In the business world, nothing is more challenging than marketing your startup and small business in a hope to grow big.If you are not prepared with your marketing plan, then get ready to face the consequences. The idea here is that your small business should grab as much attention as possible in order to become viable. The competition is very stiff when it comes to brand promotion, your competitor is not just restricted to the relevant business industry but the major competitors here are the millions of marketing messages in the potential customer’s inbox. No matter if it is a startup or a small business, digital marketing in today’s business scenario is essential to ensure the success.
The Big Challenge
The big questions that pop up in a marketer’s mind are how to drive digitally driven results, how to reach masses in different geographies and how to make the business resonate. However, the biggest hurdle arises when the marketer is expecting all this to be done within a shoestring budget.
Startups and small businesses solve problems for their customers and connecting with right audience is all about personalized marketing. The marketers need to create their own brand identity and ensure a growth in this fast-paced digital world, which can of course be very detrimental to the business overall health.
Let’s begin with the fundamental, why do startups and small business need marketing?
The small business owners think that digital marketing requires budgets of the highest orders, however this is not true in any sense. All you need to do is define a marketing strategy and stick to it unless it’s not working out the way you want. Begin with the possible means that are suitable for your digital approach, however, make sure that you are active on the platforms you choose.
For example, if you are sharing video-based content, then best platforms for your business is YouTube, however if you are selling products then the most suitable platform would be Instagram or Facebook.
In this case, begin with the possible means that could be suitable for you. If you’re still confused on how to pick the right channel for you, you need each option to hire a qualified digital marketing agency that will do every research necessary for online business marketing and create a strategy that’s suited for your business.
Online presence became more important and complicated than ever before. For you to promote your brand, a sophisticated website is needed to make your company’s visibility, not only as an informative one, but a multi-functional one. Aside from that, you will need to make a blog, a Twitter account, a dynamic Facebook and Linked-in accounts, and so on. Moreover, several companies might try for web apps, Android, iOS apps, and Facebook apps.
Create a well-crafted site with fascinating designs as well as relevant images so that it shows up quickly with the searches. Likewise, concentrate on the structure and content of the web along with the SEO and keyword because they’re crucial for website visibility. SEO is also cost-effective and provides long-term measurable benefits. It also maximizes the visibility and number of the organic visitors to the website.
How digital marketing helps:
It builds awareness and positions your company and brand. It builds a consistent flow of traffic, gets the first few users. This form of marketing also drives leads and online sales.
Keeping the budget constraints in mind, startups need a few techniques/tools that they can use with minimal cost. Let’s look at some of these tools and what can be done to approach these.
1. SEO – This is cost-effective with measurable, long-term benefits. It increases the visibility and organic traffic to the website. Using this, there is free branding and it builds trust and credibility. A big advantage is that it opens your business 24*7.
What needs to be done to be SEO friendly? – Make your site mobile friendly and secure, especially if is an e-commerce website. Do ensure all pages are working, use appropriate tags/headers/descriptions. Optimize for faster page load times, create good content on the site, and focus on online PR – get users to talk about your site.
2. Content marketing – This generates more traffic, more leads, and builds brand awareness. It also builds relationship with current and prospective clients and establishes you as a thought leader in your industry.
What to focus in content marketing? – Publish great and relevant content on a regular basis. Formulate unique selling proposition. Set up a blog, tell stories, and work with other publishers to post your content/write-ups. Also communicate user stories.
3. Social media marketing – This is cost-effective and a platform to build voice. It is a way to engage with current and future customers. Pick the right platforms as per your business requirement – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram.
What shall you do on the platforms? – Think about why someone would become a part of your community or follow you (what is in it for me). Seed the platform with the first few pieces of content. Let the users take over, while you monitor. Do use groups/Q&A/chat effectively.
4. Email marketing – This is simple, cost-effective, personal, customisable, and measurable with high ROI. You can communicate with an audience of any size. Email has nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined.
How to go about email marketing? – Identify a service provider. Do-it-yourself platforms are good, few are: Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Aweber, Amazon SES. Set up a calendar and very important is that ‘do not always sell’ – majority of the email should be about free service.
5. Growth hacking – This is low-cost and innovative alternative to traditional marketing.
How to go about it? – Offer something for free, set up a referral programme, and go with exclusivity. There should be an element that helps your product go viral.