Many startups end up spending more money than necessary. However, a company can be launched for much less than expected. The key is to use a marketing strategy that is innovative, ROI focused and customer-centric rather than one that relies on branding and traditional mass media. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through digital marketing.
The Case for Going Digital
Digital marketing is a great alternative to traditional media. Traditional media often requires spending hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars on radio, TV and billboards. In comparison, the Internet allows advertisers to test on a small scale, easily control costs and market to targeted prospects. That’s not to say that traditional media outlets are not effective. It’s just not viable for startups with small budgets.
There are many different ways to market online. The list includes social media, paid advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, and more. Entrepreneurs can use these platforms in innovative ways in order to acquire customers even will small budgets. For example, using integrated marketing can maximize the results of more than one advertising/marketing platform. Another example is identifying cost effective ways to get the word out about your company
Building an Audience for Social Media Platforms and Blogs
One way that new companies can establish themselves is through social media engagement and blogging. Using social media and blogs is a great way to build an audience, create relationships and interact with the target market. Many companies are using content marketing and leveraging relationships to build followers and readers for their social media platforms and blogs.
Creating high quality content and marketing it works really well because people respond really well to information that is relevant to them. In many cases, readers follow up with the content creator in order to subscribe and get additional content. This is a long term strategy that can take as long as one year until a business starts to see significant growth. But after the year mark, many businesses go on to establish brand awareness and immense market presence.
The Importance of Using Search and Integrating Different Strategies
Search engine optimization (SEO) is another way to acquire new leads and customers. It is a strategy that requires you to optimize various factors on and off your website to get your website to rank in the search results. People use the search engines to do everything from learning new information, comparing different products/services to researching businesses. Getting your website to rank in the top results for search terms related to your company will help you reach targeted prospects while also branding your business.
The perfect example of integrating different marketing strategies is using both content marketing and SEO together. A content marketing campaign will help build an audience for your blog and social media platforms while also helping you acquire backlinks. Additionally, backlinks are one of the biggest contribution factors to ranking well in the search engines. The visitors that result from the search engine rankings can be directed to impactful content which is likely to be shared.
Affordable Paid Advertising Platforms
If you have modest budget to work with, it might be a good idea to use pay per click (PPC) advertising. This is an advertising platform that is similar to offline display advertising. It will display small ads in the search engines and you only incur costs when somebody clicks on your ad. The best feature about this advertising method is that your ad only shows up when somebody searches for search terms you’ve bid for.
Retargeting can be used in addition to pay per click advertising. This is a type of display advertising where your ad is shown to visitors across a network of websites. When a visitor comes to your website, they are tagged with a browser cookie. Usually, once a visitor leaves, you lose the chance to market to them. But with retargeting, your message will be displayed across a network of sites, allowing you to follow up with them.
An innovative strategy that can be used to make this advertising more effective is to combine it with email marketing. By leveraging your existing email list, you can refer readers to one of your pages that will tag them with the cookie. This will ensure that your readers come across your ad while they are surfing other websites.
The lesson here is that there are many different ways for a startup entrepreneur to grow. Online channels can often enhance or replace a function of a business. For instance, a social media account can be used as a public relations tool. The result is that there are no big expenses used to hire a public relations department or company. It’s really all about exploring different marketing channels and being innovative with them.