Graphic showing two social media marketers around a phone with social media icons

Digital Marketing for Beginners

By Courtney Thompson

At a middle school piano lesson, I sat on the piano bench facing 88 black and white keys. My teacher requested an improvised melody. As the pressure to “just do something” mounted, so did the feeling of overwhelm. So I did what any normal middle school girl would: I cried.

“Just do something” can seem like the rallying cry for digital marketing beginners. While digital marketing is essential for long term sustainability and growth in the 21st century, I believe just doing something is both unhelpful and meaningless considering the seemingly endless tactics available. Like my piano experience, it leaves many beginner digital marketers feeling pressured and overwhelmed. So they often do nothing or do everything – neither of which are good business strategies.

In this article, we’re going to look at three digital marketing tactics for most digital marketing beginners. More than “just doing something,” these three tactics will give you a springboard for the rest of your digital marketing.

1. Website Digital Marketing for Beginners

In 2022, not having a small business website isn’t an option. Most potential customers will check out a business online before picking up the phone or visiting the store front. A website is a potential customer’s first impression of your business. It’s often your salesman, and it should be the hub of your digital marketing strategy. Everything else that you do digitally (social, email, etc.) should drive your audience to it.

If you’re a beginner at digital marketing, your website doesn’t need to be complicated, but it does need clear messaging and an obvious Call to Action. You need to clearly communicate who you are, what problem you solve for your customers, and why you’re the best solution to that problem. Then, you need to give them a clear course of action, e.g. “request a consultation,” “order now,” etc.

Developing a quality lead-generating website is the best place to begin your digital marketing. No, a Facebook page isn’t enough. And please do not use Wix. Both of those cheap options are honestly a waste of your time and not a long term solution.

Though a cheap templated website can seem like the best for your budget, commissioning a customized small business website is more accessible than you might think. Even a small, customized site will be more effective (and make a better first impression!) than a cheap template website. A customized site will fit your specific business and your specific audience demographic. And, if the designer knows what they’re doing, help drive conversions.

Often, beginner websites fail to drive conversions. In fact, we wrote a whole article on the top 10 ways small business websites fail. Working with a marketing firm like Ingenium will help you avoid these pitfalls and develop an affordable site that can grow with your company.

2. Google My Business

If you have a brick and mortar location, Google My Business (GMB) is one of the best free tools you can use to help new customers find you. By filling out a free profile with information about your business, you can help Google searchers find you when they search for a “[relevant search term] near me.” And did I mention that it’s free?

Though it takes some time, it’s relatively simple to do GMB well. You need to be sure the information you provide is accurate and complete – meaning you need to keep it updated. This is not a “create it and leave it” situation. You also need to post updates and photos regularly (i.e. images that will encourage new customers to visit you). And you should reply to every review both good and bad, but especially the bad.

Read this article on using Google My Business for your marketing strategy.

3. One Social Media Platform

Social media marketing for beginner digital marketing can feel either deceptively easy or overwhelming. While social media marketing is more involved than taking photos of stuff and posting to a social platform, you also don’t need to overwhelm yourself with multiple social media accounts.

If you take social media too lightly, you’ll probably waste your time creating content that doesn’t help. If you try to do everything, you’ll probably waste your time creating content that isn’t optimized for each channel OR posting content to a channel that your primary audience demographic doesn’t really use.

If you’re a digital marketing beginner, start with just one social media channel and learn how to do it really well. Pick a social channel based on your demographic. For example: Are the majority of your customers upper middle-aged women? Go with Facebook! Are most of your customers millennials? Instagram might be your best option. Choose one and work to really nail it.

You nail social media by developing a voice (aka messaging) that is consistent across all your marketing tactics. Then you develop branding for your social media that’s consistent with your other marketing tactics. And you use that branding in every. single. post. Consistent colors, consistent style, consistent posting. And you don’t even have to post every day. Something like once a week is usually sufficient when you’re just starting out.

I could say a lot more here, but this HubSpot article on social media marketing has already said it all really well.

Develop a Digital Marketing Strategy

That’s it! A website, Google My Business, and one social media platform are the three tactics I recommend for beginner digital marketing. If you still feel overwhelmed, if you’re not sure how these three things should work together, or if you’ve been doing these things without success, let’s have a conversation. You probably need to take a big picture view and develop a digital marketing strategy for your business.

For about 15 minutes, we can talk for free about your business, the marketing you’ve been doing, and how we could help. There’s no pressure to become a client – we love bouncing around ideas about small business marketing.

Ready? Let’s Talk.