An Introduction to Digital Marketing: A Guide For SMEs

Are you looking to stand out from your competitors but not sure how? Are you looking for a beginners guide to help you get started with  digital marketing? Digital marketing is a cost-effective form of lead generation that can help your business to grow. But what forms of digital marketing are available and how do you know which is right for your business?

Digital marketing is a vast field with a variety of areas and segments and it can be confusing to know where to begin, but you’re not alone. Many business owners find themselves in the same boat, juggling multiple roles and having to dive into areas they are unfamiliar with. The good news is that there are a number of resources available that can help you get started. This introductory guide to digital marketing will give you the basic framework you need to get started. We’ll cover the most important aspects of digital marketing, including search engine optimization (SEO), creating a digital marketing plan, social media marketing, and email marketing. By the end of this beginner’s guide to digital marketing, you’ll have a good understanding of how to get started with your digital marketing.

Join along as we explore the basics of digital marketing to help you find the best solution for you!

Standing out in the online marketplace can feel like an impossible task, but when you begin to break down the different components that go into digital marketing and how they function, you’d be amazed at how things fall into place.  

The global pandemic has completely shifted the way people search for products and services, with far more information available at their fingertips 24/7 now compared to the pre-pandemic world. Businesses need to adapt to this fast-paced marketplace and understand that the buyer journey online depends on a lot of moving parts for a successful digital marketing strategy. But don’t worry, that’s why we are breaking down what we believe are the most useful components in this introduction to digital marketing

Introduction: Digital Marketing for Beginners

Marketing is a broad topic that can be broken down into different channels. Digital marketing, for example, is the use of various digital platforms and technologies to promote or market a product or service.

Marketing is the process of promoting products and services to customers through various channels. The goal of marketing is to generate interest in a product or service and encourage potential customers to purchase it.

Marketing channels are the methods used by businesses in order to reach out to their target audience. Online presence refers to an online representation of a business’ products, services, and brand identity.

Effective digital marketing means using online platforms like Google Adwords and Facebook Ads in order to create an online presence for your business.

An introduction to digital marketing - using analytical tool to check statistics and sources for marketing strategy

This blog teaches you the basics of digital marketing and will help you to craft a solid jumping-off point for your online marketing journey. Reach out to us at Somer Design for more targeted advice.

Let’s Start From The Start: What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is all about being seen in the most densely populated shopping centre in the world, the internet! It is a collective campaign that utilises several aspects of the online sphere both on and off your website to help you connect with potential customers.  

If you want to build trust and brand authority, establish credibility for your business, create brand awareness and make meaningful connections that lead to conversions and sales, then having a strong grasp of digital marketing is a must. Not only that but the cost-effective method allows you to measure and track your marketing success in real-time, allowing you to adjust and adapt your approach quickly. 

So where do people usually go wrong? Well, your business has access to a global audience, it can be quite tempting to cast a wide net, but that’s not going to lead to much follow-through in the long term, especially when every other business online is trying to do the same. The answer is to be specific!  

Think of it this way, if you’re trying to get a group of 10 people to come and join you at a party, would you go to a crowded festival and try to shout over the sea of noise and hope enough people could make out what you were asking? Probably not, you’d probably seek out a small handful of people, you’d assess whether you think their interests align with yours first, and then you’d approach for a more personal 1:1 chat.  

Digital marketing works in the same way, instead of trying to reach the masses with a weak message, you craft your message perfectly for the people you know will most likely be interested in hearing it.  

digital marketing introduction to a group of people

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Before we explore the different types of digital marketing, let’s take a second to reflect on how marketing has evolved. Before the internet, people relied on word-of-mouth and traditional advertising to reach new customers. Traditional media can be defined as “Any form of mass communication available before the advent of digital media”. This includes newspaper, magazine, TV, and radio, advertising.  

While these forms of marketing may still offer a return on investment for your company, there is a far simpler and much more effective option nowadays. Why? Because your customer has evolved, so your business must, too. As we mentioned earlier, if someone needs something, the first place they look is online. So if you want to be the solution to your customer’s problem, you must get digital!

An Introduction To The Digital Marketing Fundamentals

So, you know why digital marketing is important, now let’s look at how you can build a strong digital marketing strategy! There are several types of digital marketing to be aware of, you can go down so many different avenues to have your message heard, for example: 

  • Content marketing
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Digital Advertising, or Paid advertising (like Google Ads or social media advertising)
  • Email marketing
  • And more.

How do you know where to begin? Well from our experience we believe there are three main areas to focus on first that are key to a solid digital marketing introduction: Content marketing, social media, and search engine optimisation (SEO). Once you’ve got the basics of these down, everything else is just a bonus! Let’s break them down.

1. Content

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is simply the development and sharing of online material such as blog posts or videos. This can be utilised to support your business’s product or service indirectly by establishing you as an expert in your field and to keep you fresh in a buyer’s mind when the time comes to make a purchasing decision. 

Why Do You Need Content Marketing?

The point of content marketing is to generate interest in your business. It focuses less on advertising your product or service and more on forming a conversation around it, whether that’s an education piece about how to make the most of what you’re selling, or creating recommendations, having your say on industry news, and plenty more. Building your content around what you do demonstrates your knowledge on the subject, and builds credibility and authority, allowing potential customers to see that you’re a trusted influence in the online space.

Crafting a high quality content is one of the key to a solid digital marketing introduction.

Where Do You Start?

Start with what you know! Build out your website with plenty of articles and resources around what you do. Think about the user on the other side of the screen (your ideal customer) and develop your content around their journey. Consider what kind of information they would be looking for, what questions they might be typing into google, and be the one to fill in the gaps for them! Content marketing is the perfect opportunity to build trust with potential customers.

Who can help?

To stay front of mind and to continually build your brand authority and credibility, it’s important to create content regularly to make an impact! Understandably this is a lengthy, time-consuming process, and a business has a lot to juggle outside of that. A digital marketing company can be an invaluable resource as they come with the experience and knowledge of how best to build effective, optimised and most importantly regular content online that will help you get seen.  

2. Social Media

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is almost like another branch of content marketing, but with so many platforms available, and the potential it holds, we think it deserves its own category. From Facebook to LinkedIn, Instagram to YouTube, social media marketing allows you to quickly post photos, videos, and thoughts, promote deals, join industry conversations and more.

Why Do You Need Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is one of the quickest ways to connect directly with an audience, become part of conversations, and share your expert opinions while building a community of interested potential leads as you peel back the curtain of your business. Building your social media strengthens your brand authority online helping you to stay memorable and relevant when the time comes for customers to make a purchase!

An introduction to digital marketing - using social media marketing to achieve your marketing and branding goals.

Where Do You Start?

Think about what it is you’d like to share online, will your social media channels be educational, will you showcase case studies and results, will you allow your audience to get to know you and your team, or perhaps a mixture! There are several ways to approach it, as long as you plan! Like content marketing, consistency is key to growth. Plan your social media calendar and think about the audience you want to reach with it.  

Who can help?

There are so many social media platforms out there, that it can be difficult to know where you should be focusing your time! Facebook may appeal more to a certain age demographic than TikTok for instance. Or your business might work better on a visual platform like Instagram over something like Twitter. A digital marketing agency can give you the direction you need to connect to the right people and make the most of the different opportunities that come with them and help you to build a strong social media content plan to grow your audience. 

3. SEO

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation and this is the crucial element of digital marketing that allows your business to appear high up on search engines where you can be seen easily by potential customers. SEO utilises your content, user experience and online authority to help you claim those top spots that drive traffic to your website.

Why Do You Need SEO?

Search engines have become a crucial step in the buyer journey online as customers try to find out more information about a product or service, and a business that can best answer those potential questions has a better opportunity to appear in front of those leads. 

An introduction to digital marketing - using SEO to help you claim those top spots that drive traffic to your website.

Where Do You Start?

SEO is a complex and time-consuming task that requires a deep understanding of the latest search engine trends. We recommend working with an SEO specialist to achieve results – without their guidance, you may not notice an impact. Here are a few simple things you can do to improve your SEO: 

  • Claim your Google Business Profile: This is an essential element for local SEO.  
  • Get professionally written SEO content: The content on your site plays a major role in your SEO success. Does your website content include the right keywords? Is it structured properly? If not, it could be negatively impacting your SEO.  
  • Regularly create fresh blog content: Google likes to know that you’re sharing engaging and relevant information frequently.  
  • Check your website site speed: If your website doesn’t load quickly, it may harm your SEO results and your reputation. Check your website speed here.  
  • Check your website is mobile friendly: This is a non-negotiable in 2022! Check your website is responsive on a mobile device.

Who can help?

The online market is ever evolving, meaning that the algorithms that determine how high you appear in a search engine are often changing. Keeping up to date with this fast-paced marketplace and adjusting your content and website to stay optimised is a hefty process. A digital marketing company can ensure your website is reaching its full potential, constantly looking for new ways to stay one step ahead of the game.

Which Form Of Digital Marketing Is Right For Me?

There are many forms of digital marketing, and the right one for you depends on your business goals. If you’re looking to increase brand awareness, for example, you might want to invest in SEO or content marketing. If you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, you might want to focus on paid search advertising. And if you’re looking to build relationships with customers, you might want to invest in email marketing. The key is to experiment with different digital marketing tactics and find the ones that work best for your business. That way, you can maximise your return on investment and get the most out of your digital marketing budget.  

Working with a digital marketing professional can help you to optimise your success. Not only will they make suggestions to enhance your marketing campaign’s  performance and generate better results, but they’ll also save you precious time and resources spent experimenting with different forms of marketing.  

Considering Digital Marketing? Consider Engaging An Agency

There are many reasons to consider working with a digital marketing agency. Here are some key benefits: 

  • Gain access to experienced professionals who can help you navigate the digital marketing landscape and achieve your marketing goals. 
  • Save time and resources by outsourcing your digital marketing needs to experts. 
  • Get comprehensive digital marketing services under one roof, from digital strategies  and planning to execution and measurement. 
  • Stay ahead of the curve with the latest digital marketing trends and technologies. 
  • Scale your digital marketing efforts as your business grows. 

Working with a digital marketing agency can help you reach your target audience more effectively and efficiently while freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.  

Caroline Somer - Somer Design Founder & CEO

Launch Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing doesn’t have to be daunting! At Somer Design, we can provide full support to help your business build a meaningful and effective online presence that leads to conversions. If you’re ready to launch a creative and effective integrated campaign, start your journey with Somer Design today.

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