Part 1: Beginning Your Digital Investment
Investing in digital marketing can be a cost effective way for businesses to reach a large number of people so that they can promote their products or services. By taking the time to properly understand how to invest in digital marketing, build out the blueprint of your online site, choose the right platform, and establish specific goals for your digital investment, you can better create a sustainable growth plan for your business.
NetElixir’s Sr. Business Development Manager, Anthony Turco, partnered with the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce in an installment of their Small Business Friday segment to provide actionable insights into starting and sustaining a profitable business. Anthony, who has been with NetElixir for over 6 years, has extensive financial and entrepreneurial experience.
From his diverse background helping businesses find their footing, Anthony aims to teach start-ups how to properly invest in their digital marketing foundation, as well as key tips for any intermediate business owner to continually refresh their strategy.
Building a Digital Foundation
“If there’s anything 2020 taught us, it’s the need to be online,” Anthony started.
The formula seems simple enough – an online presence attracts valuable website customers which in turn helps grow the business.
The foundation of your online business is the most crucial; we all know the moral of the house built on sand. Building your online site should have a similar care and mindset as building a brick-and-mortar store. Investing in your digital infrastructure takes three initial steps:
- Visualizing how your business will be represented and positioned
- Planning where and how you will reach your customers
- Understanding your role in the overall market and what need you fulfill to your customers
To get you thinking about how your business will start and how it can grow, ask yourself how do you want to grow your market? What does your market look like? Is your market a small niche market, more of a market that can expand over time, or is it an entirely new market?
Equally as crucial as the market is your customer analytics. Anthony stresses that, while a brick-and-mortar store can physically meet and greet their customers and directly see how they interact with products, for an online store it is easy to get lost in the numbers. A human is behind every click, conversion, and impression; how they click around your site is similar to how they mill about your store; how consumers find your site is similar to if they simply walked in, are returning, or were referred by a friend.
Your E-Commerce Foundation
The average start up of a business is anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000. It is no mean feat. Never skimp on the following when starting your online business:
- Professional design
- Customer experience tools and plugins
- Fulfillment service(s)
- Social presence
- Product and service photos
Your website is your 24-hour a day, never take a break, never sick, never on vacation salesman. Why not make that the best it can possibly be?” – Anthony Turco, Sr. Business Development Manager, NetElixir
Companies dedicate a lot of time, energy, and resources into training their personnel; the same care should be given to their website as it is constantly promoting your brand’s personal message to each and every customer who clicks through.
Finally, you need to choose the right platform to launch your site, laid out in the chart below:
You can build an Etsy store into a fully customized website down the road, but that Etsy store is the foundation of how you grow your business. And every business needs to start somewhere. For your e-commerce stores options, read through NetElixir’s white paper outlining the pros and cons of Magento, BigCommerce, and Shopify.
Beginning Your Digital Marketing Investment
In his experience, Anthony thinks that many entrepreneurs typically underestimate their ability to execute their digital marketing strategy for fear of failure. By clearly defining your goals first, you can lay out a strategy of how to realize those goals, whether it is through an agency or your in-house team.
Anthony suggests following the 5/3/1/6 model – write out your goals for your first 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, and 6 months and then work from the top down; your 5 year goals will filter into your 3 year goals and so on. Quantify specific goals (more than simply “increase revenue”) and define target values with target dates to keep your team and agency on track.
“When you can see what you’re aiming at, the likelihood of hitting it is significantly better,” Anthony says.
This blog provides an overview of Anthony’s presentation with the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce as part of their Small Business Friday segment. You can watch the full presentation yourself for more insights into specific aspects of your business, like LinkedIn marketing, analytics, web hosting, and more.
Request a demo for LXRInsights, NetElixir’s proprietary customer analytics tool, to target, engage, and win high-value customers. Begin growing your e-commerce business with the latest real-time analytics into what makes your customers click.
Have any further questions regarding how to properly invest in digital marketing? Contact an expert at NetElixir and we’ll be happy to help!