How to Build Your First Digital Marketing Strategy

Thinking about developing a digital marketing strategy can be overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be! The secret is to start with one or two digital marketing channels, work those channels until you’ve mastered them, and keep building from there.

By breaking your strategy into smaller pieces, you can achieve your marketing goals without becoming overwhelmed or frustrated.  And, you’ll create a foundational plan that will lead to long-term success with your digital marketing strategy.

Let’s get started with the basics.

1. What is Digital Marketing?

What is “digital marketing”? You hear it all the time, but what does it really mean? Simply put, digital marketing, also known as “online marketing,” is just another way to sell a product or service – but it takes place on the internet.

As a business owner, you have a lot of options for marketing your products and services digitally. You can use social media, email, text messaging, your website, and even other websites to market your product.  Often, several of these options are used together to create a digital marketing plan.

2. Why should you have a Digital Marketing Strategy?

Meeting your clients, and potential clients, where they are is an important part of any marketing strategy.  People use the internet every day – for work, for entertainment, and just to stay connected to friends and family.  In fact, use of the internet is up by 5% over the last three years, and it’s only becoming more powerful with time.  Digital marketing is a great way to help you reach those people and ultimately find clients.

Compared to traditional marketing, digital marketing is also much easier to adjust or modify as the needs and interests of your client base changes. Think for a moment about the complexity of changing a print ad. There would be meetings and multiple departments would be involved, not to mention the expense. Switching up your strategy on social media platforms can be as simple as using different graphics or changing keywords in your posts.

With traditional marketing, measuring ROI can seem daunting. For example, you might invest money in an ad spend but there’s no easy mechanism to track revenue generated by that specific ad. And sometimes it’s hard to know what data to look for and where to find it. With a digital marketing strategy, you’ll have more options to access to information to determine your ROI.

And, as a bonus – small businesses have an actual chance to compete with larger companies in a competitive market. Digital marketing is the great equalizer and enables you to compete with businesses that have larger ad budgets.

With a smart digital marketing strategy, you can position yourself as a leader in any market.

Start With the 5 Key Digital Marketing channels

3. Start With the 5 Key Digital Marketing Channels

You probably have a Facebook account, maybe Twitter and Instagram, too. Millions of people have social media accounts! So why not just put up some posts and see what happens? It’s not quite that simple, but it can be with a little planning. Structuring your digital marketing strategy around the 5 Key Digital Marketing Channels can help you bring your business to the next level.

Content Marketing

Content marketing involves creating, publishing, and distributing content for a specific audience online. Content could include blog posts, podcasts, ebooks, product or service guides, videos, or infographics. Any strategic combination of these items can boost your digital marketing performance and attract interested clients to your business.

Content marketing also offers an opportunity for you to build an email list. You offer a freebie (free information) in exchange for a subscriber’s email address. This provides your potential client with helpful information about your product/service, and you get their email to connect with them again. It’s a win-win!

Social Media Marketing

A digital marketing strategy using social media platforms is ideal for reaching clients where they are most likely to be. Think about how popular Facebook and Twitter are – maybe even consider how much time you spend on social media – the average person spends a whopping 145 minutes on social media each day!

Millions of people use these platforms every day, so a digital marketing strategy with engaging content can help you reach clients that traditional marketing would never reach.  If your potential clients are there – you should be there too!

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another type of digital marketing that works by connecting directly with your clients and potential clients via email broadcasts. The emails sent out can include newsletters, event announcements, special offers, sales, new product offerings, and even affiliate marketing.

You can also set up a series of emails known as a customer nurture sequence.  Nurture sequences starts when someone engages with your content, which triggers the sequence to begin. For example, if you have an ebook to share, you ask for an email address so the potential client can download it. Then you set up a series of emails to reach out to your potential client and engage them. With the right progression, a nurture sequence can guide your potential client into becoming a paying client.



Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy that helps your website rank higher in searches. SEO generates unpaid traffic – known as “organic” traffic – rather than paid or direct traffic (the user typed in your URL) or paid traffic. By using keywords that your potential clients will most likely search for, you increase the likelihood that they will find your website. You can include keywords in tags, URLs, page titles, content, meta descriptions, and image descriptions. Your website’s strategic use of keywords will help attract potential clients.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a strategic approach to creating content that your ideal client is looking for. Your potential customers are attracted to content that helps provide solve their problems. And the content is customized to your different platforms to connect with buyers at different stages in their purchasing decision. Inbound marketing can include blog posts, ebooks, videos, infographics, and social media.

4. Will A Digital Marketing Strategy Work for Your Business?

We work with businesses in various industries, including mass timber, health care, transportation, and legal services, just to name a few. These businesses all use digital marketing to promote their products and services. While there is no “one size fits all” approach for digital marketing, you can create a strategy for any business.

What to Include in Your Digital Marketing Plan

5. What to Include in Your Digital Marketing Strategy

There are 5 steps you can take today to create a digital marketing strategy.

  1. Identify your goals.  What would you like to see happen with your digital marketing plan?
  2. Define your target audience.  Who are you selling to?
  3. Establish a budget.
  4. Research and select your keywords.  You’ll want these keywords to be consistent and frequent in your digital marketing strategy.
  5. Create engaging content. Generate content that interests your potential client and attracts their attention. It should give them a peek into what your business has to offer.

A solid digital marketing plan can help you grow your business. But make sure that it is realistic for your level of digital marketing experience. If you are new to digital marketing, you can start with just one or two channels until you feel like you’re gaining traction. Pick the channels that are easiest for you to implement – then build your digital marketing strategy from there. As you move along with your digital marketing plan, expand the number of channels you’re using, adjust your strategy as needed, and watch your business grow!

No matter where you are in your business, there is a digital marketing strategy that’s right for you. We would love to help you get started.

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