In this era of the digital world, while more and more startups are springing up, their failure rate is equally rivaling their births i.e. 90%.
While it may be easy to get a startup into gear with just a creative idea and funding to back it, there’s more than that to growing a startup and evading the 90% failure rate.
A sustainable startup requires a continuous dose of creativity, innovation, and experience throughout its lifecycle.
There are over a dozen factors that kick start a business into a profitable and healthy one, but digital marketing is the lifeline of every startup.
Unlike a gigantic and mature organization, whose advertising budget alone far exceeds the total funding of an individual startup, the newly established business has to rely more on its wits and smart strategies to get do its marketing right.
Digital marketing is one such avenue that a newborn company can capitalize on while simultaneously remaining cost-effective.
There are varying digital marketing channels you can go for, but beware that not all of those channels can be profitable for your business or you have to rely on a single one for that matter.
It’s better to develop a marketing strategy that integrates the most suitable digital channels together in order to produce the most returns.
Which digital marketing strategy or a fusion of strategies will work for you is dependent on your target market, niche, type of product/services, and a number of other factors.
Here is a comprehensive list of digital marketing strategies that you can dive into and boost your startup’s progress:
Search Engine Marketing
If you want instant results for your startup, then opt for search engine marketing (SEM). Here, the prospective consumers directly reach your site via a simple search.
If someone is looking for Spectrum internet services in Fort Worth, they would simply type in ‘Spectrum Fort Worth Service’ or a variation of it and there your ad will pop up at the top of the search results, which the customer clicks on to come to your site.
However, the conversion will depend upon if they find useful content inside such as available Spectrum plans and bundles in Fort Worth, which they assumed will be inside when they clicked on it.
SEM is beneficial as it gets you quick results as users are actively looking for what you are offering. Hence, there is a high chance of conversion, and you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
Your budget can be minuscule and the search engine will still get you the best returns it can get. Moreover, you can analyze your SEM activity, traffic, bounce rate, and scores of reports via Analytics, and plan out your SEM strategy accordingly.
Using paid search engine advertising doesn’t mean that high investment will get you ahead. There’s more to it than that:
- Call-to-action (CTA) should be compelling enough to prompt your customers to act.
- Conduct keyword research for each campaign for accurate targeting via Google Keyword Planner.
- Connect Google AdWords account to Analytics to get detail reports on campaigns and track conversions, build a remarketing list, track traffic across different channels, set goals, watch behavior flow and a lot more.
- Strategically utilize search, display, shopping, video, and mobile ads.
Google also offers free professional certification for AdWords, Search, Display, Mobile, Video, and even Analytics with educational sessions. So if you want to take the reins of your startup’s marketing in your hands, you could begin from here.
Search Engine Optimization
Where SEM is the paid version, search engine optimization (SEO) is the cost-free version. If you have a website, then you are definitely going to get involved with SEO. For your website to rank at the top of the search engine results page for free, you will have to work at offering the best user experience on your website, blog, or e-commerce site.
That means your site should be rich with relevant, useful, and up-to-date content for the visitors, fast loading page speeds, optimized mobile site, anything and everything that makes up for amazing user experience on your site.
SEO techniques are a bit technical in nature save for the content, so here are a few things to look out for with SEO:
- Choose keywords that are relevant to your audience. Irrelevant ones will just bring traffic, but no conversions or even increase your bounce rate.
- Use good Meta titles and descriptions that convince users to click on your site.
- Sprinkle keywords into your content. As users type in keywords when they are looking for something, so you got to make sure those keywords are leading them to you.
- Never ever go for generic content.
- Publish guest posts on high-quality sites so you can acquire links and even traffic to your site. Publish good quality and detailed content on your site that will prompt others to link to your site, which will increase your domain authority and increase the chances for higher ranking.
- Perform a thorough SEO and site audit quarterly, and mini audits every month to assess how you could improve your SEO.
- Use ALT tags and filenames for images. As visual search is gaining traction, make the most out of it.
- Keep your site mobile-friendly as search engine factors in mobile site while indexing and ranking.
- Steer clear of black hat SEO techniques; they might inflate your traffic and rankings quickly, but Google’s algorithm is ever more sophisticated and clever and will penalize your site for using black hat tactics. Avoid grey hat ones too; if in future Google decides they are black hat, all your efforts will go down the drain.
Social Media Marketing
One of the most favored and cost-effective channels online, social media gets you some epic level of exposure with billions of individuals of all ages flocking the social networking sites and apps thanks to affordable internet by the likes of Charter Spectrum.
There are two ways you could go about your social media strategy: Paid or Free.
Paid social media advertising is recommended while you are starting out and have zero awareness among the audience. Paid ads can help generate an initial customer base, which will offer legitimacy to your infant platform when you go looking for organic followers.
Here are a few things to can consider in paid:
- You can choose advertising goals in your setting i.e. awareness, lead generation, and conversion, which helps the platform better adapt to your strategy.
- Social networks such as Facebook and Instagram even show shopping ads, which lets the user quickly browse and buy the product in their feed.
- Retarget the audience by using pixels, which can have higher chances of conversion.
For free marketing on social media:
- Stay abreast of the latest news and fads on social media and create content accordingly. This type of content is called reactive content, which can quickly get yourself in the trending section.
- Post memes to engage and interact with your audience.
- Consider sass marketing like Wendy’s did while using twitter as their engagement skyrocketed almost overnight. But be cautious as the strategy can backfire badly too.
- Question and answer posts can help you understand your audience’s concerns and improve customer satisfaction. See Hubspot’s Instagram story highlight ‘Ask the Pros’.
- Be responsive in replies and comments, and always be courteous.
- Use hashtags liberally as they get you more exposure. Using a hashtag could double your engagement that is if your content is related to the trending topic as well.
- Join groups and follow pages related to your niche to get closer to your untapped market.
- Use stories to organize fun games, quizzes, and polls to engage with your audience.
- Get influencers in your niche to market your content.
Every business has unique needs, customer base, business model, and goals. Therefore, it’s not always possible to succeed on a platform where another similar business succeeded.
Device a social media marketing strategy after listing out your goals, determining which platform your customers flock, and from which platform you can generate the most engagement.
No need to waste your energy where it will be fruitless. For example, if you’re a B2B software startup, direct your good amount of energy on the LinkedIn network.
Words of caution for social media marketing: These platforms can be quite strict with their community guidelines and policies, so you have to tread carefully in this channel. Even the tiniest of mistake can lead to an account of temporary suspension or termination.
One of the most effective methods of digital marketing. This is where marketing gets more personalized as you interact with those already interested in your brand and are most likely going to convert leads into customers.
Almost 99% of your consumers check their emails on a regular basis and even if they don’t, their smartphones immediately notify them of email arrival. Moreover, people who receive email offers, tend to buy 138% more than an average consumer.
The cherry on top, you have a list of people already interested in your product and it doesn’t have the risks associated with the social media channels i.e. deleted or suspended accounts.
Here are a few things you should know of while diving into your email marketing endeavors:
- First of all, you will have to generate an email list. People don’t easily give away their emails so you’d have to give something in return to get those such as an eBook, white paper, case study, webinar, free sample/trials, coupon, free consultation, or even fun quizzes.
- MailChimp is a great email service for beginners. Other services like Constant Contact, GetResponse, Hubspot, and Active Campaign are more sophisticated email marketing tools.
- Segment your list by new subscribers’ preferences, interests, location, premium customers, inactive, lead magnet, cart abandoners, or anything else you find useful. This way, you would be better able to send personalized emails and increase the chances of conversion.
More than 2 billion users watch videos on YouTube and these users spend one-third of their time every day on YouTube. Therefore, becoming the second-largest search engine o the web did not come at random for YouTube. Using videos for marketing can grow your revenue 49% faster than remaining video-less.
If the users don’t Google, they look for it on YouTube. Even while performing a Google search, you would usually see YouTube videos at the top of the search engine results page.
Hence, YouTube is an amazing platform to market your product, service, or company as it hooks the audience better than any other form of content. And people love content that is engaging and is easily shareable and viewable.
YouTube allows ad placements, a great alternative to expensive TV ads.
The purpose of ads is usually for awareness stage if you want to engage your audience and avoid expensive investment in paid go for organic video marketing. And here are a few pointers to consider:
- Your video title should be catchy as it decides for the user whether they will click on the video or not.
- Insert keywords in your title, the closer to the beginning of the title, the better. Apart from SEMrush and Moz, YouTube is a good place to conduct a keyword search.
- Avoid using titles that do not deliver on their promise and the use of clickbait. YouTube’s policies are stricter than ever and do not condone any such techniques.
- Use a thumbnail that complements the title, and conveys what the viewer will find inside the video. Be consistent in your thumbnail style.
- Keep a lookout for your competitors in the niche, you can learn a lot of tips and strategies from them. TubeBuddy and vidIQ are great tools for checking out your competitor, their keywords, tags used, SEO score, number of views, average view time durations, and a lot more.
- Update video content regularly. No one wants to subscribe to a channel that uploads content once in a blue moon. And your “watch time” is essential for your video ranking.
- Collaborate with influencers on the video platform.
The Possibilities Are Endless
In the digital world, there are myriad strategies and channels you could utilize to let your target audience know about your startup and what it can do for them.
You just have to be smart about which channel is apt for your business and not waste your time and efforts on unproductive strategies. Moreover, apart from creating creative content, familiarize yourself with the technical aspects of the platform.
Baldwin Jackson is a content marketing expert who loves to write about the latest technology innovations and trends. When he is not working you can find him gaming or reading ancient cultivation history and culture.