Digital Marketing 101: Musts for Small Business

Business, Marketing

Written by Tobias Mikalsen

October 24, 2019

Digital marketing. Everyone’s heard of it, and hopefully, must people realize the value of it. Running a business without the use of digital marketing today is ineffective and will certainly get you ready for a market defeat by major chains or other businesses doing this area of marketing right. 

So, what is digital marketing? In this article, we will cover the musts, recommendations, tasks to consider, and recurring tasks of this wide marketing field. You’ll realize, some of the musts are really to work on planning digital marketing strategy specific to your business.

Let’s get started. Where should you start? Well…


Get a website

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  • Get a fitting domain.
  • Build a front page featuring a call-to-action (such as “Schedule an appointment”).
  • Start out by describing your company in no more than 10 words.
  • Add a photo or video as background.
  • Set up at least the following pages: Home, Product (or similar), About, and Contact.
  • Describe your mission and culture.
  • Include your location and contact information on the front page.
  • Describe your products or services, and add more in-depth information on the Products page.
  • Link to all your social media profiles.
  • Basic Search Engine Optimization (e.g. titles, metadata, sitemap).
  • Post photos and videos to a photo gallery.
  • Make sure your website complies with legal standards in your jurisdiction.


  • Add a contact form.
  • Have copywriting done by professionals.
  • Offer an online action (e.g. appointment booking, table reservation, etc.)
  • Integrate your social media feeds.
  • Set up Google Analytics.
  • Get an email address associated with your domain for increased credibility (e.g. [email protected]).
  • Make your website responsive to optimize for smartphones and tablets.
  • Post new content regularly through a blog.
  • Add photos, videos, and descriptions of products and services.
  • Ensure max search engine optimization by optimizing each individual page.
  • Include pricing of all products and/or services.
  • Protect your website and your customer’s data with an SSL certificate.
  • Review and ensure a good website load time.

Consider doing:

  • Let customers create their own profile and log in to engage with your content, keep track of their purchases, appointment bookings, and more.
  • Set up an online store to sell your products to a wider audience.
  • Offer your website in multiple languages.
  • Make regular changes to keep customers engaged.
  • Add special offers to website visitors. 
  • Integrate your website with Facebook Ads through adding a Pixel.
  • Advertise your website with Google Ads. 
  • Add additional domains that customers are likely to try and link them to your website.
  • Integrate relevant services (such as table reservations for restaurants, or hotel booking for hotels).
  • Integrate accounting software with your online store.

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Set up a Facebook page


  • Optimize your logo to fit into a circle-shaped icon slot.
  • Upload a header image that displays your business’ environment and culture.
  • Write a short bio that includes your industry, product, and location.
  • Add your website’s URL.
  • Select a fitting industry and specific location.
  • Add contact information.


  • Add your team to the “About” page to add credibility to the services you’re providing.
  • Set up a Call-To-Action button on the Home page.
  • Add a special offer to the “Offers” page to increase initial engagement.
  • Upload photos of your business to an album.
  • Upload an introduction video displaying your business, team, and products.
  • Add opening hours.
  • Set up a welcome message for Facebook Messenger.
  • Invite friends to like your page, and have your friends do the same.
  • Share your page on your personal profile, in groups you’re part of, and on other pages.

Consider doing:

  • Write a Mission statement.
  • Allow customers to book appointments.
  • Set up an event for your opening day.
  • Partner with another business to promote your Facebook page before opening day.

Recurring recommended tasks:

  • Write and schedule daily posts promoting your products, special offers, and events.
  • Post jobs on the “Jobs” page.
  • Boost posts and select a relevant audience, spending at least $10/day to add momentum.
  • Advertise your Call-To-Action button to get website views.
  • View ad insights and compare Cost-Per-Click, Click-Through-Rate, and other metrics to make better advertising decisions in the future.
  • Keep opening hours updated by setting special opening hours during holidays, etc.


Set up an Instagram profile


  • Select a fitting username. If your business’ name is taken, add your location (e.g. donelondon).
  • Write a short (max. 15 words) bio.
  • Add your website URL.
  • Add contact information.
  • Make sure to set up your profile as a business and not a person.
  • Optimize your logo to fit into the circle-shaped icon space.
  • Share the profile your business’ Facebook page.


  • Post the same post that you posted on your company’s profile on your personal profile and tag your company both on the image and in the comment. Remember to use hashtags.
  • Follow other businesses in your area.
  • Follow your employees and clients.
  • Publish your first post and use at least 10 hashtags, and tag local businesses.
  • Share the profile on your personal Facebook profile.
  • Post special offers specific for your Instagram followers.

Consider doing:

  • Use a scheduling platform, such as Hootsuite.
  • Regularly comment on posts found under hashtags relevant to your business.
  • Continue following several new profiles every day.
  • Set up and promote contests on your profile.

Recurring recommended tasks:

  • Set up daily posts promoting your business, product, special offers, etc.
  • Promote posts regularly with a budget of at least $10 per day to increase momentum.
  • Tag other businesses in posts and ask them to do the same for you.
  • Review post insights to learn more about your audience and their engagement.


Set up a Twitter profile


  • Set up the page with the best fitting username. If your business’ name is taken, add your location (e.g. donelondon).
  • Add the same bio and logo used for your Instagram profile.
  • Upload the header image you used for your Facebook profile.

Consider doing:

  • Regularly publish posts featuring new projects.
  • Post announcements on service disruptions and major changes to operations.
  • Follow other businesses in your area.
  • Follow organizations related to your industry.
  • Retweet relevant industry-related posts regularly.
  • Reply to relevant posts regularly.


Set up a LinkedIn profile


  • Set up the page using your company’s brand name or legal name.
  • Upload a square-format logo.

Consider doing:

  • Post new jobs regularly.
  • Advertise jobs using LinkedIn Recruiting.
  • Publish major business announcements.


Set up a Yelp page


  • Only set up a page if your business is consumer-facing and location-based.


  • Upload a fitting and optimized logo.
  • Select a relevant and specific industry.
  • Add opening hours and keep them up to date.
  • Add information on accepted payment methods.
  • Ask customers to write a review after making a purchase.
  • Write a fitting bio, or simply use the same bio that you used on Facebook.
  • Add contact information.
  • Add your website’s URL.
  • Make sure to use an accurate address, and that your location is displayed correctly on your Yelp-page’s map.

Consider doing:

  • Offer coupons to customers that write a review after making a purchase.
  • Add a gallery of photos that accurately depicts your business, products, services, and staff.
  • Reply to reviews, and particularly to negative reviews. Be careful with your wording, and kindly offer assistance to remedy the situation.
  • Allow customers to schedule appointments through Yelp.
  • If you’re running a restaurant, add a menu with photos of your dishes, and allow customers to make table reservations.
  • Share specific reviews on your Facebook page and Instagram profile.

Recurring recommended tasks:

  • Promote your business through advertising on Yelp, but only if your business is benefitting from at least a few longer and very favorable reviews.


Set up your Google My Business profile


  • Only set up a profile if your business is consumer-facing and location-based.


  • Use an accurate brand name (do not use your company’s legal name).
  • Select an accurate business address.
  • Add your opening hours.
  • Add your contact information.
  • Add your website’s URL.
  • Write a short introduction. You may use your Facebook page bio.
  • Select accurate business categories.
  • Add photos that clearly displays your business’ physically (not a text-image).
  • Verify your location(s) to make sure they appear on Google Maps.


  • Add a custom special offer for the launch of your business.
  • Ask customers to write a review after making a purchase.
  • Add a list of products/services.
  • Allow customers to send questions and respond regularly.
  • Respond to 

Consider doing:

  • If your business has several locations, add all of them.
  • Add new coupons regularly.
  • Reply to reviews, and particularly to negative reviews. Be careful with your wording, and kindly offer assistance to remedy the situation.


Set up your YouTube channel


  • Set up a profile with your brand name (not your company’s legal name).
  • Add a logo.
  • Upload a welcome-video that displays your business, products/services, and staff.

Consider doing:

  • Regularly post new videos of your business, products, services, and portfolio.


Email marketing


  • Set up your newsletter service. We recommend MailChimp.
  • Make sure your branding is intact: Add logo and customize the design.
  • Request that customers leave their email address (and accept newsletters) after a purchase.
  • Add a Newsletter sign-up form to your website (We can help you on this. Contact support!)


  • Offer coupons and other special offers through your newsletters.
  • Add your social media profile links to your newsletter template. 
  • Send a Thank You newsletter to new customers, and a Welcome newsletter to new subscribers.
  • Personalize your newsletters by using custom inputs, such as the customer’s name. That way, you could start your newsletter in a personal way. E.g. “Hey there Jane, good morning!”
  • Include basic contact information in your newsletter.

Consider doing:

  • Segment email addresses into separate lists, representing customers or intended audiences for specific products or product categories. That way, you can send more relevant newsletters to different customers.
  • Include blog articles from your website in your newsletters.
  • Integrate your e-commerce store with your newsletter to give customers direct access to new purchases. (We can help you with this. Contact support!)
  • Set up and announce contests through your newsletter.

Recurring recommended tasks:

  • Write and send a weekly newsletter (one for each audience if you have several lists).
  • Review and assess insights/metrics to learn more about your audience and make better content decisions in the future.

What else?

Running a business without the use of digital marketing today is ineffective and will certainly get you ready for a market defeat


  • Promote your website and social media profiles in your company’s office or store.
  • Include website URL and profiles on physical marketing materials and advertisements, such as business cards, signs, stickers, newspaper ads, promotional materials, and purchase receipts.


  • Set up regular social media marketing plans.
  • Coordinate postings across all social media profiles.
  • Advertise and promote your website’s features.
  • Create partnerships with other businesses in your area to share and promote each others websites, social media profiles, posts, and special offers.
  • Engage with your customers through commenting on articles relevant to your audience in your local online newspaper.
  • Use a branded email signature when responding to customers through email. (We can help you with this. Contact support!)
  • Set up a loyalty program. You could, for example, send loyalty program customers special offers via email and SMS.

Consider doing:

  • Write articles relevant to your audience and publish them on external platforms, such as Medium. Use these articles to link back to your website for Search Engine Optimization purposes.
  • Make company announcements through press releases to local news.
  • Set up an affiliate program for your e-commerce store. That way, other bloggers can get paid a commission for sales on your website coming in through their blog.

Recurring recommended tasks:

  • Do regular assessments of overall digital marketing performance through compiling metrics and statistics from all your digital marketing efforts and platforms.
  • Set up a digital marketing strategy plan and divide responsibilities.

Not online, but still helpful to market your online presence:

  • Sponsor local events and include your website address in related ads.
  • Announce your special offers, loyalty program, and website through TV or Radio ads.
  • Get a local billboard to advertise your new website.

This list is obviously not complete. There are thousands of ways to market your business in a way that will be highly effective for your business, and possibly completely ineffective for other businesses, even if you’re working with the same audience or in the same industry. Still, the “Musts” of this article are just that; things you should do no matter what company you’re running.

Did we miss something? If you have any additional ideas, we’re happy to consider adding them to this article. Send us an email at [email protected]. We also welcome feedback. 

I hope this guide was helpful to you. Good luck with your digital marketing!

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