15 Best Tips From Digital Marketing Experts For Startups/Small Businesses
Marketing is the cornerstone of any business. Traditional forms of marketing like advertisements on television or through print, have perennially existed in businesses to garner more attention to their products or services.
While the concept of marketing is an ancient one, the methods and channels of marketing have undergone an overwhelming evolution over the decades. Since, marketing is mainly targeted towards people, in order to resonate with them, it goes through various stages of progressive changes, just like humans do.
The rapid progress in technology has revolutionized the way humans think, work, and go about their daily routine. With every passing day, new inventions and innovations spring up in different fields aimed to make human life as effortless as possible. So, it is no surprise then that it has certainly had an effect on the way businesses and companies do their marketing.
Digital marketing is all the rage now. With every person, young and old alike, hooked to the Internet not just at home, but constantly even when they are on the go, it is only a wise move to innovate your marketing strategies to keep up with the fast paced, impatient, and mobile generation.
Digital marketing aims to promote the company’s brand through the various social media channels that their consumers are plugged into via their computers, tablets, and phones. Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing is not inundated with direct, obvious, and over-the-top messages. It gives more importance to building customer relationship and loyalty by way of getting customers’ feedback, involving them in brand building activities, and showing them that their emotions and opinions are valuable to the company.
As a, startup, small business, or a huge-scale organization, in today’s age getting on the digital marketing bandwagon is more a necessity than de rigueur. The social media channels are where your existing and prospective customers hang out, which makes it imperative that the organization is promoting their brand actively through those mediums.
Marketing advice can be found dime a dozen these days, with many marketing gurus sharing their two cents worth on how companies can capitalize on the digital marketing experience to increase their market share. After having sifted through tons of tips and advice from the various marketing experts, below is a list of the 15 top tips for startups and small businesses.
1. Rakesh Kumar
In his article featured in YourStory, Rakesh Kumar doles out some very important tips for startups aspiring to maximize on the effectiveness of digital marketing without burning a hole in their finances. One of his most important tip is to build a brand personality which will help develop an emotional connect with your audience, and help you stand apart from your competitors. Another branding you want to be mindful of is the employer branding. As a startup you need the talented resources, which are scarce, to help you along in your growth, so aim to create a positive perception of your brand through the digital marketing platform.
2. Chandra Jacobs
As a startup or a small business, the best way to determine your marketing strategy is to try, measure, analyze, and repeat, according to Chandra Jacobs. The medium isn’t important; it’s all about the message. So, don’t be afraid to do something weird. Keep a log of everything you try. Integrate what works into your repertoire, and trash the rest. Her second most important tip is just because something works, don’t make the mistake of assuming it is the best for your business. Challenge assumptions, and you will realize a change is needed.
3. Scott Gerber
Many aspiring entrepreneurs have some unfortunate social media fantasies and free market delusions. The mere existence of your product or service does not guarantee anyone will listen or even care about your brand as they are bombarded with thousands of messages every day, says Scott Gerber. So what you put out there should stand out from the crowd for the attention garnered to convert into income. According to the opinions rounded up in Scott Gerber’s article, the top tip is to package your promotional tactics in innovative ways with quality messages like using video content, top 10 lists, contests and competition, and crowdsourcing.
4. Angie Chang
Angie Chang has listed four tips on marketing from successful entrepreneurs. According to her article, one of the biggest mistakes startups make is staying in startup stealth mode for too long. Building a customer and fan base takes time. So, build your website, create a Facebook and Twitter page, and start the process of creating your brand image online even before the launch of your product or service. This will help build a base of fans who are excited about your new company, so that when your product or service is launched, people will pay attention and care.
5. Rand Fishkin
In an article, Rand Fishkin has some unlikely recommendations for startups, and top of his list is some sage marketing advice on how to build a marketing machine to put your brand in an enviable position. Doing so will help you build a wide base of captive audience returning to you again and again because you are producing valuable content. This way even if your initial products do not take off, you have a loyal customer base built through digital marketing.
6. Joel Spolsky
Marketing is extremely important for any business, and more so for a startup or a small business, as people cannot buy a product or avail a service if they are in the dark about its existence. While different marketing strategies are appropriate for different kinds of businesses, one thing holds constant; keeping the focus on where the customer is and what the customer wants. So, if you are using a blog to promote your business, do not make it about you by announcing new hires or touting new products. Rather, it has to be about making your readers, who are hopeful customers, awesome.
7. Mark Suster
In his ongoing series about startup advice, Mark Suster hands out some interesting gems to budding entrepreneurs on getting their business off the ground successfully. One of his major advice is to get customer input to craft a winning marketing strategy. His advice to startups is not to create their product in a box assuming they will show it to the customers later and get a feedback. But, marketing through customer involvement and feedback even before you have your product ready will give you an established customer base, that will be excited about the launch of your product, because it would be something that they are willing to pay for.
8. Jo Fairley
How do you get people talking about and buying from you as a small scale operation or a startup? Jo Fairley has outlined some great marketing tricks to build buzz around your business. One of the top tips is to really talk to the customers. Stop customers on the streets, ask their opinion of the brand, or use your social channels to check what your customers prefer. Direct communication with customers makes them feel empowered. Jo Fairley also suggests adding genuine online customer reviews on the website.
9. Michelle McCullough
Michelle McCullough offers some winning advice on how to capitalize the holiday times, which are the peak periods for marketing. She advices to use every medium you can. Do not put all your holiday eggs in one basket. As the selling cycle is short, it needs to be big. Also, remember if this is a big buying time for you, look for ways to generate customer loyalty and repeat customer in the following months. Her biggest advice is to get the right message to the right masses through the right mediums so you can make money.
10. Daniel Abrahams
As the co-founder of a startup, Daniel Abrahams shares low or no-cost marketing techniques to help startups and small businesses on a shoestring budget to attain the benefits of digital marketing. He highly recommends building a hit list of “influential sneezers” that can help amplify your message for free. Once you have your list, dive into the social networks and hustle away, building one-on-one relationship. It is important to first build a rapport with influencers. He also advices to create exceptional content as it can supercharge your traffic acquisition and help build stature within your niche.
11. Konstantin Guericke
As the co-founder and first marketing VP of LinkedIn, Konstantin Guericke knows more about marketing than the typical engineering graduate. In an article, he shares five very important marketing tips for startups. The most important thing in marketing, that is, having a clear position and message, has not changed. It is very powerful for your brand when you launch with your positioning and then stick to it. It is hard to be successful these days if you are not good at developing marketing systems that take advantage of word of mouth, and being very diligent at tracking it.
12. Jennifer Lonoff Schiff
Deciding on a marketing method when you are small, or even a mid-sized business, with a small budget and limited resources, can be difficult, says Jennifer Lonoff Schiff. So, she has a list of top marketing strategies for small businesses, sourced from various small business owners and marketing professionals. One important tip is to leverage your social media. Choose one social media platform that your customers, prospects, and industry leaders engage with the most, and start building a presence there. Keep your social efforts frequent, but above all, relevant and helpful to your audience.
13. Ian Cowley
The digital world is a crowded place, where marketers are clamoring to have their voice heard. On top of which the attention span of consumers is diminishing. So, how on earth, as a startup can you get your voice heard? Ian Cowley gives few helpful pointers to revamp your digital marketing strategies. His advice is to use a variety of marketing techniques as customers no longer make decisions based on seeing one advert on a single platform. Another most important form of marketing in this technology era is moment marketing, the process of reacting quickly and cleverly to real time events.
14. Annie Pilon
Creating a digital marketing strategy for a small scale business operating locally means mainly targeting and appealing to potential customers in your geographic area. To that end, Annie Pilon has listed some important marketing strategies to help businesses better reach their local customers. One of her key pieces of advice is to optimize your site for local search, creating locally optimized keywords, and using search engine advertising which is locally targeted. She also advices business owners to post regularly on social media keeping their audience in mind, with a clear call to action, and constantly tweaking your efforts based on the result.
15. Andrew Broadbent
According to Andrew Broadbent, the job of a startup founder is to build a product that solves a problem, find ways to monetize it, and hire the right team to keep the growth steady. Though you are not expected to stay up to date on everything that is happening in the digital marketing world, you cannot be so naive to think you do not need to know anything. His most important tip for companies is that mobile optimization strategy is not optional. If startups do not include it as part of their marketing strategy, they will be left behind by their innovative and agile competitors. Your digital marketing strategy should stretch beyond the PPC ads as it has less of an impact, and you should stress on delivering the most unique and shareable content.
The digital marketing world is a vast and complex sphere given the various channels and strategies that can be employed for brand awareness, attracting leads, and converting prospects to sales and revenues. Along with the major technological revolution, even the digital marketing landscape has seen some major changes. Hence, it is extremely important for all companies, whether startups or small businesses, to allocate substantial budget for building innovating marketing strategies to interact with their highly mobile customers effectively.