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There are so many choices when it comes to promoting your business online. The sheer number of options can make the whole process of establishing your digital brand very overwhelming.

Digital marketing vendors often aggressively pursue business owners. These vendors all claim to have the best options, and they can often “prove it” based upon research studies that they have conducted.

We regularly speak with business owners who are overwhelmed, confused, and not sure where to start when it comes to digital marketing. Here are some tips that can help business owners to cut through the clutter and invest in the tactics that are the best fit for their brand’s needs.

Step One: Define what digital marketing success looks like for you

You don’t have to know a single thing about digital marketing in order to define what a successful digital marketing investment looks like for your business.

Let’s say you’re the owner of a Japanese restaurant in Portland, OR. You opened your restaurant 5 years ago and your sales have held steady at $1 million annual over the past three years. You goal is to increase sales to $6 million over the next 12 months.

So, in a nutshell, you need a digital marketing plan that will support your goal of driving an additional $1 million in revenue over the next year.

Step Two: Get specific with your goals

Sticking with the restaurant example, you know that in order to drive more sales, you need more customers. You also know that your average sale is approximately $55 per person.

So, in order to reach your goal of an additional $1 million in revenue, you need to increase your customers by 18,182 people over the next 12 months.

Step Three: Partner with a digital marketing agency that will help you reach your goals

This is where selecting the right digital marketing agency is very important. It’s usually best to reach out to 2-3 agencies, share your goals, and ask the agency for a proposal.

The best agencies will care about your goals and will present you with proposals that are specifically built to target your goals. It will be important to them to communicate back to you on goal achievement in a format that makes sense to you.

They will eliminate unnecessary digital jargon and will build custom reports that will tell you exactly how many leads your campaign is generating each month.

Step Four: Benchmark Your Current Digital Marketing

If you are currently doing any digital marketing, it’s important that you benchmark your current digital efforts. This ensures that you don’t start additional digital tactics and claim

Continuing with the restaurant example, we may recommend that the restaurant owner claim and optimize all of their local listings since we know that a large number of new customers come from platforms like Yelp, Google, and Facebook reviews.

We may also recommend that the restaurant owner implement online ordering and payment on their website to create an additional trackable revenue stream.

Perhaps most importantly, we will create a custom report that will allow the restaurant owner to see each month how they are progressing towards goal achievement.