Digital Marketing 101: A to-do checklist you shouldn’t ignore

5 minute read
Digital Marketing 101: A to-do checklist you shouldn’t ignore

Digital marketing for your small business can incorporate so many different methods, mediums and strategies.

But you don’t have to feel overwhelmed. 

First, check out our beginner’s guide to better understand key concepts tied to digital marketing.

Then, let’s focus on digital marketing tasks that you can focus on to keep your efforts simple and not overwhelming. The following are eight steps you should consider for the digital marketing of your small business.

Step #1: Create or optimize your website

You’d be hard-pressed to find a business without a website these days, but the important factor here (other than simply having one) is that it’s optimized to convert visitors into leads that you can follow up with.

One way to do this is to have an offer enticing enough for website visitors to share their contact information with you to get.

Look over these 12 strategies you can try (intended to not annoy every website visitor you get).

When it comes to your overall website design, remember to keep it simple and have the visitors’ needs in mind. Don’t overstuff it with unnecessary information, and prioritize mobile optimization with these 16 tips.

Step #2: Set up an email marketing automation workflow

This is imperative for a couple of reasons:

  1. You want to deliver on your lead acquisition promise (whether it’s an email with a discount code, an educational e-book and so on).
  2. You want to continue to follow up with these leads so that you can eventually convert them into paying customers. This matters because about 96 percent of people visiting your website aren’t ready to purchase immediately.

Setting up email automated workflows can satisfy both needs. For inspiration, see these 17 types of automated emails that you can start using today.

Step #3: Consistently publish content on your social media accounts

This is one of those tasks that sounds easier than it might actually be, and that’s because it takes an investment of time and resources to be consistent and engaging on social media.

If you’re starting from scratch, here are our tips on deciding which social media platform is right for your business

Of course, as far as time is concerned, consider social media automation opportunities and the use of curated content (which could be a good fit as far as a social media strategy, depending on your industry and target audience).

Just remember that people on average spend at least two hours per day on social media, so it’s worth your while to be present and engaging on at least one platform.

Step #4: List your business in online directories

Two of the largest lists you definitely want to have an owned and active presence on is Google My Business and Yelp.

However, there are others you’ll want to check into as well, including (but not limited to):

  • Apple Maps
  • Google Maps
  • Yellow Pages

Including your business on these directories (and others) is an affordable way to make yourself that much more discoverable. It’s worth the effort and is one form of off-page SEO.

Step #5: Optimize your website for SEO

Search engine optimization is important to generate more organic website traffic (traffic you don’t have to pay for). Done right, it can result in a high ROI for your business.

A high ranking on Google search engine results is largely trusted by most internet users.

There are two types of SEO, on-page and off-page, that you should be aware of.

Find out if you’re making any of these 13 common SEO mistakes.

Step #6: Consider PPC advertising

First things first, pay-per-click advertising on such platforms as Google and Facebook is not the end-all-be-all of digital marketing and definitely is a later step on this checklist for a reason.

It won’t be as effective as it could be if every other aspect of your digital marketing isn’t optimized. 

However, it is a tactic worth exploring as everything else is in place.

When starting, make sure that you have a specific goal for your PPC campaign. Identify and target a specific audience and tailor your message to that audience. Then, measure your results to gauge whether your campaign is working or needs to be tweaked.

Step #7: Create sales funnels

Sales funnels essentially pull together several pieces of your digital marketing to guide consumers from being a lead to becoming a paying customer.

For example, you can have a pop-up ad on your website offering an e-book download in exchange for a visitor’s email address. That submission takes them to a landing page with other content they might be interested in, while an email with the e-book download is being sent to his or her inbox. Then, an automated email series checks in that lead every so often, possibly offering new and different (but related) content that builds a relationship with that contact that could result in a purchase decision being made in your favor if your series of emails ends up being compelling enough. 

Find out more about sales funnels with our guide.

Step #8: Measure and analyze your results

Digital marketing is only as effective as your analysis. If something is working, you’ll want to understand it so that you can replicate that performance in the future. If something isn’t working, you’ll want to understand that, so you can pivot and adjust what needs to change.

Why measure? Why analyze?

Because whether you’re spending your advertising money on a specific campaign or not, you’re at least spending your time and possibly other resources on your digital marketing efforts.

Make sure that you’re spending that time and those resources wisely.

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