13 min read -
Digital Marketing For Beginners
We all have to start somewhere right? In this article, we are going to guide you through the process of digital marketing and explain the fundamental marketing tactics for your start-up business.
Here‘s a rudimentary thought: there was a time when humanity didn‘t know who Apple, Starbucks, or Nordstrom even were. These enterprise giants began with one person having an incredible idea, just like you. They saw a need, found a solution to that need, and created a business to fill it. These brands, in their infancy, once sat exactly where you are right now. You have an incredible idea, have put in the hard work to create a business, and are an expert at what you do. The million-dollar question is, where do you start? It‘s okay not to know every single step in this process. Even the enterprise giants have made marketing blunders, and traditional marketing cannot reach the same realm of customers that digital marketing can. The key is to continually keep evolving your digital marketing strategy and be relentless in the search for potential customers. Now it is time to create brand awareness.
If your small business is like millions of others, you might wonder if you can effectively market within budget restraints. It‘s okay; everyone in your shoes has the same questions. Can you sell this yourself? How can I devise a good marketing strategy? How much will this cost? And, lastly, how long will this take?
This is a step-by-step beginner‘s guide to answer the questions for entrepreneurs like you. Let‘s dive into the basics of digital marketing.
Companies like Apple, Starbucks, and Nordstrom have spent countless hours and an unimaginable budget to generate ad campaigns. This effort has created brand awareness, brand loyalty, and reputation. Marketing companies are relentless, and the plethora of marketing strategy options are ever-changing. Once a customer experiences the benefit of your business, they evaluate whether or not you offer solutions to their need. This evaluation process will determine their commitment. This is where they decide who you are, what you offer, and whether or not they even like you.
Step 1: Make sure your online presence is iron-clad
Your website is the living and breathing online representation of you. There is no need to market and promote your brand unless your website is secure and engaging. All of the marketing efforts in the world are useless if they direct your audience to a lousy landing page. Did you know that 6.378 billion people in the world own a smartphone? Non-mobile-friendly websites are no longer optional. The evolution of mobile commerce has enabled people to buy and sell goods or services from anywhere, using a mobile phone or tablet device. Considering that 3 billion searches are made every day on Google alone, by utilizing the proper marketing channels and by crafting a killer web presence, you become one click away from realizing your dream.
This brings us to the technical but critical factor of web design. SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing). SEO & SEM are the lifeblood of your online presence. This complex digital ecosystem, which we call your website, will combine organic and paid digital marketing campaigns to comprise a keyword-focused online strategy to boost your website to a higher rank.
The following interaction you encounter could extend your business further than you can comprehend. Online competition is fierce, and the market is oversaturated. When crafting and optimizing your website, you‘ll either need to personally master web design or hire a professional web design agency. You will also need to use tools like a PPC advertising platform to place your products and services in front of your targeted audience. If your website ranks low on the Google algorithm, it won‘t generate the discovery or conversion rate that sets you above your competition. However, it is essential that once the right audience has been directed to your website, they are instantly engaged and can navigate it efficiently. This is where digital advertising kicks in and boosts your customer engagement.
*Pro-tips for a robust website
- Use Google Analytics to measure your advertising ROI and to track your video and social marketing analytics. Google Analytics uses a hybrid model to offer freemium and paid services. The great news is that small business owners can use this service for free without paying any amount or monthly charge.
- Commit to regular keyword research and update your website as often as necessary. Those keywords are ever-changing, and Google is paying attention to how relevant your content is.
- Google Ads can be complicated, but it may be a great place to start until you can afford to hire a marketing professional.
Step 2: Creating your brand awareness
I bet you already know what brand awareness is, and you may not even realize it. Have you ever heard a woman say,” I’m a Lululemon girl?” Or “We’re a Yeti family?” How about the fact that most people say I need a ”Band-Aid” or a ”Kleenex?” Unilaterally we all recognize and visualize precisely what people mean when they mention those brands. That is brand awareness. The most effective way to create this is by prioritizing the importance of your name, logo, packaging, color combinations, and font style. Brand consistency intensifies brand recognition.
Not everyone has the budget to pepper their logo on every billboard in Times Square, so you must take advantage of some subtle and effective options.
*Pro-tips for creating brand awareness
- Create a custom hashtag for your social media profiles and use it whenever you have the opportunity.
- Take advantage of any local event where you can promote your brand. Wear your logo, hand out cards, and ensure that everyone with an ear or an eye feels your excitement and that you are the expert in your field.
- Create a profile for your company on every social media channel possible. Use your color scheme, and keep everything consistent with the vibe of your website. Don’t forget the power of video marketing. YouTube sits at the #2 most popular social media platform to date, with 28.8 billion dollars in revenue. Keep in mind that this company launched in 2005. That’s an impressive profit for 17 years. It just cannot be stressed enough, post as much high-end content as possible and create offerings for engagements.
Step 3: Building customer engagement
Now that you have built a small network of prospects, you must entertain them. How do you get them to subscribe and convert their engagement into revenue? The key is to make sure they don’t feel transactional. Your customer needs to know that you appreciate their loyalty to your company. The best way to do this is to build a brand voice. As we stated before, your online presence is an organic, moving, and breathing representation of you. Building a brand voice begins with authenticity. Keep word phrasing, content, and energy level consistent when engaging on social media platforms. This will also reinforce your brand awareness and brand recognition.
Twitter is an excellent source for crafting a voice for your brand. Take Chipotle, for example. They have a hilarious sentiment on Twitter(Shown below). Utilizing humor is one of the greatest, low-cost content marketing options. People remember funny campaigns. The Super Bowl commercial popularity is proof of that.
Here is a list of the top 10 social media marketing platforms in order of popularity (as of today) to be sure to include in your social media strategy:
*Pro-tips on building customer engagement:
- Meet your customers where they are. Pay close attention to your online metrics. If you have a more significant following on Twitter than you do on TikTok, then keep those tweets rolling in. If your email list is producing the most engagement, that’s where you need to be focused. You still must ensure you are still posting and interacting with your demographic across all platforms because online trends change.
- Create content based on customer history. If you have a YouTube video that went viral (or at least got more likes than other posts), take a hard look at that content, and create more of it. Read the comments and see what your consumers want more of.
- Infographics are a valuable source for quickly relaying a large amount of data to your audience. HubSpot has templates that can make this a much easier task.
- Make a social media contest. Think about what type of contest wouldn’t just create a short-term engagement but also something that could keep people coming back. These types of social media marketing campaigns can spark rapid customer engagement. They are also a great way to gather more personal information.
Step 4: Get your audience to subscribe
Yeah, we know, easier said than done. At this point, if a prospect is still engaged, you are doing something right, and your online marketing strategy is working. Call-to-action buttons are commonly used, such as a discount for giving an email address or a contest to win a grand prize. This white-label practice serves as a mild bribe to entice someone to divulge their contact information. This is called declared data. Declared data is the holy grail of advertising because it is likely to be accurate data. Chatbots can also serve as a valuable tool, giving your website the sense of being omnipresent. They allow you to gather anything from sizing, age demographic to educational background. These personalized digital marketing campaigns improve the data you collect on your customers and let you know of any needs you haven’t met. Digital marketing campaigns improve the data that you collect on your customers and also let you know if there is a need that you haven’t met. Once you have collected this data, you can tweak your marketing techniques and marketing tools to refine what your consumers need most. Mckinsey and Company, a growth, marketing, and sales giant, has impressive statistics about personalized marketing strategy’s benefits.
-Personalization matters more than ever, with COVID-19 and the surge in digital behaviors raising the bar. Three-quarters of consumers switched to a new store, product, or buying method during the pandemic.
-Seventy-one percent of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions. And seventy-six percent get frustrated when this doesn’t happen.
-Personalization drives performance and better customer outcomes. Companies that grow faster drive 40 percent more of their revenue from personalization than their slower-growing counterparts.
*Pro-tip for getting subscriptions and declared data
- Keeping a close eye on your digital marketing campaigns and lead generation tools like PPC (pay-per-click) and email marketing results can allow you to create individualized campaigns based on declared data. You can market based on items they have searched, within a color palette you know they love, and pinpoint them to their size.
Step 5: Converting those subscribers into customers
This may feel like the moment to start hammering down your sales pitch and focus on ROI, but it’s too soon. This is the exact moment to pump the brakes and allow your customer to educate themselves and take in your content. This is a prolonged process. Start with a high-quality and personalized welcome email. They must be assured that they made the best decision to choose you as a brand. Be sure to link a relevant blog post or a compelling graphic about your brand, and keep your emails consistent. Please resist the urge to mail too often, limit emails to once per week and send them on the same day of the week, whenever possible. Talk to them. Let them know that you are still as excited about your enterprise as you were initially.
Keep your customers engaged and excited about your brand. Consider a marketing campaign that adds value immediately after purchase, such as a one-time offer, a webinar, a free tutorial, or BOGO on their next purchase. Link your blogs and always send subscribers any new video content you have recently made. This will establish that you are an authority on your subject matter, which is what sells.
*Pro-Tip for creating a relationship with your new subscribers.
- Don’t become frustrated if someone unsubscribes or doesn’t respond. Remember that their needs may have changed, and your content may no longer be relevant to them.
- Be sure to keep your calls to action (CTAs) changing. If they have already seen the “Take this survey” option, send them an option to “Use a discount code” on the next.
- Don’t forget to keep that brand consistency at the top of your visual esthetic. Think about IKEA. You see that bright blue and ultra-yellow color scheme, and you immediately know who they are.
Step 6: A Roadmap for Digital Marketing Beginners
Take that commitment to the next level and make that sale.
This type of campaign will bundle offers for loyalty and combine discounts above specific dollar amounts, and this is where your time and patience will pay off. You have established the fundamentals of a relationship, and the sales will follow.
You should be proud of all that you have accomplished. Think of how far you have come! Let’s reflect on the hard work you have put in. You began this journey with a simple idea. Creating and refining your premium website was the top of all your tasks. This website became a lead generation machine. You defined and executed a well-calculated marketing funnel. Your content transitioned your ideas and dreams into a brand, and that brand gained popularity. You journeyed through, guiding your sales prospects through the pipeline. Once they became committed, you got those orders placed, found that attention-grab, and learned to upsell without being spammy. The next step is turning those loyal customers into your walking and breathing salesforce.
*Pro-Tip for client retention and sustainability:
- Anything that can be automated and handled without your attention should be delegated. You are the primary resource of your company; burnout is real. You haven’t worked this hard to make your dream and not get to enjoy it.
- Thank your customers as often as possible. They have so many options, and they chose you.
Step 7: If they’re happy, keep em’ talking!
And if it‘s possible, get them selling. Online enterprise is limitless, but you have to tread lightly. You can start this relationship transition by asking for a testimonial. This allows a delighted customer to put their positive experience into their own words. Having a brand promoter is a win-win. They provide an entirely fresh market for discoverability. Through these promotion channels, you can create brand influencers or even offer affiliate links for sales. HubSpot has an excellent description of this business relationship. What exactly is an affiliate program?
“An affiliate program is an agreement in which a business pays another business or influencer (‘the affiliate’) a commission for sending traffic and/or sales their way. This can be achieved through web content, social media, or product integration.”
No one sells your content, services, or product better than your most loyal brand fan, and combining your enterprise with another like-minded brand, will take that to a whole new and elevated level.
The bottom line is that you can grow your business exponentially with the right marketing strategy. What works for some may not work for all, but with enough focus and proper guidance, your ideas and dreams can become a reality.
Learning digital marketing may seem simple to some business owners yet daunting to others. Either way, we hope this answers some of your questions and can serve as a roadmap for you. If your marketing skills fall short, and you have no interest in subjecting yourself to a crash digital marketing course. Zero8 Studios has the experience and integrity you are looking for. We are an experienced marketing agency skilled in navigating user engagement. Your marketing funnel will become our priority, and growing your enterprise is what we do best.