When it comes to getting a startup off the ground and competing with other industry leaders—whether it’s in the planning or growth stages—investing quality time in a marketing strategy is often the difference between a company that can experience massive growth and one that is simply trying to stay afloat. It’s no secret that in recent years, digital marketing has played a large part in the success of many well-known, and even lesser-known, startups.
Whether a much larger company acquires the startup in a short period of time, or the startup business is able to raise its valuation and, as a result, the capital it’s able to bring in from outside investors, digital marketing has repeatedly played a large part in that type of success and growth.
Some feel there is a blueprint that every startup can follow to experience that type of outcome, which is why it seems that we often hear of particular entrepreneurs having massive success with multiple startup companies.
Whether or not there is a blueprint that a startup should follow when it comes to digital marketing, at the very least a business owner should keep in mind a few tips that will help put their business on a path to success when it comes to their marketing initiatives.
1) The Value of Digital Marketing Experts
If you aren’t sure how to start with digital marketing, you might need to hire some help. Does that mean that you need to bring on a high-priced outside consultant or vendor who will take a large percentage of your marketing budget? Not necessarily, but having an expert involved with this stage of the marketing campaign can be the difference between having a strategy in place that has a much higher chance of success and one that is, quite frankly, a gamble.
The benefit of making sure you have a digital marketing expert assisting with the strategy, and in some cases the implementation, is that it takes the guesswork out of establishing a marketing plan that will succeed.
2) Establish a Strategy That is Suited to Your Needs
What this means is first determining what your goals as a business are, what limitations you have, what makes you different and/or better than your largest and most successful competitors, and how much time you can dedicate to this strategy.
Having that figured out will allow everyone involved to be on the same page, and to iron out any concerns that may come up within the company.
3) Be Willing to Delegate and Schedule Tasks
One of the worst things that can happen with a startup’s marketing plan is for there to be no ownership over tasks that need to be implemented and monitored. Whether working with a marketing team internally or even hiring a third-party to handle the digital marketing tasks, there have to be some agreed upon responsibilities and expectations when it comes to the marketing campaign. Otherwise, things will get done in a way that makes it hard to track, improve, and measure as the days go by.
4) Focus on Short and Long Term Goals for Increased Revenues
When it comes to setting goals for a startup’s marketing plan, it’s important to think of long-term goals and objectives because it gives everyone involved a target to reach for. However, what can happen when there are no short-term attainable goals, aka low hanging fruit, is that the optimistic long-term goals can get lost with the passing of time or change depending on the products/services and the individuals within the company.
5) Be Focused on Marketing to and for Your Customers
There are plenty of bad examples of marketing teams who focus on the marketing platform they intend to use to grow their business instead of focusing on their target audience. Some common examples include:
With Search Engine Optimization: It’s a common practice for marketing teams to focus so much on what they think a search engine wants to see on their website that they ignore how people read and what value it adds to their target audience.
There are a lot of issues with making this mistake when it comes to SEO, with one of them being that search engines regularly and often unexpectedly make updates to how and why they rank websites in the order that they do. Having an in-house expert on the team, or even an outside consultant, can make sure crippling decisions like these aren’t allowed to hurt the outcome of the marketing campaign. Again, if you don’t have experienced members within your company to address these matters, you might want to look into the benefits and reasons SEO consultation services are becoming more popular.
With Social Media: Some companies put too much focus on how often they need to publish content socially in an effort to increase their likes/shares/followers/etc., and pay little to no attention to how useful or not their posts are to the personas they’re trying to reach on social media platforms.
With Pay Per Click Advertising: It’s easy to focus on how much money you spend per click, or what the click through rate is instead of trying to identify if the target keywords selected are the ones buying customers are using to find the products and services they want.
On the other hand, when the customer is the focus, a company should be interested in providing them with information that can be easily found and interacted with.
6) Be Adaptable When it Comes to the Customer’s Dependencies
Is your target audience primarily accessing your brand using their phone, their tablet, or their computer? Are they looking for your products or services during the hours while they are at work or school, or are they typically accessing your website in the evenings when they are in more of a relaxed environment?
Can they easily contact you by way of your website or social channels, or is it difficult for them to get assistance with questions and concerns they have about doing business with you? Do your largest competitors all have a mobile app that their customers love and use?
Unfortunately, there are times when a company tries to dictate how the interaction will take place between their target audience and their brand, but the issue with that is most internet users these days are encouraged to be very particular with the companies they choose to do business with.
The point is, it’s important not to allow the startup’s preferences about engaging their target audience to overshadow the preferences of those they’re hoping to have as customers and clients.
Track Progress & Customer Interactions
As a digital marketing campaign begins to bring in engagement and interactions with the startup, you can learn a lot by watching how things are progressing and what the user likes vs. what they don’t. When a startup gets a sense of what’s going well in this regard, it allows them to adjust as needed and implement conversion rate optimizations (CRO) to maximize the performance of the campaign.
For anyone unfamiliar with the instant benefits of CRO for a digital marketing campaign, KissMetrics shared 100 case studies on this very subject and how it impacted 100 different businesses.
Allow Digital Marketing To Grow Your Startup
The above-mentioned tips are not the only ones that can help a startup to ensure they both reach and go beyond all of their aspirations as a company. Implementing these tips does not guarantee that a startup will end up being the next multi-billion dollar company in their given industry, but it does allow them to have a marketing plan in place that will put the brand in front of the right consumers.
Understanding and applying these tips within the marketing strategy can add to the blueprint for success that just about any startup company hopes to achieve.
Murris has been working full time in the digital marketing industry since 2013 and is the founder of one of the fastest growing free digital marketing resources online, Nomvo.com.