Free Digital Marketing Advice for Small Businesses – Lesson 1 – Your Digital Marketing Plan

While the internet is a wonderful place to be, exposing you to inumerable leads worldwide, for many smaller businesses, hiring the services of a digital agency is just not feasible.

Digital agencies are a great investment for businesses whose website is important to them, businesses who don’t have the time to keep up with the ever-changing world of the internet, and businesses who like to outsource services to specialists for peace of mind.

For small businesses who aren’t yet at the stage where they can afford to hire a digital agency, this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be doing any digital marketing at all. There are plenty of things small businesses can do for a small budget, and that won’t take too much of their focus away from their core business.

This blog post is the first in a series I will do to help all my friends and all those out there, who are small business owners who want to cover the basics of online marketing for themselves.

The series will cover web analytics, online shopping services, SEO, Social networking, online PR, Adwords and anything else that I come up with as time goes on.

Purpose of your website

The first step for any digital marketing strategy – is to think about what your website means to your business. Is it there for selling? For supporting current customers? For branding? An online portfolio? All of these? You need a purpose for your website, so you know how much effort, and what kind of effort, you need to put into your campaign.

Once you know exactly what your website is for, this will help clarify the purpose for all your online strategies.

Where are Your Customers?

The next thing you need to do is think about how people ‘might’ find your website online. You don’t need to know every way right now, but this brainstorm is important to get things going. Do you think you could get customers searching in Google? On topic blogs? on Facebook or Twitter? Is there a marketplace for your product on EBay or other online shopping stores?

By identifying these opportunities, you know where to initially target your marketing efforts. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep thinking about this over time and keep your eyes open constantly for new opportunities.

Keywords – How do you describe your product/service?

Finally, you need to decide what keyword themes describe your business? Here, you might like to look at my keyword research post. This will help you clarify what your customers are searching online for, and subsequently will help in the SEO, Adwords and social networking aspects of digital marketing.

Like all things online, your keyword list will need to evolve over time, so don’t think you can make this list then leave it, it will need to be reviewed every few months.

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