The Scoop: How to Get Started With Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Myths Busted! "I have a website, that is enough" Having a website without any online marketing is equivalent to opening a business on a newly discovered island called Incognito and only the Incognitians know you exist.

Your website is only one part to attracting new business. There needs to be a map that directs people to where you are located.

"Content isn’t important" Content is Queen. If she educates and entertains your audience, she will deliver your ideal customer on a silver platter.

"Email Marketing is dead" Consumers prefer to hear from companies they have done business with. To have the ability to get your message to a group of people who would be considered your warm market without spending money on ads, is a no brainer. "Digital Marketing doesn’t lead to sales" You are right!

If you are haphazardly employing different digital marketing components that are not in alignment with your overall sales goals, the system will not lead to sales consistently.

However, when you strategically align your marketing initiatives with your sales efforts you create a system that will have consumers looking to hear from you. "I need to be an expert in digital marketing for it to succeed" Expert no, knowledgeable yes. Educate yourself enough to get started. You can decide to master the area that is giving the most results, or hire an expert. Here’s the bare truth. Digital Marketing is more than posting sales on your facebook page... What Is Digital Marketing Exactly?

It is the use of online platforms to create awareness for your offering or organization. It reaches far beyond social media marketing. Digital Marketing is comprised of 8 critical components and many sub-components as you can see from the Noob Guide to online marketing from Unbounce.

  1. Content Marketing

  2. Social Media Marketing

  3. Ads / Pay Per Click

  4. Email Marketing

  5. SEO

  6. Lead Generation

  7. Optimization

Digital Marketing IS Worth It

When I first came across the chart above, to be honest, I felt slightly overwhelmed.  It looked like a never ending maze. I quickly got over it once I was reminded of the need and potential.  According to Pew research 77% of people go online daily and 1 in 4 Americans go on constantly.

The true questions is, do you want to stay on the island of Incognito or build a map to direct people to your island.

"I will build a map for 500, Alex"...

Traditional marketing still has its place however, online marketing is a dream realized for a small business. To have a product / service, go to a place where everyone is (online), promote your business, and have trackable results to see your return on investment, it’s the best type of marketing. If you have a marketing strategy that does not include digital marketing it’s like having peanut butter no jelly, Koolaid, no sugar, cereal, no milk. Either way you are missing a key component. To get started with digital marketing, I would recommend to:

1. Learn a little about each component Take the time to learn a little bit about each component so you know what it is and how it can help your business. I recommend finding some top people in their fields and subscribe to their blogs.

2. Do a SWOT analysis of your current digital marketing efforts

Simply put, a SWOT analysis is the process of taking a look at what you’re good at and what areas you need to improve to ensure success of a specific endeavor. Ask:

What areas of online marketing do I excel in? (strength)

What area(s) can I improve? (weakness)

If a stronger digital marketing strategy was implemented what opportunities could it present?

If I do not implement a strategy and/or improve my current efforts how could it threaten the future of my business? 3. Determine which components are best to start with

Start with the component in which you already have some traction. For example, if you have a good social media following, develop a strategy on how to convert these followers to customers. 4. Build a plan with actionable items

Your digital marketing plan is as important as your business plan. It is there to keep you focused and should include steps / actions you need to take for implementation. 5. Get to work

….enough said! 6. Test and Analyze

There aren’t any cookie cutter marketing tactics, you need to determine what works best for your target audience. Test your marketing efforts, then take time to analyze the results. Make appropriate changes based on the data you have discovered. Then, go back to step 5. Wash, rinse, repeat!

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