Now that the Jeopardy version of the Battle of Champions has ended, the time has come to reflect on some of the most popular game shows ever to grace our television screens. Who Wants to be a Millionaire comes to mind, as nobody rocked the game show circuit harder than Regis. This begs one question.
Who wants to be an entrepreneur?
The pot of gold that seemingly awaits at the end of the startup rainbow frequently disappears because of a number of reasons. Near the top of the startup failure list sits poor marketing practices. If you want to learn about the perfect marketing methods for startups, you need to focus on one thing.
Your startup needs to focus on going digital with its marketing campaign.
Let’s take a closer look at what digital marketing tactics works best for startups.
Get Your Foot in the Door
The marketing cycle goes through several phases, and as a successful entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to know when and how to implement each phase of the digital marketing cycle.
It all starts with an effective email marketing campaign. According to a recent survey conducted by Demand Metric and the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), businesses that implemented effective email marketing programs enjoyed a 122% return on their investment. That is about four times higher the rate of return on your digital marketing investment for paid searches and social media networking.
How do you make your email newsletter a hit among avid subscribers? You do the following:
- Create an attention grabbing subject line
- Present content for your target audience
- Keep the content short and to the point
- Organize text to make it easy to scan
- Make your email newsletters mobile-friendly
As a startup, you have to battle it out with the big box retailers that dominate the local economy. Big box retailers can afford to spend a lot of money on ads running on television during prime time shows. How do you fight back against the vast marketing resources held by large corporations?
The answer is YouTube marketing.
Since Google bought YouTube, the search engine giant has placed an emphasis on ranking YouTube videos that present helpful information high in its search engine results. How do you create powerful YouTube videos that rank high in Google’s search engine?
Here are a few video ideas to get the YouTube ball rolling:
- How to… videos
- Testimonials from satisfied customers
- Listicles (think top 10 lists)
- Case studies
- Behind the scenes infomercials
- Product demonstrations
The key to launching a successful YouTube video campaign is similar to the key for running an impactful content marketing program. You have to make a commitment for uploading video content that follows a schedule your customers can count on, whether the schedule is weekly, bi-weekly or one time per month. You also should know that producing a YouTube video does not have to cost you the entire digital marketing budget. You can produce a powerful YouTube video by using just one video recorder and an easy to create set for shooting the video.
Optimize Your Local SEO
Optimizing your local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) consists of following a few principles that Google rewards by ranking your startup high for local searches.
Google My Business
Considered the ultimate online business directory, Google My Business lists all the information you want customer prospects to have, before they interact with you. First, you claim and verify your startup, and then you begin to present information that ranges from your startup’s contact information to detailed descriptions of your products and services.
The Importance of Name, Address, and Phone Number
In the world of local SEO, your NAP (name, address, phone number) goes a long way towards establishing a strong local SEO presence. Google rewards businesses that present accurate and consistent NAP information across all online marketing channels.
Citations for Your Startup
No, we are not referring to accolades bestowed on your startup. We are talking about the number of your times your NAP is listed online. From customer reviews on sites such as Yelp to mentions in local news stories, the listing of your NAP online represents a powerful local SEO tool called a citation.
Get Listed in Online Business Directories
Getting listed in as many online business directories as possible is a great way to increase exposure for your startup online. Although Yelp is best known as a custom review site, it is also an online business directory that Google uses to calculate search engine rankings. In addition to Yelp, you should focus your online business directory efforts on uploading accurate and consistent NAP information for the following four sites:
- Yellow Pages
- Trip Advisor
Search Engine Optimization
If local SEO is all about doing things to get your startup notice online by implementing tactics like increasing the number of citations, then what does an overall SEO plan do for your business? The answer concerns creating a startup website that ranks high in each of the three primary search engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo!).
There are most likely dozens of websites covering your operating niche, so how do you make your website stand out online?
The complicated algorithms used by Google, Bing, and Yahoo1 to calculate search engine results constantly change, yet there are a few consistent parameters that have stood the test of time. You want to useful content that helps customer prospects and the loyal patrons of your business find solutions to difficult problems. The big three search engines love to see backlinks that take website visitors to authority sites for more helpful information.
SEO drives traffic to your website; knowing what matters for SEO in 2020 will help your startup build the level of trust it needs to attract a large number of new customers. The challenges faced by entrepreneurs that try to stay up with the best SEO practices include a lack of time to commit to an effective SEO strategy.
Investing in the services offered by an SEO company is an outstanding method for getting your startup website ranked high in the three primary search engines.
Commitment to Content Marketing
Content is king.
This simple phrase has taken over the digital marketing industry. Statistics released by the Content Marketing Institute confirm the power of crafting content that attracts website and social media network visitors.
Ninety percent of B2C businesses have made a commitment to making content marketing an integral part of their digital marketing strategies. Just a little less than 90% of B2B marketers believe content marketing is one of the most effective ways to build trust with website visitors.
Making content marketing will increase awareness for your brand. Here are some other reasons to content market online:
- Build trust with customers that produce long lasting relationships
- Make your startup more visible in the big three search engines
- Develop credibility
- Help make your startup the trusted source of information about your operating niche
Content marketing is what fuels the SEO engine.
Leverage Social Media Networks
A Social Media Examiner report released in 2019 confirms one important fact: Social media is an important digital marketing tool for businesses of all sizes and operational experience. Around 89% of the business owners polled in the study said social media strategies have increased awareness for their brands.
Just because email marketing delivers a return on investment that is four times what the return on your marketing investment is for social media does not mean you should forgo promoting your brand on high-exposure social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.
Combined with an effective content marketing program for your startup website, marketing on social media sites can deliver the following benefits:
- An increase in brand exposure
- Drive more traffic to your startup website
- Make you a thought leader in your operating niche
- Improve your website’s search engine rankings
- Attract more loyal customers
All five benefits of social media marketing ultimately lead to one thing: An increase in sales for your startup.
Pay Per Click Advertising
Pretty much anything Google creates turns to gold just after a short time, and that is what happened with the search engine giant’s AdWords program. Pay per click (PPC) advertising is a proven method of attracting visitors to your website. Some of the advantages of running a PPC campaign include making a connection with potential customers at the right time by showing the right ad. You pay only when an ad is clicked; you pay nothing for having a digital ad placed online.
PPC advertising typically delivers a robust return on your marketing investment because it is considered a targeted method for attracting new customers. You control how much you want to spend, and you never have to wait for results. However, draining a PPC budget can happen quickly, so it is recommended that entrepreneurs with little PPC experience consult with a digital marketing expert to maximize the revenue a well-thought out PPC campaign can generate.
The Bottom Line
You do not need to look over data showing the failure rates of startups across the industry spectrum. It is difficult to bring an entrepreneurial dream to fruition, but one strategy can help you get a leg up on the competition.
Your startup can use the boost provided by a carefully planned and flawlessly executed digital marketing program.