The Ultimate Checklist For Setting Your Digital Marketing Foundation

Many of the clients we work with are entrepreneurs and small business owners who just aren’t marketing managers, but the founders and CEOs of their business. Being in this position means the priorities are business development relationships, operations and hiring good people, marketing isn’t always at the top of the list.

Often, when a marketing foundation is neglected at the start, it’s not quite as easy to quickly get leads as soon as you begin to focus on digital marketing tactics. Setting the foundation early allows you to get good baseline data and set future paid advertising campaigns up for success. This is why we have put together this ultimate checklist for setting your digital marketing foundation from the start. 

Whether you are just getting started or are looking to take your business to the next level, it’s important to have a strong foundation in place, with these elements:

  1. A Brand Identity
  2. What you need:

    • Mission
    • Vision
    • Values
    • Positioning statement

    Questions to ask:

    • Why are you in business? What’s your purpose, your Why?
    • Who are your customers?
    • What need are you fulfilling?
    • What’s your differentiator, your unique selling proposition?

    Tools to use:

    • Google Forms, Survey Monkey to gather customer data
    • Industry & competitive Research
    • Audience & persona Research

  3. A Website
  4. What you need:

    • Domain
    • Content management system
    • Hosting
    • Analytics
    • Conversion points

    Questions to ask:

    • Have I purchased all the necessary domains?
    • Where will my website be hosted, what are the fees involved?
    • Who can I reach out to for IT support?
    • What will my main calls to action and conversion points be on the website?
    • How will I track user behavior and ROI?

    Tools to use:

    • Wordpress, Squarespace for content management systems
    • Shopify for content management with eCommerce
    • Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools (Search Console) for analytics and user behavior

  5. Content
  6. What you need:

    • Fresh website content
    • Blog posts
    • Ad copy and design

    Questions to ask:

    • What are the keywords and phrases people are searching for?
    • What messaging will most resonate with my audience?
    • What are the seasonal trends to our products/services?
    • What ad formats and specs will we need?
    • How will I track which content is performing best?
    • Where can I find powerful imagery and media?

    Tools to use:

    • Google Keyword Planner
    • Google Trends
    • Buzzsumo
    • Content calendar
    • Content writer
    • Photography/stock imagery
    • Google analytics & URL builder

  7. Email Marketing Service
  8. What you need:

    • Database of emails
    • Website forms
    • Email design
    • Campaign analytics

    Questions to ask:

    • What type of lists/segments do I need?
    • How can I grow my email list?
    • How can I increase referral traffic and conversions from email?
    • How can I automate emails for better customer service?
    • How can I use email to increase customer loyalty?

    Tools to use:

    • Mailchimp

  9. Social Media Accounts
  10. What you need:

    • Complete and consistent profiles linking back to your site
    • Regular posting and engagement

    Questions to ask:

    • Where is my audience spending the most time?
    • What type of content are they engaging with?
    • How can I make my content easy for others to share?
    • How can I increase referral traffic and conversions from social?
    • How can I take advantage of trending topics in my industry?

    Tools to use:

    • Facebook Business Manager
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • Instagram
    • Pinterest
    • Hootsuite
    • Buffer
    • Google Alerts

This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list of digital marketing tools, but the minimum foundation to set your digital marketing efforts up for success. Looking for a larger list of tools? Entrepreneur put a great list together to get an edge on your competition. 

Before you begin to spend money on larger advertising campaigns and tools, get a good foundation in place and learn from the data. Get in touch so we can prioritize and strategize together to get the most ROI from your efforts.