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Digital marketing for small business: a beginner’s guide to getting started

Digital marketing is not that difficult when you have the proper workflow and tools. The number of different ways to do marketing online is growing as new platforms emerge and existing platforms develop new ways to connect with potential customers.

Many companies struggle with digital marketing because they do not have the proper workflow or tools. Workflow and tools help you choose the proper channels and activities for your business at the right time. 

This post discusses how to build a solid foundation for digital marketing. 

Digital marketing workflow

Organising work helps you focus on the most critical activities in marketing at the right time. Our recommendation is to work in sprints that last for a week or two. This will help you get things done when there’s a pre-defined time frame for completing tasks.

During the sprint, you complete different tasks to improve your marketing. For example, you could optimise some advertisements or create new social media posts. Keeping sprints short helps you keep lessons simple and small – easier to manage and complete. 

The other important aspect of a short sprint is that you do enough planning and analysing. It’s essential to stop and study what works and what does not. Doing this systematically every week will help you improve marketing and get better results. 

From awareness to purchase

The end goal of marketing is to get new customers. When you work in sprints, your job is to create awareness and convince customers to make purchase decisions. A funnel is a system that describes how customers move through a series of steps or stages when they make purchase decisions. 

Read more about funnels.

Data and analytics

Moving users between different stages in the funnel requires effective use of data and analytics. Defining goals for further steps and measuring which activities have the best impact is crucial. 

There are a lot of tools available for collecting data from users and devices to analyse the data. Our recommendation for all our customers is to use Google tracking code and Facebook pixel to collect data.

You can use Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics to analyse user behaviour on your website and see how different marketing campaigns work.

More advanced users can consider tools like Google Data Studio and Power BI by Microsoft. These will enable more advanced reporting and analytics.

Read more about how to set up Google Tracking Code
Read more about how to set up Facebook Pixel

Experimenting and continuous learning

What works for others does not necessarily work for you. Every company is different, and every company has additional resources. There are, of course, basic things like having a website and doing advertisements that work for all but the devil is in the details. 

You have to experiment with each channel yourself to see what works best for you. Continuous experimentation and continuous learning is the key to successful digital marketing.

Start experimenting with something simple. Something you are most familiar with. We see many people running too many experiments simultaneously and doing too many things not expected of them. It will often give poor results and decrease motivation. There are no shortcuts in marketing. Take small steps and balance between everyday activities and completely new things. 

Should I start with Facebook ads or Google ads?

social media marketing agency

The fastest way to get new customers is through advertisements. There are many different ways to do paid advertising, but Google and Facebook are the most prominent platforms.
It is one of the first questions all companies think of in the beginning. Most companies use both in the long run. We recommend you start from the channel you are most familiar with. 

It does not matter if it’s Google or Facebook as long as you start experimenting quickly and get going. Forget what you think you know about your customers’ behaviour online; you can connect with your customers on both of these platforms if you have the right strategy. 

In the beginning, it’s most important to start experimenting and learning. You can quickly get started with a small budget and then move the allocation between the channels as you know what works and what does not.

Search engine optimisation is equally important but often takes a lot of time. Finding the right balance between paid advertising and acquiring free traffic through search engine optimisation becomes increasingly important as you progress with your digital marketing.

Start as soon as possible

Taking small steps makes digital marketing much more accessible. In the beginning, it feels like there are millions of things you can try, but once you start listing different things and tackling them one by one, you will get results. The most important thing is you get started soon and start experimenting with various tools and techniques. 

To get started, we have developed a simple tool – Gaasly Flow – where you can list all your ideas and prioritise them. We have added some tasks there we think all businesses should complete in digital marketing. A list serves as a checklist for an established company to see if basic things are in order.

Good luck with digital marketing.

If you need help developing your business online, we are here to help you.