7 Tips for Small Businesses to Get Started with Digital Marketing

 Digital marketing can be a difficult industry to enter if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s hard to know where to start when there are so many different possibilities, and it’s easy to waste money by making costly mistakes that have been made time and time again. But with these seven tips for small businesses on how to get started with digital marketing, you can help your company take the first step towards successful online presence and sales growth!


1) Define Digital Marketing

Digital marketing encompasses a wide range of channels and technologies. Every day, consumers are bombarded with thousands of messages across multiple screens — phone, tablet, desktop and more. For businesses that want to connect in an authentic way and build long-lasting relationships, digital marketing helps you reach customers where they’re spending time: online. The rise of digital has also made advertising more measurable than ever before. That means it’s easier than ever to track your return on investment (ROI) and optimize campaigns based on performance metrics like engagement rate or conversions. To help small businesses get started with digital marketing, we put together these 7 tips


2) Create a Clear Marketing Strategy

In order to create a clear marketing strategy, you need to know who your target market is and what they’re looking for. That could be something as general as young, wealthy professionals or it could be something more specific like foodies living in urban areas. You need a defined market before you can devise an effective marketing plan that reaches them. If you don’t have your target market nailed down, doing so will help you reach them better because it’ll give you insight into what channels your customers prefer and where they hang out online. Having an overview of how digital marketing works is also important.


3) Choose the Right Tools

You can’t do digital marketing without a few essential tools, including an email provider, a video platform and some kind of social media management software. Email service providers include things like Google Adsense, Office 365 and Zoho. Video platforms include YouTube, Wistia and Vimeo. Social media management software includes Hootsuite and Sprout Social. To learn more about what you need from each category of tool (email vs. video) as well as other considerations when choosing your digital marketing arsenal, check out our guide on How to Create Your Inbound Marketing Toolkit. And once you've got your tools in place (or just after), read up on how inbound marketers are leveraging them. Get kit


4) Build Professional Presence Online

Your business should have a website, and if you don’t know where to start, use a site like Squarespace or WordPress. Creating a professional presence online is one of your first steps as an entrepreneur. Make sure you have a Facebook page and try posting there once or twice per week at a minimum. Create accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and LinkedIn (at least), and make sure you maintain each account by interacting with people every day or two. Finally, if you’re selling products online, research what platforms work best in your industry and sign up for those services too. Each new platform will require some setup time—about an hour total—but once your business is up and running it shouldn’t take much time at all to manage these digital assets.


5) Reach Out to the Target Audience

As you decide how to best market your product or service, you need to determine who your target audience is. This will help inform decisions like where you'll advertise and how you’ll structure content so that it speaks directly to your customers. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself: What do my customers want? How do they think? What websites do they read? Where do they shop online? How old are they? Are there cultural differences I should be aware of in marketing my product or service? Once you’ve figured out who your ideal customer is, look for ways to create compelling content based on their interests and consumption habits.


6) Create Content That Solves Problems

The greatest way you can differentiate yourself from your competitors is by creating content that solves people’s problems. Write a few guides and tutorials related to your industry and put them on your website. They don’t need to be long, but they should provide readers some aha! moments. It will be rewarding when someone comes back months later thanking you for helping them make better business decisions or improve their processes. Even better: if these pieces of content go viral, there could be a whole new set of eyes reading everything else on your site.


7) Measure Results

Your digital marketing efforts should be tracked and measured. Google Analytics is a great tool that can help you do that. By monitoring your campaigns, you can tell if your strategies are successful. Measuring your results will also show what types of tactics work best for your business. This way, you’ll know which marketing activities provide you with better ROI (return on investment).