In the business world, there’s probably nothing as challenging and exciting as launching your very own startup, yet if you’re unprepared for suitably marketing it, you might face a daunting task in promoting this. The idea is that your startup should grab as much attention it possibly can to become viable.
There is stiff competition in promoting your startup not only within the industry but also with millions of some marketing messages that find their way into the inboxes of your potential clients. No matter if you're building a startup from scratch or if you're more advanced than that: digital marketing is essential to ensure startup success and this is why, today, we want to give 32 digital marketing tips for startups.
Digital marketing requires funds of the highest order to provide any tangible returns. And searching for funds for startups is an uphill task. So, what should you do? Well, there are numerous means and ways of making digital marketing both effective and affordable.
One of the most affordable ways to market your startup is by using social media platforms. These are simple to handle, provide effective promotion, easy to operate, and customer service opportunities for startups. You can also implement an inbound marketing strategy or why not integrate a growth hacking process. Nevertheless, keep particular things in mind when handling the promotion of your startup through digital marketing:
#1 Start Right
The world of digital marketing is big and you might get confused with the different channels that belong to the platform. Thus, you have to know the kind of your products as well as potential customers and define a marketing strategy for your startup. In this case, begin with the possible means that could be suitable for you. If you’re still confused on how to pick the right channel for you, you need each option to hire a qualified digital marketing agency that will do every research necessary for online business marketing and create a strategy that’s suited for your business.
#2 Online Presence
Online presence became more important and complicated than ever before. For you to promote your brand, a sophisticated website is needed to make your company’s visibility, not only as an informative one, but a multi-functional one. Aside from that, you will need to make a blog, a Twitter account, a dynamic Facebook account, and so on. Moreover, several companies might try for web apps, Android, iOS apps, and Facebook apps.
Create a well-designed site with fascinating designs as well as relevant images so that it shows up quickly with the searches. Likewise, concentrate on the structure and content of the web along with the SEO and keyword because they’re crucial for website visibility. SEO is also cost-effective and provides long-term measurable benefits. It also maximizes the visibility and number of the organic visitors to the website.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a must for sustainability. An SEO professional digital marketer can do to SEO for your site to boost your business. Make your website mobile friendly to attract more customers. Ensure all pages of your website are working fine. Never forget to decorate these with proper tags, descriptions or headlines.
#4 Identity-Based PPC Marketing
It’s often touted as a blessing for the digital marketers as it allows you to target people with exclusive ads based on the contact details. In other words, you may convey content to customers, which is relevant to the queries with the use of identity-based PPC marketing.
#5 Device Optimization
Mobile traffic surpassed desktop apps in a majority of developed countries. Hence, the device optimization must be given due importance to reap benefits from your digital marketing pursuits. Ensure that the user may navigate through the apps effortlessly with the use of mobile.
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You need to build the voice of your brand, the message you deliver and how you deliver it. Do it through consistently and frequently sending out promotional messages and posts. According to research, it is effective to send between 5 and 10 posts every week to Facebook; once a day for LinkedIn and Google+ and 5 tweets daily to Twitter.
The voice of your brand needs to be present on every channel and materials: on your emails, brochures but also content social media channels, offline marketing... As an example, if you want to run a successful Instagram marketing strategy or Facebook or Twitter, it's primordial to have defined a brand voice first.
#7 Educate Your Customers and Do Not Only Promote
If you think that heavy promotional dosage of your startup will keep your audience captive, you can’t be more wrong. The discerning clients won’t waste their time to know how good you and your brand is, they like something of value. Therefore, put out information that’s mixed with promoted content to make your offering much attractive.
#8 Interact With Your Visitors
Digital marketing isn’t a highway hoarding that individuals imbibe, read, and move on. Digital platform provides them the option of satiating their innumerable doubts and queries. Therefore, give them with the opportunity to interact with you. Fuel your pride through making them valuable members of the brand. This won’t only add to your credibility, but also show your customer service capabilities. Utilize affordable services to improve interaction.
#9 Try Various Social Platforms
The more widespread the marketing is, the more customers you’ll be able to attract. There are some social platforms that can be valuable immensely to marketing your startup. You should have a social media strategy for your startup!
#10 Cutting Edge Content
To create and deliver cutting-edge content, it's important to start creating a content marketing plan. You may have the best of the digital media platforms, yet if you haven’t thought out what you’re going to say about your startup, your efforts will just turn to waste. Content is the king, since this conveys the message of your brand. There are many content marketing tactics to make your messages very interesting as to make people stop as well as take notice. If making the right message is a concern, you may take the help of topnotch content websites that are very affordable.
#11 Make Real Fans
Social media is not about the number of followers but about their engagement. I often hear startups or entrepreneurs saying they have 20,000 Facebook fans or 20,000 Instagram followers or 20,000 LinkedIn contacts and so on. Then, I asked them how many bought their products and they answered me 0. Is that good? I don't think so.
Social media is a good channel to raise the voice of your brand, yet once you choose to go for fake likes, this remains unheard. If the majority of the followers are not real, it only means that even publishing the finest of your posts will be noticed hardly by anyone. The majority of social media platforms serve as ad post to a group of individuals who follow your page, yet once they turn out to be fake users and there’s no engagement involved, such platforms won’t spread the post to the next batch, lowering the reach for posts as well.
#12 Engage Your Targeted Audience
This can feel like on of those obvious digital marketing tips for startups but it is surprisingly often forgotten (Even by large companies with a large digital marketing budget)
Marketing must not look like you’re doing marketing. Your posts don’t have to be always business centric, engaging audience is a more important work. Run unique contests with several giveaways, tag relevant individuals in curated content, do Q&A sessions for better interaction, convey information using infographics, ask audience interesting questions with the use creative graphics, and so on. A note to remember is that User Generated Content or UGC is a great way to showcase the connection of the brand with the audience. Once your users or customers, contribute to the page’s content, they are likely to engage with their friends as well.
#13 Concentrate On Your Target Customers
At the start, it’s obvious for the startups to get over excited and reach out to anyone. Nevertheless, as exciting as it might sound, it’s essential to stay focused on the target audience segment that’s likely to give you businesses.
If you do not narrow down the market according to your niche, your message reaches a bigger irrelevant audience that’s unlikely to grab their attention and it won’t meet your intended goals. For instance, if you’re a brand selling the stationary products and the audience is set to everyone, this way you could get several sales, yet not as many as you expected.
It is wise to segment your target customers according to gender, region, age, and so on to maximize the returns of the digital marketing campaigns. Rather than attracting random clients, you must reach out to those who will help you meet short-term goals like your immediate reachable customers.
The business that has started and does not have a big customer base may target lookalike and custom audience in Facebook marketing.
#14 Content is Still Considered as the King
There is no denying in the fact that content is still considered as the king, yet people tend to undermine this time and again. While developing your page’s content, keep some important things in mind including your target market, relevant in the industry, and existing customers.
Make a content strategy and follow this consistently to engage your audience. Never always talk about the features and benefits of the product instead talk about the benefits of the user in that piece of content. Once the content isn’t clear and the messages are not formulated well, you’ll undoubtedly struggle to communicate with your targeted audience. Somebody said that the content is the reason the search started.
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Social media is considered as the method for you to build the image of your brand. You must not just post articles frequently, but instead, there ought to be uniformed individuality to your post. In addition to that, never overpost and deviate from the meaning of your brand. Experts suggest that the optimal number of the posts to Facebook should be between 5-10 times a week.
#16 Engage with the Readers
Never use social media accounts for promotions, give information to your readers like to see and mix sporadically in your promoted content. Moreover, do unafraid social confrontation’s approach. Consider any complaints or interactions as a chance to display the customer service capabilities of the brand.
#17 Content is Ace of Spades
Overlooking marketing or content writing is blunder. It’s the chariot for conveying the message of your brand. If the content isn’t clear and well-crafted, you’ll struggle to succeed. Search for cheap and imaginative content. Innovative content does not have to be expensive. You may find inexpensive quality materials on the websites like Elance, UpWork or Fiverr.
#18 Try Small Investments
There are numerous social opportunities that you can invest in that have the benefit with regard to unique selling idea as well as the industry. Experiment with some options and see what warrants best return on investment for your startup.
#19 Improve Internal Webpages for Conversions
What do you want investors to do when landing on your website? Your overall content strategy should be made with this question in your mind. Find some free plugins to capture emails and leverage affordable services including constant contract for campaigns. You may also use free tools like the Google Analytics to monitor the paths of the visitor to the website and when they’re on it, search for the opportunities to make a user-friendly experience. Optimize the forms on your website to build stronger inbound lead funnel.
#20 Hire Senior Digital Marketing Staff/Resource
Rather than going for a digital marketing executive, experts suggest that you go with the senior resource who has 7-10 years of experience when handling digital marketing for brands or startups. Another possibility is to outsource your startup digital marketing needs.
You’ll be coming up with marketing strategies at this time and your insights will help you in charting long-term plan. While hiring marketing persons, ensure that they are good with all primary digital channels including social media marketing, SEM, SEO, digital PR, and email marketing. Being knowledgeable of the analytics is also a must.
However, others have noticed that people who come from the digital marketing agencies do not live up to the expectation because the agencies have several teams handling all the digital channels. You may hire people from some brands or startups that are in the same niche as somewhat related or as yours.
If you’ve decided to kickstart your marketing activities, you have to start working on your communication. Coming up with the brand personality will surely help you identify and define your brand. It's key to have a compelling brand storytelling for your business. In turn, this will develop emotional connect with your clients and help you set apart from each of your competitors. If you have this in place, you’ll find that coming up with tweets, copy of the landing pages, and ad-copy for SEM campaign becomes much easier.
Branding is a daily work not a one-time shot. It needs to be implemented in every aspects and channels of your business. It has to be done internally but you can also get help by working with a branding services agency.
#22 Start Crafting Remarkable Content
Content marketing is considered as the most reliable way to make an impact on the audience. Having the best set of content writers on board will ensure that you’re coming up with content that individuals share and like. Other than that, this will ensure that individuals get to know you as well as adopt your service or product. It’s a big playground and you may dabble with a lot of options.
From infographics to videos to downloadable content and blog posts, there are several ways you may share and create content. Nevertheless, you must stay away from the fluffy content if this gets is the page views, yet no sales or leads. There is no point to having a blog that shares the listicles on lifestyle and food while you’re dealing in a real stay.
Therefore, continue analyzing the impact of the content strategy on your KPIs including leads, sales, and brand awareness regularly. You must always see the content as a way in increasing more sales and not just the channel to get more page views or likes.
#23 Concentrate on Your Product Marketing
While the product’s initial version was about providing customers a great experience, you must now look at maximizing the returns from the usage of your products of your customers. People know that product marketing is a great way to spread the word in a natural manner and this saves tons of money, yet numerous startups wait until they hire good growth hacker to start with it.
But, this must not be the case. Different case studies have highlighted that simple tweaks may lead to good returns and the senior marketing resource must be able to pull it off with training, if necessary.
#24 Work on Your Landing Page(s)
Even if landing have always existed on the Internet, they really took their importance in the past few years. Having compelling, engaging and high-converting landing pages is one of the top digital marketing tips for startups. I think most startups know that but they still don't spend the necessary time on their landing pages.
Since you’ll be starting with your paid marketing campaigns, you should have a landing page, which converts like charms. Being the interaction’s first point of the customers with your brand, it becomes imperative that you concentrate on delivering a good experience to them. Rather than going with templates and letting it run on the auto-pilot mode, you must run different tests on every aspect that is important to conversion. This must be an ongoing process and must not be a 1-time affair.
#25 Invest in the Best Tools
Even if you are a bootstrapped startup, you need to have some kind of budget for tools. Tools will allow you to automate repetitive tasks, gain so much time and you will be able to focus on what matters most. Choosing the right tools (Marketing tools, growth hacking tools, analytics...), testing them and paying for them when necessary is one of these digital marketing tips for startups you should take note now!
Now that you already have the funds, you must start consider looking at working with the premium tools that do better job than the free ones that you have been using at present. There are countless of good tools you can use out there that will help you with lead generation, SEO, analytics, and project management. Give their free trials a spin and see the ones that fit your needs.
#26 Follow the Pareto's Principle (80/20)
In your eagerness to consider marketing yourself in an aggressive manner, it’d be wise if you do not spread yourself very thin. You do not have to do everything to establish your sales funnel. Oftentimes, you’ll see a handful of the marketing activities providing you maximum returns.
When you started your marketing activities, you’ll start seeing the effectiveness of the different channels. Invest on the ones that are impactful than others. Whether it’s SEM, SEO or product marketing, this can be anything you want. Just remember that running after each marketing channel isn’t going to help you and you have to stay focus. This is why you should follow the principle of Pareto (or 80/20) to improve your productivity.
#27 Work On the Employer Personal Branding
Since you’ll only be growing more in the coming days, you must invest in branding yourself as the best place to work at. Hiring can be painful and there are some talented people out there. It makes employer branding all more important for you. Having the best team page and company blog always helps, yet nothing would beat tapping into the contract of your current team through social media.
Whenever people see their friends having a good time at the workplace, they begin aspiring of a workplace like yours. It’s a positive perception of the brand that comes into force if you ask your team members to share current job openings in the brand within the network.
#28 Consider Establishing a Strategy That’s Ideal for Your Needs
What it means is first you have to determine what your goals are as a business, know the limitations, how much time you may dedicate to this strategy, and what makes you different or better that most successful and largest competitors. Once you have figured it out, this will enable anyone to be involved on the same page and resolve any issues that could come up within the business.
#29 Focus on Long and Short Term Goals to Maximize Your Revenues
Many startups believe they should grow fast without thinking long-term. This is a mistake! While it's true that you need to grow fast, thinking long-term will allow you to prevent mistakes or anticipate changes. "Don't think long-term, you're a startup" is one of the worst digital marketing tips for startups I've ever heard.
In terms of setting goals for the marketing plan of the startup, it is essential to think of the long-term objectives and goals because it provides everybody involved a target to reach. Nevertheless, what may happen when there aren’t any short-term attainable goals or low hanging fruits is that the optimistic long term goals may get lost with passing of time and change depending on the services or products and the people within the business.
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#30 Be Willing When Scheduling and Delegating Tasks
One of the things that may happen with the marketing plan of the startup is for there to be no ownership on the tasks that should be monitored and implemented. Whether working with the marketing team internally or hiring a 3rd party to handle digital marketing tasks, there must be some agreed upon expectations and responsibilities in terms of marketing campaigns. Otherwise, the things will be done in a way that makes it difficult to improve, track, and measure as days go by.
#31 Track Customer Interactions and Progress
As your digital marketing campaign starts to bring in interactions and engagement with the startups, you may learn a lot through watching how things progress and what users like versus what they do not. When the startup gets a sense of what is going well in this regard, it enables them to adjust as required and implement CRO or conversion rate optimizations for you to maximize the campaign’s performance.
#32 Be Dedicated with Your Digital Marketing
Digital marketing needs time and effort for it to work successfully. If you are dedicated and committed to your startup, you can achieve your goals in no time and get the results that you have always wanted, regardless of how tough the competition is.
How to take the most of these digital marketing tips for startups?
Nevertheless, you can't be cheap and always try to save some bucks here and there. If you find a digital marketing tool, a growth hacking tool, a software or anything else that can save you time, don't hesitate. Time is not renewable and is your most important value! In all those 32 digital marketing tips for startups, if you need to remember one thing is that time is your best ally and without it you won't succeed!
At Growth Hackers, we specialize in helping startups, SMBs, organizations and entrepreneurs with digital marketing. So, if you want to take your startup digital marketing strategy to the next level, contact Growth Hackers today!
I am the co-founder and CEO at Growth Hackers. We help startups, small businesses and entrepreneurs with growth methods. I am passionate about startups, growth hacking, inbound marketing and entrepreneurship. You can follow me on Twitter: @GrowUrStartup