Are you someone who is just starting up a business? And you are having a hard time strategizing what to do when it comes to your marketing?
When we are starting with something new, whether it be the first time going to the gym or a new career, there can be some hesitations and sometimes even anxiety that we may feel. After all, doing something for the first time can be scary since we are not certain how it will unfold.
Now, when you are starting a business, the pressure can be so much that you may feel overwhelmed. There are a lot of factors that you have to weigh and a lot of decisions to make for you to create a successful business.
With all the planning and work that comes with starting up a business, most people get such little time to think of their marketing strategies. But you must know the tools that other companies use for their own marketing strategies.
Here are some of the tools you should have when you are starting a business:
A lot of entrepreneurs turn for assistance to online business plan services. There are startup marketing agencies that will help you strategize and will help you with the necessary services such as brand development and founder/executive coachings that will boost your chances of starting on the right path.
Now you know how to start making your ideas into reality, then it is time for you to now have a website. And even with the digital age booming as ever, not all business owners know how to create and implement an effective website. Therefore you need experts in web hosting.
Web hosting services are important since they are the ones who will help you create a website and have it up and running, ready for your customers.
A company has a lot of data, such as sales numbers or employees’ personal information. When you are starting with your business, one of the things you should get is excellent anti-virus software to protect you and your company from possible hackers that can ruin everything.
You will have peace of mind when you know you have invested in anti-virus software that will protect your company’s assets 24/7. And this will be something off your back, thus you can focus on more important matters.
The tools are there, the website is up and you are now ready to begin your company’s journey. But knowing what to have is not enough. Now the real game begins.
You now have to strategize and plan carefully how you will market your business. This is the most important part of starting a business since this will make or break you as a company. Most of the time, business owners just go ahead and try to sell their products. However, if you really want to have your capital back, and more, then you must be educated about the proven marketing techniques that will help you out in the process.
The following are some of the most effective ways of making sure you will earn more in no time. If you are having a hard time thinking of strategies, then fret no more because we got your back. Read on and know what to do for everything to fall into place and you will soon be seeing yourself riding with success.
In this day and age, we live in a world where even kids have their own social media accounts. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are just some of the avenues you can explore for possible customers to recognize your brand.
This strategy is very useful and a lot of companies use it for their own techniques. You can hire social media managers if you want that are knowledgeable in knowing when and what to post for your intended audience to be interested.
You may try to hire an in-house team that’s well-versed in social media marketing. If you want everyone to step up their game, enrolling them in a digital marketing course may be a good idea. Doing this may help your marketing team acquire new skills and knowledge to make more effective marketing campaigns.
This will surely increase your audience and will reach people beyond belief since social media has been a part of our everyday lives. When people see your products or services online, there is a better chance of them being more interested and they might turn into potential customers.
Customers more often than not will most likely trust a brand when they have proof from other customers that it is worth their time and money. Shoppers want to know exactly what other people think about your company and your products because they believe it’s more authentic and credible.
Provide a space on your website where customers can leave their reviews. In that way, online visitors can see them and browse through them instead of them just having to read ad campaigns.
Some customers may have some questions about how exactly your products work. And sometimes if their needs are not meant and they get confused, they will end up leaving since people tend to lose interest when they are not familiar with something.
Adding tutorial videos can make wonders since this will show exactly what kind of product they will get and what to expect. Creating transparency while making sure your customers are informed of your products’ advantages is a great way of hitting two birds with one stone.
Even if you are just starting your business, the possibilities of being successful are great if you know the hows and whats of an effective marketing strategy.
Put your name out there, in front of your intended audience, and if done correctly, you will surely see the positive outcome in a short time. Take note that in a start-up business, it is necessary to aim at inviting, supporting, and engaging your potential customers. Focus on relationship building and you will reap your rewards in no time.
Too many startups fail because they never got noticed. Proper marketing helps you gain credibility, which builds brand trust. It also gives you the “social proof” you need to show potential investors there’s a place for your business on the market. You don’t need the entire world to know about your startup. You just need your target niche market to find out what you have to offer, and any startup can achieve this when they implement the right strategies.
When people need information, they turn to search engines. If your business can show up on your prospective customers’ radar when they’re looking for information, you not only gain credibility for your expertise, but also get their eyes on your products and services. A great way for startups to gain a following and make a name for themselves is by sharing expertise and insight that can help their target audience. Blogging or publishing articles on your website is a great way to do that. The more content-rich web pages your website has, the more “points” it gains in the search engine algorithms. You can also work with someone who’s SEO-savvy to help you rank higher on Google and other search engines.
Social networking platforms, from LinkedIn to Snapchat, provide a huge opportunity for businesses to get noticed at any stage of their development. Engaging with users on social media can help you better understand your target audience and how to serve them better. You can find out their problems and needs, so that you can find better solutions to offer. It gives you a platform to hone your brand’s voice and message, as it allows you to communicate directly with your audience. Social media is a great way to build authority by providing valuable content.
Paid advertising can also be very effective on social media. You might try running a video ad on YouTube or running Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns that target your prospective customer base.
Although we live in a digital age, raising awareness to your startup also depends on marketing outside the Internet. China expert and best-selling author of “The Age of the Unthinkable” and “The Seventh Sense,” Joshua Cooper Ramo draws attention to his books and his personal brand by sharing expertise at conferences and other speaking engagements around the world.
You may not have an agent that can help you get booked for speaking engagements, but you can start by going to conferences and getting your name out there through networking. While the speakers at these conferences get to speak to everyone at once, attendees can still reach lots of people and spread the word about their startup by striking up conversations with other attendees. The more clout you build in your niche, the more likely you’ll be able to be selected as a keynote speaker at future engagements.
Marketing your startup is all about having a story people can connect with. Why have you launched this startup? If you can convince your target audience that you can meet their needs in a unique and effective way, you’ve got an effective marketing campaign. Putting money into search engine optimization adds, or even a social media marketer, you can get quickly see big results in getting your name out there.
Digital marketing is a no brainer must-have in today’s business world. Just as our world has integrated into everything digital, it is not a surprise to see digital marketing evolve to how we use it today. While traditional marketing is still thriving, more and more companies rely on the more effective ways of digital marketing. The main difference between traditional and digital marketing is that the previous employ a less targeted approach in advertising, while the latter is more about using data analytics to tailor a precise and more effective marketing approach best suited to the company and its target market.
While most startup companies might worry about the expenses for marketing, it is no longer about which company might have all the resources to spend on marketing, but more on having the right marketing strategy that would work best for the company. It is no longer a surprise to find affordable marketing campaigns that are customized to reach the maximum buyer target. With the right analytics, modern technology has indeed done wonders.
Perhaps the cheapest way to market online is through social media. It is easy to set up, and it already has the audience and the tools needed to broadcast your product. Do note, that social media is best use to build on your brand and identity. The coherence and unity of your posts matter, so does the frequency or the number of times you post in a day. While social media is a great way to launch promotions, it is an even more effective medium in knowing your market audience as it can let you interact and share information with customers. It can also build your customer service.
There are plenty of other tools that you can use to strengthen your marketing plan. You can use Hootsuite that can integrate your social media accounts and platforms to help you manage your accounts. It is available for free for the basic features, or have the option to pay 11 USD per month for the whole package. For something that costs so low, this is one tool that you would really use. Tools like the Google Analytics are essential in order to gather and interpret data. These are just two examples. There are still many out there. Find the ones that could help you most without necessarily breaking the bank.
With the success of mobile shifted startups, it is clear to see that everything is happening on mobile. You can now easily call for transportation just by having an app like Uber or Grab without having to flip through your contacts to call for a taxi. With most of the world already on mobile phones, it makes sense that marketing strategies should be optimized for mobiles and smartphones. Mobile search has surpassed desktop searches. Even when you compare from two years ago, more websites can now seamlessly adapt for mobile use. So don’t get left behind. Make your ads and your websites mobile-ready.
Your brand should be the clear message with each and every content that is posted in your blogs, sites, and social media walls. When you just put in anything that interests you, or just so you posted something, this will ruin your branding. You should focus your content to selling your brand, and so you should know what are the unique selling propositions of your product. That way, you can focus on the benefits of your product. There are many ways to boost your content. You can go to sites where you can hire services for content creation for a fraction of the price.
You should also make sure that your site pages allow for maximum conversions. Try to see what your site visitors go through when they get in. See how they would interact with your page and optimize where you could get them to convert and buy. Much like picking out a workplace where you need to know that it will fit all the needs of your company, make sure that your site has the tools necessary to show to your prospective buyers that you have the product that they need, and accessing that product is as easy as a simple click. Avoid clichéd phrases that would not make your site stand out.
Find out what your customers’ preferences are and use what you know to get their attention. To make a buyer a repeat one, see to it that your site has all the details that they need for after sales support. A good follow-up system will also keep them in the loop for any other new sales pitches in the future.
There are plenty of digital marketing strategies available to everyone, from the seasoned to the most novice of entrepreneurs. Find one that speaks of what your company stands for, and make it work to give you the best marketing plans that leave not only you happy, but your customers as well.
Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.
Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace
You’ve developed a great product or service, but people will want to know more about your company brand before they start purchasing. If you’ve got an eye-catching logo and website, these are important first steps. But appealing graphics don’t make a brand. How can new businesses establish a recognized brand presence online? Here are five tips.
Research your brand name carefully. Something that seems edgy, striking, or humorous may be good for attention, but bad for business. Brainstorm a list of possible names, and research them online to see if they are already taken, or if unpleasant associations come up on a Google search. Also check to make sure it doesn’t translate into something ridiculous in another language or culture. When you settle on something that’s acceptable, make it legally yours by registering it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
If you’re just starting out, it’s not too late to rethink the domain name for your site. Make your domain name matches your company name as closely as possible. It should also show some relation to who you are as an organization, for instance .com, .biz, .io for a company, .net or .org for a non-profit, and so on. Some companies will also go the added step of buying up every domain name that matches, regardless of suffix, to avoid any confusion with the public or attempts by third-parties to profit from your brand building.
Regardless of the digital channel, you want an easily identifiable logo and simple, clear message used on every platform. Whether someone sees it in print, banner ads, or on social sites, they should immediately recognize your brand and message. Everything – your website, business cards, emails, advertising, etc. – should all be relatively the same. For example, if your Twitter handle is @WholeBuyz, use @WholeBuyz on Instagram, not @WholeBuyzFL. Consistency is crucial if you want customers to instantly identify your brand.
Don’t overlook any opportunity to distribute your brand through advocates. Be newsworthy; get your logo associated with popular community events like charities and athletics. Building brand advocates is about creating engaging online content that followers will share with their friends. It also involves networking on sites like LinkedIn, professional and industry associations, and marketing networks. You can also use different sources such as Facebook and Vimeo to really help get the word out there. You may even want to look into different examples, such as those by ACN so that you can get an idea of how to utilize sources like this.
One way to become a trust brand is to share your expertise. By contributing to your niche or industry without trying to sell yourself, you actually do promote your brand. No one respects a sales pitch, but others will look to you as a resource if you provide knowledge and insights, even your competition. Over time, you build up a reputation as an industry authority, and thus, an influencer. You or a member of your team can start sharing some very useful information on social media and through guest blogging. Just remember to focus on being helpful and your commitment to your niche, not selling. People will have more confidence in your brand.
In digital media, your brand is everything. It’s how the world relates to your company. People should be able to see your logo and immediately know what you offer. It becomes a business model you have to live up to every day.
So, let’s say you finally decided to give all of your ideas a try and started your own startup. Everything seems to be working properly despite your fears and risks that were likely to arise on your way. The only question remaining is how you can keep up the good job and stimulate the growth of your startup.
No wonder that you worry about such things, considering the fact that a lot of people (or even if not so many) work for you and put much faith in what you do and where you lead them. So, not to turn out to be a failure, let’s see what steps you can take to help your business grow, develop, and aim for taking the leading position one day.
8 growth hacking steps which will help you build your startup.
You have started this business for a reason and a very clear one. As time flies and your company starts growing, you will have many opportunities to shift to a new purpose or consider adopting a new vision. However, we highly recommend you keeping an eye on what you set as a goal first and staying true to it.
Don’t let outsiders convince you to change direction.
No matter whether you are looking for proofreading and editing of content for your company’s website or searching for help with launching a marketing campaign, only hire professionals. High quality content, as well as the right marketing strategies, are extremely important for the promotion of your business. It may be small yet to risk it all by giving the job to people not quite familiar with the matter is not a good idea.
So, employees like HR managers, copywriters, marketing specialists, and sales managers must be highly qualified and totally in love with what they do in order to promote a quick growth of your business.
As a young business person, you will notice that there are many opportunities out there for you! However, you should make sure you don’t chase all of them. Many of them will not bring anything good to your business, and can only steal your focus so that you will lose some precious time you were supposed to spend on the core goals.
Thus, don’t be afraid to be picky when it comes to new opportunities.
When aiming for the stars, you need to have someone who will keep you in reality. Besides, if you are new to the market, you might not know all the pitfalls and traps on your way to success. So, seek the advice of people who know this niche very well and whose experience you consider valuable.
In case you don’t want to seek the help of a professional advisor but rather want some help from the experienced business people in this area, make sure not to contact your rivals, as it is not likely that you will get proper help from them. So, look at people from neighboring niches and see if they can assist you in any way.
However, no matter whom you ask for help, it is a true blessing for your business.
On your way to the ultimate goal, you will find yourself having many opportunities to invest in things which might or might not speed up your business growth. However, we ask you to remember to invest in things which will not only bring you a few bucks now but will also turn out to be long-term investments and bring you profits over time. This implies paying attention to the marketing strategies you select as well as to new developments of business you come up with.
Even if people working for you have a lot of experience in the area, you won’t benefit from their experience unless they are on the same page with you. You need to make sure they realize what goals you have and why exactly you want to achieve them. Training and team building sessions can be a real help for you here.
But, if despite all of your efforts an employee does not seem to be following your goals, you should fire them and find someone who will support you and become proactive on the way to the ultimate goals you set before them.
Are there companies out there which you can be partners with? What we mean here is that you can try integrating your product with those of other businesses and see whether it will have the positive impact. You can split the profit and get your product promoted thanks to the connections and strategies of other businesses.
Thus, always look for partnerships and don’t be afraid to offer them to people from neighboring niches. You should show how much you believe in your product and let them see how great it is!
With the professionals on board and a long-term strategy in mind, you are likely to achieve a lot. However, on your way to the ultimate goal, you might find things which can slow you down or derail you. You have to keep track of such things.
All the big businesses have a rule of evaluating what they do and how they do it every now and then, but it is even a bigger necessity for smaller businesses like yours. What prevents you from achieving more? What keeps you behind your rivals? What are your strengths and your weaknesses? Make sure to pay proper attention to such things for the sake of your business growth.
Running a startup can be a scary experience because you are responsible for many people. You face risks and have to be always on the watch for pitfalls. However, by using simple principles like the ones we described above, you are likely to achieve more than ever and make your dreams and hopes come true. So, save these tips and see your startup grow in no time.
Most startup business owners know they need a strong online presence. For products to be seen, they need to reach the top of search engines. Otherwise, they might as well not exist. It’s as simple as that. And, to do this, you need to have a strong search engine optimization and pay-per-click strategy.
But knowing your products need SEO is a far cry from knowing exactly what SEO they need. No two businesses are exactly alike, and every search marketing agency worth their salt knows that you can apply the same rules to each one, seeing different results in each case.
We might not know your business, but we can give you a way to approach SEO & PPC, so that you will start on the right track.
There is a lot of debate on which is better for a startup to invest their money in—SEO or PPC? It’s true that PPC is incredibly effective at getting immediate traffic to your website, but it doesn’t do much good if your website offers users a terrible experience once they get there.
Before you get into PPC, it’s essential that your website is SEO-friendly so that you can get visitors to stay on your site. You don’t have to be some SEO expert to make your website user-friendly and optimized for search engines. For true beginners, Moz’s guide to SEO is a great place to start.
If you already have an understanding of SEO basics, then you certainly know the importance of publishing awesome content, link-building, optimizing for keywords, and making your website easy to navigate. Make sure that your website isn’t scaring off potential customers before you spend all that money on paid traffic that doesn’t convert!
If you have done the research on what it takes to dominate search result pages, then you have probably realized that it takes a ton of work. If it were easy, then everyone would be doing it, right? SEO—while completely worth the effort—takes months to see results. PPC can get you results fast, but building and managing campaigns is difficult, and there are plenty of horror stories of startups wasting their precious budget on PPC campaigns that go nowhere.
The solution for many serious startups is to hire a digital marketing agency. This process involves a decent amount of research; thorough screening is key for any company to become comfortable with making an investment.
It’s essential for business owners to vet potential agencies by looking at their experience and ensuring that they have a history of getting results.
Additionally, it’s important that you ask them a few key questions to get further insight. How will this agency measure success? How involved will you be in the process? What is their experience like working with startups similar to yours?
If you are tired of hearing how much time and effort you need to spend on keyword research—well, that’s too bad … because it’s true. The digital landscape may be constantly changing, but the necessity for keyword research has remained.
In the case of PPC, it’s especially important for new startups to spend time on keyword research. When you are working with a limited budget, every PPC dollar counts. You don’t want to waste your PPC budget on keywords that don’t convert.
It’s also crucial for SEO. To acquire relevant traffic to your website, you need to target the keywords and terms that they are searching for. Keep in mind that what people search for and how they search for it are constantly changing. Keyword research isn’t something that you do once. It is an ongoing process that will help you stay relevant and increase online visibility.
Brand recognition is necessary precursor to consumer trust. Any business owner knows this, but did you know that it can help boost your SEO?
Brands rank easier than unbranded competitors and are more likely to withstand Google updates. This doesn’t mean that your small startup doesn’t stand a chance in search results. It just means that you need to work on building brand signals immediately.
Some important brand signals include a strong social media presence, branded keywords, branded links, and on-page branding (consistent logo, color scheme, an About Us page, etc.).
There is nothing wrong with watching your competitors and using the same tips and tricks that they do. In fact, those who aren’t doing this are making a huge mistake. Keeping tabs on your competitors can help both your SEO and PPC strategies.
For instance, you can use SpyFu to identify what keywords your competitors are ranking for in both organic search and AdWords. You can then use this information to boost your own SEO and PPC campaigns.
Another great competitor analysis tool is SEMrush, which gives you insight into your competitor’s organic, paid search, and link building strategies. This tool also makes it easy to visualize the data that you gather on your competitors so that you can conduct a competitive analysis with only a few clicks.
Ronald Dod is a partner and CEO of Visiture, LLC. After founding Grey Umbrella Marketing, an internet marketing agency which focuses on Search Engine Optimization for eCommerce businesses, he merged with Visiture to create a full service search marketing offering for eCommerce businesses. His passion is helping eCommerce business owners and marketing professionals navigate the search marketing landscape and use data to make more effective decisions to drive new traffic and conversions. He holds a Masters in the Science of Marketing from Florida State University and is certified in Google Adwords & Analytics.
Today, a large majority of consumers distrusts advertising, and corporations in general, more than ever before. Today, an average buyer has seen major corporations coax the onset of full-blown financial crisis and spark a major outcry against income inequality. Furthermore, people are bombarded with tons of advertisements every day. Telesian Technology Inc. estimates, that an average consumer sees anywhere between 300 and 700 ads each day. As a result, traditional marketing strategies have become rather ineffective, to say the least.
Two years ago, Serial took podcasting to another level, and while I’m sure you’ve listened to at least a couple podcasts, have you ever considered using a podcast as a marketing tool? And while podcasting is only gaining momentum, many of your potential customers are surely active listeners. In fact, recent Infinite Dial findings have revealed that between 2015 and 2016, podcast listening grew around 23%. And if that’s not enough to make you take podcasting seriously, also think about this – today, more than 20% of Americans, ages 12 and up, listen to podcasts on a regular basis.
And to provide context for what 20% of the country represents, you have to take into consideration that only around 13% of people in the United States have a Spotify subscription, and 21% of them have an active Twitter account. All in all, there are around 57 million podcast listeners in the United States. There are a couple of elements that make podcasting stand out as a great content tool – it gives you an opportunity to connect to your customers, reach a guest audience and it lends itself to generating multiple revenue streams, just to name a few.
According to IBM research, we create around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, as a matter of fact, we create so much of it that around 90% of the data in recorded human history has been created in the last two years. The sheer amount of information we have today has completely changed what it means to be a marketer. Look at it like this – big data is the missing link between marketing actions and results. So, despite all of this, why are so many companies still turned off by big data?
The answer perhaps lies in the fact that there’s a huge emphasis on short-term results in today’s corporate world. And this insistence on instant results can prevent companies from making the necessity investments today to lay the foundation for greater results, which may take months to come to fruition. According to Rex Briggs’ research, around 40% of marketing budgets are being wasted every year by thousands and thousands of companies around the world. A big reason why this continues to happen is because of lack of data that prevents insights, measurements and informed decision making.
And so we come to probably the most underutilized and underestimated marketing tactic of today – email marketing. For years, email has been labeled as a “has-been” in the modern marketing world, taking the back seat to newer and “exciting” tactics, such as social media. But from a pure cost-effectiveness standpoint, it’s hard to argue that something is better than email. What’s more, even though Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are more commonly used today, people still use emails to communicate quite a lot actually. Radicati Group estimates that around 2.4 million emails are sent every second, which amounts to 74 trillion mails per year.
But seeing how mobile usage has grown in recent years, today you have to approach your email marketing strategy with a mobile-first mindset. Every aspect of your campaign has to be optimized for mobile – fast-loading and visually captivating emails work best on smartphone screens. Moreover, according to statistics compiled by HubSpot, more than 95 of your site’s visitors aren’t ready to buy your product. That is why you should also try to take advantage of email remarketing. Travel companies, for instance, have known how to increase conversions using email remarketing for years. These companies, as well as eCommerce sites that have a high level of booking and cart abandonment use email remarketing as a way to re-engage customers and encourage them to finish the transaction.
Stepping outside of the norm and giving other platforms like podcasting and emailing a chance to work for you and your company will definitely prove equally beneficial in the long run. Leveraging big data will also give you a chance to learn more about your consumer base and allow you to make smarter marketing decisions in the future. Finally, the point is, just because something still isn’t popular or widely-used it doesn’t mean that it isn’t effective. Chances are, some of the more underrated marketing strategies and tools are making someone a lot of money – and if you think outside of the box, that someone could be you in the future.
Nate Vickery is a business consultant and a blogger mostly focused on streamlining marketing and management for small businesses and startups. He is also an editor on Bizzmarkblog.com and a regular contributor on many other business and marketing oriented websites.