When it comes to launching a startup company it can be quite daunting to figure out exactly what it is that you want to do when it comes to marketing. With so many overhead costs for advertising, software dashboards and PR distribution costs you are most likely going to have to pick and chose your cash flow battles precisely. Even if you are a hot startup and you just received a check for a cool 20 million from some cushy venture capitalist you are going to need a solid strategy. Throwing everything at the wall only to see what sticks is not strategy.

Here is an infographic from the folks over at Search Enabler which describes the differences between online and offline start up marketing.

Online or Offline Startup Marketing

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It can be very exasperating if you are getting underway in a trade where there are some large players gathering up much of the news press and website visitors currently. Online niches are gradually starting to evaporate and more and more businesses are really starting to conquer all business spaces. Don’t let this dishearten you because there is always room for some new great development and a new renewed approach might be what it takes to get things moving for your business in a new light.

Here are some ways you can contend against the big boys in your trade:

Give Something Away For Free

Don’t get me wrong I know you have to make income to pay your company bills but one of the most ideal ways to get some much wanted attention is offer a product or service for either free or a free trial where others might charge for that same particular service. That doesn’t mean that everything has to be for free but try getting original with your pricing structure to really gain some new traction from your immediate online audience.

Add Viral Marketing to the Mix

A respectable viral marketing movement can swiftly put your business on the map in front of your viewers but you have to really get imaginative with your online web efforts along with your online messaging attempts. A worthy viral marketing campaign can effortlessly blowout like wild fire once other industry bloggers get ahold of the info.

Approach the Search Space with Fierce Force

Do you have the time to do it right? Sometimes time is all you need to really approach the search engine space with fierce authority. Yes efforts like pay per click advertising (PPC) will cost you some hard cash but you can still make a positive effect if you understand the basic ideas of web related marketing and search engine optimization.

Don’t get down on yourself because your business niche is seriously drenched with competition. All things online take time but if you approach your industry with an inventive mindset you will see that pulling in targeted web traffic and business is not as difficult as it might seem  you just have to be persistent.

The last time I checked the search engines where pretty active places online for businesses to be able to grow their brands. It doesn’t matter if you are a shoe cobbler or an IT consulting agency the time to start moving on your web marketing is now. I don’t have to spit out statistics, numbers or even industry sources to tell you that being visible on the web is important to growing your company long term, i’m sure you already know this. Here are five questions you need to ask yourself if you haven’t done so already that should give you a kick in the ass to get going with your web marketing efforts.

1. Can you afford to ignore it?

Is your business running at 150% without it? Are you up to your earlobes in business that you don’t need to even think about it? The reality is that you are probably not, nobody is. There is a wealth of business swimming around in the internet ocean just waiting to have some bait cast in front of it. When are you going fishing?

2. How many of your competitors are there?

Take a look and see how many competitors you have that are already making waves in the search space with their internet marketing efforts. If you have any you need to move and if you have none you need to move because that is opportunity at it’s finest. Make your competition sweat a little and get things going soon.

3. Has productivity slowed down in the your office?

If your answer is yes you need to figure out how to make up for that lost ground. If things are slipping now what is going to stop that trend from getting worse? What are you going to do to turn things around? Don’t worry about doing a mailing campaign or something silly like that. You need to approach your whole marketing game from a different angle now or just any angle if you haven’t started yet. Its time to put your web marketing boots on and get dirty. Don’t worry it will be fun.

4. Is moral low at the workplace?

Spice things up and get people excited to come to the office again by rolling out a whole new web marketing strategy together as a team! Pull your team for an offsite afternoon meeting and have a group discussion on how the company can successfully enter the search space together by utilizing skills that might already exist in your office. You never know you might have a closet social media freak on your hands and you don’t even know it! Fire up your team by introducing this new initiative and you will get them excited to come to work again.

5. Do you know how to use a computer?

If you know how to run on the computer and get on the internet you can easily start teaching yourself some basics of web marketing. You don’t need to be a pro right from the start but rather test the waters first so you can get a good grip on the process of marketing your business online. Half the battle is just getting things started and going.Don’t wait any longer and start putting a plan together on how you can start rolling out a serious internet marketing strategy that will help you drive qualified traffic and visitors to your website. Things take time online so don’t wait any longer but start the process now. You will be glad you did.

Building a website is highly strategic and requires a person to step into the shoes of a marketing person. Highly successful websites do not just become successful by chance, they are built to succeed over time. Sure not every website starts off running but over time you make tweaks and changes and figure out what works and what doesn’t. I have bumped into websites in my travels that do not have one tool in place to achieve the business goals desired for that website. How do you plan to build your business when your website is not even close to convert any web traffic?

Below are some of the most important traits every web business should have:

Get to your Point

For starters your website should express your business goals almost immediately when a person arrives to your website. If you don’t sell yourself within a few seconds and keep their attention they are going to split really quickly and go to a competitor. Make the goal of your business a top priority for your home page. Remember to not have too many distractions. You should lead your website traffic down a path almost immediately.

Make them Smile

It doesn’t matter who your audience is, entertain them in sort of way. Put your neck out there and experiment with how you can make your online audience smile. In business it is all about risks and standing out from the crowd. If you don’t stick out nobody is going to gravitate towards you so make an effort to entertain your online audience.

Be Everywhere

I know this is easier said than done but you have to visible in many different areas. It is more than just launching a Facebook page and a Twitter account. You really have to dig into where your community is hanging out and communicating with each other. It takes a multi pronged approach to really build a business online so research everywhere that makes sense for your business to be visible.

Community

There is no way around it anymore you have to be vocal online with your audience or pay the consequences. Brands of all sizes are now communicating on a daily basis with their entire audience so it is vital for you to be doing the same. Create a community online and start socializing because if you don’t your competition will.

Make Changes

Simply put you have to re-invent your brand once in a while online. Keep things fresh with your website. Nobody wants to visit a website and see the same thing over and over for years to come. Make changes and tweaks to your website and try different things. Your audience will respond well. You know how if you paint something paint will stick better if you run some sandpaper across it first? Same principal.