This list has all the questions, doubts, and fears that a Director, CEO or Founder of a small business goes through when he plans to use digital marketing to expand his/her business. Pl spread this list to everyone you feel need help.
I realized that digital marketing industry is still very fragmented, and the best way any first timer can understand how to approach digital marketing is by self learning. But self learning takes a lot of time since it involves a lot of research and validation of content at hand, if that is really what should be taken away as finished notes.
And unfortunately there is no easy way for a Director or CEO of SMEs & Small Businesses to take an informed decision about digital marketing. This list below is my effort to simplify your overall understanding about digital marketing, and to guide you on how to approach digital marketing if you are just starting digital marketing for your business. Consider it a beginner’s guide to digital marketing.
Table of content:
1. What are digital marketing, internet marketing, and online marketing? Are they same?
2. How to do digital marketing?
3. How much does digital marketing cost?
4. So how to get maximum exposure for my business for my budget? You tell me.
5. What is the right digital marketing strategy for first timers?
6. Low cost digital marketing tips & ideas?
7. Should I hire a digital marketing agency or hire inhouse staff?
8. Do I really need a website before starting digital marketing for my business?
9. How to get a website?
10. What is hosting & domain name?
11. Where to get hosting & domain names from? And who will setup this all for me?
12. Should I get an ecommerce website or just a normal one?
13. What is WordPress website?
14. How much does a website cost?
15. When will I know I am ready for digital marketing?
16. What is social media marketing?
17. How to do Facebook marketing?
18. How to setup my Facebook page?
19. How to get Facebook likes on my page?
20. What to do once I setup my facebook page?
21. Will I get customers from facebook page marketing?
22. How to do twitter marketing?
23. How to do linkedin marketing?
24. How to do instagram marketing?
25. How to do pinterst marketing?
26. How to do snapchat marketing?
27. What is blog? Is it important?
28. How to setup my blog?
29. How to get ideas to write blog articles daily?
30. What is SEO?
31. What do you mean by Keywords?
32. If SEO marketing is really free, what’s the catch?
33. Why SEO guys tell me it’ll take me 6-9 months to get good results?
34. How much does SEO Marketing costs in India?
35. How to make sure they are doing right things for me in SEO?
36. What is PPC?
37. Facebook ads v/s Google ads, which PPC is best?
38. How much does PPC cost monthly?
39. Will PPC surely bring me customers?
40. What is email marketing?
41. How to build my mailing list for email marketing? Which software is best?
42. How & Who will design my emails/newsletters for my email marketing?
43. What is Google analytics?
44. Shopify v/s WordPress, which one is better?
45. Shopify v/s WooCommerce, which one is better?
46. Shopify v/s Magento, which one is better?
47. It looks like a lot of work. Can you help me start?
To suggest a questions that is not covered in this list, please drop your question in comment section.
Questions & Answers:
What are digital marketing, internet marketing, and online marketing? Are they same?
Yes, they are all same. Today most of our new age customers spend a lot of time over Internet on places like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Google Search, Blogs, Reading Email. So it is a wiser to promote your business on these platforms to gain new customers.
So the term ‘digital marketing’, means using various tactics & methods to shows our product promotions to your consumers who are online at these various places, and try to lure them to do business with us.
(For deep study check https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/what-is-digital-marketing)
How to do digital marketing?
Like college, there are various branches of study in digital marketing. For eg. – SEO, PPC, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Viral marketing, Influencer Marketing and many others.
So since your purpose is not to pursue a career in digital marketing, the best advice I can give you is, understand the basics of all the branches of digital marketing, and then hire a proper subject matter expert (either an agency or a staff), who can do it on daily basis for you. But you should learn enough about all branches so that you can feel the rights & wrongs of the person who’ll do it daily for you.
He shouldn’t look alien to you. And you should be able to understand his technical jargon, and pass him suitable instructions.
(Check this for help https://yourstory.com/2014/12/digital-marketing-startups/)
How much does digital marketing cost?
It is really not a right question. The right question to ask yourself is what maximum you want to spend on digital marketing monthly or annually. Think like a corporate CEO, and spend like a Baniya.
So for example you decide that you want to spend Rs.100,000 per month for next 1 year on digital marketing, now next best question you should ask is ‘How to best use Rs.100,000 budget to gain maximum exposure for your business via online arketing? And where should I invest first’.
So how to get maximum exposure for my business for my budget? You tell me.
Like traditional marketing there are three ways to spend your budget.
A) Go big, go fast, generate buzz quickly. It will drain your budget fast, very fast, but you don’t have to wait for years to land your first customer online. Eg. – PPC. Or else,
B) Go slow & steady, invest in long term strategies that cost less, but will take time to bring you customers. But once they start sending customers, they will send you very quality customers, and reputation. Eg – SEO, Social media.
C) Go mix, part 50-50 to both strategies.
In any case, you may want to start with a number of inquiries that you want to generate per month or in next 3 months. A target will help you and your digital marketing guys, identify which channels will be most profitable to begin with, in your budget. And if you feel like your numbers aren’t sitting well with the target, adjust either your target or your budget or marketing channel.
What is the right digital marketing strategy for first timers?
So if this is first time you are jumping into digital marketing for your SME or Small Business, I would advise you to allocate 70% of your budget to slow & steady marketing channels (eg. SEO, Social media, email marketing), and 30% of your budget to build your email marketing subscriber list. (What is that?)
Ideally your starting strategy should be to build a strong foundation for your digital marketing activities, to reduce your overall marketing in longer time, and to have more control over digital assets (like list of your customers).
Low cost digital marketing tips & ideas?
No matter whatever budget you have, you’ll always have to prioritize, if you want to go slow or fast or mix? In any case, you will find huge variation in the prices offered by various digital marketing agencies, freelancers, and employee salaries. So there is absolutely nothing exists like minimum budget or maximum budget, but you have to prioritize.
Imagine a scenario, where your total budget is Rs.10,000 per month only. Now if I would be in that scenario, it indicates if my business is very very very small at this moment, or I am just testing the depth of water, or I am afraid of finding losses if I go fast. So I’ll prioritize what best I could do with 10,000 bucks? And I’ll end up spending huge number of hours learning SEO, PPC, and Social media myself, and will do it all myself.
Or else, I’ll take some risk, increase my budget, hire a team, and will ask them how to take it further in my budget for maximum impact. Choice is always there.
I am giving you real life answers to such questions, that no one will reveal.
Should I hire a digital marketing agency or hire in-house staff?
Totally up to you. And how you perceive risk, or how you deal with people. If you love sitting with people all the time micromanaging & microunderstanding what they are doing, and getting deeply involved, hire people in-house. But if you want to stay focus on your core business, and don’t want to create extra dose of daily mental distraction, hire an agency that fits your budget.
In fact, hiring an agency in your initial days is far more efficient, to start with a future-to-now approach. We learn yoga from yoga expert, and don’t hire a trainee yoga employee. We learn cricket from a cricket expert. We don’t hire a cricket trainee. We learn stock evaluation from an expert stock analyst, we don’t hire a trainee for that.
Do I really need a website before starting digital marketing for my business?
Yes, for 99% cases, I’ll advice that you have a website in place for your business. Because it is like your product & service brochure online, publically accessible, 24x7x365 to anyone and everyone who wants to learn more about your products, after seeing your promotion online. You don’t want to miss that business inquiry.
How to get a website?
If you are tech-savvy you can use any of the online website design providers like Wix, Shopify, WordPress etc. to design your website yourself, or you may want to ask any website designer, any agency, or freelancer to design your website. You’ll need to buy your domain name and hosting in addition to that.
What is hosting & domain name?
Domain name is www.YourWebsiteName.com and hosting means, a secure computer server on internet where your website will reside, and will be accessible to everyone who want to check your website. So they will enter your domain name in browsers (ie. Google Chrome, Internet Explorer), and your website will open automatically.
You’d have to purchase and renew both or domain name and hosting every year, or you can choose to buy it for many years in one go, to avoiding hassle of renewing it every year. Depend on you.
Where to get hosting & domain names from? And who will setup this all for me?
Google search ‘buy domain and hosting online’, and you will get hundreds of sellers. Few popular and quality sellers are Godaddy, Shopify, WordPress, BigRock, Yahoo, Amazon etc. Compare them. In general, for a simple profile website, 1 GB hosting space is more than enough. I would recommend you to buy hosting + domain name for at least 3 years in one go, but there is no harm in buying for single year as well.
Should I get an ecommerce website or just a normal one?
If you are planning to sell your products via your website, if you want customers to order your products on your website, pay via their credit card online, then you need a more complex website called an ecommerce website.
But if all you want is to showcase details of your products & services online, about your company profile, and a contact form so that your customers can email you their business inquiry, then you need a simple website called a static website. Statics website will cost you much lesser than ecommerce one.
What is WordPress website?
Check www.Wordpress.com. WordPress is one of the most easiest to use website design platform, which is easy to setup, design and operate. It is one of most popular choice for designing all types of websites these days, but it is not the only one. You can design both simple and ecommerce website with wordpress.
How much does a website cost?
It really varies agency to agency. If you design it yourself, it’s FREE. If your employee designs it for you, it is partially FREE, beside his salary.
When will I know I am ready for digital marketing?
Your website is up & running smoothly, your contact form is working fine, you’ve finished setting up all of your social media properties like Facebook page, Instagram page, Twitter page etc., and you have appointed a person on your team who’ll attend all the business inquiries from your online marketing, you’re ready.
What is social media marketing?
You already know what social media is, if you are already using Facebook or Instagram. Now both Facebook, and Instagram also are good platforms spread awareness about our business, and connect with our potential customers. Even these platforms provide several features to promote your products like Paid Advertisements, and Free Business Pages.
Using social media platforms to reach our potential customers is called social media marketing. So when we run paid advertisements on social media platforms like Facebook, or when we post something about our products for everyone to see, or when we bring lot of people on our social media page to like our page and stay in touch with us, we call it doing social media marketing.
(For in-depth study check this https://neilpatel.com/what-is-social-media-marketing/)
How to do Facebook marketing?
This is almost everything equals to social media marketing that I explained above. Facebook provides you free Facebook business pages where you can setup a page for your business profile, Facebook also give you a facility to run paid ad campaigns (fie. Facebook ads, a form of PPC) to reach right kind audience quickly, and it also let you join several Groups of people on Facebook that is relevant to your business.
How to setup my Facebook page?
Check this step by step process https://blog.hootsuite.com/steps-to-create-a-facebook-business-page/
Please signup to continue reading Part 2 of this article.