Traditional marketing native? Bashful about diving in head first into the digital marketing abyss? We have 5 beginner tips for digital marketing newbies.

Many of our clients have yet to take the plunge, so you're not alone. Time for some tough love: if you’re not there, you’re missing out on huge opportunities for your business. But you know this.

One might argue that digital marketing – what with email, social, content, ppc, web development, search engine optimization, google analytics and more tech than you ever dreamed – is a bit of a nebulous pool of mystery akin to some divine sanctity.

Though the rough waters leading to digital marketing have been around for 20+ years, the rate at which it changes makes it intimidating for even the smartest traditional marketer to enter. If you can manage to take those first steps, you’ll be amazed at the results you can achieve.

For those marketers who have taken some time to wade through traditional to digital marketing (I can do this all day), we’ve boiled down (see what I did there?) the essentials so you can focus and begin marketing like a digital pro. Here are some beginner tips to paddle into your very own digital marketing lagoon (ok, I’m done, promise.).

1. Make a (really good) website.

It’s not just ok anymore to have a mediocre website. This is the very first place people go to see you. Even if they received a referral or a direct mail piece, people are going to Google you. There are many affordable ways to get a better-than-average website. You can do-it-yourself, or hire someone like Ironmark, who can do it for you at a partner rate. :-)

2. Re-write your brochure copy for online use.

You’ve seen it. The way you respond to online writing is different than the way you respond to physical literature. Magazines readers like to curl up and be uninterrupted. It’s impossible to be hyper focused online. Writers need to acknowledge that and keep it engaging. Sentences need to be short. Action verbs motivate readers to engage. See a full list of differences in print and online writing. Or, we can help you here at Ironmark write fantastic online copywriting for your intended audience.

3. Choose one or two industry blogs to follow.

Depending on what you’re focusing your efforts on, it’s smart to take 10 minutes each day and catch up on what’s new. Don’t worry if it reads Greek in the beginning. If you consistently read them, your digital marketing fluency will develop fast. Some of our favorite blogs are HubSpot, SEMRush, and Marketing Profs.

4. Get an email service provider (ESP) and start collecting email addresses.

Despite your exasperation at your overflowing inbox, email is still one of the most powerful tools you can use to get people to know about your business and buy. The key is providing them with useful content that solves their problems.

Another important item is to be consistent. Pick a regularity that you can stick to (monthly, bi monthly, quarterly). Most providers have a built in form function – a code you can embed into your website and collect email addresses of people who wish to opt-in. We recommend MailChimp, SharpSpring and Emma for email only, but you can also use an all-inclusive marketing platform like HubSpot.


5. Get on Social.

Like it or not, social media is here to stay. I’ll say it again. Social media is here to stay. Think of it like this: if digital marketing is the engine, social media is the fuel. Different platforms are appropriate for different types of demographics. Facebook is for, well, everyone aged 25 and up. Snapchat is crawling with 16-30 year olds. Linkedin is the place to be for business-to-business companies, and Instagram and Pinterest cater to visual services and a more artsy crowd. The key is to get on social yourself. Force yourself to use it and connect with people yourself. From there you can take it a bit deeper and discover how you can connect your business with customers, to provide them answers to solve their problems.
So there we have it. The first five steps to dipping your toe into the ginormous ocean that is digital marketing. Digital Marketing is not going anywhere, so you might as well get your social swim suit and your google goggles on and take the dive!
When you’re ready to go deeper into digital marketing – digital advertising, search engine optimization, content marketing, inbound marketing and more – contact us here at Ironmark, or if you’re so inclined, send us a Snap! Get your FREE 30-minute Digital Marketing Assessment here.

Written by Lynne Kingsley

Lynne Kingsley oversees the digital marketing client services team as well as the marketing strategy division for the company. Since joining the company in 2016, she has increased Ironmark’s digital presence by over 700%, establishing a new lead generation mechanism for the sales team. A certified inbound marketing professional and HubSpot agency partner, Kingsley has been helping companies transform their marketing function into fully diverse and streamlined growth engines since 2003. With agency and client-side work under her belt, Kingsley’s strategic experience spans both the B2B and B2C sectors. Prior to joining the Ironmark team, she served as in-house marketing director for several non-profit organizations. Kingsley is an honors graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.
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