Square One: What Is Digital Marketing?



Let's start at square one. Many entrepreneurs are trying to market their businesses on their own without knowing much about what they are doing. This blog is a place to learn about marketing, particularly online or digital marketing, and get great tips and insights that you can use to grow your customer base. That's what we all want, right? More customers!

The internet is a great tool for finding customers, but the world of digital marketing can seem overwhelming and frustrating if you don't understand the basics. Honestly, it can be overwhelming anyway, but some background knowledge can help you navigate this world and make choices that will be most effective for you and your business.

What makes digital marketing daunting is the fact that it can take so many forms. The field encompasses everything from website design to social media, blogging, mobile apps, e-mail marketing, online advertising, videos, content management, search engine optimization (SEO), and more. It's enough to make a lot of small business owners want to unplug their computers and run for the hills. But, with so many potential clients and customers on the internet, running away is not an option... or not a good one, anyway.

So, let me break it down for you in two simple categories. It turns out that everything in digital marketing fits into one of only two categories: 1) driving traffic to your website and 2) what happens once it gets there. Determining which of these functions each tool is used for can help you use them more effectively.

Given that a lot of digital marketing is used to bring people to your website, it is important to take a good hard look at the effectiveness of your website before you spend time and money driving people to it. A lot of entrepreneurs get caught up in the excitement of tools like Facebook or other social media platforms, which are affordable and flashy. But it can be like putting the cart before the horse if you are driving people to a website that doesn't effectively convert visitors into customers, capture their information, or provide them with value so they will want to come back. If it doesn't do these things, visitors will arrive, look around (for about 3 seconds, according to research) and decide they are in the wrong place, and click... they're gone.

So what is the role of your website? Since the end goal is to sell your product or service, it is important to look at where that sale happens. Do people buy things on your website? (If they aren't, they should be!) Do they typically call you up or meet in person? Or maybe they come into your store or location. The role of your website and your digital marketing changes depending on the answer to that question.

I encourage you to step back and look at your website with new eyes, or have other people look at it, and ask the following questions:
  • What can people do and/or learn on my website?
  • What is the immediate next step I want people to take after visiting my website?
  • Do visitors feel a personal connection when they visit my website?

Stay tuned for more detailed articles about improving your business through strategic digital marketing, or check out my digital marketing packages to let me help you.