A step-by-step guide to digital marketing success for startup entrepreneurs | Most startup entrepreneurs associate many challenges with digital marketing success, such as enormous spending, specialized equipment, and well-trained marketing staff. Naturally, a small business with limited resources cannot set up a well-equipped and resourceful marketing department nor easily afford expensive help from a digital marketing agency to start a campaign.
Guess what? In 2021, marketing departments are no longer required because technologies like automation and machine learning take over processes and activities. In recent years, the balance of power shifted from traditional marketing to digital marketing practices. Now, the balance of power is shifting in favor of businesses equipped with digital marketing tools and automation technologies. It’s essential to adopt tools and strategies that promise competitive advantages, such as increased engagement, reduced expenses, and higher ROIs.
In 2021, small businesses and startups must embrace marketing tools to compete against multinational rivals and global competitors. But how should a startup owner approach digital marketing to penetrate the market and build a strong presence? Startups typically work with limited marketing spending, so they greatly rely on organic strategies instead of paid promotions.
Keep reading to explore a step-by-step approach to leveraging the power of digital marketing for higher ROIs and engagement.
Step#1: Create an Interactive Website
Your website is the beating heart of your digital identity and industry presence. It serves as an anchor for all your online activities, be it social media or online directories. The purpose of all activities is to drive traffic to your website to convert leads into customers.
Even the most innovative and sophisticated digital tools won’t serve a purpose if your website isn’t user-friendly. An interactive and user-friendly domain is more likely to secure high-quality outbound links from reputable digital magazines and websites. All SEO strategies, be it link-building or keyword targeting, rely on the website’s technical functionality.
Here are some elements to consider:
- A clear and concise domain name and URL that’s easy to remember.
- An interactive and user-friendly interface.
- A fast-hosting layout, functional for desktop and mobile users.
- Robust on-page and off-page SEO tactics.
- Informative and engaging content.
These elements combine to create a website that is an enjoyable, reliable, and informative resource for its target audience. Google’s ranking algorithms closely analyze user engagement and activity to determine a website’s ranking and popularity.
Your website content is a game-changer when it comes to building brand identity and reputation. It’s wise to create a mix of content, ranging from information and awareness to light-hearted humor and entertainment. Use your website content and blog to cultivate a voice for your brand.
Step#2: Build Connections on Social Media
Social media is all about building and maintaining connectivity. It is indeed the most significant frontier for all digital marketing activities, driving website traffic or selling products. As a startup owner, you must target social media to raise awareness and create an interactive brand image.
Social platforms allow you to interact and engage with millions and millions of users to generate unlimited leads. However, it would help if you had a data-driven strategy that maps out your target consumer segments and their social media preferences. It’s crucial to meet and interact with your consumers on the social media platforms they prefer.
For instance, if you’re targeting millennials, choose platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube. Facebook is a more viable platform for targeting middle-aged consumers and older adults. Most entrepreneurs fail to consider the responsibilities of social media engagement and focus too much on the opportunities.
With opportunity comes great responsibility. Social media has empowered consumers with a platform to voice their discontentment and concerns. Consumer feedback and reviews can make or break brands, regardless of their reputation and net worth. But how can startup owners rise above the fear of negative reviews and dissatisfied consumers? By building digital relationships and engaging with their audience.
Step#3: Building Digital Relationships
Setting up a user-friendly website, an interactive blog, and entertaining social media content work towards one goal: building relationships. Building digital relationships and engaging with your consumers personally is instrumental in cultivating a brand identity.
Brands strive to cultivate a distinctive and unique voice that resonates with their audience to build lasting connections. Brands deploy storytelling tactics that reflect their audience’s beliefs, values, concerns, and preferences to build relevance. In the digital arena, brands must interact with positive and negative publicity to acquire and maintain customer loyalty.
How a brand responds to a dissatisfied customer to resolve complaints or exchange products makes a powerful impact. As a startup owner, you can learn from your competitors and begin your social media journey by prioritizing audience engagement. Use social media and digital tools to listen to your consumers, and satisfy their needs with improved products and services.
Step#4: Curate Creative Content
Content is king, and your startup can build a strong industry presence by penetrating the market with a loud, attention-grabbing campaign. Modern-day consumers connect with creativity, uniqueness, and originality. Brands that present consumers with innovative and inventive solutions, marketed with creative promotions, enjoy great popularity without outspending their competitors. In 2021, content creation isn’t as challenging as it once was. Entrepreneurs can explore a plethora of artistic and creative tools alongside automation technologies to streamline tasks.
For instance, if video marketing intimidates you and you don’t have the budget to hire a videographer, what are your options? You can explore built-in templates and editing tools to spruce up videos made with your smartphone. Similarly, you can explore templates and tools to create interactive posts, brochures, and whitepapers.
Panel discussions and podcasts are increasingly popular, and interestingly, they don’t require any specialized skills. Can you put together an assortment of informative blogs, interactive live sessions, entertaining videos, and inspiring imagery? Creativity doesn’t cost a penny, and consumers adore brands that think outside run-of-the-mill branding ideas.
Step#5: Penetrate their Personal Space
How can you enter your consumers’ personal space and compel them to engage with your branding efforts? It’s simple: email marketing. Entrepreneurs who believe email marketing is dead are grossly out of touch with digital marketing trends. But that’s not true! Email marketing is very much alive and thriving as one of the leading strategies to generate and convert leads. However, email marketing only works when you personalize emails with offers that win over your consumers.
It all boils down to one thing: make them an offer they can’t refuse!
We firmly advise startup owners to dive into digital marketing with extensive market research, consumer segmentation, and competitors’ analysis. Examining successful rivals and industry trends will brim you up with inspirations and release untapped creativity. It’s wise to embrace marketing tools to enjoy the convenience of site auditing, analytical insights, and built-in templates.