If you are a small business owner taking your first steps into digital marketing in 2024, here’s our five-step programme to developing an effective content plan and digital marketing strategy. We’ll assume you have already created pages and social media accounts and populated them with the relevant business information!

1: Set the Intention of Marketing

The most important step in marketing is to decide what service or expertise you are going to promote. A random photo with no craft in the message or call to action is going to be perceived as random. Some businesses like this, and we sometimes like it too, as it can be a confident move, but we do not recommend this strategy for new businesses or those setting out to implement a focused social media strategy. Potential customers won’t know what to do with it and we have then wasted their valuable attention. So, for those getting started in marketing a business, the number one thing to do is to set the intention.

2: Decide on the Audience

When we know what we want to promote, most of the time, we know who it is we want to promote to. All business owners know who their most profitable customers are, and there is no shame in chasing more of those people; this is your responsibility as a small business owner! So decide who you want to market to and never just be “just putting it out there”.

3: Go where the audience lives

Once you know what we want to promote and who we want to promote it to, research where these people live online/in the digital space. For men of a certain demographic, Instagram and Youtube may be an attractive mix. Or you may decide to focus on Facebook. Whatever platform you choose to begin, the data over time will show what works best.

Remember that your customers are not you and you are not your business: do not market only on the platforms you favour. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone is important for personal and professional growth.

4: Share Marketing content favoured by the platform

All platforms have preferred content: types of content that the algorithms will promote more ardently, largely to rival other platforms and increase dwell times (the amount of time a user will spend engaging with the platform). For example, Instagram was originally aimed at purely photographic content, but the algorithms that decide what content will be shared to users’ news feeds now place stronger emphasis on video content (reels), largely to complete with TikTok.

So while sharing photo content on Instagram is important to keep a steady stream of familiar content coming, it is also worth offering other types of content favoured by the main platforms, to win the brand increased exposure and draw in new fans and followers. Of course, all content may be used cross-platform to get the best return on investment.

5: Make time and measure

The final step is to put aside time in your diary to make and share that content. And then, you MUST measure the results and adjust your content accordingly.

Deciding what to measure is driven by your very first marketing choice: what you set out to promote. Take your opening measurements and measure what happens as a result of your content. The focus at Mighty Motor Media is all about improving organic google reach (unpaid results that drive position on Google searches and pays off well into the future) but it can sometimes be worth spending a little bit on promoting content to see what difference it makes to results.