Where to begin with Digital Marketing

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Written by: Ian Haponiev (Content Specialist at Vision Effect)

If you’re just starting to promote your business for the first time, it can be quite a daunting feeling. What do I need to do? Where do I start? These questions are actually great because they can really help you take a deep dive into understanding your business as a ‘brand’ rather than just a company.

Today’s blog will look at various points you should examine in order to get your company’s marketing off to a great start.

Go Back to the Beginning

The most effective marketing is found in precise, appealing messaging; the ability to convey the correct message to exactly the right people. However, in order to get your messaging right, you have to come up with definitive answers to the following questions: Who are you? What do you do? What makes you special? People often make the mistake of glossing over the first couple of questions with overly simple answers, doing themselves no favours.

It always pays to look at what the largest companies in the world do; not because you want to emulate their processes exactly or go into as much detail as their crack marketing team, but more to scale it down and take what lessons you can. So how do multinationals and huge, successful businesses begin? With a brand key.

Company Brand

Brand keys are used to effectively summarise various aspects of your brand, in order to help the people who work there understand exactly who you are and what your purpose is. A typical brand key contains around 9 different sections:

  • Root Strengths (your product/service that makes you great)
  • Competitive Environment (the market you operate in and your competitors)
  • Target (who your core audience is)
  • Insight (what you know about your audience and how you can address their wants or needs)
  • Benefits (what positive things people get from your product/service)
  • Values (the personality of your company and what it stands for)
  • Reasons to Believe (the evidence you have to show that your produce/service is good i.e. reviews)
  • Discriminators (why customers should choose you over your rivals)
  • Essence (the core idea of the brand)

While a multinational will have a highly paid team to discuss these points at length over the course of weeks and months, there’s nothing to stop you and the people who know your business from giving it a go. The likelihood is that you will uncover things you might not have realised about your operation that will not only help the way you run things, but also make marketing a lot easier due to the increased clarity of your thoughts.

The Right Messaging

Once you’ve managed to piece together the various factors that make up your company, it becomes a lot easier to create meaningful messaging that will resonate with your target audience.

Always Consider Your Audience

Who makes up your key client base may surprise you, especially when it comes to e-commerce. For brick and mortar operations, you have the eye-test and can see more easily who your typical customer is, but when it comes to digital sales, you have to analyse and rely on data.

Target Audience

The trick here is to be flexible and regardless of what you may have thought your target audience was, always follow the data and make your decisions based on cold, hard statistics. Once you know where your bread is buttered, it becomes a lot more easier to design effective marketing campaigns that will resonate with the people who enjoy your products or services.

Consistency is Key

Consistency is an incredibly important part of your marketing strategy, so your customers know exactly what you’re about and who you are. Consistency isn’t just in terms of the message itself; in fact, you need to make sure that you’re not just saying the same thing over and over. Consistency should be key in terms of your style. Consider the social media posts of a bar.


If this bar has created a brand key, then their values section will contain their ‘personality’ or more directly, what kind of bar they are. If they identify themselves as being a laid-back, chilled out place for customers to relax, then that is exactly what they need to convey. Their social media account should only contain images and videos that reinforce this message and not anything that contradicts it.

This may sound obvious, but it is easy to find establishments that put out nothing but mixed messages. This can come in the form of professional looking food pictures that project the idea of a classy restaurant, a video containing people wearing clothes a lot smarter than your target audience or perhaps loud music, making the bar look like a venue where people can’t talk because it’s too loud.

Looking The Part

Consistency is also found in aesthetics and this is important when you are designing your website, social media and advertising. The first point of consideration should be your colour scheme and the fonts that you use. Choose complementary colours that adhere to the principles of colour theory and make sure that they are consistently used throughout your content. With fonts, choose two or three maximum that reflect the personality (i.e. quirky or refined) of your business and go well with the colours you select.

For social media, plan your posts based on how they’ll look on the device your typical follower/target audience will receive them. In most cases, this will be a smartphone rather than a desktop PC, so keep that in mind. With Instagram, posts should be designed based on how they’ll look on the three-picture-wide grid system of your profile page. Typically, professional companies will work in multiples of three and will often line up 9 or 12 posts that are thematic, colour and font coordinated and consistent in style.

Assess Your Capabilities

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses but regardless of whether you are able to successfully create a campaign for yourself or not, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions: Do I have enough time to handle the digital marketing of my business myself? Can I do as good a job as a professional? If the answer to either is ‘no’, then you should look at what a professional digital marketing agency can do to help.

Chasing time

If you have the time and skills, then great, but if you don’t get it right, you can cause more harm to your image than good and would have wasted precious time doing so. Professional marketing campaigns are designed to pay for themselves and then some by growing your business.

If you’re still unsure about where to start with your digital marketing, contact us today to discuss what we can do to help.