Welcome to “A Simple Guide to Digital Marketing for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs” – your ultimate resource for business owners and entrepreneurs.
This article will help you navigate online marketing easily, whether you’re just starting or looking to grow your existing business. You’ll find practical insights and actionable tips for all levels of expertise.
Digital marketing is crucial for success, but it can be overwhelming, filled with buzzwords and complex jargon. Don’t worry! Here, I use simple and straightforward language no matter your expertise level.
My mission is to empower you to make informed decisions and implement effective strategies that yield tangible results.
The outcome will be you equipped with the knowledge and confidence to face digital marketing challenges. You will have the tools and understanding on how to transform your business into a thriving online venture.
Whether you’re tech-savvy or new to digital marketing, get ready for an exciting journey with this guide tailored to the needs of entrepreneurs and business owners.
Success awaits by the end of this post. (Literally — Learn about a FREE Tool I personally use to run my business on autopilot with sales funnels, email campaigns, and more).
Let’s start this adventure together!
What Is Digital Marketing?
To put it simply in a single sentence: Digital Marketing encompasses all the efforts we make to grow a business through different online channels.
It’s about leveraging the power of the internet to reach and engage with our target audience, ultimately driving sales and growth for our business.
These goals can be varied, such as:
A) Bringing more website visitors
B) Attracting potential customers (aka leads)
C) Generating more sales
D) Encouraging more repeat purchases
You can achieve these goals through various methods, and each method requires its own skillset. For instance:
Solution to A: Would you like to bring more website visitors? Then here’s what you can do:
- Improve your rankings on search engines to get more free, organic traffic.
- Share valuable content on social media to attract more visitors.
- Send more emails to your existing users to encourage them to visit your site more frequently.
Solution to B: Excited about getting more leads? Great! Here are some strategies you can try:
- Offer valuable content and give it away for free in exchange for an email address.
- Create a sales funnel that prompts users to provide their phone number to receive a free quote.
- Launch an Adwords campaign to encourage prospects to schedule a call.
Solution to C: Eager to boost your sales? Fantastic! Consider these tactics:
- Optimize a page to rank on Google for a search term like “<competitor name> alternative.”
- Implement a remarketing campaign to target users who visited your site but didn’t make a purchase.
- Craft an abandoned-cart email to remind users to complete their purchase and increase conversions.
Solution to D: Want to encourage more repeat purchases? How about these options:
- Implement a customer loyalty program
- Personalize recommendations and offers
- Engage more often with follow-up emails
This is how digital marketing works for businesses. It might sound straightforward, but these tasks can be challenging to accomplish.
Just having an Instagram account doesn’t automatically make you a social media marketer. Similarly, knowing how to write and send emails doesn’t turn you into an email marketer.
In the world of digital marketing, true success lies in your ability to drive growth. Only then will you know whether you are well-versed in this field.
Now, to understand Digital Marketing well enough, you need to focus on these six areas. Join me and by the end of this post, you’ll feel ready to start creating your marketing strategy.
The Main 6 Areas of Digital Marketing
I. Sales Funnels
Growth by Building a Powerful Conversion Path
A sales funnel is the path your potential customer takes from discovering you, all the way to making a purchase (conversion). A close analysis to your customer journey will help you clear up this path for you. Also, it’ll help you to come up with ideas to nudge your customer to the next stage of the funnel: Awareness –> Interest –> Desire –> Action
Think about this: There are over 114 million YouTube channels and over 50 million influencers, do you think they are all profitable? I bet you’ve heard stories about YouTubers or influencers who struggle to make enough money. But why is this?
Some excel at driving traffic and creating captivating content, but they can’t seem to turn those skills into a successful business or even land a digital marketing job.
The common thread in all these cases is their lack of understanding of sales funnels and how to build them. So the space has become overcrowded with people who don’t know how to convert their audience.
A sales funnel is a game-changer for anyone in the digital marketing world. It’s a systematic way to turn strangers into loyal customers and advocates.
Before you dive into any specific digital marketing channel, learning about sales funnels is essential for your success. Once you grasp this concept, you’ll become an excellent digital marketer, armed with the right tools to thrive in the digital world.
How to Build a Sales Funnel
Building a sales funnel involves:
First: Getting to know your customer journey.
Second: Taking several key steps to guide potential customers through the buying journey.
Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to build a sales funnel:
Define Your Target Audience
Identify your ideal customers and understand their needs, pain points, and preferences. Tailor your sales funnel to resonate with your target audience.
Create Awareness (Top of Funnel)
Attract potential customers by raising awareness about your brand, products, or services. Utilize various marketing channels, such as social media, content marketing, SEO, and paid advertising, to drive traffic to your website or landing page.
Capture Leads (Middle of Funnel)
Offer valuable content or incentives, such as e-books, webinars, or discount codes, in exchange for visitors’ contact information. Build an email list to engage with leads and nurture them further.
Nurture Leads (Middle of Funnel)
Develop a series of email sequences and marketing automation to build relationships with leads. Provide relevant and valuable content, addressing their pain points and showcasing your expertise.
Convert Leads (Bottom of Funnel)
Present irresistible offers or promotions to encourage leads to make a purchase. Create clear and compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) that lead them to the checkout page.
Close Sales (Bottom of Funnel)
Ensure a seamless and user-friendly checkout process. Offer secure payment options and provide support in case customers encounter any issues.
Deliver Value (Post-Sale)
After the purchase, deliver the product or service promptly and maintain communication with customers. Delight them with exceptional service to encourage repeat purchases and word-of-mouth referrals.
Retain and Upsell (Post-Sale)
Continue engaging with customers through follow-up emails, personalized offers, and loyalty programs. Upsell relevant products or services to increase customer lifetime value.
Analyze and Optimize
Monitor the performance of your sales funnel using analytics tools. Identify areas for improvement and optimize each stage to enhance conversion rates and overall funnel efficiency.
Remember that building an effective sales funnel requires you to innovate and adapt constantly. Continuously test and refine your strategies to adapt to the changing needs and preferences of your audience.
By following these steps and staying committed to providing value at every stage, you can create a powerful sales funnel that drives growth and success for your business.
II. Content Marketing
Growth by Delivering the Right Message at the Right Time
Surely 90% of the time, when people say they’ll invest in content marketing, they simply mean starting a blog and committing to regular writing.
However, let’s clarify that this alone does not qualify as genuine content marketing. In reality, content marketing involves a lot more, making it much more complex. This does not mean it is not an enjoyable process with outstanding results. After all, “Content is king”.
In the past, content creation and advertising were entirely distinct. Content creators focused on producing content, while advertisers specialized in advertising.
Nowadays, the content IS advertising.
Content marketers cannot operate in isolation, and marketers who specialize in specific channels like SEO, digital advertising, email marketing, or social media heavily rely on content marketers to support their work.
Content marketing is an integral part of every digital marketing channel, it serves as the foundation for every campaign.
It is a profoundly strategic skill that every business owner should apply to their business.
How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Define your goals and target audience
Outline clearly your content marketing objectives and identify your target audience in order to answer their questions and understand their needs.
Audit your content
Assess your existing content and pinpoint what has performed well and what needs more work. Identify the areas where you can add value to your visitors.
Establish KPI (Key Performance Indicators)
Some common metrics are: website traffic, engagement metrics, lead conversions, leads, bounce rate, etc.
Develop a content calendar
To deliver value to your audience, it’s paramount to create a content plan. Commit to creating content regularly. You can start by writing one new blog post every two weeks, and then you can ramp it up to one per week, two per week, and so on. Remember to focus on quality over quantity.
Craft compelling and relevant content
Create valuable content that addresses the pain points of your audience. Adding stats, graphics (with its sources), and ebooks will make your content more appealing.
Optimize for SEO
Include relevant keywords in your content to improve visibility in search engines.
Promote your content
What’s the point of creating high-quality content if no one sees it. Ways to promote your content are through social media, email marketing, and influencer outreach. A channel I like to recommend is Pinterest. It is not only a social platform, but it works also as a search engine, which means that you are likely to be found in this platform even months after your post.
Measure and Analyze results
Gauge the evolution of your define KPI. Use analytics tools to gain insights and make data-driven improvements. Remember to set up your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts for your website.
Iterate and improve
You will need to continuously iterate and adapt. Be ready to adjust your content according to new trends and relevant subjects. Also, don’t fret about revising your strategies if the results of your current methods aren’t paying off accordingly.
Consider these steps to create a robust content marketing strategy that dries engagement, builds brand authority, and achieves your business objectives.
III. Email Marketing
Growth by Helping Users Move Through the Sales Funnel
When reading through different sources regarding email marketing, you might come across this misconception: “Email marketing is the most underrated digital marketing channel”.
And whereas it has been true that many businesses haven’t focused enough on this strategy, you need to know that this would be a mistake on their part.
Many businesses have achieved massive growth through email marketing campaigns ONLY. And they still do to this day. Which is why you should not miss out on it either.
An example of this is Morning Brew, which is a media company that leverages this method. This company makes 90% ($13 million) of their revenue from email marketing alone.
However, email marketing goes beyond simply sending a newsletter.
To garner the power of email marketing, you must:
- Analyze your data to craft the most relevant and highly-targeted messages to your users
- Figure out the optimal timing for sending each message
- Segment users, track their interactions, and set message automations.
How To Create an Email Marketing Strategy
Define your objectives
Such as increase sales, generate leads, build brand awareness, attract webinar signups.
Know your audience
Understand your users need to be able to address their pain points.
Build your email list
Implement opt-in strategies on your website, landing pages, and social media to grow your email subscriber list organically.
Segment your list
“Not all users are created equal”. Some of your audience might be interested in only product A, shops at night, and live in New York. Take this behavior into consideration to group your users and deliver customized messages.
Choose the right email platform
Go for a reputable email marketing platform that suits your needs and provides indispensable features such as automation and analytics.
Craft compelling content
Use a mix of newsletters, promotions, and informative emails to create engaging content. Make sure your valuable content resonates with your audience.
Manually sending emails can be time-consuming, and most importantly inefficient. Set up automated email sequences for different customer actions: welcome campaign, followup sequence (lead nurturing), abandoned cart recovery, etc.
Optimize for mobile
An important percentage of your subscribers will still be most active on their phones. This is why mobile optimization is a big important.
Test and measure
Conduct A/B Tests: Figuring out what works with your audience is a trial and error endeavor. Tweak subject lines, content, and calls-to-action to optimize your email performance.
And don’t forget to analyze metrics such as open rate, click-through rate, and conversions to assess your strategy effectiveness.
Monitor Deliverability and compliance
I know we all want to keep in touch with our audience as much as possible. But please make sure to adhere to spam regulations and maintain a positive reputation.
Intractability and engagement
Encourage user participation with interactive elements like surveys, social media links, polls, etc.
Regularly review and improve
Always assess the performance of your email marketing campaigns. Be ready to adapt and change as needed.
By following these steps, you can create a well-rounded email marketing strategy that effectively engages your audience and drives your business goals. Remember to adapt your approach as you gain insights and feedback from your subscribers to build stronger relationships and increase conversions.
IV. Digital Advertising
Growth by Launching Highly-Profitable Ad Campaigns
Digital advertising means placing ads on digital channels. And as you’d expect, this is a service which is not exactly cheap or affordable at early stages of a business. While it can deliver results fast, it is not suited for beginners (unless you have disposable money to burn).
When you’re just learning about digital marketing and considering it for your business, venturing into advertising seems daunting.This is mainly because of two reasons:
- There is an upfront investment required
- You need experience with digital advertising to be successful
Let me give you an example:
One of my close friends decided to try out digital advertising for his new small business. And this first try was to this day his most expensive weekly campaign. This happened because during the set up, he missed setting the budget as “Lifetime Budget”. Instead his budget was set to “Daily budget”.
This means that the original 2-week campaign with a total budget of $250, turned into a $250/day campaign. Luckily, he noticed on the 6th day. Though by then the spend had already amounted to over $1,300. And to top it all off, the results were far from amazing.
So I won’t lie to you, almost all campaigns start off being unprofitable, even in some cases for some experienced marketers.
Digital advertising can be hard. It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out the best way. Which only comes with experience. And only then will you be able to get a positive ROI.
This does not mean that you shouldn’t try this method. Just keep in mind to do a thorough research, keep budgets under control, and get to know the platform and metrics well.
Or as always, if your budget allows, there are infinite marketing agencies willing to help and take this daunting task off your hands.
How to Create a Digital Advertising Strategy
Define your goals
Know your target audience
Choose the right advertising channels
Find out which digital platform audience prefers and aligns with your product/service. Some popular ones are: Google ads, Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube.
Set your budget
A reasonable budget should ensure a reasonable Return on Investment (ROI) for your advertising efforts. Remember to keep your budget on the low-end of your investment range until you figure out how to garner the best results.
Craft compelling ad content
Persuasive ad copy and engaging visuals go a long way for this method.
Utilize Landing pages
Direct traffic to your website works well. But, if you’re looking for direct conversions, create landing pages with one single converting action available. This increases your conversion rate and eliminates distracting elements common to websites such as popups, links to other pages, unrelated images and irrelevant bits of information to the purchase.
Implement conversion tracking
Conversion tracking is a must to monitor the effectiveness of your ads. It will allow you to identify your best campaigns.
Test and optimize
As every other method, your data will let you know how effective your efforts are. Run A/B tests, tweak headlines, visuals, and calls-to-action.
Monitor and Analyze
During your campaign, make sure to visit the platform and ponder on your metrics and KPIs. Do this regularly. When starting out, I recommend doing this daily. It doesn’t have to take more than 15 minutes. This will help you keep some peace of mind, and have you ready to make any changes anytime.
Adjust and Adapt
Monitoring your results will help you make data-driven adjustments to your digital advertising strategy. This way you can optimize your results and achieve your goals.
Keep yourself informed on the digital advertising landscape to stay ahead of the competition.
By following these steps and continually refining your approach, you can create a powerful and effective digital advertising strategy that drives meaningful results for your business. Remember that digital advertising is an ongoing process, and staying agile and adaptive is key to success in this dynamic and ever-evolving field.
V. Social Media
Growth With Powerful, Metric Driven Social Media Campaigns
Oftentimes, social media is one of the main concerns for many businesses.
Pretty much every business wants to have a social media presence. So they worry about creating a social media strategy. As they should.
However, many don’t really know what that entails. There is a common vicious cycle leading to failure that many have gone through:
First: They create social accounts on different social networks.
Second: They research the best time to post (some don’t even skip this completely).
Third: They post inconsistently and without a clear message.
Four: They see no results, so they give up and the social accounts are now “collecting dust”.
So, why does this happen commonly? Many assume that because they know how to use social media for their personal lives, then they automatically know how to leverage it for business.
This is a misconception that results in wasted time and resources.
So – What do you need to succeed at social media marketing?
- Keep up with your chosen social media networks to learn the new trends
- Create and share high-quality and engaging content
- Convert your social media audience into leads and customers
How To Create a Social Media Strategy
Set clear goals
Define what you want to achieve and which metrics to follow
Know your audience
Choose the right platform
This depends on who your audience is and what your business goals. For instance, are you targeting only women? Is your audience between 20 and 45? Not all demographics for instance are in all social platforms. Here’s an starting point.
Develop content strategy
Plan a content calendar with a mix of engaging and valuable content, including text posts, images, videos, and interactive elements.
Engage and interact
Facilitate communication by answering messages and interacting with other users. This allows you to build a relationship with your audience.
Use hashtags and trends
As always, you’ll want to keep an eye on your metrics on a constant basis.
Test and optimize
Don’t hesitate to experiment with different types of content. By providing variety, you’ll soon discover what resonates the most with your audience.
Have you ever seen business accounts that start posting every day for a week, then once every 2 weeks, once every month, until the account becomes a ghost town. This won’t give you any positive results. You need to provide content constantly.
By following these steps, you can create a comprehensive social media strategy that effectively promotes your brand, engages your audience, and achieves your business objectives. Remember that social media is an ongoing process, and staying adaptable and responsive is essential for success in the ever-changing landscape of social media.
VI. Web Analytics
Growth by Figuring Out What Works (and What Doesn’t)
This is the most essential skill for anyone building an online business or embarking in digital marketing.
It is true that analytics is a specialized field in itself. Nonetheless, every online business owner should develop at least a basic to mid level of understanding of web analytics.
I, too, had to embark on a journey of web analytics. It might seem somewhat overwhelming at the beginning. Especially considering that there are A LOT of metrics at your disposition with countless ways to analyze them.
But here’s the thing that people oftentimes forget:
Most businesses can gather significant insights with just around five metrics or fewer.
Did that sound straight up wrong to you? Well, I am here to tell you it is true.
In many businesses, including large venture-backed companies, there is a tendency to track an excessive number of metrics rather than focusing on the most critical ones that truly matter for the business.
The key is to identify the five metrics that hold the utmost significance.
This means that you need to develop an analytics strategy that aligns with your business goals and helps you focus on the metrics that provide actionable insights for informed decision-making.
Analytics & data-driven marketing are vital for entrepreneurs & business owners. They offer insights into consumer behavior, aiding in personalized targeting, content creation, omnichannel strategies, KPI tracking, pricing optimization, & enhanced customer experience for growth & success.
Remember: Analytics has just one and one purpose alone: Inform you with the best course of action to achieve your goals.
How to Create a Web Analytics Strategy
Define Your Objectives
Examples: Understanding user behavior, tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), improving website performance, etc.
Identify Key Metrics
Determine the most relevant metrics that align with your objectives, such as website traffic, bounce rate, conversion rate, or average session duration.
Set Up Analytics Tools
Choose a web analytics platform (e.g., Google Analytics) and implement the necessary tracking codes on your website to collect data accurately.
Segment Your Data
Segment your data by traffic sources, devices, demographics, or other relevant criteria to gain deeper insights into user behavior.
Analyze User Behavior
Examine user journeys, popular pages, and conversion funnels to understand how users interact with your website.
Measure Campaign Performance
Track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and advertising efforts to optimize your marketing strategies.
Identify Opportunities and Challenges
Spot areas for improvement and opportunities to enhance user experience and website performance.
Create Data-driven Decisions
Use the insights gathered from web analytics to make data-driven decisions and optimize your website for better results.
Continuously monitor your web analytics data to stay informed about the performance of your website and marketing efforts.
Report and Communicate
Create clear and concise reports to share web analytics insights with stakeholders and team members.
Stay informed about updates and new features in your web analytics tool and industry best practices.
Regularly refine your web analytics strategy based on data insights and feedback to drive continuous improvement.
By following these steps, you can create a robust web analytics strategy that empowers your business to make informed decisions, optimize website performance, and achieve your goals effectively.
Remember to stay proactive in monitoring and analyzing data. This will lead to more significant benefits for your business in the long run.
Digital Marketing is an outstanding field that can help every business owner and entrepreneur out there when applied appropriately. When embarking in the business field, you need to focus on constantly improving your products and services.
However, it would be a massive mistake to overlook the importance of getting the word out to the public.What good is it creating the best and most revolutionary product/service if nobody gets to hear of it?
So whether you are developing a strategy for yourself, or handing it out to a digital marketing agency, learn the basics and how to apply them. This way you will have a better control of your investment and efforts.
So to recap, let’s not forget the main areas you want to learn about:
- Sales funnels
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Digital advertising
- Social media
- Web analytics
Remember the tool I promised at the beginning of this post? Click on the link below to find out. Don’t miss out on this perfect tool that requires ZERO extra budget.
I am glad you made it to the end of this post!
Do you now feel ready to start working on your Digital Marketing strategy? If you have any questions, I’d love to help.
Leave your comment below and I’ll get back to you soon.