With the business landscape becoming increasingly crowded every year, it can be harder than ever to stand out among the competition. This is especially true for startups and their digital marketing. Lacking the major marketing budgets and teams that big firms can use to their advantage, startups need to implement budget-friendly digital marketing strategies to gain a competitive advantage.
Here are a few hacks to turn even the most cost-conscious of startups into a digital marketing pro.
1. Produce Quality Organic Content
Content is key — high quality, organic content, that is. Not only does original content drive your audience to your platforms, but search engines love it as well. Continually producing and updating your content gives search engines more opportunity to index it and push it higher up in search results. But it’s not enough to just produce a lot of content. You don’t want to just contribute to the noise. Your content has to be creative, engaging, and relevant for your audience. The good news is that you can create great content in so many different forms, whether it be a blog post, how-to guide, podcast, or some other form.
Which leads us to the next tip…
2. Repurpose Your Content
So you’ve produced some great content. What next? Get the most out of each piece by repurposing it for all of your different platforms. Extend the reach of the content by distributing the same piece in multiple forms, effectively doubling, tripling, or quadrupling (up to you!) the amount you have to share with your audience.
For example, a blog post can be repurposed into a report, a guide, an infographic, a video with you talking through the finer points – perhaps with an influencer. All of these can be promoted using tweets, LinkedIn posts, Instagram and Facebook posts, and they can all be later packaged into a newsletter. Not only does this save you some work, but it allows you to tailor your message for each platform based on what type of content tends to perform well there.
3. Keyword Research
In order to get clicks from your audience, you need to produce content that they are already searching for. How to be sure you’re doing this? Use keyword research tools to take the guesswork out. Tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, and KeywordTool.io make keyword research simple, meaning you can specifically make content that is likely to be searched.
For your audience to find your content and click through to your website, it has to be well ranked by search engines. This is where the ever-important search engine optimisation (SEO) comes into play. In the pay-to-play environment that is marketing, SEO can be instrumental in driving website traffic for startups because it’s free and, if done well, highly effective. Choosing the right keywords, with the help of the tools mentioned previously, can help your website land on the first result page of a Google search, drastically increasing the chances that your audience will click onto your page.
4. Build Your Email List
One of the most important assets you can have from a marketing perspective is an email list, but building lists, especially in this post-GDPR environment, can take a little work.
When someone lands on your page, they need an incentive to hand over their email to you. It’s an exchange of value: they give you their email address and permission to contact them, and you give them your best, shiniest content asset that answers the questions they might have. Be sure to offer value. We find that e-books outperform all other types of lead magnet on landing pages. All other pages should have an opt-in for your newsletter in exchange, so you can build audience of interested people over time.
5. Social Media Marketing
Audiences are moving away from traditional marketing streams and onto social media platforms because that is where their friends and family are. This is key because 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from their friends and families, rather than traditional advertisements so having a presence on social media platforms allows you to interact with your audience and their trusted community.
While you used to be able to effectively use social media marketing for free, nowadays it has become pay to play. Social platforms are first and foremost businesses and like all businesses, their goal is to make money. The way these social platforms make money is through advertising revenue. They want their users to spend more on advertisements so they have made it more difficult to reach and grow a large organic audience without spending money. Without paid advertising, you can expect to reach less than 10 percent of your target audience. While this number can sound a little disheartening, don’t worry too much. It doesn’t take a huge budget to reach your audience but unless you have the in-house skills necessary to create video, images, and other content assets, you will need to account for those costs, as well as budgeting for advertising that content.
Audiences are most engaged with profiles that are attractive and genuine so be sure to present a visually pleasing profile on whichever platforms you choose. Social media marketing gives you the opportunity to interact directly with your audience which can provide you with valuable insight into their thoughts and preferences. This can also open up two-way communication to help you tailor your content to their immediate tastes.
6. Partner With Influencers
Make your social media marketing strategy even more effective by reaching out to influencers to help spread your content and message, your digital marketing consultant can help locate these people. An influencer is someone who has sway over a large audience and can guide their decisions through suggestions because of real or perceived knowledge and credibility. The major benefit is your message could be spread to a whole new group of people with an interest in content like you are producing.
Be weary when first starting out though – it can take a while to develop strong enough relationships with influencers to have them post about your business. Partnering with an influencer can also come off as disingenuous to your target market if the partnership doesn’t feel like an organic fit. Make sure to choose people who share similar values and audiences in order to be more trusted.
7. Become a Content-Creating Machine
As we mentioned before, one of the most important things that you can do is create high quality content. You have the option to outsource this production to a professional content creator, or you can take on the challenge yourself. For startups, doing it yourself is likely the more practical solution as it keeps your costs relatively low. Online design tools such as Canva make it simple to produce content like images and infographics but don’t make videos, one of the most effective content forms.
There has been a huge shift in video-driven content in the past few years and that trend is still continuing. Videos are not only attractive and engaging, but they tend to get the point across much more easily than pictures or text. While the thought of producing videos can be a little intimidating when starting out, there are plenty of online tools that make putting together a simple video super easy to do. Find which one suits your needs best and get the ball rolling!
It really doesn’t take a big budget and production team to create engaging content. Just be aware that if you choose to create content yourself rather than paying an out-of-house creator, you are paying with your time instead.
Time To Startup Your Winning Digital Marketing Strategies!
While big companies may have an advantage in traditional marketing where the size of your marketing budget garners you prime position on radio, TV, and event stands, we are lucky that in today’s business environment, having a solid digital marketing strategy can help startups to bridge the gap.
In the fast-paced business environment, marketing strategies and techniques are constantly evolving. To continue growing, startups need to listen to and communicate with their audience in order to change along with them. Remaining true to the identity of your brand and conveying your message in relevant ways, while utilising new technologies should always be at the forefront of your strategy. The key thing is to get your message right: what problem are you solving for your audience? Once you’ve got this right, it’s easy to get out there in front of target decision-makers and position your business in an attractive way.
If you would like to have a conversation with us about taking your digital marketing to the next level, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you and help you take your next step forward.