To help with getting your digital marketing started focus on your audience with an actionable doable plan. It might sound simple, but sharing quality content that your audience will be interested in and having a digital marketing plan that you can manage are two of the most important things that you can do for effective digital marketing.

Key points

  1. Start with a real purpose.
  2. Your audience is always discovering what they can appreciate.
  3. Your audience's goals and challenges are your opportunities.
  4. Focus on what is most important and don't let opportunities slip by.

Start with a real purpose

Your purpose is your authentic aspirational reason for doing what you do. Your purpose guides your decisions and helps your message stay focused.

Knowing why you are doing what you do guides your decisions about how you are contributing back and gives you something to work towards. A purpose is also very helpful when you start collaborating with others, either internally as part of your digital marketing team, or externally on social media.

If you don't have a purpose, then consider how you measure success (ignoring the dollars), take into consideration what makes you most proud and focus on what you can deliver consistently. Whilst you are thinking about it, consider how well Google's purpose "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" is served by everything that they do. Your purpose is your authentic aspirational reason for doing what you do.

Your audience is always discovering what they can appreciate

From your audiences' perspective it is all just a big learning experience.

Before making a decision people first need to become aware of a product or service to be able to make a consideration. These awareness, consideration and decisions phases are known as the buyer's journey. With digital marketing, content is vital for helping people learn and discover more with their online activities. Typically content can be aligned to the buyer's journey as follows:

  1. During the awareness phase, informative content is used for helping people discover information and sharing values. When sharing content in the awareness phase use this as an opportunity for helping your audience with their goals and challenges. Awareness phase content examples include tips, how-tos and blog posts.
  2. Next, at the consideration phase, people learn from content that helps to solve their problems. In the consideration phase, you are starting to nurture towards a decision. Ensure that you have required content to meet each of their desired objectives. Consideration phase content includes everything that will potentially be on your customers' gap analysis. This is a good time to start helping with the important intangibles like trust, commitment and thought leadership. Consideration phase content examples include webinars, reports and case studies.
  3. Finally, during the decision phase, people use content that helps them with making a choice about a proposed solution and in some cases, this content will be presented in person. During the decision phase, content should demonstrate your value. Decision phase content examples include personalised proposals, free, trial, demos and customer testimonials.

The buyer's journey is not necessarily linear, meaning that your audience might be moving from awareness to consideration phases, and then back again many times before entering into the decision phase. Note also that during the awareness phases your audience may not have any information about you, so from your audiences' perspective, it is all just a big learning experience.

Your audience's goals and challenges are your opportunities

Understanding your audience creates opportunities, when you help with your audience's goals and challenges you create opportunities to connect with.

If you don't understand what makes your audience buy, then ask and learn. Understanding your audience's goals and challenges is very important because that understanding will help you to create opportunities to connect with.

In a practical sense with digital marketing start with more awareness content that alignings to the goals and challenges of your audience, then provide help with content that allows them to make a consideration of options and finally provide content that helps your prospective customer with making a decision.

Once you get going with your digital marketing plan always listen, analyse, act and repeat.  A good digital marketer always keeps an open mind, is always be ready to learn and knows that in their audience there will be many different types of customers all with their own unique set of goals, challenges and needs.

Focus on what is most important and don't let opportunities slip by

For ideas about what to do next check out the 15-minutes a day digital marketing plan or the more comprehensive suggested activities in a digital marketing plan.

Regardless of whether you are time poor or time privileged, a couple of minutes a day can be more than enough time to get digital marketing tasks done and to be productive. The important thing is to ensure that you focus on what is most important and don't let opportunities slip by.

Feel welcome to share with anyone that you know would be interested in learning more about digital marketing. If in any way this article has helped you with your digital marketing a share or mention on social media would be appreciated.