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A Guide to Digital Marketing for Startups

John Dion

By John Dion

A friend who was working on a travel startup turned to me to understand what he could do to market his service in the online world. While he was taking a step in the right direction, he was concerned about how much the process would cost. Much to his pleasure, he was able to handle several tasks on his own.

 

Some methodologies have remained the same over the years, although new trends  keep making their way to the digital marketing landscape. An example in case is the surge in video marketing over the last year or so.

The Groundwork

Start the process by defining your business. While effective digital marketing gives you measurable and tangible results, identifying the purpose your business serves, its customer base, and how it is unique aids in creating suitable strategies.

  • Goals tend to vary from one startup to another. These may include, but don’t limit to, creating brand awareness, building a customer base, attracting visitors to your website, or getting people to try your service for free.
  • Set a budget keeping in mind your goals. If you have some basic technical knowledge and are willing to learn, there are aspects that you may cover on your own. If you’re hopeful of seeing quick results, you may need a higher budget to make the most of social media platforms and ad campaigns.

 

Unique Selling Proposition.

Determining what sets your business apart from its competition is crucial in devising a good digital marketing plan. Refine your brand’s identity if you feel it’s necessary because it plays an important role in maintaining consistency.

 

The Website

When creating a new website, pay due attention to form and function. Form refers to the aesthetic appeal of your website. Use fonts that are easy to read and ensure that the color palette is in line with colors your brand uses. A cluttered page can work as a turn off, so your website should be easy to navigate. Information that you provide should be streamlined and easy to locate.

 

Given that an increasing number of people use mobile devices to access the Internet, think about problems that users may face. Make sure your website is designed for touch. Large navigation keys do away with the need for zooming in. Before the launch of your website, check if it looks how it should on a mobile and a tablet because there might be problems with alignment.

 

Creating unique content that provides value to readers is vital in getting more visitors to your website. Blogs give you easy means to display industry-specific expertise, giving you the ability to offer in-depth insights about how your company works and its offerings. A well maintained blog also has a positive impact on organic traffic (traffic that you don’t pay for).

 

Understand the Elements

Digital marketing comes with different elements, although what works best for your business depends on different factors such as your goals and budget.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The main idea is to increase the organic traffic to your website. Research websites of competitors, pick the right keywords, pay attention to keyword placement, and don’t compromise on content.
  • Content Marketing. Web marketers now pay special attention to content, and it comes in the form of the content on your website, blog posts, posting on social media platforms, white papers, infographics, eBooks, and press releases.
  • Social Media Marketing. Dedicate some time toward learning how this realm works because it gives you an easy way to find out what your customers have to say about your brand. Listen to them carefully and try to offer solutions quickly. Use this medium to engage with your customers and provide them with delightful experiences. You may consider using automation for consistency.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC). This method requires that you pay a publisher every time someone clicks on a link and visits your website. Keep track of your PPC campaigns because you can tweak them in different ways to optimize click through rates. Consider using site links because they let you add multiple call-to-action (CTA) buttons.

 

Digital marketing also includes aspects such affiliate marketing, native advertising, video marketing, email marketing, marketing automation, and online public relations. No matter which methods you employ, it should not look like you’re putting too much effort from the customer’s point of view. Thinking about what’s good enough for the customer is no longer the way to go and it’s vital that you put them at the forefront of your efforts.

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