Just in case you’re not already aware, although we are sure you are, “digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet”. Businesses leverage various digital channels and tactics to connect with their current and prospective audiences. This can include SEO, content, social media, pay-per-click ads (PPC), email marketing, and more.
Digital marketing might seem big and expensive, but it’s actually very accessible for startups and sole traders. All these different platforms are waiting for you to use them, you just need a bit of knowledge and enthusiasm to get started. Here are 4 dos and don’ts to help you get going.
Digital marketing dos
1. Know what your competitors are up to
Keeping an eye on the competition is essential if you want to stay ahead. You’ll benefit from knowing how other sole traders and small businesses in your industry are designing their digital marketing strategies, whether they’re thriving or not. Whether they’re using Adwords, content marketing, social media ads, or something else, keep an eye on the public data you can access.
Page loading speeds don’t just matter to your site visitors, Google notices too. It’s one of their “critical factors”, according to
2. Get the basics right
Your site will be much more visible if you tick off some simple, top-level SEO requirements. This means updating the meta data that Google displays in search results, making sure pages have a clear call to action, and making sure info on Google My Business is accurate.
3. Keep adding valuable content to your site
Google is a bit fickle. If it doesn’t have new, fresh things to look at, it won’t rank your site very highly. This means regularly adding blogs, videos, product and service pages, downloadable whitepapers, and more. Your customers and clients care too – the more information you give them, the easier it is for them to engage.
According to HubSpot, “97% of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service”.
4. If you don’t have the expertise, outsource!
Delving into Adwords or another paid advertising platform for the first time can be quite intimidating. If you don’t know what you’re doing you’ll probably waste ad spend trying to find out. There’s a cost attached to hiring help from another freelancer or agency, which can be a bit off putting if you’re on a budget, but you’ll get a lot more out of it.
Digital marketing don’ts
1. Target too many different channels at once
This will burn your budget and provide confusing results. Digital marketing works best when it’s consistent, so focus on the marketing channels which are most likely to bring in relevant customers and clients, whether it’s Instagram or your email database. A random approach, no matter how hopeful, is unlikely to bring you many quality leads.
2. Bring loads of traffic to your site and do nothing with it
One of the most important stats to pay attention to on Google Analytics is ‘Bounce Rate’. This tells you how many people clicked, looked around for a few seconds, and then left almost immediately. Lots of traffic is meaningless if it’s not used to generate more business.
3. Underinvest time and/or money
Successful digital marketing demands expense somewhere, whether it’s from your business bank account or hours in the day. It’s important to distinguish between the jobs you can do yourself and when you need to pay for a platform that already has a defined audience, like Facebook Ads or Google Adwords.
According to , “reliable website traffic is a commodity” and sometimes you just have to pay for it.
4. Paying attention to the wrong stats
Depending on the number of platforms you use, there can be A LOT of data to examine. It’s really easy to see one figure going up and think everything’s going well, but if cost per click is too high, it could signify problems.
If you’re new to digital marketing, there are loads of resources out there to help you learn. Get it wrong, and you’ll probably waste some time and money. Not the end of the world, but definitely something to avoid. Get it right and you could bring a valuable audience to your website and social media channels.