If you’ve just started out in business, you’ll almost certainly need some digital marketing – but it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are six first steps to get you up and running.
Decide who you want to reach.
Who are your potential customers? Understanding who you’re trying to connect with is an important first step for creating your digital marketing campaign. Try to be as detailed as you can, starting with the broadest characteristics then narrowing them down. For example, you may be selling to women, but what demographic and age group? Where do they live and shop? What other brands do they like? What more can you find out about their buying habits – for example, when do they shop and through which online platforms? You should also establish what problem your product or business is going to resolve for them.
Define your brand’s core values
Customers are more likely to connect with and be loyal to a company they feel they understand, trust and can relate to. For you to present your business consistently and convincingly, you need to decide on the core values that underpin everything you do. These will then flow into and guide all your activities, including your digital marketing and the images and language you use in that. You can define your company’s core values by asking these questions:
Why did I create my company?
What makes my brand unique?
What does my business stand for?
What values do I want to share with my customers?
Establish your tone of voice.
Once you’ve established your core values and decided who your customers are, you’ll find it much easier to decide on the tone of voice you will use when you communicate with them. Your tone of voice should not only be decided by your customers, however; you should also consider the product or service you are selling and the tone of voice those customers would expect from someone selling that. For example, the same customer might expect a different tone of voice from a firm of solicitors then from a trendy snack company. This is why the work you did laying out your core values will be important here. For example, a firm of solicitors might have decided its core values include trustworthiness, intelligence, reliability and plain speaking. Put these together with the profile of your target audience and you’ll have a much better idea of what language to use when talking to them through your digital marketing channels
Decide on your digital marketing channels
You have multiple options when it comes to how and where to engage with your audience:
- Paid search: Search advertising buys you a slot at the top of a search engine’s search results. In Google, for example, you can use Google AdWords to create ads based around keywords related to your business. By clicking on an ad, a person is taken to your site where hopefully they will make a purchase.
- Organic search: Getting a good organic search result means appearing high in the set of results that are not paid-for ads. Adapting your website so that search engines favour it in their search rankings is called search engine optimisation (SEO) and it’s an ever-evolving field, because search engines such as Google are constantly changing the algorithms used to rank websites. This article and this article provide some useful SEO advice.
- Display advertising: This refers to the banners and pop-up ads you see as you browse the internet. Unlike search ads, display ads are not targeted at people typing in keywords related to your product or service; instead, they are geared to appear for people who have visited your site or related sites.
- Social media: If you’ve profiled your customers thoroughly you will probably have a good idea of which social media platforms they use. You should make sure your company has a presence on these. You can also pay to advertise on these platforms, which will dramatically increase the number of people you reach.
- Email marketing: It’s easy to overlook this but it remains an incredibly powerful form of marketing that gets straight into the inboxes of people who have given you their email addresses. A good way to broaden your email marketing reach is to offer people a discount in return to signing up to receive email updates.
- Set your goals
Pick a couple of goals that fit with SMART criteria: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. This will make it easier to measure your results and will stop you picking unrealistic goals.
Monitor the results
Google Analytics is an indispensable tool for monitoring how you’re doing. Google has put together some straightforward advice on how to use it, here.
Need Digital Marketing help? At Primedia Marketing we can do all of the above and more for you, leaving you to focus on running your business. Get in touch today to find out more.