6 Killer Digital Marketing Strategies For Startups
Businesses don’t survive without customers. agreed?
Your startup can have the most amazing product in the world, but without the right marketing, it’s not going to be successful.
Compared to traditional forms of marketing, digital marketing offers significant advantages. No wonder most digital businesses look at digital marketing as their primary marketing channel.
Digital marketing has leveled the playing field. Today small businesses with a small budget can reach the same people that only multi-million dollar businesses could reach a few years ago.
Today I will share 6 amazing digital marketing strategies for startups and other businesses. These will not just be concepts. These will be detailed strategies about how you can use tried and tested methods and make it work for your business.
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is the art of creating and promoting content that resonates with your ideal audience. When people search online for answers to specific questions, they will find your content.
If your content solves their problems, then they might become a paying customer of your business. Even if they don’t become a paying customer right away, they become part of your marketing funnel.
The reason why so many businesses don’t utilize content marketing effectively is that it’s relatively new. There are only a few large scale successes of content marketing from which others can learn.
But content marketing doesn’t have to be this tricky. With just a few principles in mind, you can create a good content creation and marketing strategy for your startup.
First, start with defining a buyer persona. This will be the basis of all your marketing actions in the future.
The next step would generate content ideas. Ideas can come easily if you know where to look. Keep in mind the following things.
- What problem does your startup solve? Write ideas around the problem. Search the specific problem on Google and look at related searches. It’s likely that you will find similar problems. Write down those ideas.
- Look at your buyer persona. What topics are your customers interested in? What things do they read about? What problems do they face every day that your startup can solve? All of these are potential content ideas.
Remember, the content ideas don’t have to be closely related to your businesses. If your ideal customer is interested in a topic, you should include this as part of your content strategy.
Let’s take an example.
Kissmetrics is a behavioral analytics company. They help other businesses grow by providing deep engagement analytics through their product.
Their ideal customers are marketing professionals and growth specialists. So, any person who is interested in growing their business is an ideal customer for them. This includes CEO’s, marketing executives, growth specialists, analytic experts and more.
To target these people, Kissmetrics created a blog focused on analytics, marketing, and testing. They frequently talk about other topics like SEO, PPC etc as well.
This strategy has worked out really well for them. The Kissmetrics blog received 350,000 readers per month just in 2013. The number would be much higher today.
This traffic is even more valuable considering that every reader is a potential customer. This shows how brilliantly this strategy has worked for them.
Webinars are an amazing way not only to build your audience but also make sales. It’s surprising that only a few startups are capitalizing on this opportunity.
For those who don’t know, webinars are like seminars, but on the internet.
A webinar can be for anything. You can discuss the industry, the problems that your customers might be facing or anything else.
Imagine that you run a startup that solves the problem of user communication on web sites. You can do webinars like:
- How to increase engagement and customer LTV with your product
- How better site engagement increases growth
- How we acquired “x” number of customers with no extra marketing spend
- How to identify growth opportunities on your website
PS: The last one is a real webinar, hosted by Kissmetrics. See the image below.
It’s obvious why webinars work.
First, you are talking to your ideal customers. Who else would attend these webinars?
Second, you are solving their problems.
Third, you are showcasing this information in an interactive and friendly manner.
Fourth, you are available there and then to answer any potential questions.
And the best part, you are telling them how to do this using your product.
It doesn’t get better than that, does it?
Let’s take another example.
Amy Porterfield is a well known social media specialist.
Apart from social media consulting, she also sells courses on social media marketing.
She recently launched her course “Webinars that convert”. To promote that course, she did a webinar of course!
Here is an image to the landing page.
Even if you don’t know what retargeting is, I’m sure you’ve experienced it.
You know the times when you visit a shopping website and suddenly everywhere you go online, you see the ads for the products you were checking out? That’s retargeting.
But that’s not the type of retargeting I am talking about.
I am talking about content based retargeting.
As I explained in point #1, content marketing is a great strategy that startups can use to drive growth.
But all content does not have the same effect on your readers.
Some of the content you create should be designed for users just entering your sales funnel, i.e., the awareness phase. Similarly, you should create content catering to users in different stages in your sales funnel.
When a potential customer lands on a content page on your website, you should re-target the user with the content that pushes them down the funnel. You can also use a lead magnet to get them to subscribe to your email list. More on that later.
Let’s take a simple example for a hypothetical e-commerce brand selling refrigerators.
A top of the funnel content could be an article like “The best Refrigerator brands”.
When a user visits this page but does not buy, you could re-target them with a content piece like “Top 10 refrigerators and why they are the best”.
You get the idea.
Re-targeting potential customers with content will yield much better results than the plain “Buy now” ad. As you inform and educate the user, their trust in you grows as well.
This strategy is not limited to e-commerce companies. Any business can take advantage of this strategy when they think of it from the customer’s point of view.
Apart from the big brands, a lot of small startup companies tend to ignore SEO.
This is mostly because of a lack of understanding of how SEO works or not being patient enough.
SEO is a long term game. Even when done right, you might not see any results for 6-8 weeks. This leaves very little room for trial and error.
On the surface, it seems like a big problem, but it’s not.
SEO can be one of the most lucrative ways to acquire customers. The best part is, once you start ranking for your target keywords, you will attract customers 24/7 without much effort.
You don’t have to a rocket scientist to do some basic SEO. Understanding the basic concepts will go long way.
There are some excellent resources to understand the basics of SEO. Some of the good ones are listed below.
Reading these guides will help you understand the concepts of SEO and also apply them to your business.
Get SEO training from SEO Experts: SEO Training Course
A journey of 1000 miles starts with the first step and you should consider this as your first step. Just getting the basics right is so much better than not doing anything.
5. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is a powerful strategy for marketing your startup.
And no, I’m not talking about posting to low-quality websites to score some links.
Think of it this way.
In the first point, I talked about content marketing. If you start a blog for your startup with the goal of acquiring customers, the challenge is that your potential customers currently don’t know about you. It will take a long time to develop a healthy audience that is interested in your product.
there is an easy way around it.
Enter Guest Blogging!
For those who don’t know, guest blogging is a method where you contact established blog owners and request them to publish a piece of content on their blog.
What better way to reach your customers than already established blogs?
It’s a win win scenario.
The website owners get access to content that they wouldn’t have had.
You get access to their readers which you wouldn’t have had. It’s match made in heaven.
So, how do you go about doing guest blogging?
It’s simple really.
Go back to your buyer persona. From that think about every single topic that you think your ideal customer would be interested in.
Then list the top 10 websites in those subjects.
Get in touch with the owners via a contact form or social media. Ask them if they would be open to guest posts.
Beware, some blogs/websites don’t allow just anybody to guest blog. You will need to be well known to land a guest blog there.
Use your common sense. A guest blog is similar to you going to someone’s house and asking to cook for them. Some people might be open for it, but some won’t.
But if you are a well-known chef who has done this before to the delight of other people, then people will be happy to let you in.
Even if they don’t accept your request on the first try, don’t burn the bridge. Create a relationship. People are much likely to accept your offer if they know you and have a relationship with you.
6. E-Mail Marketing
Email marketing is one of those channels that have stood the test of time.
No matter what someone tells you, email is not dead. It’s alive and kicking.
The reason why emails work is because they are direct, simple and personal.
Do email right and you will make your customers happy. Do it wrong and you will drive customers away forever.
I have subscribed to many email lists myself. Every few days, I unsubscribe out of a few email lists because they are not valuable to me.
The key word here is value.
People don’t sign up to your email list to hear about your amazing product and all its fancy features.
They sign up to receive what’s valuable to them.
The task for you is to figure out how you can extract valuable content for them while making sure that they don’t forget about your product.
It’s the age old tactic. Talk about the benefits, not the product.
Remember, email is another tool in your marketing to push your potential customers down your marketing funnel.
Taking Your Email Marketing To The Next Level
It would be smart to qualify your users based on where they are in their sales funnel and send the email specifically to move them lower in the funnel.
A person who signed up for a free trial should receive emails about how to use the product effectively and their features.
A person who is currently on a trial plan, has attended a webinar and has visited your pricing page recently should receive emails to close the sale.
Doing these simple tweaks will increase your ROI as well as keep your users happy.
To achieve this segmentation, there are plenty of tools available. Today, the most popular email service providers like MailChimp, Drip, Aweber, ConvertKit, all have this functionality.
Apart from sharing valuable content with them, you can also do many other things with email.
- You ask for feedback on your product
- You can talk to your customers about what new features would they like
- Or just email them to say Hi
The versatility of email is its strength and its weakness. If you understand your users well and send emails they love to read, you will always have a steady flow of customers.
A popular saying goes, “Winners don’t do different things, they do things differently”.
All these digital marketing methods I discussed are nothing new. The tactics used are not.
Tools only work as well the one wielding them. I hope by learning these digital marketing strategies, your startup growth reach its true capability. You’ve your startup? or working for one? Please share your thoughts in comments below would love to hear them!