Basics of digital marketing – where to start?
24.10.2016 by Kristjan Raude
Is digital marketing a new and exciting topic for you, but seems a tad bit technical and complicated? As a closeted liberal arts major I can see how that might be the case, but new solutions or subjects can easily be learned if you know where to start. Today, I’ll bring you some ideas on how to better introduce yourself to the world of digital marketing.
It is quite simple to find useful materials on digital marketing. One can always settle with deciding that it’s a topic that can just be delegated to a specialist. But whether you’re a CEO or only specialized in another field, getting at least a general picture of every facet of business puts together a whole a fairly nice gallery.
Step 1 – start broad
If you are a business owner or simply well-versed in the field, you have a head start in getting into digital marketing that not many have. But then again, an advantage that any kind of beginner has, is a broad basis – whatever the position where you start, grab a more general lead and start building on what you already have.
For example, a liberal arts major might see marketing as a cultural process and advertisement as a text like any other. Creating contacts out of potential clients through text could be an artistic endeavor, even. When I started delving into the topic, the most I knew about digital solutions was what was going on with various entertainment mediums. And with that, I started my journey.
Which materials to use?
Before getting into more specific materials elements, one just needs to build a familiar and broad basis, or to discover that it already exists. In my opinion, in order to do that, the best means for it would be to read different media.
A business owner might already have Forbes or The Economist on subscription, and even though they offer a fair amount of information on digital media, a more thorough and reader-friendly overview is provided by the following:
- The Verge – one of the leading websites for digital news, offering different viewpoints from economics to culture. What exactly was that Pokémon craze about? What is going on with the Clinton email scandal? The Verge is best for hearing fast about new tech solutions and recent events in the field.
- Ars Technica – more specialized in direction and news, fitting for those who are more comfortable in digital matters. Tech is not a foreign subject for you, but latest trends elude you? Here you can get some gripping information on all that.
- MediaPost – focused on media as a whole, but also gives a fair overview of digital marketing as well. It is suitable for those familiar with various media and are looking for leads to get into the digital world.
When keeping your hand on the pulse in the world of tech and media, one can often come across connections that are helpful in understanding even more complex digital media topics. The materials that follow are narrower in focus and are useful if you have specific questions.
Step 2 – specialize
As you are building your general knowledge base, you can also start taking a more narrow look at digital marketing itself. Interesting and also introductory sources are easy to find. The following were of great help to me and still are:
- Social Media Examiner – explains in a straightforward and engaging manner the nature and recent happenings of social media. News here are generally reported in a way that explains what changes these mean for digital marketers.
- WSI blog – it might be a bit funny to suggest the very same blog I am posting on, but from my experience, it has a lot to offer to newcomers as well. It helps that WSI has a broad network of contacts and international experience to bring up the most useful information.
Reading about more certain digital marketing issues or news can help you ask more and more fundamental questions. Finding answers to them means that you have enough knowledge to read specialized sources.
Step 3 – grasp
When you have a comprehensive basis and questions keep coming up, it’s time to dig deep into the topic of digital marketing. The last two sources were once great guides for me and are trustworthy companions in my working process even today.
- Digital Minds – tips and tricks of digital marketing should not be some hidden away top secret, but information that should be available to all, professionals and novices. This handbook compiled by WSI sets up simple guidelines for digital marketing methods. The book is available on Amazon
- Hubspot Academy – what exactly is inbound marketing? The answer becomes clear very easily. A more user friendly and comprehensive source on one of the key subjects of modern marketing is hard to find. The materials available there and even free courses offer an overview without which knowledge of digital marketing would be incomplete.
Digital marketing is always accessible
The topic at hand might seem like something only for younger generations or IT and marketing professionals. While there are specialists that deal with it daily, and who are more prepared for any challenges that digital marketing offers, it is not a topic that’s difficult to get into, whether you’re a business owner or just an enthusiast.
I know from my own experience that competence begins with baby steps. If general sources are not enough, it’s time to involve a professional. And working with them, finding great solutions for your business, can be ever the more smoother with the more basics you know.
We are prepared for any questions that you might have about digital marketing. Just contact us!
The initial author of this blog is Martin Nõmm.