I had a couple phone calls with a prospective client recently. The calls were very productive. He had lots of questions about all the different ways he could be successful online and understanding how the various online marketing tools and tactics we talked about can work together to maximize what he gets out of them. Once he had a solid understanding of each online marketing tool, the one question that remained was, “What do I need to do first?”
We’re big proponents of doing more with less because as a small business owner or independent professional, your resources (staff, time, and money) are limited. You aren’t doing yourself any favors – and are likely having a negative effect on your online presence – if you spread yourself too thin by trying to do too many things. But before you decide how many social media profiles you are going to set up and manage, how often you’ll run Facebook ads, and how often you’ll blog or send email newsletters, there are 5 things you need to first put in place.
5 Steps to Start your First Online Marketing Campaign
- Google Analytics on your Website You have no idea how many people are seeing any part of your business online without analytics. And before you worry about specific platform analytics like Facebook or Twitter, you need to make sure you are tracking website activity on your website. Your website is your business’ online ‘home base’. This is where you want to drive people, organically or otherwise. Setting up Google Analytics is as easy as creating a free account and adding code to your website (you can also add a Google Analytics plugin to your WordPress site, if you prefer).
- Your Facebook Pixel Even if you don’t have plans to run Facebook ad campaigns any time soon, you’re going to want to create and add your Facebook Pixel code to your website immediately. Your Facebook Pixel tracks & stores people who visit your website while logged into Facebook, and dumps that traffic into a custom audience that you can eventually advertise to. Since your Pixel audience grows day by day (as you get more and more website visitors), it takes some time before your website custom audience is large enough to advertise to. That’s why you don’t want to delay adding this free bit of code to your website ASAP; you need several days to pass for your website custom audience to begin to grow.
- Your SEO Plugin SEO can be intimidating, I understand that. But, much like with riding a bike or learning any new skill, your SEO chops get stronger and stronger the more you practice it. You wouldn’t believe how much some simple, straight-forward title tag and meta description use can benefit your small business website. And if you need some training on how to properly SEO your website or online store, we can help.
- Your Social Media Sharing Plugin Your SEO plugins like Yoast and All In One SEO Pack also have built-in social meta data capabilities. Socially sharing your website pages, blog posts and product pages is critical in today’s business environment. It’s pretty important to make sure correct images and data follow any link that might be generated by a customer, and shared online. Make sure to set up and test these features ahead of time so you can know it’s smooth sailing ahead.
- Your Email List You don’t have to have already created an email series and have it set up. To start off, simply gather up a list of customer email addresses (and Excel or Drive spreadsheet works just as well) to use. Make a plan on how to best update your customer list going forward, too. You’ll want list building to be part of your marketing strategy over time, and in the mean time, you can use the list you have to do things like: invite those people to become your LinkedIn Connections, create a custom audience for use on Facebook, and the start of your first MailChimp campaign list.
If you set up these 5 online marketing tasks starting from Day 1, you’ll be set up with a solid foundation for great success online.