1, 2, 3 Guide to Digital Marketing

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1, 2, 3 Guide to Digital Marketing

jake.jpgIf you're just starting a business or if you’re considering, like many, transferring offline marketing dollars online, keep reading. Digital marketing is a jungle with about a million ways to blow cash, quick. There are high-priced consultants, search engine advertising opportunities, remarketing ads, landing pages, social media, email marketing, websites, SEO pros, charlatans, crooks and quite a few snake oil salesman. Before you know it, you could be tens of thousands in the hole with little to no results.

 

Based on the many avenues clients can take, I generally review potential benefits compared to cost to see what will drive response and revenue to help fund additional marketing activities. Here’s my digital marketing cheat sheet to get the best bang for your buck based on common need sets. Each of these buckets assumes the client is running on a limited budget of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a year. The premise here is – do the basics well and build on small successes.

 

I need to look more professional (typical of consultants, lawyers, and businesses that are looking to expand their base of clients):

 

Things to do:

  1. Website – Having a professional website is the hub of any digital strategy. The site can be simple, but should look clean, be easy to navigate and have clear direction for engagement (such as to sign up for an email list, to contact someone, get a free consultation, or to buy something)
  2. Email Marketing – If you already have a business, one of the easiest ways to grow your business is through email marketing. Email has been proven time and again to have the highest ROI of any digital marketing opportunity. Send an email to current clients and customers and upsell or provide an incentive for them to share your information with a friend. Keep it simple and always provide a call to action.
  3. Google and Bing Places – Make sure to claim your business on Google (or update your information). This assures your map location is set and your company address and name are correct. https://www.google.com/business/ - https://www.bingplaces.com/ If your address has moved or if you have a restaurant and change menus often, you may want to try http://www.singleplatform.com - an easy way to make sure your menus and location information are correct across the web.
  4. Facebook – Beyond the obvious, Facebook is a great place to both engage current clients and find potential clients. Post a few times a week and always be sure to keep content timely and relevant. After a bit of time, you’ll see your base of Likes grow and your influence will follow. I would suggest Boosting posts by $1-2 (maybe $10 a week total) to help grow your base.

 

Things to do later (get your ducks in a row above first):

  1. Facebook Ads – Facebook ads are perfect for so many reasons, but their value depends on your business type. In general, my favorite use for Facebook ads is to drive clicks to an email signup form with special content or a deal. The capture of that email address is incredibly valuable for longtime marketing.
  2. Google Ads – Much like Facebook ads, Google ads can be incredibly valuable. They can also cost you a small fortune. The best two ways to use ads are on very targeted terms around your business and with remarketing, the practice of targeting ads to those who have visited your website already.
  3. Ongoing SEO – Any reputable marketing firm will get your SEO setup on your website as a good baseline. Of course things change and it’s good to track your ongoing search rank and then update page titles, meta descriptions, site content and more.
  4. Twitter and other social media – Many an hour can be wasted on social media. There’s a new outlet new every day it seems. Pick and choose social outlets that fit your business and your time availability to keep them current.

 

I need new leads and to close sales (typical of new businesses or businesses that are struggling):

 

Things to do:

  1. Review your website – Take a look at your site and make sure you have specific calls to action. Is your website professional looking? Would you buy from your business if you happened upon it? If the answer is no, get a website refresh, or if you can’t afford an entire new site, build out 1-2 landing pages that have very specific content and a large call to action form - even better if that form ties to Constant Contact and sends leads an autoresponder email for further engagement. Always drive visitors to engage.
  2. Email list – If you already have an email list, get started reaching out to customers and potential customers with offers and insights. How can your business solve their problem? If you don’t have a list, consider ways to build your list. Start with friends and family, then ask customers for their information. If you need even more potential leads, consider a Facebook ad campaign to a Constant Contact landing page form or your website landing page to drive signups.
  3. Google and Bing Places – Make sure to claim your business on Google (or update your information). This assures your map location is set and your company address and name are correct. https://www.google.com/business/ - https://www.bingplaces.com/ If you’re address has moved or if you have a restaurant and change menus often, you may want to try http://www.singleplatform.com - an easy way to make sure your menus and location information are correct across the web.

 

Things to do later (get your ducks in a row above first):

  1. Social media – Unless you are prepping a new business and your goal is to create excitement around the new company, I would wait until my website and email marketing were up and running before tackling social media. Sure, if you’re a new business, create your Facebook page and twitter handle, but don’t spend too much time without a real strategy. Otherwise you’ll be sending potential customers an empty website and that’s bad for business.
  2. Content writing such as blogs and videos – Once you have social media setup, you’ll want something to post there. How can you help your customers?
  3. Google Adwords – Much like social media, you first need a site you’re proud of to send people to before spending money on ads.

 

I have no idea what I need (typical of older businesses that are successful, but feel like they are being left behind by competitors who are “online”):

 

Things to do:

  1. Website - You’ve built your business by making good decisions over the long term. Don’t get sucked into a bad decision because “everyone else is doing it”. Depending on your business, of course, start with a simple website that looks good, does not break the bank and offers an easy way for potential customers to contact you.
  2. Google and Bing Places – Make sure to claim your business on Google (or update your information). This assures your map location is set and your company address and name are correct. https://www.google.com/business/ - https://www.bingplaces.com/ If you’re address has moved or if you have a restaurant and change menus often, you may want to try http://www.singleplatform.com - an easy way to make sure your menus and location information are correct across the web.
  3. Email Marketing – Connect with your longtime customers. Let them know what’s happening with a simple monthly email that provides a deal or insights such as a great gardening tip if you’re a nursery.

 

Things to do later:

  1. Social media – Odds are if you’re already successful and you don’t already have a social media page, that creating one is not the end all be all. If you have time and content to share, great! If not, focus on what you do well.
  2. Google Ads – If you are looking to grow, Google ads can be great. Of course, if you’re content with current business, things are steady, there’s no need to start ads now.
  3. Everything else – Much like 1 and 2 here, as an older business, you may not need to do more than the basics and do them well. Of course, every business and situation is different and would need a review based on goals, competition and budget.

Regardless of your place in business from startup to seasoned professional, digital marketing is essential for continued success. Just don't feel like you need to do it all, all at once. Start small and do a few things well rather than everything poorly.

 

Not sure about a term used in this post? No worries, contact me and I would be happy to provide free insight into digital marketing for your business. jake@southdirekt.net

 

 

 

 

 

Jake Burns
An award-winning, Master Certified partner and is the founder of SouthDirekt, a Tampa-based internet marketing firm.
1 REPLY 1
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Re: 1, 2, 3 Guide to Digital Marketing

Great post. Very well explained.

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