Digital Marketing Strategies for Startups

Which digital marketing strategies are best for your brand new business? In this article, we will be taking a look at the best online marketing campaigns to apply to your startup, as well as some valuable resources.

When you launch a startup, there are so many different things to consider. You need to research and build your product! You need to recruit the right staff! And sure, you need to decide how you are going to monetize your business.

Another important thing you need to consider is how you will market your product to prospective customers.

Marketing is all about utilizing different promotional channels to encourage people to use your product. With digital marketing, you focus on online marketing channels to grow sales.

The right online marketing strategy for your startup will depend on several factors including :

  • Your target audience;
  • The type of product you sell;

and most importantly,

  • Your budget.

Let’s look at some of the best digital marketing strategies out there, and how successful startups have used them to take their business to the next level.

The best digital marketing strategies to consider

1. Search engine optimisation (SEO).

The best digital marketing strategies - SEO

Search engine optimization (or SEO for short) is the process of making amendments to your site. These amends help increase the likelihood of your website and business appearing on the first page of search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Three out of four people don’t scroll past the first page of the search engine results. This makes it essential to appear in the top ten results of any keywords relevant to your startup.

There’s a famous SEO joke – “Where’s the best place to hide a dead body? On the second page of Google!”

SEO encompasses a lot of different digital marketing strategies, including:

  • Creating and optimising the content on your website to include keywords relevant to your startup;
  • Optimising your website from a technical standpoint, for example, making sure it loads as quickly as possible and that the search engines are indexing it properly;
  • Getting relevant websites to link back to you – this is known as ‘backlinking’.

SEO can be one of the best digital marketing strategies to adopt for your business as it is low-cost and relatively easy to do. The disadvantage of SEO though is that it can take a long time for any changes you make to register in the search engines. Amends to your site can take between six and twelve months to have a significant impact on the search engine results.

Think of SEO as more of a long-term strategy for your startup rather than a quick win.

Marketplace sites like Amazon were incredibly dependent on SEO when they first started out. People wanted to buy books online but didn’t know where to buy them from. 

Amazon wanted to make sure that when people typed a book title into Google, they appeared as close to the top of the search results as possible.

If you want to learn more about implementing SEO, Moz has a really great guide for beginners.

2. Content marketing.

The best digital marketing strategies - Content

Content marketing is all about creating content to promote your startup, either on your own website or someone else’s. This digital marketing strategy works well with SEO, as you can use both strategies to boost your startup’s presence in the search engine rankings.

Content marketing includes everything from videos, blogs, webinars, infographics, ebooks, and social media posts. Even memes and gifs count as content marketing! The critical thing is that the content you create informs and entertains your prospective customers, without forcing them to buy.

Content marketing is popular as it is cost-effective and brings results. According to Demand Metric, it costs 62% less than other marketing channels and can bring in three times as many leads.

For an example of a startup that used content marketing to its advantage, take HubSpot. The CRM system used its sales and marketing blog not just to improve its SEO, but to validate its ideas and find out what potential customers wanted. Even now, HubSpot’s blog is one of the most popular sections of its website and is frequently seen on the first page of Google.

Find out more about content marketing with Optinmonster’s ultimate guide to content marketing.

3. Social media marketing.

social media

3.78 billion people across the world use social media regularly. This means that if you’re not using social media to promote your startup as an option in your marketing strategy, you should definitely consider it!

There is a wide range of social media platforms to use, from Facebook and Twitter all the way through to LinkedIn and Pinterest. Choose the ones that best fit in with your target audience and the product you are selling – don’t spread yourself too thin and post on them all.

The thing to remember is that social media should be a two-way communication system. Social media channels aren’t just about pushing messages to customers. Instead, you should use social media to encourage conversation and engagement, building up a community of fans.

A great example of a startup using social media well is Bloom and Wild. The flower subscription service uses social media channels to showcase beautiful photos from customers, as well as competitions where customers can engage to win free goodies.

A guide to social media marketing for businesses from Social Media examiner.

4. Email marketing.

emails

If you are looking for a marketing strategy that delivers a handsome return on investment (ROI), then email marketing is a great option. The average ROI for email marketing is 122%, more than other digital marketing channels.

Set up a lead capture form on your website and send people who sign up regular emails. These emails can highlight your latest products and offer discounts, as well as funny stories and entertaining articles. You can even put automation in place and promote products that are similar to what they have recently bought.

The key advantage of email marketing is that you are building your own list of contacts. With channels like social media and PPC, if the systems go down or disappear, you lose your contacts. With email marketing, your contacts are yours to keep.

Find out more about email marketing with HubSpot’s ultimate guide to email marketing.

5. Pay per click (PPC) advertising.

The best digital marketing strategies - Pay per Click

If you have a marketing budget, PPC advertising (also known as search engine marketing or SEM) may be an excellent digital marketing channel to consider. 

With PPC, your advert is shown on a particular advertising network like Google, Bing, or across social media. Then, when someone clicks on your ad to find out more, you pay a small amount of money.

PPC advertising has a 200% ROI, which means that it returns €2 for every €1 invested.

With PPC, you have complete control over how much money you want to spend, and you can set it so your ad is only shown to your target audience of choice.

There are lots of different ad types you can consider. As well as ads on search engines, you can advertise on YouTube videos and mobile apps, or promote your products in a shopping carousel. You can even set up retargeting ads which follow your website visitors around the internet.

Find out more about PPC advertising in the SEJ PPC 101 guide.

6. Affiliate and referral marketing.

referrals

With affiliate marketing, you are relying on other people to sell your product for you. Affiliates link to your product on their social media profiles or blog and receive a commission for every item they sell on your behalf.

One startup that has used affiliate marketing to its advantage is Groupon. The deal-sourcing website was founded in 2008 but in 2009, it looked like the business was going to shut down. Groupon adopted affiliate marketing in a final attempt to avoid failure. By building close relationships with its affiliates and offering a generous commission rate, the company went from strength to strength and is still around today!

Referral marketing is a similar concept. You can give customers a code that they can share with their friends and colleagues. If friends and colleagues by using the code, your customers get a gift or a discount as a thank you.

Find out more about affiliate marketing and how to get started with Neil Patel’s guide.

7. Influencer marketing.

The best digital marketing strategies - influencers

Influence marketing is a relatively new addition to the digital marketing mix but is an efficient, cost-effective way to promote your startup.

Influencer marketing is when you work alongside an online influencer to promote your product. Many people value reviews and recommendations from people they trust, which means when an influencer promotes your product, many other people will go to check it out.

When you think of influencers, you may think of celebrities like the Kardashians or Ronaldo, but there are many different influencers you can work with. Ideally, you should look to work with someone well-respected in their industry, with a solid number of loyal followers.

According to SocialPubli, 42% of marketers believe that influencer marketing provides a better ROI than other digital marketing channels.

Glossier is an example of a startup that has used influencer marketing to its advantage. The beauty subscription brand sends upcoming products to some of its most loyal customers, encouraging them to promote on social media. This results in extremely satisfied customers as well as lots of free publicity for the business.

Find out more in Influencer Marketing Hub’s definitive guide to influencer marketing.

In conclusion – which digital marketing strategy is the best one for your startup?

Which digital marketing strategy is the best one for your startup?

The right digital marketing strategy to promote your new business depends on several factors:

How much time do you have?

According to Campaign Monitor, only 57% of startups have a dedicated marketing team. The good news is, even if you do not have a dedicated marketer on board, you can still create compelling and engaging marketing strategies for your business.

If you have limited time, choose one strategy to focus on and do it really well.

How much marketing budget do you have?

You can carry out several marketing strategies for low-cost or no-cost. If you have a bit of extra money, you may find that advertising on search engines or social media may bring you additional traction for your business. 

Alternatively, you can bring in an agency or freelancer to look after your marketing for you. This may be a good solution if you are not confident in your own marketing skills or would prefer to focus on other areas of the business.

Who is your target audience for your product or service?

Think about the key demographic for your startup, as this will impact how you promote it. 

For example, if you want to target Gen-Z, you will probably want to avoid Facebook and focus more on TikTok or Instagram.

How quickly do you need to start promoting your product or service?

SEO is always an excellent choice as it is cost-effective and has long-lasting results. However, it takes time to implement a strong SEO marketing strategy. 

If your product is a time-sensitive one, then PPC may help you get the publicity you need in a hurry.

Whichever marketing strategy you choose, don’t forget to monitor the results. By seeing what ROI you get from different digital marketing channels, you can see which type of marketing works best for your startup.

Don’t forget; you can find lots more helpful marketing resources on our startup library page.


Want to know more about setting up the perfect digital marketing campaign for your startup? You Are Launched is here to help

If you need a little extra support in setting up the best digital marketing strategy for your new business, we are here to help you.

We’ve been working with lean startups since 2014, helping them understand more about how marketing can benefit their business and the best digital marketing channels to choose.

Contact us today and see how we can help you with your digital business transformation.

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