Digital Marketing for Startups

Digital Marketing for startups creates brand awareness by bringing visibility. This provides a powerful communication channel with customers.

Marketing is bringing awareness and making the customers buy your product or service. Startups initially focus on acquiring customers and gaining traction in the market. Communicating with potential customers has become easy and affordable with the spread of internet.

Digital Marketing for Startups  - Critical issues

      The difficult part is, with so many competing products and services using the same digital platform how can one stand out and attract attention?

      There are several channels available and how to choose the right one?

      Will startups have bandwidth both in terms of monetary and human resources, which any way is not in abundance, to create a digital marketing platfor?

      Should you have in-house personnel or outsource digital marketing to specialists especially with limited budget

Digital Marketing for Startups - What is Digital Marketing ?

Definition of digital marketing (Source- Financial Times)

 It is a  the marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers. The key objective is to promote brands through various forms of digital media.

Digital marketing extends beyond internet marketing to include channels that do not require the use of the internet. It includes mobile phones (both SMS and MMS), social media marketing, display advertising, search engine marketing, and any other form of digital media.

Most experts believe that 'digital' is not just yet another channel for marketing. It requires a new approach to marketing and a new understanding of customer behaviour. For example, it requires companies to analyse and quantify the value of downloads of apps on mobile devices, tweets on Twitter, likes on Facebook and so on.

Digital Marketing for Startups - Expert View

Mandar Marathe, Co-founder at BriefKase. Techno-marketer

Today, the biggest challenge for every company is to create their unique identity in front of their customers, prospects and other stakeholders. Digital marketing can be used effectively to help position your company and brand in a stronger platform.

 Any bootstrapped startup does not have the funds to invest heavily into digital marketing. 

Digital Marketing for Startups

1.      Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

The website should be designed smart phone friendly. Contents should lead to discussion platform and posts by visitors.  The website provides global reach and is 24X7.This is a measurable activity. Webs pages should load faster.

Blogs, videos can be posted on the website. 

2.     Social Media Marketing

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ etc. offer a communication platform with customers. This also helps in users communicating among themselves. Ensure that the message on how product solves the problems of the customer is given importance rather than using it purely to promote the company.

3.     Content Marketing –

Content is still the king. Good copy writing skills and using appropriate images helps in attracting viewers.

4.     Email marketing 

Generating many e-mail contacts is important. E-mails in the web outnumbers Facebook. This also helps in addressing the individual potential customers.

5.     Growth hacking – This is low-cost and innovative alternative to traditional marketing. Offer something for free, set up a referral program, and go with exclusivity. There should be an element that helps the product go viral.

Digital Marketing for Startups - Paid Platforms

Paid Platforms may be more productive than free platforms. Measure the results against the spend. This can help in choosing the right medium.

Facebook is providing a paid platform to engage with audience.

LinkedIn is providing premium membership and this will help in focusing on the target audience.

Twitter is a great platform, however paid tweets can create a different level of engagement.

Digital Marketing for Startups- Strategy

It is preferable to have an in-house resource for monitoring the digital marketing strategies. However, managing the digital marketing platform can be outsourced especially for startups

 Recommended Frequency of presence in Social Media

 Source-Derek Miller -Content Marketing and Social Media Strategist

The optimal number of posts to Facebook is between five and 10 times a week, Twitter is five tweets a day and LinkedIn and Google+ tied for one time a day.

A Great tip from  Andrew Broadbent

Technology and digital marketing strategies are always changing.  As early stage startups and entrepreneurs are looking to get the pre-product market fit right should not consider product development to be more important than branding and digital marketing.  Everything that a customer experiences is the product. This is something that both startups and media companies don’t always fully understand. Things like creating content, blogging, and building brand awareness around a product are often considered a secondary experience and a secondary part of the company, which is a completely wrong way of thinking.  In many instances, what a customer first experiences about your product is on the internet or in the media long before they even get a chance to touch or use it firsthand. If your company does not have both of these aspects working together in alignment, then you could be causing yourself problems with building awareness for your company and product.

Digital Marketing for Startups- Frequency

 Recommended Frequency of presence in Social Media

 Source- Derek Miller-Content Marketing and Social Media Strategist

The optimal number of posts to Facebook is between five and 10 times a week, Twitter is five tweets a day and LinkedIn and Google+ tied for one time a day.

Digital Marketing for Startups- Recommended Book

Social Media Marketing All-In-One for Dummies – by Jan Zimmerman & Deborah

Social media continues to evolve at breakneck speed and the savvy marketer needs to keep up.Checklists, case studies and examples will help you decide the best places to spend your marketing dollars and you'll learn about valuable social media tools and analytics methods that can help you assess the success of your efforts.

 Book review by Mahesh Puttanna

This book is suitable for those who want to make a career in the field of Social Media Marketing. Having contents of Social Media Marketing, and including the Company's, promoting their Products, Advertising, Selling and Marketing. and having the contents like Social Media Strategies and Tips. This Book is suitable for the Beginners and also for Experienced Folks.

Digital Marketing for Startups - Conclusion

In reality startups spend more time in product development and traction and less time in building awareness and benefits of the products through the powerful digital platform. This is counterproductive.

The startup team should understand the importance of digital marketing and spend time in acquiring knowledge by attending seminars or reading blogs or spend time with a digital marketing expert. This will help in drawing digital marketing strategies.

Startups always run on shoe-string budgets and it is important that every cent spent on marketing pays dividend. Digital marketing offers a low cost option for the startups to build their brands.

It is essential to have a plan for digital marketing and allocate budget for the same.