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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Digital Marketing Strategies for Start-ups

With both competitors and potential customers constantly online, digital marketing is the only way to stay ahead. A big part of marketing strategy is digital. Any business can compete with any competitor regardless of size with a solid digital marketing strategy.

As a starting point, here are some research activities to get you started with your small business digital marketing plan:
  1. Customer profiles (or personas) – which types of customers visit your site and then convert to lead or sale? How does this differ compared to other traditional channels? We believe that businesses of all sizes should have target personas or “pen portraits” of 2 to 3 customer types.
  2. Customer search behaviour research – determine how your prospects search as explored in the Reach section – understanding the volume and type of customer intent is vital where you are looking to grab more share of search when people search for your products or services
  3. Competitor research – You can run a profitable site without considering competitors, but a review as part of planning will definitely give you ideas and is essential to spot weaknesses and opportunities as part of SWOT analysis. 
  4. Influencer, partner and intermediary research – which types of people and other sites will influence your audience as they look for your type or product and service? This is often neglected, but partnerships and certain types of influencers6 can be a great source of low cost, quality traffic.
  5. Current business effectiveness – mine your sales data
Consumers and businesses alike are almost always online and to be able to reach them and observe their behaviour where they spend the most time digital marketing strategy comes handy. It’s the series of actions that are going to help to achieve goal(s) using online marketing. 

Several low cost digital marketing strategies for the start-ups are listed below:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a key to every website. The start-ups must know the keywords where the website must rank on top 3 organic results. In case it’s an e-commerce, it will require paid search marketing activities to bring product in front of the consumers.

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) should be used for understanding why visitors are not ‘converting’ into customers, and then improving messaging or value proposition to increase this rate of conversions which can be done by understanding visitors and their objections.
  • The most successful businesses have an effective marketing funnel in place. This includes mapping out a customer’s journey from a complete stranger to a lead, and then putting certain strategies in place that will encourage them to move through this funnel.
  • Landing Page Optimization: The landing page of any startup is one of the crucial factors in generating the lead about the product and then ultimately making the business out of it by selling those products. Landing page must be good enough to compel visitors to get converted into customers.
  • Internal Pages Optimization: There are free and cheaper solutions for optimizing internal pages for conversion. Free plugins can be used for capturing emails and then leveraging affordable services like MailChimp for drip campaigns. 
  • Using free tools like Google Analytics to monitor visitor’s paths to the website and once they are on it, finding opportunities to create a more user-friendly experience. Optimizing forms on website to build a stronger inbound lead funnel. Finding cheap and reliable cart services to sell products directly through site. 
Content marketing is one of the most overlooked investments in launching a startup, which can be done by engaging in industry research and formulating unique selling propositions. 
  • Visually stimulating content, with appealing imagery and minimal words score a lot when it comes to websites. However, that cannot diminish the power of captivating words, and they are as good as the pictures.
  • One of the most important steps to an effective content marketing strategy is the content promotion. Amplify it as much as possible. Leverage social media profiles, email industry experts, reach out to LinkedIn groups or industry forums, and contribute to other popular sites that target consumers might visit. 
E-mail marketing is now becoming one of the best digital marketing weapons which will not only help startup to promote its brand but will also help in generating lead to make business for the brand.

Social media is one of the most cost effective ways to market startup.  In addition to providing a platform for growing brand, it offers an easy medium for promotion and customer service opportunities. It is a way to build brand voice. This can be done on a frequent and consistent pace. Find and share customer related information. 
  • Many social media platforms and search engines have the feature of showing paid ads on their platform which any start-up can easily afford as most of these paid ads starts with a minimum budget of $10. You can also further increase the budget according to requirement to gain much better reach among target audience.
  • There are a number of different social opportunities that one can invest in all of which have merit depending on the industry and unique selling proposition. 
  • Facebook is steadily becoming a pay-to-play platform, and to see any engagement, investment on Facebook posts promotion can be done. 
  • While Twitter still provides a good amount of organic engagement, the microblogging platform also has paid solutions for businesses, with one being sponsored tweet. By providing a sponsored tweet, higher engagement will most likely occur with followers (and others).
  • LinkedIn has a number of extremely valuable paid features, including a Sales Navigator that makes finding leads and contacts seamless. 
  • One of the biggest benefits of social media for business is using it to increase website traffic. Not only does social media help direct people to website, but the more social media shares received, the higher search ranking will be. 
A digital marketing strategy should always be multi channelled in nature, to track and analyse every channel. It helps in covering every possible segment of your target audience. Blogs give interest and opinion for viewers, hence helping them choose between alternatives. YouTube podcasts help consumers by informing them about the products.

Running a startup on a shoestring budget is hard enough. Keeping marketing costs down while capitalizing on successful digital opportunities, one will be able to improve brands visibility without sacrificing a large budget.

Hope you find it useful !

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