7 Smart Steps for Startups: How to Use Digital Marketing to Your Advantage

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Starting a new business can be daunting. There’s so much uncertainty and risk; sometimes, you will have to learn lessons the hard way by making mistakes. 

But at the same time, isn’t it so fulfilling to be able to grow a small startup into a flourishing business? Seeing your vision slowly being realized through hard work and effort is a one-of-a-kind experience that makes it all worth it.

Utilizing digital marketing is one of the best ways to build awareness of your business, attract potential leads, and gain a strong customer base. And because it requires a considerably smaller budget than marketing via traditional media, like TV, radio, or print, it’s a practical starting point for startups.

If you are in the process of building a new business from the ground up, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about the best digital marketing practices for any budding startup.

Identify your brand image, target audience, and goals

What kind of impression or feelings do you want your brand to evoke in people? What demographics do you want to reach, and what digital marketing strategy can reach them? What specific goals do you want to achieve with each strategy, and how can success be measured?

You can set the foundation for your marketing content and strategies by answering these questions. Your aesthetic, graphics, taglines, product names, and customer service persona must align with your answers. If you don’t establish a strong foundation from the start, your brand may come across as inconsistent and will be less likely to leave a meaningful impact.

A clear vision and brand image will work wonders for your business in the long run. You can benefit from strong brand recognition and positive association. Offering clients consistent experiences will make them more likely to repurchase and remain loyal. They can even become brand ambassadors among their small circles.

Harness the power of social media

No holistic digital marketing strategy would be complete without tapping into the immense reach of social media. Almost all your potential customers probably have some sort of social media at this point. It’s now just a matter of establishing your presence on various platforms and reaching out to your target audience.

Social media doesn’t require you to set up an entire website or platform from scratch. Of course, you can still do that later. But when time is of the essence, social media can give you immediate access to large groups of people in fewer steps.

Most brands will create accounts for all major social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, the massive number of social media users is also a double-edged sword. Your social media posts may not always reach your target demographic, or they might get buried among the thousands of other posts on the site. This is why the next step might be something you should consider.

Work with a reputable Google Ads agency

Online advertising is an indispensable move in the arena of digital marketing. Google has become practically everyone’s go-to search engine and is a ubiquitous part of modern life. Consider tapping the expertise of a Google Ads agency so that you can concentrate on other more pressing areas of your business. A data-driven agency like Grow My Ads can effectively optimize your brand’s reach. After all, no matter how great your ads are, they will all go to waste if they don’t reach your target audience.

While an in-house marketing team is also an option, collaborating with a Google Ads agency can provide you with a different level of expertise. You won’t need to spend time training, upskilling your staff, or learning all sorts of data analysis tools. A good agency can develop the right advertising campaign and strategies for your situation. They can boost your visibility on Google searches and place your ads on all the right sites to get more traffic from your target demographic.

Give marketing a personal touch with emails

You may be wondering why email marketing would still be necessary if you’re already doing online advertising and promoting on social media. The answer is personalization. You have more opportunities to address customers by name or offer a personal message or discount to a selected bunch. You can use their past purchases or preferences to recommend something relevant to them. You can send customized reports related to their usage or patterns if you provide services. In turn, this will make them feel valued and can build stronger client relationships in the long run. 

Personalization, not just in emails but in the entire customer experience, leads to many positive benefits. A 2018 report showed that up to 83% of customers don’t mind providing their data in exchange for a more personalized experience. Check out these companies’ savvy personalization strategies to get ideas for your own business.

Combine digital with traditional

While any startup should most definitely focus on digital marketing to get their name out there, you shouldn’t discount the power that traditional marketing still holds. An interesting strategy would be to use traditional marketing content like brochures, billboards, or posters to lead potential customers to your digital content via QR codes.

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You can also strengthen your brand image by producing apparel like T-shirts, water bottles, or pillows with your logo, website, and other business information. Print-on-demand services like Merch by Amazon make this easy even for business owners just starting out. You may want to give these out as promotional freebies to customers during the earlier stages. When you have built a stronger customer base and brand recognition, you may even get to sell your brand’s apparel as an additional product.

Get featured by trusted members of the industry

This can get your foot in the door, so to speak. By featuring on websites and blogs in the same industry, you can have immediate exposure to their established audience. You can benefit from their good reputation and get people directed to your blog or site. Writing a guest post is also a great way to pitch all that your business has to offer.

Aside from writing guest posts for other prominent bloggers, try to land a spot with a respected publication or newspaper. With their consent, you may be able to display a “Featured In” badge with their logo on your own site. This can also increase your credibility among site visitors.

Monitor data to ensure the return of investment (ROI)

For new businesses, there’s not much room to take risks and experiment with strategies without knowing if they will bring a good ROI. There will be budget constraints, and every penny needs to be maximized. Though you cannot always predict what will work perfectly, real-time data monitoring can save you from wasting time and money on the wrong moves.

If you are collaborating with an ad agency, they can provide useful data and analysis on the various marketing tools you have in place. They can test and redo content to improve performance or find ways to boost visibility based on results. 

On your own, you can still monitor data like clicks, views, shares, or likes. If you have newsletter subscriptions, you can check for spikes in subscribers after certain events or promotions. Most social media sites will provide you with analytics for free, but you will have to interpret the data gathered and decide what action to take on your own. The important thing is to determine which specific strategies or platforms are working or not, so you can redirect your budget and effort to the right areas.

Digital marketing can be a godsend for new businesses if you know how to maximize its potential. Whether developed by a professional Google Ads agency or your in-house team, a well-planned digital marketing strategy tailored for your business can successfully get it off the ground.

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