What You Need to Know Before Starting Digital Marketing

What You Need to Know Before Starting Digital Marketing

When we first start talking to a potential client, or just another business in Eugene, they ultimately have a lot of questions about digital marketing. What, exactly, does digital marketing entail? What do we do for businesses? What kind of results do we see from the work we do?

There are lots of misunderstandings around digital marketing—partly because it is a newer aspect of marketing and partly because it deals with aspects on the internet that some business owners just aren’t very accustomed to using.

Your business might already be doing some aspects of digital marketing—like social media or updating your website for SEO—but might not have a concrete idea of how it all ties together. As well, taking on disparate parts of something that is tied together without a solid goal or plan in mind can ultimately be pretty frustrating! If you’re ready to take on more digital marketing, let’s what through everything you need to know first.

1. Understand Your Goals

As we’ve written before, setting goals for your business is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. But if you’re thinking of either hiring a digital marketing position at your business or hiring an agency (like us) to take on these aspects for you, there is more than setting a goal.

It’s important to understand not only your goals and to have a plan to achieve them but to also understand how realistic those goals are. Digital marketing can help you understand the data around your business, so you can set goals that are practical and highly achievable.

We know that 80% of small businesses don’t keep track of their business goals throughout the year. When it comes to digital marketing, you’ll end up with tons of data—so if you don’t keep that data in line with the goals you want to achieve, you’ll end up not knowing if you were successful or not.

2. Set Expectations for Conversions

Just like with understanding your goals and how realistic they are, the same needs to be done for conversions. Each business will have a different idea of what converting means; for some, it will be filling in a form; and for others, it will be actually completing an order. Setting the parameters of conversions for your specific business will better help you strategize your digital marketing for your business.

3. Outline Expectations for Data in Advance

Digital marketing is a unique and exciting part of marketing because there is so much data associated with it. There is data for almost every aspect of digital marketing! We have data to know what headlines work best for blog content, data to know how to best write social media for website traffic, and data to know the ideal ad to create for your desired audience.

Harnessing and understanding all this data, however, can be difficult, especially once you start digital marketing. Outlining in advance exactly what you want to see—whether you want to see everything or you just want to know what is successful and what isn’t—will better help you stay organized in the future.

4. Understand Keywords & Data Around your Business

Again, there is so much data surrounding digital marketing and the same is true for your website and your specific niche. We’ve learned from working with a variety of clients that different strategies work for different people when it comes to SEO and keyword use. Before taking on any additional digital marketing tasks, it is important to understand the keywords that surround your niche—and there are many tools you can use to do this, like Moz’s Keyword Explorer and Google AdWords Keyword Planner.

5. Set Time-Based Expectations

When starting digital marketing, it’s important to set expectations for your marketing—that’s just part of having a digital marketing strategy. We like to break our marketing plans into time-based increments where we can view the data, access what works and what doesn’t, and then alter our plans. We typically like to plan these assessment periods for 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. If you’re working with an agency (like us!), it’s important to make sure you have set this expectation for them.
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