To help with getting small business 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. The 15-minutes a day digital marketing plan.
  5. 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.

The 15-minutes a day digital marketing plan

Be real with how much time you can allocate to doing digital marketing, and be smart with how you allocate your resources.

Start by developing a plan that organises activities to help you deliver on your purpose.  As a rule, it is more important to be sharing consistently with quality and in practice, this means having a digital marketing plan that allows you to share quality content in a manner that you can sustain. Be real with how much time you can allocate to doing digital marketing. This is where aligning your priorities to what you want to achieve with your digital marketing plan come into play.

Suggested daily digital marketing tasks:

  1. Focus on the social media channels that your audience uses.
  2. Like, mention, comment or reshare what is relevant on your social media timeline.
  3. On social media follow people who influence the conversations that are important, reshare what these people have shared about your interests and search for quality engaging content.
  4. Share a helpful link along with your key takeaways that you discovered recently.
  5. Start writing a blog, given enough 15-minute blocks you will make some awesome content.

For more thoughts have a read of the suggested activities in a small business digital marketing plan.

What you will find interesting is that as soon as you make a commitment to having a digital marketing plan you will start to have unlimited ideas about how to help your audience - for example, ideas about how to find more helpful links to share, tips to share and even blog posts to write. When this starts happening to you make sure you write these ideas down and where possible test them out.

It goes without saying that if you can allocate more than time then you can do more research and generate more content that can help your audience more with their goals and challenges.

Conversely, there is also potential in just a few minutes. If you only have a couple of minutes each day to do your digital marketing then ask - what is the one most important things that my audience would appreciate? in this scenario where you are time limited, a good strategy can be to simply like, mention, comment or reshare what is relevant on your social media timeline that can help your audience with their always ongoing research about goals and challenges.

Worth considering is that 5-minutes is generally how long it takes to drink your favourite hot cup of flavoured water - so grab a cup of coffee, tea or whatever takes your fancy, and whilst you drink see what you can do with your digital marketing.

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

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.

Got a question? use the webchat (bottom right corner) to send a message and let's continue the conversation, alternatively ask a small business digital marketing question about anything or contact us.

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