Quick And Easy Steps To Get Started With Digital Marketing

Do you need to get on the case with your online marketing, but have no idea where to start?

don't know where to start

My background in marketing (I used to be Head of Communications for a national architecture organisation) and 10+ years experience running my own business online means I have practical marketing tips and tricks at my fingertips! I wrote a detailed book on online marketing for Expert Photography – but if you just want some quick tips, this blog post is for you 🙂

There’s a lot of information out there, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed – so let’s break down each area one by one, and work through some bite size steps to put a plan in place.

Use digital marketing to work for you, and it becomes less of a chore and more of an exciting tool to reach new customers and to develop relationships with existing clients.

Social media: how to get started

Getting started on social media can feel overwhelming, and it’s also easy to get stuck in a rut if you’ve been running your account for a while.

Remember that you can use Instagram to bring work your way and to really build a meaningful network. Doing that means posting regularly feels like less of a chore, and more of a tool – make it work for you!

Instagram ideas to rotate between:

First, ask yourself some key questions:

  1. What do you sell?
  2. What benefits does your business offer?
  3. What makes your business unique?
  4. What issues are your customers interested in?
  5. What issues are you interested in, to do with work?
  6. What issues are you interested in, outside work?

Actually write down the answers to these questions – it will really help you, even if feels a bit silly!

Themes for your posts:

Using your answers to the ‘Instagram ideas’ list above, map out 5 themes that you’d like to share about your business:

  1. Your products / services – show customers what they can get from you
  2. Behind the scenes – you working, tools of the trade, your work environment, photos of client meetings, speaking at events
  3. User generated content – remember you don’t need to create all the content yourself! Re-post content from clients, customers, your Instagram followers, employees or influencers. Think beyond Instagram, too: share photos of the books and magazines you read that you’d recommend to others in your industry. Share testimonials from your customers. Just be sure to credit anyone you’re re-posting.
  4. Quotes – choose a day of the week category to engage with, like Motivational Monday
  5. Issues, interests and concerns – share content that might interest your customers, but isn’t related to your business itself: upcoming events locally, workshops related to your company’s services, interesting articles
  6. Your personal life – share photos fo your hobbies, you off-duty, things you’re passionate about. Make yourself relatable!

Comment types:

Alongside your photo post, you’ll need a caption. Aim to rotate between these caption types, to keep your feed interesting and feeling genuine:

  1. Inspirational
  2. Educational
  3. Share the benefits of your products / services (only once per week)
  4. Share an experience
  5. Share a famous quote that links to the photo
  6. Call to action

Putting this into action:

I made a simple chart where you can write out the themes for your posts, and the comment types, and then match the two together.

Try to mix this up, so you have different combinations each week.

Free Instagram weekly planner

Inspiration:

You’ll see there are also boxes to note down Instagram accounts to monitor for inspiration, as well as hashtags to search for. Keeping an eye on these will help you spot trends in your industry, and also give you new ideas for content.

Blog posts: what should you write about?

Use blog posts to enhance client education, and to drive traffic to your website.

What would your customers would benefit from knowing more about? Let that drive your blog post strategy.

Keep a note of questions clients ask you time and again – write a blog post to answer these questions. Then you can send the link to customers, demonstrating that you’re an expert in their concerns, and also driving more visitors to your site.

Look through your emails answering these questions to your customers, and you’ll likely find half your blog post content already written – just copy and paste your answers into a blog post, and pad it out a bit!

Are there thorny issues you often have to deal with that it would be easier to send a generalised link that addresses the topic, rather than information that could seem personal or pointed? These are also great candidates for blog post topics.

digital marketing boost

Putting this into practice

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What barriers do your customers face in deciding to choose your business or buy your products?
  • Why did you make the business decisions you did? Can you write a blog post about one of these decisions to outline why your niche might be preferable compared to your competitors?
  • What expertise do you have that would help your customers? What tips and advice could you share?
  • What are the unique selling points of your products or services?

Preparing to write a blog post on one of these topics:

  • Set out some headings of key points to cover
  • Flesh out some text for each heading
  • Choose a photo to illustrate each main point
  • Include a testimonial from a customer showing how they benefited from using your service, or benefited from your expertise

Remember that a lot of people will skim read, so some engaging headlines and eye catching photos are paramount.

Go for gold:

What other content could you link to on your website? Include an internal link to that page or blog post somewhere in your content. Keep your website visitors moving through your site!

Remember to include an outbound link to another website too, Google loves these and will boost your SEO ranking if you do.

Getting started:

A lot of people find it easier to get started with pen and paper, so if that’s you, go old school! Equally, some people find it easier to make a voice recording, as then you can just chat it all through as it comes to you. Try a few different tactics and see what suits you.

Preparing to write a blog post on one of these topics:

  • Set out some headings of key points to cover
  • Flesh out some text for each heading
  • Choose a photo to illustrate each main point
  • Include a testimonial from a customer showing how they benefited from using your service, or benefited from your expertise

Remember that a lot of people will skim read, so some engaging headlines and eye catching photos are paramount.

What other content could you link to on your website? Include an internal link to that page or blog post somewhere in your content. Keep your website visitors moving through your site!

Remember to include an outbound link to another website too, Google loves these and will boost your SEO ranking if you do.

A lot of people find it easier to get started with pen and paper, so if that’s you, go old school! Equally, some people find it easier to make a voice recording, as then you can just chat it all through as it comes to you. Try a few different tactics and see what suits you.

Your target:

Aim to write a comprehensive blog post every 3 months.

When you’re in the swing of things, you can start to move towards a monthly blog post.

Newsletters: what do your customers want to hear about?

Think of your newsletters as a way to build a personal relationship with your customers.

Pro tip: this is rarely a constant stream of sales emails. Use email instead as a way to convert a follower to a fan, and then to a customer.

People buy from people, so use your email list as a way of sharing who is behind the business – help customers connect with you.

If you don’t know where to get started with emailing your list, I highly recommend Liz Wilcox membership which includes a weekly template you can quickly edit to fit your business – for just $9 a month. You can create an email in 5 minutes with these tools – writer’s block, begone!

Your target:

Aim to send a newsletter each month.

When you’re in the swing of things, you can start to move towards a weekly email.

Handy resources

To schedule social media posts:

Check out https://later.com which is $18 a month. You just upload the photos, drag them to the date and time you’d like them to be published, write a caption and that’s it! I sit down for half an hour every month or so, and schedule the next few weeks ahead. You could also check out Buffer, Hootsuite and Planoly.

Instagram challenge:

If you respond well to challenges, check out this 30 day Instagram challenge designed to help you boost engagement: https://blakesocial.co.uk/31-days-of-engagement It’s £25, and gives you bite size tasks to do each day over a month, literally just five or ten minutes. It really helps with thinking about who you can reach out to, and how; and how you can use Instagram to build a network and actually engage with people.

Graphic design:

For easy DIY graphic design, you can use Canva (which has a free account) to easily create a text graphic to post, alongside photos.

Social media captions:

If you need a kickstart with writing captions, there’s lots of inspiration here: https://www.oberlo.co.uk/blog/instagram-captions

What to expect