The Ultimate Quick Start Digital Marketing Guide for Beginners
Author: Daniel Knowlton
If you’re looking for a clear, simple and effective Digital Marketing quick start guide to help achieve your business objectives – you’ve found it! Don’t be fooled, our e-book may be small, but it is mighty and bursting with useful knowledge.
Within this blog I’ll give you a taster of the full e-book which you can download for free here. The e-book applies everything I talk about to a real life business example (making it easier for you to apply yourself).
It also gives you links to great free online tools and resources that I’ve spent countless hours searching for just for you (sharing’s caring).
As always I love hearing from you so please do leave a comment!
What do you want your Digital Marketing activities to achieve? Break this down into small, bite size chunks. By doing this, it makes your overall business goals easier to achieve. These bite size chunks are formed of 4 parts (at this stage you will only need 1 & 2);
A. Goals: These are broad primary outcome.
B. Objectives: These are a measurable step you take to achieve a goal.
Marco has broken his strategy down into more bite size chunks to make his objectives easier to achieve;
C. Strategies: These are a plan of action designed to achieve an objective.
D. Tactics: These are specific action steps required to deliver on a strategy.
This is where you need to begin to develop an effective Digital Marketing strategy for your business. Don’t panic, this blog will provide you with a simple (but highly effective) step by step process to follow.
Now you understand what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it, you need a way of measuring current and future performance. Not only will this reassure you that your time isn’t being wasted, it will help you continue to develop and improve your Digital Marketing activities by learning what works well (and doesn’t work).
But how do you measure performance? Well, to understand how your Digital Marketing activities are performing, you need to measure specific Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Simply put, your KPI’s are a quantifiable measure telling you how you are performing against your Goals, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics.
If you don’t have Analytics set up on your website then set up Google Analytics. This gives you lots of very useful analytics tools and data to measure a huge range of KPIs. Check out this article to find out more about setting up Google Analytics.
Before embarking on your Digital Marketing journey, you need to research like crazy. This will help outline your current performance, understand what top performers in your industry are doing and give you guidance in creating your own awesome, tailored Digital Marketing strategy. I can’t emphasise how important this stage is so please, please do not skip this step. You will need to carry out research in the following two ways;
To truly understand how your Digital Marketing activities have helped towards achieving your overall goals, you need to set an initial internal benchmark. This is a documented snapshot of your current performance against the KPIs you outlined in the previous step.
Let’s take a quick sneak peak at the business example used in our e-book: Marco’s Café. Marco’s internal benchmark before he embarked on his Digital Marketing journey looked like this;
Like most businesses without a structured Digital Marketing strategy, Marco’s Digital Marketing activities weren’t performing very well.
A huge source of inspiration can come from analysing your competitors Digital Marketing activities. The First step is to identify some of the leaders in your niche, try to be as specific to your niche as possible.
Your whole Digital Marketing strategy should be focused around your target market. So it’s understandable that you need to know them inside out before you can try and target them. Take the time to write detailed customer profiles.
For this you will need to research. Create a free questionnaire on SurveyMonkey or hand out feedback forms to every customer. However you do it, you need to find out as much specific detail about your target market as possible.
Be clever about the questions you are asking. Remember, this is all aimed at helping you understand your target market better. The more you know about your target market, the more tailored your content will be to suit their needs. Check out this handy blog written by Trent Dyrsmid from Bright Ideas for more help to understand how to define your target market;
Content most definitely is king when it comes to Digital Marketing. It’s the glue that holds all aspects of your strategy together. It is what feeds your social media profiles, it’s what you write in your blogs, and it’s what you promote in your email campaigns.
The research carried out in the previous step should have given you an idea of the kind of content that performs well in your niche. However, there is more to it than just researching your competitors.
On a basic level, the content you upload should provide value to your target audience. One thing I see business do a lot is broadcast. If you’re going to take anything away from this blog let this be it; Do not constantly broadcast. By broadcast I mean constantly sending out a sales pitch to your target audience. This will get you nowhere. Digital Marketing is all about engagement.
Remember, you should be providing value to your audience. For this, you need to use your previous target market research. This research will help you create the kind of content your target market like, in a place where they hang out.
Once you know the kind of content your target market would truly value, you need to find it and create it. Original content is very important (we will talk about this later). For now lets focus on curating rather than creating content. You clearly may not have enough time to always create your own original content. Therefore you need to use some clever online tools to find and curate your content;
Buzzsumo – This is the main tool I use. It finds the highest performing content for any topic.
This depends on the channels you are using so I’ll break it down into social media, blogs and email marketing. On a basic level, you need to maintain a steady flow of some sort of content on a daily basis to keep customer engagement levels as high as possible.
The following infographic should give you a clear idea of the kind of content you should be posting and how often on the 5 big Social Media Channels.
The main thing to consider is who your target market are and the type of content you’ll be producing. This is a really important decision because the last thing you want to do is dedicate a load of time, effort and resources (and money) into engaging within a specific channel, only to then find out that it’s not delivering the right results. This infographic gives a great ‘Feline’ take on how the big social media channels should be used.
Check out these great blogs for a more in depth look into Social Media channel choice;
There is so much to talk about here but I’ll keep it short and sweet. A while back I found one of the most useful blogs I have ever read. It’s written by Mathew Barby (one of the most knowledgeable Digital Marketing consultants in the industry) and it is so, so, so useful. It helped me grow my Twitter following alone from 170 followers to almost 2000 targeted followers in under 1 month! The strategies really did work. Check out the awesome blog below;
Social media is all about engaging with your target market, not broadcasting. But how do you engage with them? Well firstly you need to find them. Stop for a second and think. Where are your target market likely to hang out on social media?
This is what will save you untold amount of hours (and keep you sane). Social media automation does exactly what it says on the tin. It automates your social media posts so you don’t have to spend all day posting yourself. I usually set up a weeks’ worth of social media content on a Sunday which takes an hour or so. I would highly recommend Buffer, it’s also got some cool, in built analytics.
Blogging is a great way to help market yourself or your business, product or service. A blog looks to educate and provide high user value content (for free) which is cleverly written to ultimately promote your business.
For example, at KPS we have launched a new online self-assessment tool for businesses called SalesBenchmark™ which helps businesses improve their sales performance. For this, we have set up a ‘Sales Booster’ blogging campaign which consists of 6 blogs uploaded once a week, over 6 weeks.
Each blog looks to educate the reader to help improve sales performance, with blogs such as;
- 5 Ways Benchmarking Sales will Improve Performance
- How to Develop a World-Class Sales Team
- How to Revolutionise Your Sales Process
At the end of each blog, we use a ‘call to action’ to prompt a desired response (as shown below).
Developing and providing high-value content bursting with useful knowledge for free, whilst demonstrating an ‘industry expert’ status is a great way of getting customers to engage with your business (raising profile, visibility, trust, credibility) and eventually bring in profitable leads.
Mailchimp is a great free platform to build and send out highly effective email campaigns. Building an effective email marketing strategy has 3 key stages (Download the full e-book for more in depth info);
- Building an audience
- Create an effective email campaign
- Measure performance and Improve
Marco really noticed his turnover and profits increase because of his Digital Marketing Activity. He sent out weekly email campaigns promoting his blog and local events and received a great response. After 6 months of working at it, here’s how his business performance looks compared to his original benchmark;
You’ve already got a head-start here as you’ve taken the initiative to read this blog (go you!). Hopefully this has given you a taster of the the full (free) guide which is bursting with even more juicy Digital Marketing knowledge for you.
I’m extremely passionate about Digital Marketing as a lead generation tool for businesses and love helping my clients achieve greatness throughout their Digital Marketing Journey.
If you would like a no obligations Digital Marketing health check and tailored Action Plan for your business please contact me today.
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