Startup marketing – A step by step digital marketing guide for funded startups – afaqs!

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With time and some help from experts, one can derive the benefits of digital marketing, says our guest author.
Your new business venture is up and running, but how do you announce your presence to the world? How do you make yourself visible and tell your story when you don’t have the funds to run a full-fledged advertising campaign? Here is where digital marketing steps in to make life easier for you.
Digital marketing helps you to make use of smart technology to widen your reach and engage with the target audience with optimum use of your available resources. With the proliferation of smartphones and cheap Internet data, the dissemination of information has become quite easy. Today, we have over 700 million Internet users and over 600 million smartphones in India, which gives you a fair idea of the size of the potential audience.
All you need is a structured process. When it comes to startups, one size definitely doesn’t fit all and one startup may be as different from another as chalk and cheese. This is a step by step digital marketing guide.
Set targets – Every business needs customers to survive, and to acquire customers, you need to develop a brand image.
The two main priorities for any new startup would be to create brand visibility and acquire new customers. You can use various strategies to engage with your target audience, share your story and describe your offerings, what value you offer them and how you are different from others in the same sector. The goal is to get more people to know about your brand and recognise your logo when they see it.
If the acquisition of customers is your topmost priority, you will need to devise a separate strategy that can grab the attention of viewers. To help you achieve this objective, you will need to be supported by smart design, excellent copy and a call to action that will compel the audience to act and press the button, literally!
Identify your target audience – It is important for you to figure out: the value that your product or service adds, how you are different from others in the market, your target audience, why the customer should prefer you over others, and if your business is B2B or B2C.
Once you identify your target audience, you can tailor your digital marketing strategy to their requirements.
Set up your brand website – You will need to set up your online presence by creating your own web address.
A website is the calling card that you present to the world. It is a very powerful marketing tool that helps you connect with your target audience. If you can’t manage a professional website, you can think of beginning with a landing page that offers a snapshot of your startup. You can use this page to build links with your audience and sell your products or services.
You should pay special attention to your domain name because it becomes your brand identity and helps you establish your presence across platforms. Google Ads are commonly used to boost traffic to websites. Search engine optimisation is indispensable to improve the visibility of your website via various search engines like Google, Yahoo!, etc. Investing time and resources in SEO can yield rich dividends when it comes to digital marketing as it helps to drive traffic to your site by using keywords, quality content, tags and back links.
Create a social media presence and be visible
Social media platforms provide a powerful platform to create a strong web presence, structure a brand identity, engage with your target customers, communicate your message effectively and leverage your brand awareness
There is no need to establish an account on all platforms. You can choose the platforms that are preferred by the target audience. For instance, if you are selling a fintech solution, LinkedIn may be a great platform for you.
On the other hand, if you are selling products related to food, lifestyle, fashion, health, home, etc., platforms like Instagram and Facebook would be more effective. Twitter Ads can be used to raise awareness about your brand and drive followers to your website. You can use celebrities and influencers to promote your product on social media through a well-crafted campaign.
Email can be a powerful tool
Did you know that every dollar spent on email marketing can generate over $44 in revenue? A simple form on your landing page can help you to collect email addresses from people who visit your site. You can use email communication to share information about your offerings with them.
Create eye-catching content
Visually appealing content with great concept, design and an excellent copy can make a very good impression on the audience. Rich, original content stands out and catches the attention of the target customers. Regularly updated blogs on your website that offer engaging information about your offerings, will keep your audience engaged.
Build a robust customer service program
Word travels rapidly in the virtual universe. If you provide bad service, it will reach the world in minutes via Twitter. Consider the alternative situation when you go out of your way to delight a customer. You can be sure that the customer will share it on social media. Good publicity never does any harm, and having a good customer service program will be a great advertisement for your business.
Invest in talent – build a great team
If you want to succeed in the startup world, you will need a great team. Identify suitable methods to employ good talent and make an effort to retain them. Create the image of a good employer who cares. Having a good team is priceless when you are starting off on a new business and wading into uncharted waters.
Use the right metrics to assess your performance
Anything that can’t be measured can’t be improved. As you embark on your startup journey, it is important to experiment and measure the results at every step. Careful tracking using the correct key performance indicators, will give you a fair idea of how you are tracking and whether you need a midway course change.
Mastering digital marketing can’t happen overnight. However, with time and some help from experts, you can derive the benefits of digital marketing that will help you find your feet and cement your presence as a brand with a purpose. All it takes is the right attitude, an experimental mindset and the firm belief that a good digital marketing strategy is bound to yield excellent results.
The author is chief business officer of Team Pumpkin, a Mumbai-based digital marketing agency.
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