How to get started with digital marketing: 5 key steps

These 5 steps will help set you up for digital marketing success. 

Getting started with digital marketing involves much more than deciding whether you’re going to post on LinkedIn or Facebook, or use Shopify or WordPress for your website CMS. 

Digital marketing is all about nailing the bigger picture. Once you’ve got a strategy in place and understand who you’re talking to, you can hone in on the details and the tactical things you’ll do to get the results you’re after.  

So before you jump straight in, make sure you follow these steps

1. Start with your audience 

If you want your digital marketing to be successful, it needs to be customer-centric. Putting your customers at the forefront of your strategy will ensure that any activity you do addresses their needs, whether it be social media marketing, EDMs or blog content. When people find your content interesting, helpful and inspiring, you’re more likely to be seen by them as a business they want to interact with. 

Start by determining who your prospective customers are, where they find information, what they’re interested in and what challenges they face (read our blog on creating user personas to learn how to do this). A customer journey map will help you understand what steps these people take from first interacting with you to making a purchase, so you can identify key opportunities to engage them along the way. 


2. Craft a strategy

The next step on your way to digital marketing success is to put in place a well thought-out digital marketing strategy. This is a plan that helps your business achieve specific digital goals through carefully selected online marketing channels. 

The strategy should outline your goals, the measurable objectives you’ll use to achieve them, your target audience and their customer journey, how you will define success, and may also include things like a competitor analysis, budget and time frame. Many digital marketing strategies will incorporate a “test and learn” phase and account for changes as you gain insight into what activity is working and what isn’t. 

Download our eBook for tips on how to grow your business with a winning digital marketing strategy. 


3. Build (or rebuild) your website to align with your strategy

Your website is the focal point of all your digital marketing activity. Everything should direct people back to it to take further action, whether it’s to get in touch with you, download a free guide or make a purchase.

If you currently have a website and it’s not driving the traffic or conversions you’d like it to, it might be time for a website audit to find out what needs to change. Sometimes, it could be some simple tweaks that are required. Sometimes, you might want to consider changing your CMS platform or refreshing the web design.

Consider looking at your SEO as well to improve your visibility on Google’s search engine results pages. The top technical SEO tactic you can use to do this, according to HubSpot, is by optimising your site for mobile.

“Your website is the focal point of all your digital marketing activity.”

4. Develop your tactical activity

The next step is to make a plan for what digital marketing activity you’ll be doing, the channels/platforms you’ll be using and the budget you have to do this.

Wondering whether podcasts or blogs will be more effective in reaching your audience? It all comes down to your goals. Choose your channels carefully and make sure the ones you select are going to reach the people you want to talk to in the way they prefer to engage with brands.

5. Put an effective reporting mechanism in place

Finally, before getting started with any digital marketing activity, make sure you know how you’re going to measure its success. There’s little point in doing something if you don’t know how effective it is, so set up a reporting system that will keep you in the loop and ensure you’re making data-driven decisions. 

Factor in time to review the data and retain the flexibility to make changes or improvements as you go. 

For expert help getting started with your digital marketing

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