BLOG: 3 Steps to Getting Started in Digital Marketing

By GSV Operations

Digital marketing is an exciting and ever-evolving discipline that has revolutionized sales and marketing efforts for companies large and small. It’s an important part of any marketer’s toolkit, but especially those in the software, SaaS and tech worlds. Serious marketers understand that this space is constantly changing and commit to lifelong learning. The following three-pronged approach provides a basic start to the digital marketing process:

  1. Identify: Know who your potential customers are and what information and services they need.

Inviting the folks on your team who regularly interface with your current customers to have a voice in the process is a great way to ensure that your online presence is really geared toward customers and not inward-focused.

Experienced sales pros and customer support leaders can often suggest some of the best promotional content based on the questions customers and prospects bring to the table. Once you know what kind of questions and needs these prospects have, ensure that the information is available in the channels they will be looking through. These channels include your website, social media platforms, search engines, review sites, etc.

Like all marketing, establishing a strong online presence is all about the right message to the right person at the right time.

  1. Execute: Once your general marketing strategy has been aligned to the needs of your potential customers, the focus moves to execution.

Strong industry knowledge must exist in order to yield the creation of meaningful content. Additionally, tactical marketing knowledge is needed to drive the greatest results. While it’s typically most desirable (and streamlined) to harbor both of these areas of expertise in-house, another common configuration is to keep ownership of industry thought leadership internally and find a trusted marketing partner or digital agency to own the creative and promotional activity online.

When well-managed, this partnership can create some cost savings and increase speed to market until you can scale internal marketing resources. Examples of good content to create beyond your website include webinars, instructional videos, e-books, checklists, guides, and blogs.

Once you have some meaningful content, you can explore means to drive traffic to it. Some trusted ad channels for SaaS products include Google Adwords, Facebook retargeting, and LinkedIn, but there are many others worth exploring. It’s also worth considering which review sites (such as Capterra and Software Advice) and industry influencers can be leveraged.

  1. Measure and Refine: Once you have some well-crafted campaigns in the field, measure and then refine tactics in iterations as you learn.

Treat the marketing assets you create as distinct campaigns that can be measured and observed on their own individual merits. By being mindful of each campaign and which channels respond to them, you can continually hone in, ensuring future content is on target and ad spend as efficient as possible while driving maximum engagement.

Then iterate in two-week sprints. This provides time to be responsive but allows enough separation to be able to observe any short-term anomalies. Be sure to continue to add new relevant content pieces into the mix. Once you have a database of targets grown from your campaign conversion, always include them in future promotions as well to further nurture them until their buying cycle has begun.