The growth of digital marketing has grown as traditional companies migrate to the Web and others live exclusively in the digital realm with no presence on traditional platforms like TV and print. In this article, we’ll look at some basic do's and don'ts for businesses getting into digital marketing for the first time.

Do Get Some Help

There are a lot of talented people who get digital marketing, and the chances are good that if you are reading this article, you are not one of them. For many companies, digital marketing, especially on social media channels, is intimidating. A lot of the issues stem from focusing on “what ifs” such as trolls attacking your brand across multiple sites or simply spending money without being able to measure the return (ROI). All these unknowns lead to inaction.

If you need to be in digital marketing, a good first step is to get help. Attend some courses – there are a lot of solid ones out there. Another option is to bring in staff or a consultant to help with the initial setup of the platforms, a set of protocols for handling the most important “what ifs” and other basic pieces for your digital marketing strategy. Whether you opt for self-directed learning or hired help, it’s important to have some things to do and a way to track performance. (Click here for more information and advice on marketing.)

Do Pay Attention to the Analytics, but Don’t Let Them Rule You

The results count when it comes to the long term for digital marketing, but they shouldn’t dictate what you do. There are a lot of outlets for digital marketing, and some of them will suit you and your business better than others. Some people prefer to create monthly newsletters or writing articles for partner sites, while others prefer the smaller but more regular activity of Twitter (TWTR), Facebook (FB) or Instagram. It is important to keep trying new things, but be ready to move on if the results aren’t coming and the effort is becoming a chore.

However, if your company naturally takes to a type of digital marketing, it may well be worth continuing even if the results aren’t what you’d like. The content built for one purpose can often be pulled apart to use on other platforms as well as fill out a content calendar.

Don’t Spam, Do Be Consistent

The best type of digital advertising reaches its audience by consent. When you start clogging up inboxes and hitting social media feeds every few minutes, you quickly lose that. The line between consistent effort and spamming shouldn’t be hard to draw, although some companies still struggle with it. For most firms, the digital marketing should be targeted to ramp up for specific events—a sale promotion for example—and slowed down to a consistent but mostly unobtrusive pace the rest of the time.

Do Look Into Mobile First

Mobile is and will continue to grow as people depend on their devices to inform shopping, dining, renting and most of their life decisions. The ability to hit customers with the right message at the right time is still far from an exact science, but it is progressing. The low hanging fruit in this realm is ensuring that your Internet assets are mobile-friendly as this will be standard going forward. (For more, check out The Hottest Tech Trends You Should Be Investing In.)

The Bottom Line

Digital marketing is not as scary or as complex as it is often made out to be. There are now a multitude of tools that allow for a do-it-yourself approach and leverage content across platforms – Hootsuite, for example – and the analytics and data have never been better. Most importantly, you can still buy search ads, but you can also target the right consumer at the right time on the device in their hands. That kind of precision will make the TV, radio and print ads of previous generations look quaint by comparison.

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