You’ve finally done it. The cogs are turning and your start-up has started, well, up. However, before you pop the cork on your champagne and start celebrating your successes, there’s something you need to know. Unless you invest in a digital marketing strategy from day one, you’re going to struggle to make an impact and find success with your business.
Below, we’ve put together six things you need to know about digital marketing for start-ups.
- Get email addresses
In the early days of your business ventures, the chances are that you won’t be making a lot of sales organically. Sure, your friends and family are going to check out your website and spread the word, but finding organic customers will be a long shot. We recommend getting the email addresses of as many friends, family and fans as you can and starting a mailing list. From this, you’ll be able to email people special offers, discounts and information about your products and services. Use Aweber or MailChimp and create a subscription form on your website and on social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
- Don’t spend money on marketing
If you want to succeed in business, then don’t spend money that you don’t have on things that you don’t need. So, learn the basics of digital marketing on your own terms by reading tutorials and watching videos – and never spend money on outsourcing your marketing unless you can afford to. If you do want to spend money on marketing, then save it for software such as Buffer and Crowdfire, and consider social media advertising through Facebook Ads and Twitter Advertising to attract more followers.
- Automate what you can
You’re not always going to be around to keep your business running 24/7, especially if your startup is a side project, so learn to automate things that don’t require immediate attention. Your social media posts can be scheduled in advance using tools like Buffer and Hootsuite, and you can use WordPress’ inbuilt schedule feature to set your new blog posts to go live when you’re asleep or working on more important things. Automation will ensure that your business remains visible, even when you’re not physically present in your office.
- Be visual
Visual content – that is, things such as infographics, videos and images – is one of the most effective methods of content marketing. So, whenever you can, take snaps of your business to post on social media, record your speeches at press events and create infographics using free online tools such as Venngage. Tweets with images get up to 150% more engagement than those without, so it makes sense to add a picture or two if you can!
- Blog, blog, blog
If you only take one thing from this article, let it be this. Content is king. When you launch your start-up’s website, make sure you add a blog section and contribute regularly. The more content you add to your website that’s of quality and offers value to your readers, the more success you’ll have on search engines.
Search engine optimisation (also known as SEO) is an important part of any digital marketing exercise, and the basics involve writing regular content for your website that incorporates relevant keywords which link back to your product and services pages. So, fire up Microsoft Word and write something that you think your audience is going to want to read. Guest blogging, where you write content for another website in exchange for a link back to your website, is another popular choice in the digital marketing world.
- Be forward thinking
You should always be on the look out for trends in the digital marketing world, and feel free to experiment if you have your own ideas and want to try something out. It also makes sense to keep an eye on your competitors and see what they’re doing with their marketing efforts – after all, if it’s working for them, it’ll work for you, too!
While there’s obviously a lot more to marketing your start-up than these six posts featured, these points should help you on your way. Whatever your business goals, remember that marketing is essential if you want to find customers and make money. Good luck!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Max Greene is the Managing Director of Muffin Marketing, a small business marketing agency offering content marketing, social media management and search engine optimisation.