Digital Marketing for Startups : Why It’s Critical

In the digital age, marketing your products and services on the internet is an established necessity. In the early stages, startups must promote brand awareness to land clients, but most startups stumble when trying to define essential details such as the main target, or the actual purpose of using social networks.

The Role of Digital Marketing

Startups are competing with millions of promotional campaigns from well – established organizations with established customer bases. Prying consumer eyes away from these large corporate entities with a yet – to – be proven product, is an uphill task. But that can be overcome with the power of marketing.
Retail startups usually have it figured out with a solid contingency in place for all future marketing needs and a plan to go-to-market. However, technology-focused startups are usually the ones that have it rough. The development cycle causes a lot of changes in the product so they really cannot begin any kind of marketing or branding until they have an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) ready.
Surveying social media trends can unveil a great deal of information about what the current market space looks like. And if it isn’t clear already,  it’s all very digital. Global online ad – spending was forecasted to rise by 4 %, however, 2019 saw a 4.7 % uptick. The average Snapchat user’s revenue generation capacity rose from $1.21 in 2018 to $1.68 in 2019. Simply put, companies are investing larger sums of money on social media and other forms of marketing in the digital arena, and they’re also reaping greater rewards.
And apps like TikTok that focus solely on video-based content, see significant benefits in attracting video ads to their platforms. TikTok’s in-app sales witnessed a 500% surge. Even retail commerce websites put out a 110% growth figures concerning the social referral traffic; the principal form of promotions performed by YouTubers and other social media influencers. “Type in the code to get a 20% discount,” is a statement you’ve heard (and probably responded to) if you’ve ever used YouTube, which of course you have.

It’s Super Cost-Effective

The biggest benefit that digital marketing can offer to budding startups especially, is that if carefully mapped out, it can be far, far cheaper than traditional methods of marketing. And considering how most startups are technology-oriented or at least typically online – facing, this becomes a no – brainer. Retail and e-commerce services, have it the best. Potential customers can be directly led to your service with a click, immediately after they see your ad. Few businesses can boast such easy conversions.

Video: The Hottest Cake

The video makes up more than 80% of all traffic on the Internet. Depending on your budget you can get very specific with who sees your ad. This year American audiences will spend more time on their phones than tune in to their television. You get a level of certainty that even a Super Bowl spot will not guarantee. If your potential biggest buyer spills their coffee during your spot, that’s $5.2 million down the drain. You can get a hundred million pairs of eyes for less than $5000 on YouTube, plus the ad cost. And while not every Ebba Olsson in Sweden is watching the game, she’s very likely going to spot your ad for the latest online music licensing software as she watches a sound mixing tutorial on YouTube.
Dunkin’ reported a 20% decrease in the cost – per – video – view ratio during its trial – run of Instagram Stories stickers and polls. And at 57%, more than half of Pinterest users have said that they are on the app while they shop, in stores and online.

The Audience

Digital marketing can be incredibly powerful if properly leveraged. It’s all about connecting with the right audience.  The brand’s presence is dictated by answering this very basic question – who is your target audience?
Once you’ve adequately measured who your target audience will be, it then becomes important to tailor your marketing practices to ensure that they are receptive. Careful market research is critical here.
As much as you believe in the world-altering potential of your idea, your customer is quite understandably going to need a little bit of nudging when it comes to parting with their hard-earned money.

Drop Some Crumbs

Cookies, you see. Someone visits your website, and you can place a non-intrusive piece of code (with the user’s permission of course) on their web browser. It is an extremely efficient way of serving advertisements based on what websites they show interest in. You simply let them pick up on the trail you lay from there and they find their house of candy.
Cookies essentially serve the function of the modern-day salesman. Using customer data, companies can acutely understand exactly what the customer wants.

User Experience

After you’ve discovered what it is that your audience wants, the next step to building your brand is cultivating the user experience. Social media is an immensely powerful tool at the disposal of marketing professionals.
In addition to increasing sales, social media creates customers that remain loyal; something no other form of branding has been able to properly deliver on. Besides the ubiquitous nature of social media, companies can cultivate an image for themselves unlike any other platform affords them the opportunity to. Sharing posts or stories is something many companies engage in. And the twitter landscape has long been overtaken by large corporate chains like Wendy’s that frequently post funny and entertaining content.
All of this works in creating a sense of what the company is in the consumer’s mind. Carefully controlling this aspect can prove to be supremely beneficial to a growing startup.

Search Engine Optimization

You’ve created your website showcasing your brand and exactly what you do. It’s stunning and minimal. Users can’t help but turn up in droves, right? Few more steps there.
Sure, your idea is unique. However, it still exists within a niche or a subset of one. And there are easily a hundred other results that existed before your website in your very niche (unless you’ve got something remarkably special going on). So, how’s the customer going to find your page?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization), not only boosts traffic, but your business/enterprise seems more legitimate. No one is going to click a link that’s on the third page of a Google search, because no is even clicking on the second page. SEO is a vast topic and merits an article of its own, so we’ll be covering that later.

Location-based Marketing

89% of marketers reported a boost in sales after utilizing location information to specifically focus their promotional material. And location-based marketing is expected to increase this year by 14%. But what is it exactly? Ever received a text about a Buy One Get One free offer that’s running on a nearby Dominos? There you go, location-based marketing.
Companies use location data from your phone and send you location-specific alerts to promotions or things you may like to purchase nearby. This is another very promising facet of digital marketing for startups to tap into.

Email marketing

Yes, emails are antiquated. Or so you’ve been led to believe. One of the best-kept secrets is that, after everything is said and done, emails are probably the best way to reach your customer/client. Any email you send to a potential or current customer falls into this category. Especially when it comes to B2B startups, email marketing can be a real boon. Finding email ID’s are incredibly easy so there is no reason not to be marketing this way. The zero-cost to the company can only be a plus.
Recently held survey results from the Demand Metric and the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), showed that the ROI on email marketing stood at a not – to – be – scoffed – at figure of 122%. Which is actually four times higher than the other most commonly used marketing channels.

Influencers

Say you run a startup that offers rental equipment to filmmakers and photographers. Now you could take the old, well-trodden path and approach filmmakers, pay for branding at film festivals and art galleries, or simply put up ads on TV and billboards. Hopefully, enough filmmakers have seen your ads and you’re doing some decent business. But what if you could do all that for a tiny fraction of what you spent and be able to reach your target audience with far better results? All you have to do is find a filmmaker/photographer that is active online. Get them to do a referral code plug. Maybe you could throw in a 20% discount if you’re feeling particularly generous. This is an extremely popular form of promotion that’s driving a lot of local business to achieve outstanding growth.
Customers are more likely to engage with a brand recommended by a person that they trust. Influencers spend a lot of time building this trust, fostering a connection with their followers and building a community.
Recently the stock footage accumulation website blackbox.com saw a huge influx of users after its creator was featured on a prominent Instagram and YouTube-based influencer’s video. So many users joined that their servers crashed, and they were forced to ramp up their capacity to adjust for all the new faces.
digital marketing for startups

Marketing in the 21st Century

Most customers have developed an apathy to traditional forms of advertising. The sense of wonder and the immediate want for a product that television ads could inspire in the ‘50s is all but lost.
Management in the 21st century must be informed by the successes of management in the 20th century. The 20th century in addition to improving the plight of the worker made incredible leaps and lunges in terms of branding and marketing philosophies. And this drive to look ahead and constantly innovate, not just on the product but on the way the product is sold has been an instrumental part of what defined that era. This century supplements the last as it continues to see an increasing number of options for immense creative outflow. Adidas pioneering its Instagram checkout feature reported a 40% increase in online purchases in Q1 sales.
Startups generally function under conditions of extreme uncertainty. And most of them thrive in this uncertainty. And on their path to creating a sustainable business, startups will have to endure as a massive bunch of hiccups, pitfalls, snags, and all sorts of bruise-inducing gags are bestowed upon them. The one constant as the startups attempt to carve their path is the vision.
Vision is what drives all the marketing too. By getting online, and seeing real-time responses, startups can work on fine-tuning their strategies and optimizing their product to best suit the needs of the consumer. And gaining information from web analytics and various methods to determine online metrics is a very simple task, that’ll help you to accurately measure what works and what does not. Gone are the days when companies had to guess how many people saw their ad in the newspaper and decide on make-or-break situations based on these approximations. The sophisticated tools that are available today immediately offer metrics, such as how many viewers, and from which locations are interacting with their advertisements.
Startups must entirely bank on being more efficient in their marketing than the big dogs. This, however, gets quite challenging given their limited budget and resources. By cleverly making use of a domain that the younger generation (who constitute most startup founders) are very privy to, startups can use some of the methods mentioned above to get there. Digital marketing provides a cheap and effective way to directly reach customers that you most definitely know are going to at the very least be interested in your product.

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