objectives
Your goals and objectives should be measurable. You need to be able to show that you have achieved them. Try to:
• Quantify your goals and objectives – ‘We want our website traffic to double’ is a good start, but ‘We want our website traffic to increase by 100% over the next 6 months’ is better.
• Make them achievable – Setting a goal of doubling your web traffic by next Monday may be a little ambitious.
Your goals don’t necessarily have to relate directly to sales or revenue, although they can. They can also relate directly or indirectly with your business values, which we discussed in Step 1 above. So if you are running an ethical business they might aim to reduce waste and increase recycling within your company, for example.
Step 3: Decide How You’ll Measure ROI
Establishing how you’ll measure ROI is one of the most crucial steps in any digital marketing campaign. Without measuring your return on investment, you won’t know if your efforts are working or not. You can measure ROI in a variety of ways:
- The number of new users who click through to your website from an AdWords ad
- The percentage of users who buy something after clicking on an ad for a special offer
- The percentage of customers who renew their contract with you
It’s also important to reevaluate and test your strategy throughout the campaign so that you can accurately determine which parts are working, and which ones aren’t. This allows you to make the proper adjustments and ensure that your money is being spent wisely.
Step 4: Follow the Right Process
Whether your business is more established or just starting out, you must follow the right process to ensure success. Every business follows their own process for digital marketing. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are steps that can be taken to get you on the right path.
The first step in following the right process is to understand what you’re trying to achieve with your marketing efforts. Are you looking to increase sales? Are you looking for brand awareness? Do you want your customers to take action and buy a product or service?
Whatever it is, knowing this will help direct your digital marketing efforts and get the results that are important to your business.
Step 5: Start Executing
The last step, after all the planning is done, is to start executing. What do we mean by starting to execute? It simply means that you need to start creating content. Start publishing blog posts, build landing pages and, in general, start engaging with your audience. If you have nailed down the previous four steps there is nothing much left for you to do other than to get everything up and running.
But it’s also important to know what not to do during this stage of execution. The worst thing that could happen to you at this point is that your enthusiasm and drive goes away when any setbacks or challenges occur along the way.
Digital marketing is a competitive field, but if you follow the right steps from the outset it will help ensure you’re successful.
The digital marketing world is complex and competitive, but if you follow the right steps from the outset it will help ensure you’re successful. Before you begin implementing any tactics, it’s crucial to do your homework on the market and make sure you have a clear understanding of your business goals. Once that’s in place, use metrics to measure your success and follow the right process. Finally, don’t be afraid to test, test, test!