STARTUP GOING DIGITAL | Digital Marketing Must-Dos for Startups

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Let’s talk about digital marketing. If you are a current or potential entrepreneur or simply an updated individual living in the 21st century you probably have heard about digital marketing a million times already. Suppose you started a business recently or are thinking of starting one. What is your primary concern? Of course, to make a profit out of it! That’s what everyone wants to do business for, right? The profit comes primarily through maximized sales. But a number of factors drive the volume of sales e.g. quality, customer service, price, etc. However, one key point behind generating inflated sales figures is establishing awareness of your product or service among customers. This is where marketing kicks in.

In formal words, marketing refers to the activities undertaken by an enterprise to promote the purchasing or selling of a particular good, service, or a combination of both. It constitutes a key component in the realms of business management and commerce. Marketers are at free will to either supply their product through marketing intermediaries (or more simply middlemen) or they may design their business model in a way that enables them to interact directly with the end-user. For startups, their only hope of succeeding in the market against the big dogs is to market their product more effectively and efficiently than the existing firms.

Navigating the digital marketing arena

Now, what is all this fuss about the digital version of marketing? Well, with the development of computer technology and the population becoming more and more tech-savvy it is obvious that the digital platform is too big and attractive for marketers to ignore. Why would startups consider digital marketing pivotal to their success? Well, more often than not, startups have a limited budget, meaning they will have to achieve maximum utilization of the resources available to them for reaching out to their target customer base, be it land, labor, capital, or information. Digital marketing can be regarded as a “one-stop solution” to the budget problem since it can be conducted for a fraction of the cost that would have been incurred in marketing through traditional means. Let’s say you have come up with this brilliant idea for a watch that tells the time for multiple time zones and you wish to advertise it. The options you have available are – television ads, radio commercials, newspaper articles, and Facebook ads.

Television ads and newspaper articles are probably going to be out of your budget while radio commercials will not reach as many people as you’d desire because let’s be real! Who listens to the radio nowadays? The best alternative you now have available is a boosted Facebook Ad that is likely to reach thousands of people who are potentially interested in your watch as determined by Facebook based on their interests and post engagement. And it will probably cost you only about a few hundred dollars, which is insignificant in comparison to the thousands that would be spent on TV ads and newspaper articles.

Getting the marketing mix right

Digital Marketing sure does sound lucrative and tempting, but it’s not all that simple and easy. How do you determine the right type of marketing suitable for your business? The realm of digital marketing encompasses a wide array of choices and the horizon seems to be endless. Thus, proper knowledge of digital marketing is mandatory, or else it is easy to get lost amongst all the noise. Therefore, efforts will not be proportionate with results, and a lot of resources might be wasted in the process. However, if you can do digital marketing properly it can work wonders for you. A lot of companies that are multi-million dollar corporations today have benefitted from the use of digital marketing when they began their venture as a little startup with situations similar to your little hustle. Some examples of companies that have done splendidly with their digital marketing campaigns are Zappos, American Express (AMEX), and AirBnb. For achieving the desired results following the best marketing practices is required. The good news is if you needed assistance with digital marketing you have arrived at just the right place! This article will present you with some of the best digital marketing tips and tricks in order to head start your dream startup.

Effective message and impactful positioning

First and foremost, the most crucial aspect of digital marketing is delivering the message of your product to your target audience. The idea is to connect to marketing channels and tempt the audience to take desired actions. However, the process isn’t all that easy and it can get complex at times. How do you market your product to an audience you are unfamiliar with? Close to impossible. Thus, creating marketing and buyer personas is a must-do for startups trying to do digital marketing. Buyer personas essentially are documents consisting of the details of your perfect customer or group of customers including information like their name, job, income, age group, location, how they search for products on the internet, kinds of services they expect from your business, their preferred customer support channel and social media channels, etc.

Having this information enables you to emphasize the specific marketing channels that have the potential to yield positive results for your venture. At the end of the day, you have to know who you are trying to sell your stuff to. The next point of attention for digital marketers shall be Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Now that’s the usage of some heavy terminology but more simply said, it means your website will pop up whenever people search for things related to your business or the solutions you offer. This way you will receive an increasing number of visitors to your site and your business will gain exposure. Converting such visitors into customers then gets far easier as these people are already looking for the services or product that your business provides.

Thus, optimizing your content for search engines is absolutely necessary. The initial step in improving the visibility of your business is carrying out keyword research, which basically means looking for words that potential customers type in to search for products and services similar to the ones your business offers. Targeting long-tail keywords (three or more words) have been especially helpful for new businesses. Tools and apps such as Ubersuggest can help you carry out this research. There are three major benefits associated with long-tail keywords. Firstly, they clearly state the searcher’s intention. Secondly, there are lesser results for more specific searches, resulting in lesser competition for the top spot on the search list. Thirdly, they occupy a significant proportion of all searches made. Research has shown that around half of all search queries are four words or longer.

An example of someone who gained success through the usage of long-tail keywords is Neil Patel. Neil Patel was able to increase search engine visitors by one hundred seventy-three thousand three hundred and thirty-six per month for Quick Sprout. In addition, if your business operates within the confines of national boundaries, then it is wiser to optimize your business only for searches made locally. Another point to take into consideration is that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can take its time before you are able to see visible or significant results. Therefore, using paid advertisements alongside working on SEO can yield quicker results.

The most crucial aspect of digital marketing is delivering the message of your product to your target audience. The idea is to connect to marketing channels and tempt the audience to take desired actions.

Conquer the social media landscape

A huge wing of the digital marketing game lies within the realms of social media. With each passing day, the usage of social media amongst the general public is becoming more and more prevalent and widespread. People get on social media almost daily in order to chat with their friends and family members, see what they are posting, or mostly just to pass their time looking at random posts, memes, and whatnot. Considering there are approximately 3.356 billion users of social media across the world and that 73% of marketers agree upon social media marketing to work for their business, this is one platform entrepreneurs and marketing managers simply cannot ignore. Some popular social media sites and apps are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, and LinkedIn. The platforms you need to focus on should depend on your target market segment and the types of customers you are willing to attract. For example, if you are selling luxury products then Instagram is where you will most likely find your desired customer base.

On the contrary, if you’re selling industrial equipment then LinkedIn probably is your best bet. There are a few rules-of-thumb you need to follow when marketing your product on social media. First of all, you need to make posts about your products regularly, preferably at least once a day. Secondly, using visual stimuli such as pictures and videos boosts post engagement and maximizes post reach. Thirdly, customers nowadays prefer immediate response. Therefore, it is preferable if you can interact with your potential buyers through quick replies. Fourthly, posting content containing background information about the industry within which your business operates helps invoke interest in the reader’s mind.

For example, someone who does not need a watch currently and believes that his smartphone is good enough to tell the time might purchase an expensive watch after reading an article on the fine history of Swiss watchmaking. And finally, investing in paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, etc. is always effective for gaining exposure through achieving more post reach. Conclusively, digital marketing presents startups with an enormous opportunity to make their presence known as it is very accessible to every business regardless of the budget.

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