There’s no doubt that the way of the world is digital. People shop, live stream their favorite shows, keep in touch with friends and family, and even make their medical appointments online. Why should your marketing strategy be any different? Businesses and consumers alike are almost always online, literally. Think about it for a moment. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Okay, second, because coffee before talkie. You check your phone. You skim through emails, scroll through the never-ending sea of baby and political posts on social media, and then check the final score to last night’s game all before you hop in the shower. Wouldn’t you like your business in the forefront of all those peoples’ screens?

When you’re growing a business, it may seem like the ever-evolving world of digital marketing becomes quickly overwhelming. There’s already so much you have to do—how are you going to tap into your creative side, compile a list of ideas, and maintain a well thought out game plan? Start with the basics. We’ve put together a 3-step crash course on getting your digital marketing started.

So, what exactly is digital marketing? It’s the promotion of a brand or products using a variety of electronic media. Think website, social media, and our personal favorite—email. Your strategy is a plan of action that will help you achieve your goals using online marketing. Let’s begin:

1. Identify your goals.
Are you hoping to increase your website traffic? Maybe you want to generate more leads through email? Need to get more reviews? The beauty of digital marketing is that for most things, you’ll be able to measure the results. Create a simple text document or an excel spreadsheet to help keep track of the results of your efforts so you know what’s working.

2. Evaluate your current digital marketing platforms.
Gather all of your channels and put them into these categories:

  • Owned: These are any outlets that your business owns. A website, blog, email list— would all go here.
  • Earned: This one is all about word-of-mouth—PR work, customer/client reviews, and people sharing your content on their personal pages.
  • Paid: A bit self-explanatory, but this includes channels you spend money on, like boosted social media posts, Google AdWords, or sponsored posts on other peoples websites.

Now that you have an inventory of your assets, get to organizing—add these to your spreadsheet so you can start tracking what is working for your business and what isn’t.

3. Create content that can be used across all of your marketing channels.
Congratulations! You’ve come up with a few solid goals and have an idea of what’s helping your business grow. Now comes the fun part—deciding what content is going to help you reach your goals. Content is what helps convert those website visitors, email subscribers, and social media followers into customers or clients. It can be helpful, funny, inspirational or controversial, emotional, or passionate – just make sure it fits your brand. It’s important to come up with a content creation plan that includes your goal, promotional channels, why you’re creating it, and the priority level.

Take these 3 steps, and you’ll have the start of something beautiful—your very own digital marketing strategy.