One of the most cost-effective methods for reaching your customer base, digital marketing is a medium that’s flooded with competition, making it difficult to grow and make your name known. This can be discouraging, leaving a lot of entrepreneurs to get flustered and overspend on the wrong things or not dedicate enough money to the right methods. That’s why we’re running through a few of the common practices startups should consider for digital marketing.
Your Story Starts Now
While a lot of entrepreneurs try to take the approach of saying, “we’ll get to social, our blog, and brand identity eventually,” that mentality will leave you falling short. Not only will your potential audience lose interest in engaging or following what your company is up to, but it also lowers your visibility as well. Furthermore, a brand’s story is part of the value that people place upon its price tag. According to a study presented by AdWeek, a series of A/B tests were conducted on the same product where one version had a story about the product while the other didn’t. The results? Products that had stories saw an increase in value by 5 to 11 percent.
Depending on what stage of development you’re in, circle back and ask yourself if you’ve covered all your bases when it comes to branding. This includes everything from your brand story to ensuring that you have a social media presence. It’s also a wise idea to get in the habit of telling your brand’s story or goal in a variety of lengths, from an elevator pitch (one or two sentences) to a full-on mission statement. Don’t stress if this is something that takes a little bit of time to get right, especially with how intricate of a science branding can be.
It’s More Than A Blog, But A Hub
Although we often think of a blog as a must have, most startups don’t always know what to do with it. Yes, there’s the occasional founder’s piece that they consider thought leadership, but posting an article once every three to four months doesn’t always cut it in what a blog’s goal should be: inbound traffic. And while it might sound like a lofty goal to have people visiting your website just to read your blog, it’s one of the most popular methodologies, with 55 percent of marketers saying that content creation is their top inbound priority, as noted by Hubspot. Yes, your blog is more than just where you post articles but the hub for people to discover what you’re all about.
A common roadblock in blogging is coming up with content consistently. A few basic points to get started with include creating a calendar of when/what you’re going to post, as well as mapping out a variety of topics to cover. Also, don’t be afraid of recycling content, as this can be a great way to get more hits out of the pieces that may not have performed well enough the first time around. As content can be an excellent inbound strategy, take your time in really getting your routine right, as staying on a regular schedule is vital for your content marketing to be successful.
Social Needs To Stay Steady
As much as we let our content fall behind, the same can go for social as well. A big reason that many startups are social media shy is that they don’t know how to execute properly in regards to what their brand should be on their respective social channels. Quite simply, it’s a matter of not only knowing what mediums are going to work best for your brand but also how you should engage with your audience. Believe it or not, the feedback you get on social could potentially make or break your business because as noted by CB Insights, with 42 percent of startups failing due to no market need, this could be the place to both educate your customer base as much as it is to gain feedback.
In looking at your social channels, first, ask yourself what’s the standard platform for your industry. Are you a consumer good that utilizes Instagram or a FinTech platform that should be on Twitter? While that’s not to say you shouldn’t be on a multitude of channels, picking and dedicating yourself to the proper audience is vital in staying relevant. It’s important to come out of the gate with engagement, which is why it might not be a bad idea to hire an agency like Social Gone Viral to get some genuine interaction going.
Have SEO In Mind
Finally, even though you’ve probably heard of SEO, establishing a presence with it is playing the long, slow game of digital marketing. If you’re not familiar, SEO or search engine optimization is essentially trying to place higher on websites like Google, which with 93 percent of online experiences begin with search (as noted by Junto Digital), is a pretty crucial piece of real estate to land on. This can be a pretty intricate practice, as it involves utilizing specific keywords while ensuring you don’t go too broad. For example, if you’re a startup that specializes in food tracking via the blockchain, then “food startup” would be too broad; “blockchain food tracking” might give you a better chance of improving your rank. Although this can seem complicated, the practice of coming up with keywords is much more intuitive than you might think.
Start brainstorming a few terms you think people would most likely use to find you, keeping an organized list as a backlog. As Google and other search engines give you the ability to run through just how popular your search terms are (as well as where), cycle through a few different iterations of similar ones (for example, “best coffee in Cincinnati” versus “coffee roasters Cincinnati”) that relate to your business. Remember, SEO is not a tool for overnight success but one that’s developed over time. Make it a habit to work on keywords and implement them in your blog and web copy.
What are some digital marketing techniques that were helpful for your company starting out? Comment with your insights below!
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