These days, there’s no getting away from advertising on digital channels, be it search engines, social media, apps or email. Navigate your way through the digital maze with these tips. Your ultimate guide to digital marketing.
Digital marketing is one of the most needed skills of today’s time. With increasing internet penetration and reduction in data rates, more and more Indians are coming online and consuming more content online than ever before.
This has unfolded new opportunities for businesses to draw these people towards their brand, services and products.
Every business, right from retail to movies, travel to events etc., has a dedicated budget and team for digital marketing.
While there are more resources for learning digital marketing available on the internet than you can ever imagine, it is easy to get overwhelmed by them.
With right amount of hard work, creativity, planning and genuine resources, anyone can start in this field and gain knowledge to take their business or career to the next level.
In the past few years I had used digital marketing to promote Bollywood movies, celebrities and brands. I had penned down this plan to help everyone get started in this field. I wish I had a plan like this when I was starting out in this field some years back.
Day 1: Researching your Customers
Everything about the business should begin from the customer or the end user. In marketing, understanding the needs, wants, motivations and problems of your customers is an absolutely critical first step. We call this research as building user persona or buyer persona. There are a lot of good resources online to learn this. One of them is listed here:
The Beginner’s Guide to Defining Buyer Personas
Day 2: Basic of Html and WordPress
A basic knowledge of html and WordPress will add to your skills as a digital marketer and will make your life easier. You should have a basic understanding of common html tags, how a web page is treated by browser, usability best practices and more. In WordPress you should be able to make forms, install plugins and make landing pages. Keep in mind that you do not need to learn these things like a pro and that there are lot of services and products available in the market which can help you crack your job with basic knowledge.
Here are some resources to help you:
How to Create a Landing Page in WordPress
Basic HTML Every Internet Marketer Should Know
Day 3 – 4: Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is one of the main techniques of digital marketers. While it is not essential that SEO can work for every business, but it can prove to be an edge for many of them. You should have an understanding of Keyword Research, Onpage optimisation, Offpage optimisation, building backlinks and Google’s webmaster tools. Don’t jump in and try to learn every bit of it in the beginning; learn other methods as well and choose in the end where you want to go deep.
Some proven resources to learn exactly this:
Keyword research for SEO: The Definitive Guide
On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page (2017 Update)
Link building for SEO: The Definitive Guide (2017 Update)
Day 5: Copywriting
Copywriting is one of the critical skills for any digital marketer; if you aren’t a good copywriter you should definitely hire one. You should learn how to create engaging copies on your website, your ads, your landing pages, use prompting call to actions and write good emails to convert influencers and customers to help your build your brand.
Here are some resources to help you:
The definitive guide to copywriting
The PPC & CRO idea factory
How to write a persuasive marketing email
Day 6 – 7: Social Media Marketing
Although there are a lot of social marketing channels, you need to focus on the top six, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram and Google Plus (just because you don’t want Google to hate you!). Initially you should limit yourself to building profile pages, understanding how each network works and what are best practices. Every platform is unique in some way and following guides will be a good start.
7-Step Facebook marketing strategy to dominate 2017
10 Steps to building an organic following on Twitter
Marketing tips for the new LinkedIn
26 Tips to improve your Pinterest marketing
Day 8: Discussion Forums and Influencer Marketing
While learning about persona, you will get to know about the various places on the internet your audience hangs out at. There’s business advice on Clarity, personal advice on Quora and views on politics at Reddit. Learn about the forums your audience is a part of. Identify key influencers in your industry and pull them in to talk about your products. Nowadays there are various agencies that help you in getting these influencers and manage your campaign for you.
These resources will help understand this in detail:
A Comprehensive guide to influencer marketing on social media
How to get thousands of leads from Quora in five months
How to turn your industry expertise into more sales on Reddit and Quora
Day 9: Paid Marketing – Adwords and Display
Google and other search engines give you a way to promote your business to someone who is looking exactly for the kind of solutions your business provides through Google search. In this section you need to focus on how to choose keywords, how bidding and auction works, how to create clear and concise ads, conversion optimisation and how to perform competitor research.
Google also gives access to a large number of sites to put your ad on; these ads are not keyword based but intent and interest based. For example, you can place an ad for your furniture shop on a blog which writes about ideas on home making and interior decor. Here, you need to learn about ad placements, choosing websites, bidding, writing correct and engaging copies for your ads, designing good ads and designing landing pages.
These resources will help you start with Adwords and display network:
Google AdWords made simple: A step-by-step guide
A beginners guide to AdWords display advertising
Day 10: Paid Marketing – Facebook ads and Remarketing
Facebook is the world’s largest social network and is known to have about 3 billion active users. Facebook ads provide the best ad targeting and audience management settings possible. You can pinpoint your ads for honeymoon trips to people who have gotten married in the last year. Its ad platform lets you define your audience by demographics, interest, behaviours etc., which helps you get your message across to exactly the right set of audience. Here you should learn about:
- Defining your audience
- Using various bidding settings [per click, conversion]
- Various promotion options [lead ads, website clicks ads, page boost, post boost etc.]
- Designing your ads for the audience
- Creating landing pages in resonance with your ads
Remarketing helps you reach out again to people who have visited your website or app. Facebook, Google display network, Google Adwords and almost every ad platform lets you show your ads to people who have visited your website from any resource. If used intelligently, remarketing can create wonders for your business.
Here are some useful resources to follow:
The beginner’s guide to Facebook advertising
3 Tips for making your remarketing campaign a success
Day 11: Paid Marketing – Explore other Options
There are many other networks like Quora, Linkedin, Quikr, Pinterest etc., which have their own ad bidding dashboards. You should definitely try these out if your target audience is on these networks. Keep in mind that all these networks are unique and solve different problems for their audience. If your target is people engaged in creative hobbies, try Pinterest, but if your target is business people, focus on Linkedin. You can start by reading case studies for ad clients on these platforms on their official websites. Here are some:
The complete beginner’s guide to Quora ads
25 Best sd networks for publishers (Updated for 2017)
LinkedIn advertising guide: step by step tutorial
Day 12: Email Marketing
Email marketing is still one of the most valuable tools for marketers and businesses to reach and engage their customers. A well-thought-out email marketing strategy is an integrated part of any digital marketing outreach. There are many tools available like mailchimp, sendgrid, convertkit, which make email marketing easier for marketers. To get an overview of email marketing you should learn about:
- Getting more subscribers
- Segmenting your email lists
These resources will aid your learning:
Your step-by-step email marketing strategy guide [Free Checklist]
Conversion rate optimization blog
Day 13: Video Marketing and YouTube
Videos are the big things in today’s digital world. Every brand is creating video campaigns on Facebook, YouTube and other platforms. As a marketer you should have an understanding of how video marketing works, content of viral and engaging videos, and tools to create simple videos for your campaigns.
YouTube is world’s second largest search engine for content, and has helps brands reach millions of customers daily. To understand how to shine on YouTube and use it for your marketing campaign you should study:
- YouTube search optimisation
- How to make engaging videos
- How to increase your subscribers
- How to use YouTube as a paid channel to bring more customers
Here are resources to help you out:
10 practical tools to help you start your video marketing campaigns
YouTube SEO: The ultimate guide
Day 14: Google Analytics
“If it cannot be measured, it cannot be improved”. Every marketer should understand the value of analytics, testing and experimentation in digital marketing. You will have to test various version of ads, landing pages, copies, call to actions etc. to get everything right. Google Analytics is a free service by Google that lets you measure how many people have come to your site/app, which page they visited, where did they come from, how much time they spent etc. As a beginner you should focus on learning the following:
- Integrating GA in your website
- Understanding the GA reporting dashboard
- Setting up UTM parameters and using them to measure and test your results
Try this resource to learn Google Analytics.
The absolute beginner’s guide to Google Analytics
Going through this plan will help you get an overview of the digital marketing landscape. After this, you have to make a choice: whether to dive deeper into the ocean of digital marketing.
Digital marketing is an ever-changing field; what works today may not work tomorrow and vice-versa. To understand digital marketing is to understand the digital medium, to understand your users, to understand your company’s/client’s goal, and to piece them together to create value for everyone.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
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