If you want to power your customer acquisition with digital then you need to get your digital marketing foundations right. In this checklist, you'll discover the basics every small business should have in place.
It all starts with market research
You MUST understand your audience as much as possible.
Do you understand your audience enough to appeal to them with content that can add value? From audience research for FullerFunnels we discovered many businesses struggle with the fundamentals of digital marketing. That inspired us to produce this checklist. How did we gain that insight? We used a tool called SEMrush. Explore our free guide to SEMrush and take advantage of our free trial offer. We know most businesses don’t have the time or the money to do first-hand research and this is a great alternative.
Action: Take a free trial of SEMRush and try to understand how your audience is trying to answer their challenges.
Build your email list early
Your email list is the list of people that are waiting for your help
Email has long been considered the ugly duckling of digital marketing. When I mention email marketing I often get funny looks. I’m asked, “why email when I can post on Facebook?”. Social media is great, but it’s rented land. The social networks own their platforms and can change the rules at any time. Make connections and building an email list of people you can help. Help is the operative word here. Most businesses see their email list as people they can market to, I see it as people I can help. ConvertKit is a great email marketing tool. It’s the right balance between power and ease of use.
Action: If you haven’t started building your list yet then head over to ConvertKit and try it out. You get 30 days free!
Understand the goals of your website
Your customers don’t care if your website looks great. They care that they can easily accomplish their goal.
Why do you have a website and what are its goals? For many businesses, their websites become a content dumping ground. You must understand the goals of your website and how your website is helping those goals. This is your shop window on the world. To be clear this is NOT about how your website looks. This is all about how it supports your audience and delivers on business goals.
You need a customer acquisition funnel
Websites don’t convert, funnels do. Use your website to feed your funnels.
Here is the secret of digital marketing. Websites aren’t for conversions. They help establish thought leadership and content discovery but often only a small percentage of visitors convert. A customer acquisition funnel will help guide your visitors towards a purchasing decision.
Join the free webinar on building and using marketing funnels.
Your audience is already doing research using social media. You need to be there.
Get your business on the core social networks which are Twitter and Facebook. You can’t ignore Facebook even if you’re selling B2B. If you’re B2B then you MUST also be on LinkedIn. To your core platform mix add the social networks that will resonate with your audience. How are you going to manage all those networks? Simple, you need to invest in a good social media management tool like ContentStudio to manage all your activity.
Action: Sign up for ContentStudio they have a free plan.
Establish your thought leadership through a blog
You need to be seen as a topic authority. A blog is a great way of demonstrating your thought leadership credentials.
As a B2B business, you need to establish your credentials and build authority. White papers and detailed content pieces are great but time-consuming and expensive to produce. By blogging you’ll be able to produce relevant content much quicker. Again, understanding your audience so that you can produce content they will value is critical. We find using the topic research feature of SEMrush useful for planning our content. See it in action in my walkthrough video.
Video can help you reach your audience in a different way
YouTube is the second most popular search engine. Make sure your content is on there.
Video content is great for building a rapport with your audience. The more face time you earn the more your buyers will get to know you. If you can simplify complex concepts in an easy to understand video then you instantly move into the realm of a trusted advisor. We all know the value of an organic ranking on Google, but YouTube is the second most used search engine and ranking there could generate significant interest. Ranking on YouTube is easier but it's still competitive. Make it easier with a tool like TubeBuddy.
SEO is more important than ever
With the social networks cutting our organic reach and new regulation like GDPR, SEO is now more important than ever!
You could be excused for thinking the importance of SEO has declined. The world lives on social media right? Wrong. Almost every buyer journey begins with a search, and your website needs to be appearing in the search results. Are you there when your customers are looking for you, or are they just finding your competitors?
SEO takes time, start with Adwords
Get an instant traffic boost with AdWords
Using PPC you can show ads for your business in the search results. When we think search we often think Google. To advertise on Google you need to use AdWords. Adwords can give you instant visibility in the search results. As easy as it is to get going on AdWords is just as easy to waste money. Back to my favorite tool for doing research and it’s SEMrush. Using SEMrush I can see what my competitors are bidding on, what ads they are using and identify where my competitors might gain an advantage.
Action: Read our review of SEMrush and see if it can help you.
Use data whenever you can
You must make data-backed decisions if you want to win online.
You need to make data-backed decisions. That’s the only way you’ll win. With a good understanding of what’s working and what isn’t, you can tune your efforts and optimize your ROI. Every reporting tool you use will also produce some data. Start by installing free Google Analytics on your websites.