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.
There is no doubt about it we are seeing a serious boom in web based start-ups right now and investors along with venture capitalists all around are sitting at the negotiating tables with blank checks and eager smiles. Having a great idea is one thing but making things happen once that idea gets rolling is a whole other story. With so many web based applications, tools and business trinkets making headlines these days there are certain search engine marketing activities that are simply going to be a must have for any new business start-up.
The days of having the build it and they will come attitude are long gone. Today a much more robust plan of attack has to be implemented because not everything goes viral like Facebook. The Foursquare’s and Facebook’s of the world don’t always happen like they expected. Most websites require a swift kick in the keester to get visibility and traction rolling along.
Here are some marketing must haves for new business start-ups:
I don’t care what anyone says you need a well-built and oiled website if you plan on making any impact in your business space. Some of the best start-ups in today’s digital space are consistently evolving their site, functionality and layout as they grow and morph. Phase 1 should be enough to gain some traction but phase 2 should already be in the works before you even go live. With so much technology all around us to make our sites faster, convert better and communicate much easier you have to keep things fresh as you grow. Don’t worry about whether you competition is doing the same because that is irrelevant. Every company has different culture and different goals and you should make sure your website is always improving to keep up with the demand of your web traffic. Step into the shoes of your audience and pretend you are them for just a moment.
I come across new start-up sites every single day. Some are designed and developed to convert well and some clearly have no conversion goals in place. Depending on what your web traffic goals are you have to lead your traffic down a path at all times. These days there are lots of paths to send traffic down. You want to send them to your Twitter account, you want to send them over to your Facebook page, you want a web visitor to find multiple extensions of your brand in order to instill authority and trust and your development needs to showcase this. Create un-cluttered path ways so they can find what they need to help you grow your brand swiftly. It doesn’t matter whether your start-up space is cluttered or you are the only person at the party, a clear concise layout is a happy layout!
No doubt SEO should not be overlooked. Regardless of what your niche or business space is there is always value to conducting SEO for your site even you think there is too much going on your search space. Would I put all my eggs in that basket? I wouldn’t put all my eggs in any basket these days. SEO is a nice foundational step for everything else you are planning on conducting for your start-up. SEO can be tough for a brand new start-up simply because the search results have been peppered with web pages for a very long time and it is often tough to move pages that have been lingering for many years for certain keywords in a short period of time. SEM is like making soup, SEO is the water and being efficient is just the right amount of heat.
Companies which have been growing for many years can sometimes offset a less than stellar social media approach simply because they have conducted business for so long utilizing other facets. A new start-up launching yesterday should is much different and should be conducting more social media than sleeping. Social communication for businesses making their way into the digital space as a start-up now have to be willing to put in the man-hours with a very robust social media marketing strategy.
Social media sources that should be used:
Sure PR and articles are great but viral marketing, unique give aways and creative YouTube channels will create a much stronger impact than your typical efforts. Search engine marketing has no definition or creative guidelines so you are free to roam the lands as you wish. It is a vast digital space and anything is possible in order to attract attention so try to step outside of the norm at some point. With that said though it is important to still execute the basics because the basics are the clue that holds everything together.
Here is a collection of some of the best viral marketing efforts in recent years.