If you’re new to digital marketing, your head is probably in a spin right now. Yes, there is a lot to know. The good news is, there is not quite as much to do! Although your to-do list is time-consuming, so don’t let me mislead you.
To get you started here five things to add to your to do list. For now, forget about everything you need to know. We will discuss that later. We just need to stop your head from spinning so you can think straight. Write these down:
Define your marketing goals
Before you can plan a marketing strategy, you need an end goal to target. So start at the end. What do you want to achieve from this marketing campaign?
If this is your first digital marketing campaign, your goal should be to prepare your website and marketing strategy for the digital landscape. Then we can look at raising product awareness.
Realistically, you’re not going to get much than that other than a few sales through social media or paid advertising. But you need to have the budget for that. Take you resources into account when defining your business goals.
To define your marketing goals, use the SMART method:
- Specific: Drill your ideals down to a core objective. Saying. ‘I want more leads’ is too broad. ‘I want 15 new leads’ is specific.
- Measurable: Track your ads to test how well they perform. This becomes more important further down the road when you have enough data to determine which strategies are working and which are not.
- Attainable: Have a dream, but don’t make it too wild too early. If your initial marketing programs are not attainable, you program your mind with limiting beliefs about marketing
- Realistic: For a digital marketing goal to be attainable, it has to be realistic
- Time-bound: Set a deadline. This helps you gather realistic data and determine what you can expect from other digital marketing campaigns. Also – don’t flog a dead horse!
To help you define your goals, use this goal-setting template from Hubspot.
Identify your target audience
You will increase your chances of success if you target the right audience. You may think you have a product that everybody wants. And you probably have. But so do your competitors. People don’t choose to buy products, they choose to buy products from brands.
The good news is that people are drawn to brands they like. Or more precisely, brands that resonate with them. This can be the colour of your logo and packaging, the graphic designs on your website or marketing ads, your company policy, good customer service, and many other reasons.
This is why branding is so important. And you will only get your branding right if you know what type of customer you want to target. So don’t be generic with your branding and marketing messages; identify the type of people that will become your audience.
Develop a brand identity
Now you understand the need to target the right audience for your company, you need to develop a brand they will be attracted to. The creative work starts with brand identity, the blueprint of which will be used to project your brand image.
Brand marketing is not that difficult once you understand your brand identity and develop a brand personality your target audience will want to listen to.
The challenge is defining your brand identity in the first place. But here’s a couple of finger pointing directions for you to take:
- Learn about colour psychology: This tells you what colours represent in the unconscious minds of consumers
- Establish the archetype your customers need: then become that archetype
Optimise website for local SEO
As a start-up company or small business that targets local customers, your website should be primed for local SEO. This is an entire lesson of its own and hopefully one day I’ll get round to publishing a tutorial. But for now check out these guides to local SEO:
Devise a content marketing strategy
Once built, a website requires content to grow. Think of your website as a seed you have planted into Googles search engine Now you have to nurture your seeds by watering them with content until they flower at the top of search engine results.
Yes, I appreciate this is a pain in the Arsenal and an expense you could well do without. But it is an expense that will produce an ROI once you earn visibility in organic search results.
When I say ‘organic search results’, what I mean is you appear naturally in search results. Not forced in by pay-per-click advertising (PPC) or black-hat tactics. Black-hat tactics are the path to doom anyway. Depending on how big your budget is, PPC is costly and could leave you without funds to grow other areas of your business.