Digital Marketing for Start-ups

Being a start-up can be challenging in many ways. Handling various tasks such as chalking out budgets, initiating and measuring growth, resolving issues and hustling everyday activities can be straining.

Digital marketing is evolving at a tremendous rate. There have been remarkable changes in the digital world in the past few years. This has made it inevitable for start-ups to use websites as platforms to reach out to their audience because websites are the easiest avenues to establish brand identity in short time spans.

Gone are the days when becoming popular online was a cakewalk. All you were supposed to do was, put together something nice and post it online and voila! It is, however, becoming increasingly challenging to catch audiences’ fancies and keep them engaged. Content is overflowing on the internet today. The only way to survive and stand out amid this overflow is to be consistently creative. Some key components of online marketing that will make your digital leap easier include:

1. Social Media
Social media has become a way of life now and is here to stay for all intents and purposes. Therefore, as a new business, it is important to have a strong social presence. Although it seems straightforward, there are countless variables that come into play while creating and then enhancing a social media profile.

In order to keep up with the constantly changing social media landscape, just creating a profile on social media does not suffice anymore. One needs to consistently post relevant content to engage audiences and establish brand value. Executing a successful strategy on a social media platform takes time, creativity, in-depth knowledge and intensive research.

2. Website
Creating a custom site for a brand is essential for giving the brand the ‘oomph’ required to set it apart from others.
This customized website for a brand helps establish an identity for the brand which helps in getting leads and successful conversions. Designing a website by grasping what the target audience wants enables the brand to connect with them more closely. Interacting with audiences online ensures better brand recall and conversion rates.

3. Content Strategy
A crucial part of a successful media marketing strategy is creation of quality content for blog articles, posts on the social media, etc. You need to establish your identity early on in order to be seen as an influencer in the industry. A vital component of digital marketing is providing tailor made content to educate, inspire and engage your audience. Generating customized content can be challenging at times. Writing requires time and effort. Develop a content strategy and consider hiring an expert if you are unsure about how you are going to do this.

For lead generation, it is imperative to optimize the website. This helps in gathering vital information about customers / target audience. Be aware of the industry best practices and adhere to them for effective delivery of marketing campaigns.

To be a successful start-up, it is important to have best-in-class products on offer along with a sound marketing strategy. Mentioned below are a few points that you need to remember while formulating your strategies:

Validate your product
As an entrepreneur, you must be able to sense market trends quickly. The easiest and most accurate way of doing so is to create a website for your product(s) / service(s) followed by a highly efficient landing page. There are various tools like the ‘Unbounce’ and ‘Instapage’ that can help you develop such landing pages within a day without investing hours of effort. Your website is going to help you understand your customers better and vice versa. It will also help in increasing conversion rates. A well-designed website can also be used as a platform to reach out to your target audience by communicating with them, encouraging them to leave feedback, hold discussions and participate in surveys that will help in validating your product(s) / service(s).

Acquiring users
Use your personal network to acquire customers by reaching out to them and asking for referrals and test users.
Websites like LinkedIn and Twitter are beneficial not only in targeting and generating potential leads but also in gathering valuable insights and feedback about your brand / product(s) / service(s).
Offering free trials of your product, using email marketing, or adding a feature for live chatting on the landing page are a few effective ideas to induce rapid conversions.

Building an updated database of email IDs, providing responsible and fast interaction, and creating consistent, effective and customized content will help in establishing your brand in the digital market.

Marketing on a tight budget
It is natural for a start-up to not have a huge budget to begin with. It is, therefore, important to create a marketing strategy that fits into the available budget.

To get your product discovered at the right place at the right time, create specific content that is Google focused. Relevant traffic can be attracted to your website by using long-form content whose SEO value is excellent. Always focus on creating fresh, unplagiarized and unique content. Try to keep your content focused, interesting and engaging for your users. It is imperative to have content that is amplified to stand out from the sea of content that is out there.

Strategic planning too is of vital importance. Planning well ahead in time lets you focus and orient your strategy towards targeting the maximum number of people by leveraging relevant topics, themes, moments, celebrations, etc.

Save time with free tools
There is a world of tools that you can leverage to amplify your marketing efforts without spending too much time on it. Some of the free tools that can come in handy in your campaigns include:

IFTTT – From Twitter to Facebook, IFTTT creates automated actions that work unanimously across a wide variety of platforms. These can be customized according to your needs.

Hootsuite – It is a congregation of all your tracking needs for all your social media posts. It saves you from individually logging in and out of your accounts every time you want to post something, thereby saving you a lot of precious time.

BuzzSumo – This is the best tool out there for all your content research needs. It helps you track the most trending content on social media and the most important influencers in your industry, thereby making it possible for you to create a more wholesome marketing strategy.

Feedly, It and Twitter lists are some of the other tools that help you explore and keep a track on curated content. They do so by fetching you content that interests you and helps you incorporate them in feeds that you share on your social media profile.

Strike a balance with traditional marketing, while building your own online brand persona

For creating the desired brand persona, you need to be very clear about what you want your brand to stand for. Choose a brand color, logo and tone to use consistently across all social media channels. Remember, these are the things that will eventually come to be synonymous with your brand identity.

Never forget the importance of the quintessential traditional modes of advertising as we must remember that not everyone is online all the time. It is, therefore, wise to distribute the available marketing budget between digital and traditional media.

Always track and measure results – Tracking results is essential. Tools like Google Analytics, Hootsuite and SumoMe can help you keep a track on results and also measure them by tracking your campaigns and listening to your audiences.

Design and speed will become crucial
As the web matures even as we watch the phenomenon unfold, websites that will be successful will the ones that provide the most appropriate and relevant content in the most effective and efficient way possible. The design of your website and the speed at which it loads play key roles in deciding whether or not your website will see successful conversions.

The future will see old sites getting a makeover to not only provide important and relevant content, but content that is useful, visually attractive, and quick to load on users’ screen.

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