If you’re founding a startup, you’re probably trying to manage product development, funding, hiring, and much more. So throwing marketing into the mix isn’t easy, but it really is necessary.
When it comes to cost-effective options, you don’t get much better than digital marketing for startups. If you’re not sure where to start, our marketing experts are here to help.
How to Start Digital Marketing for Startups
Here’s your ultimate crash course in building your startup’s web presence:
1: Know Your Target Audience
This is the first thing every marketing expert will tell every business owner to do, and there’s a reason. Tossing up ads everywhere you see or investing in a high-end website is a waste of money if you aren’t targeting the right people.
First, you need to figure out who your customers are and define your target audience. Next, you need to analyze how these people spend their time and where you can reach them. Finally, you need to determine how to engage with them.
2: Determine Your Budget
The scary reality is that over half of startups fail within four years. And for many of them, misallocation of funds is a major issue. It takes more money to run a business than most people realize. So before you start your digital marketing, go through your numbers and find out how much you can reasonably budget for it.
UPDATED: January 2019
Here’s a really useful article on Startup failure rates – makes some interesting reading.
3: Get Your Website Up-to-Snuff
The primary focus of digital marketing for startups is to get people to your website. All that marketing money will go to waste if your website isn’t strong enough to convert these people into customers.
Your website doesn’t have to be hugely expensive to be effective. It just needs to look modern and well-maintained, and it needs to motivate readers to take the next step. If you’re new to the game, a business startup package can get you started on the right foot.
4: Make SEO a Priority
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a set of techniques to make your site show up higher in more people’s search results on Google, Bing, etc. It’s the lifeblood of digital marketing, and many startups underestimate it.
Search engines are getting better and better at finding high-quality, relevant sites, though. There are right ways and wrong ways to improve your SEO, and only the right ways will help you for years to come.
If you’re planning to do your own SEO, make sure your research is based on the latest Google algorithm changes.
5: Embrace Cost-Effective Social Media
Social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective strategies for digital marketing for startups. Posts and engagement do take some time, but you can do a lot with a little bit of creativity.
Paid options like boosted Facebook posts are very helpful and can be done with a small budget. But as with everything else, use your money wisely by targeting your specific audience.
This applies to choosing which social media platforms to use as well. For instance, the largest demographic on Instagram is the 18-29 crowd, so pass it up if you’re marketing to baby boomers.
6: Paid Ads are Lower Priority
When people think of digital marketing, most of them jump right to Google Adwords or other online ads. These can produce great ROI, but only if you can afford them.
Like other digital marketing methods, their core focus is to get people to your website. If your budget is limited and your website is sub-par, start there first and forego paid ads until they fit your budget.
Who Can Help with Digital Marketing for Startups
If you truly want to maximize your digital marketing, your best bet is to hire an expert. Professional marketing companies can guide you through the process and recommend the best investments for you. They can also handle all the details so it’s off your to-do list.
Just make sure to choose a company with experience marketing for startups so they can fit your unique needs.