Welcome to our video about when the right time is to start digital marketing for your business.

My name is Martin and I’m the founder & director of Blue Thirst. A Digital Marketing Agency based in Bournemouth that is almost 10 years old.

Today I want to talk to you about the right time to start digital marketing.  This can be confusing for a lot of business owners. The confusion is probably because of the wide variety of digital marketing ‘activities’ and a lack of knowledge when it comes to performing those activities.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the act of advertising products and services using online channels. You probably a website to run most kinds of digital marketing. But digital marketing does encompass a lot of areas and you don’t have to start with all of them. Your main options for digital marketing are Google Ads, Paid Social and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Google Ads is the biggest platform for advertising across Google Search, Google Display, YouTube and Google Shopping. These ads operate using keywords and audiences. Your Google Search and Shopping ads would show when someone is specifically looking for the type of product you sell. While Display and YouTube can be used to build brand awareness and to show reminders to people who have previously visited your site.

Paid Social includes platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. These platforms can be great ways to sell products or generate leads. eCommerce and lead generation thrive particularly well on social channels. You can create image, video or lead generation specific ads. These ads are then shown to audiences chosen by you and you can use the Facebook Pixel to create remarketing ads.

Last is SEO, this focuses on your organic ranking in search. SEO is probably the biggest investment you could make in digital marketing. However, it also produces the slowest results. SEO included on-site and off-site activity to increase the ranking of your site. This involves content strategy and technical site updates. This is not something that you’re likely to manage on your own, especially if you aren’t technical. But organic search results do receive clicks and you want to be high up for your brand terms and for searches related to your product.

There May Never Be a Right Time

When you are starting a new business, money is often tight. It can also be tight when you are in a growth phase because you want to reinvest that money in more products. However, money will always be tight if you do not consider the areas to spend your money. When reviewing your business budgets, you need to get serious about where to designate your money. Of course, you need to pay your staff, you may need to order your stock and you may have office rental just as examples. But marketing should also be in this budget. Even if you can only start marketing with a small budget, or you can’t afford to hire the most expensive prestigious agency. You need to start. Marketing will allow you to increase your customer base and get your name out there. In turn this will increase your sales. Otherwise, you just have a website that’s shouting into the abyss and begging someone to purchase from you.

Get Serious About Your Business

Getting serious about your business is realising that you need to invest money to make money. In the first few years, most small businesses really struggle. It can be hard to see that you need to pump money into the business, when there really isn’t that much money anyway. But without it, you won’t get your business off the ground. Digital Marketing may seem like an expense that you can’t afford, but activities such as Google Ads or Paid Social. Could significantly boost your sales, and it is worth calculating the risk of investing a small amount into a marketing strategy. 

Start Small

You don’t have to suddenly start spending thousands of pounds on advertising. No one expects you to start out with huge budgets. It’s about starting small and then increasing as you get results. It can be scary to invest in your business, especially if you have a lot on the line. But if you spend your small budget on the right channels for your business, you should only see growth.

Think Of It As An Investment

As we’ve mentioned, digital marketing is about investing in your business to reap the rewards. Any money you spend on marketing is an investment. It’s actually a lot like investments. If you put your money into an unsuitable channel, then you’re likely to lose it, much like investing in the wrong stock. But, if you choose the right marketing channel for your product. This involves knowing your ideal customer and demographic. Then you should see your investment grow. You can then invest more money each month to increase your growth.

Designate a Test Budget

You don’t need to go all in. We’ve talked about starting small and investing in your business. But you don’t have to designate a budget and then use it all in one place. You could split your budget between Google and Paid Social channels. Test different ad types, creative and call-to-actions. This will allow you to see which channel is the most successful for your business. You could then choose to focus on one channel until you can increase your budget. Just because one channel outperforms another doesn’t mean the lower performing channel isn’t worth it. It just might not be the best channel to start out on, particularly if you’re trying to focus on significant growth.

Use An Agency

There are plenty of resources on the internet which can teach you how to use Google Ads or Facebook Ads. They can also teach you about digital marketing in general or SEO techniques. But when you’re trying to do everything, you’re not always doing everything well. For example, poor or black-hat SEO can have long-lasting damage on your website reputation. Or a lack of knowledge about Google Ads could lead you to lose money just by getting a setting wrong.

If you can factor it in to your budget, you should always look at hiring a professional. This could be an agency like us, or a freelancer if you have a smaller budget. We are the ones who work in digital marketing every day. We know the ins and outs of the platforms, and we have contacts at Google and Facebook.

To sum this all up for you, there will never be a right time to start digital marketing if you don’t plan for it. Digital marketing should be factored into your business budgets. Whether you try to do it yourself with a small budget. Or invest a little more to pay an agency to manage your ads. Digital marketing can really help your growth as a business, by generating sales, or just getting your brand in front of the types of people who would purchase your product. Don’t see it as a one day idea, start advertising your business as soon as you can.