An introduction to digital marketing: how to grow a small business

As Editor of Smarta a huge part of my job is creating campaigns to drive traffic to our content and connecting an audience with the Smarta brand. I’ve been doing this by collecting email addresses of readers who like certain articles (see the form at the bottom of this one),engaging on social media, producing high quality content (hope you agree), creating highly clickable email campaigns, taking notice of certain keywords and putting on sold out events.

All of this is so important to Smarta and helps our website get more views, which means articles get read more, which helps to grow the business. I’ve been fascinated by the positive effect this is having on Smarta, but I’m no marketing expert, I’m a journalist really, and all this marketing stuff I’ve been doing is just what I’ve read to do elsewhere.

It’s like I’m that guy who joins in the 'macarena' at a party but has no idea of the moves, so I occasionally get it wrong and look a bit of a twit. I’m learning as I go, copying the crowd. But, I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to be at the front, leading the dance like a boss. So I’ve enrolled on a 10 week Digital Marketing course at General Assembly, aiming to level up into a marketing genius and have even more of an impact on the growth and success of Smarta. I’ll also be bringing you a weekly blog to share everything I learn.

Our first lesson focused on the importance of tribes and how you really need to know your target customer like they’re you’re best friend. No point trying to appeal to the masses, you’re better off nailing a niche first and then expanding. This video of marketing guru Seth Godin sums it up perfectly.

The best way to really focus on your target customer is to fill in an empathy map (see below) Seriously, I did it and it was a huge help. I've explained what you need to do in each section below. Give it a go.

Digital Marketing 


Pain = what’s the problem your customers have? 

Gain = how your business soothes that pain

Think and feel = what do your customers think and feel about the problem your business solves?

See = what else are they seeing out there that creates this problem or tries to solve it?

Say and Do = what are they saying about hey problem to their friends and what are they already doing about it? 

Hear = what do they hear other people saying about the problem.


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