Many small to medium business owners we’ve worked with over the past few years came to us completely discombobulated about digital marketing. Typically, they had been having an ad hoc ‘crack’ on a few social media channels and a stab in the digital dark at Google Adwords. Their ‘enormous’ efforts received ‘likes’, got more ‘followers’, a few genuine enquiries and the odd ‘ker-ching’, but on the whole nothing significant happened – except that they were pulling their hair out trying.Before you leap ahead for a 3 step quick fix, the first vital truth about digital marketing is that there is no one size fits all formula that will guarantee a return. It requires a unique brand and marketing plan and sustained output over time (but it doesn’t need to be ‘enormous’). But once that is crystal clear, we suggest you work on this 3 Step Approach to Digital Marketing.

Step 1 – Create (and follow!) a marketing calendar

When you have a weekly marketing schedule to follow and you’ve got a bank of content and images to use it takes very little time and effort to put your marketing plan into action. We use a super simple spreadsheet which you’re welcome to use (just ask us using the comments section below) or do a Google search for content publishing templates and you’ll find a few to choose from. Remember, ALL your marketing should speak directly to the hearts and minds of the people you started your business for. 

Step 2 – Determine Your Budget

For most businesses, digital marketing does require some financial commitment. The main areas of expenditure for our clients are directed to boosting their posts on social media, Google AdWords campaigns or for ongoing SEO and Analytics. The first thing you need to do is work out how much you can/should allocate to spend. Your digital marketing plan should have nutted out the best channel to invest in. Your decisions about where to allocate your budget should be based on where your customers are most likely to see and engage with you – e.g. Social Media, Google Search, Email or all? Our free UpSwing Review can help you with this if you’re unsure.

Step 3 – Test, Measure & Improve

If you don’t measure it you can’t improve it. It is that simple. Ensure you have the right tools to analyse every single post and ad campaign you do, so you can determine if you’re close to the target or miles away. Many small businesses will be using Google Analytics. And why not? It’s a terrific resource for most businesses with an online presence. But do most small and medium-sized businesses have a measurement plan in place? Do they have goals set up to properly measure campaigns? Are they analysing the most relevant metrics? Are they making changes based on informed insights? In our experience, most aren’t unfortunately.  Whether your goal is online sales or leads, without measurement you’re literally stabbing in digital darkness. This is a reason many business owners like you end up in our office, discouraged and with no hair left. Let that not be you.

If you’re feeling discombobulated and pulling out your hair please start following the above digital marketing steps today. It’s the only way you’ll bring your customers closer to enquiring or buying. 

Image by Rakka