Digital Marketing for Beginners: Your Ultimate Guide to Online Success

There are a million things a newbie entrepreneur has to do from service design to bookkeeping to getting started with digital marketing. I’ve had the luxury of growing up in my business as social media grew up, so I’ve been able to add things slowly, but if you’re launching a new business today and you’re a beginner in digital marketing, you might feel like you need to do all the things right now! Thankfully that’s not the case. It’s much better to start slowly, with a plan, and grow from there…as hard as it may be to not run after the next shiny thing.

I’ve been blogging about social media marketing for over 12 years now. This week I realized all the new followers and new entrepreneurs I’ve been talking to over the last year probably haven’t gone through my blog to find all the “Digital Marketing for Beginners” articles I’ve written, so I’m compiling them in a listicle for you this week.

I asked ChatGPT to tell me the top 10 questions a digital marketing beginner might ask and I’m going to answer them below.

Where Do I Even Start with Digital Marketing?

Starting digital marketing begins with understanding your digital marketing goals. What do you wish to achieve? Is it brand awareness, thought leadership, or customer engagement? Your objectives should dictate your strategy.

Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Business

Navigating the smorgasbord of social media platforms is daunting. Choosing the right platforms is like choosing the perfect outfit for a first date. Research where your target audience spends their time and focus your efforts there. For a business targeting HR professionals, CEOs and startup founders, LinkedIn might be your go-to, while Instagram or TikTok could be ideal for young parents or fashionistas.

Creating Content That Resonates with Your Audience

The secret sauce to creating content that resonates lies in understanding your audience’s needs and preferences. If you don’t understand what your ideal audience wants, it’s going to be difficult to create it. This is going to take some research as well as experimentation.

How Often Should I Post on Social Media?

To be blunt, there is no one right frequency for posting on social media. It is going to be different for each business. The key is consistency. Start with a manageable schedule and adjust based on engagement levels and audience feedback. Quality always trumps quantity. I’d love to get you to the point where you’re posting daily, but if that’s overwhelming for you, developing a good social media strategy that you can implement three days a week consistently is better than never posting, procrastinating on your schedule, and hating on yourself because you aren’t doing what you think you should do.

Engaging with Your Audience Authentically

Engaging with your audience without sounding salesy or robotic involves showing genuine interest in their thoughts and feelings. Respond to comments, ask questions, and create interactive content like polls or quizzes. Authentic engagement fosters a loyal community. No post and ghost here… you have to be around for the engagement part of things to make social media work for you.

Measuring the Success of Your Digital Marketing Efforts

To measure the success of your digital marketing, focus on metrics that align with your goals, such as engagement rates, website traffic, and conversion rates. Tools like Google Analytics can help collect and report on this data, as well as your social media platforms and your social media scheduler if you use one.

Doing Digital Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

Yes, you can perform digital marketing on a shoestring budget. Focus on organic growth strategies, such as SEO, content marketing, and leveraging free social media tools. Creativity and resourcefulness can compensate for financial constraints. And while we love to say social media is “Pay to Play” now (and it is to a large extent), creativity can overcome any obstacle.

Making Your Brand Stand Out in a Saturated Market

To stand out in the saturated online market, offer something unique. Highlight your brand’s unique value proposition and personality. Don’t be afraid to show your brand’s human side. Wear red leather and flaunt your quirks. It’s your uniqueness people will flock to.

Avoiding Common Digital Marketing Pitfalls

Navigating the minefield of digital marketing pitfalls requires awareness and adaptability. Common mistakes include neglecting social media altogether, underestimating the power of email marketing, and focusing on vanity metrics like the number of followers you have. Nothing changes like social media and digital marketing. You have to be agile, adaptive and flexible, willing to change your strategy and posting plans on a dime.

Staying Up-to-Date with Digital Marketing Trends

With all the constant changes to digital marketing, you may be wondering “how the heck do I keep up with it all?” To stay up-to-date with digital marketing trends commit to being a work in progress and continual learning. Keep in mind you do not need to act on every trend coming your way; learn to filter out which ones are good for you and your business, and which ones are distractions and busy work. Find the one or two experts you trust and follow them on social media or sign up for their newsletters. If I’m not your person here are a few good resources to check out:

  • Matt Navarra – great if you want to know EVERY little thing that is happening or changing on every platform.
  • Hey Orca (Newsletter) – great for those who want something a bit more selective, with the biggest news and trends.
  • Jenn’s Trends – for those who are more interested in Instagram’s updates
  • Social Media for Anti-Heroes – obviously I’m going to plug my own email newsletter!

If you’re still overwhelmed by the thought of tackling your social media marketing on your own, let’s chat about a VIP Social Media Strategy Day to get you started quickly.

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