Understanding Digital Marketing

Understanding Digital Marketing

Understanding Digital Marketing: A Roadmap for Small Businesses in Southwest Missouri

You’re a small business and keep hearing the term “digital marketing”, but what does that actually mean?

You probably wonder to yourself if it’s a gimmick because all your friends say they spent thousands of dollars on it and the only thing they saw was an empty bank account.

I get it, there is confusion when it comes to digital marketing and there are a lot of businesses that would love to take your money.

In short, digital marketing does help your business grow, and I hope you will be able to see that at the end of this article.

I also hope that with the knowledge you gain from this article you will know what digital marketing is and you will be able to tell whether someone is trying to swindle you out of money, or if they know what they are talking about.

Digital marketing does work, when it is implemented correctly, and you can see major growth in your business from utilizing digital marketing. So it isn’t a scam in itself, it's just the people that push it sometimes are not trustworthy, but you see that in any industry.

This article is pretty long so the best thing to do is read it slowly and focus on one subject at a time. I want to make sure you are informed and I truly want your business to grow.

I am writing this article specifically for the business owners in the communities I am a part of in Monett, Missouri and Kimberling City, Missouri. But really, I hope this helps any small business owner in a small town looking to find answers and get clarity around this subject. 

The reason? There seems to be a big need for this type of information in small towns, and I think businesses can take on digital marketing themselves if they have the time.

You shouldn’t be left behind or confused when it comes to this type of marketing, instead you should be a business owner who leverages this marketing to your advantage.

So let’s get this article going by defining what digital marketing is.

Digital Marketing Definition: 

Digital marketing is not one single thing, but consists of multiple online channels and technology to market your business. Just like traditional marketing which relies on multiple ways to promote your business like print ads or billboards, digital marketing then relies on the internet to reach your potential customers. 

With digital marketing your potential reach is greater and a lot cheaper if you know how to utilize the channels that lie at your fingertips.

Specifically, digital marketing when done correctly can benefit the small business owner greatly. 

For example, if you are in Kimberling City, Missouri or Monett, Missouri, you can see tremendous results by just staying in touch with your current customers through email. Reminding them once a month that you still exist.

"Digital marketing is essential for small businesses today. It levels the playing field, allowing them to compete with larger competitors on a global scale." - Neil Patel, Co-founder of Neil Patel Digital

What is Digital Marketing?

As I alluded to in the introduction, digital marketing can not be defined as a single component, but is made up of multiple platforms:

  • Website Optimization: Ensuring that your website is user-friendly and easily discoverable through search engines (SEO) is fundamental. A well-designed and optimized website serves as the hub of your online presence.
  • Content Marketing: Creating valuable and relevant content, such as blog posts, videos, and infographics, to engage and educate your audience. This content helps establish authority in your industry and attract potential customers.
  • Social Media Marketing: Leveraging social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to connect with your audience, share content, and build brand awareness.
  • Email Marketing: Sending targeted emails to a list of subscribers to nurture leads and maintain relationships with existing customers.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: Running paid advertisements on platforms like Google Ads and social media to reach a specific audience based on keywords, demographics, and user behavior.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Combining SEO and PPC strategies to increase visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Data Analytics: Using tools and data to track and analyze the performance of your digital marketing efforts. This helps refine your strategies and improve your ROI.

Compare that with traditional marketing which focuses on TV, radio, print (newspapers, magazines), billboards, direct mail, and in-person events for marketing purposes. It really is a paradigm shift of how people learn about your business.

The great thing about digital marketing is that you can do the majority of it without spending a lot of money. If you have the time to spend on it you can accomplish it at a lower cost than traditional marketing. 

Not only is the overall cost lower with digital marketing when comparing it to traditional marketing, but digital marketing also offers greater precision, real-time analytics, and adaptability compared to traditional marketing methods.

For a small business you now have all of the tools that your competition has. Of course big business is going to have a lot more capital to spend, but you have the ability to niche down your digital marketing and really target the people you can help locally. When done correctly, digital marketing can even the playing field when small businesses are going up against big business.

Digital Marketing Essentials

The foundational elements of digital marketing consist oof:

Website Design and Optimization

Content Marketing


Social Media


Let's take a closer look at each of those elements to understand how they all fit into digital marketing.

Website Design and Optimization

Your website is what should be making sales for your business. It is the piece of the digital marketing puzzle that, when completed, should be working for you when you sleep at night.

The best thing about a website is once it is done you don't have to spend too much time on it afterwards, unlike social media and email. Your website is crucial, and if it's not making sales for you then it's not doing it's job.

Make sure your website has the following:

User Experience: A user-friendly website with easy navigation and fast loading times improves the user experience.

Mobile-Friendly: With the increasing use of mobile devices, having a responsive design is essential.

Conversion Optimization: Elements like clear call-to-action buttons and forms help guide visitors toward taking desired actions, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.

SEO: Proper website structure and optimization contribute to higher search engine rankings.

Content Marketing

Content marketing consists of creating relevant digital content for your audience to consume on your website, social media, and email. This content should attract and engage your target audience. 

Some examples of this type of marketing are:

  1. Blog posts
  2. Videos
  3. Infographics
  4. Ebooks

High-quality content helps build trust and credibility with your audience. This type of content is invaluable and is what creates leads for your business.

For example, what if you were a veterinarian and had a fail-proof way to potty train a new puppy. In fact, using this method you can potty train in two days. You could create a PDF of that method and stick it on your website for people to download for free.

But for them to download it, they would have to give you their email address (and they happily do, because who wouldn’t want to potty train their puppy in two days)?

What you have now is a boatload of email addresses. You can send them emails with specials you have going on at your business and tips and tricks on animals. This will result in more sales because your customers are thinking of you more and remember you exist.

That is the power of content marketing.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

I am sure you have heard the acronym SEO before, but what does that mean? SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” which is the process of optimizing your website and the copy and content on your website to show up at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) when people search for your type of service or product in Google or other search engines. 

This is vital for increasing traffic to your website. 

If your business showed on the second page of Google, who actually goes to the second page anymore? You would not be as visible as the businesses on the first page. The goal in SEO is to make sure you show up on the first page and at the top of the first page when people search for your type of product or service.

Note: The people that find your website through search and not by a paid ad is considered “organic traffic”.

To optimize your website you need to target keywords on your website that you know people are searching for. This process takes some time and is more nuanced, but in its most simplistic form the process looks like this:

  • Research how customers that will buy your product or service search for things on Google.
  • Make sure you are using the words those customers use within the copy or in relevant content on your website.

SEO is important because the higher you show up on search results, the more visibility your business gets, and more visibility means more customers.

Social Media Marketing:

Another facet of digital marketing is social media marketing. This involves creating and sharing content on social platforms to build brand awareness, engage with the audience, and drive traffic to your website.

This can be overwhelming due to the amount of social media platforms. My strategy for this is to pick one platform that you like and focus on it until you get it down; then when you feel confident, add another platform.

Though it is time consuming, you should not ignore social media when it comes to your digital marketing strategy. This is because social media platforms provide a vast audience to showcase your brand and products/services. 

Social media provides an easy way to interact with customers or potential customers through comments, likes, and shares that can build strong customer relationships or new ones.

Sharing content from your website on social media can drive visitors to explore your site.

To boost your visibility on social media, many social platforms offer paid advertising options for targeted promotion. This will give you a boost and put you in front of more people than traditional advertising would since you can target your audience in these social media ad campaigns.

Email Marketing:

This last piece of the digital marketing family is email marketing. This involves sending targeted emails to a list of subscribers. 

There are many email marketing platforms that you can leverage to make all of the email-sending automated. In fact, this is one of my favorite types of digital marketing because you can write everything and walk away from it and it will be working for you in the background.

Email marketing is effective for:

  • Nurturing leads - An automated email sequence that will guide your leads through the sales funnel, by providing them with valuable information and offers.
  • Maintaining customer relationships - A campaign that keeps your customers engaged and informed about updates and promotions.
  • Promoting products/services - Emails sent that showcase new products / services.

If you are using an email campaign platform, and you should be, then you will be able to see the open rates and click rates of your emails. You will be able to measure the results of each email sent and see what is working and what is not working for you.

Email marketing gives you the personalization you need to give your customer and allows you to own your list of contacts (unlike on social media where you are dependent on social media companies to show your content to your followers).

With email you know you will end up in their inbox since that is exactly how email works. 

In a successful digital marketing strategy, these foundational elements work together synergistically to attract, engage, and convert customers. Each component plays a crucial role in achieving your business objectives and creating a strong online presence.

Digital Marketing Roadmap

Alright, all of that information is great, but if it’s not implemented it’s useless. Now it’s time to think about how to transform your marketing and actually take some steps to implement a digital marketing strategy. 

Below is a roadmap of implementing a sales funnel for your business. This is a great start to implementing digital marketing into your business and it is the exact process I use for my business.

This sales funnel incorporates a website, content, and email marketing. So you are knocking out 3 of the 7 channels in this one example. This is also a great example of how you have to stack digital marketing channels together to get great results.

My favorite thing about this sales funnel is that once it is done, you don’t have to think about it. This sales funnel works in the background and will produce leads while you sleep.

Get a website

The first thing that has to be done is get a website for your business. Your website is what is going to sell your product or service. Initially, you have your visitor’s undivided attention for right around 4 seconds, so you need to make sure you pique their attention.

If you don’t they will leave your website and go find someone else who will solve their problems.

If you need a website that will pique your customer’s interest and will convert your visitors to customers, let's chat! I would love to help you increase your revenue.

Create a Lead Magnet

The next thing you need to do is create a lead magnet. Think of some information that someone would give $10.00 for and create a downloadable PDF version of that information.This information should add value to your potential customer’s lives. 

Your customers are not going to pay you for this, though; this is something that you are going to give away on your website, but only if they give you their email address.

Think of the vet example above, that is a great lead magnet that someone would give their email for. 

Once you get your idea down on paper you can put it together in a visually appealing way using Canva. It’s an easy-to-use platform that will allow you to produce professional-looking graphics.

Email Sales Sequence

So far so good, you will now want to create an email sales sequence. This should be about 5 to 6 emails that will be sent out over two weeks to whoever downloads your lead magnet.

The emails should be short, show the value of your product, and overcome any objections your customers may have with your product or service.

Here is the exact type of emails I send out for my sales funnel:

  1. Delivery of the lead magnet email.
  2. Overcome one of your customers' objections to using your product/service.
  3. Talk about how your service/product solves your customers' problem.
  4. Overcome another objection your customers may have to using your product/service.
  5. Testimonial email – this is where you send an email of a customer’s testimonial after they used your product/service.
  6. The last email will be a sales email, where you ask for the sale, and do not be shy about it!

You will want to take your time in crafting these emails. I usually open up a Google document and write out an email every day so that this step does not overwhelm me.

Email Marketing Tool

Fourth, you will want to find an email marketing automation platform. I use MailerLite myself, it has a great free tier.

This is where you will create the form to add to your website for visitors to fill out to receive the lead magnet that you put together.

This is also where you will set up some automation to send your email sales campaign.

Once you have your form set up and your automation ready, we can move onto the final step of the sales funnel.

Putting It All Together

Once all the above steps are completed:

  1. Website
  2. Lead Magnet 
  3. Sales email campaign
  4. Email marketing tool
  5. Download form
  6. Automated emails

you are now ready to put it all together and get the sales funnel working for you.

Add the signup form to download your lead magnet to your website. Turn on your email automation and sit back and enjoy your work.

Here is what is happening behind the scenes. A user will go to your website, see your lead magnet and fill out the download form. You now have their email address which is valuable because you have direct access to communicate with them, and they gave you permission to do so. 

Once a user fills out the download form they will get an email with a link to download your lead magnet. Over the next two weeks they will get emails from you that you have automated answering objections, reminding them about your product, and showing how your product is the solution to their problem.

At the end of the two weeks they receive one final email asking for them to purchase your product. But when you ask for the sale at this point, it's different. You have been in contact with them, in an automated way, over the last 2 weeks.

Since they know your product better and have been thinking about it, they will be more likely to purchase your product now.

That’s it, you just implemented a sales funnel to get you started on your digital marketing transformation. There are many other ways to implement digital marketing into your business, but I think this is the easiest way to start and something that is always working for you.


That was a lot of information, but you made it.

We have gone over what digital marketing is.

What makes up digital marketing:

  • Website Optimization
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Data Analytics

Then we talked a little more in depth on what roles a website, content, SEO, and email marketing play in a marketing strategy.

We ended with an easy-to-implement sales funnel that gets you started with digital marketing.

My hope is that you better understand what digital marketing is and will be able to grow your business because of it!

Be sure to share this article with anyone you know that needs help understanding what digital marketing is and the importance of it for small businesses. Also, be sure to follow Convirs Web Design on Facebook, where we showcase projects and share digital marketing tips for small businesses.

If you need any help with implementing a digital marketing strategy, whether that be a website, email marketing, content, SEO, or social medial, email me at trevor@convirswebdesign.com or call me at 918.919.9851 and let's talk about what can best help your business grow!

Thanks again for reading.

Trevor Convirs - Owner

Convirs Web Design

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men - Colossians 3:23