When you’re setting up your own small business, a lot is riding on your success. Maybe you invested your own money, or perhaps you’ve got a group of investors waiting for a return. Whatever your funding formula, the pressure will be on to deliver results. Results obviously mean revenue, coming from a market that you connect with and deliver products and services to, and which brings you repeat custom. How well you do with all this comes down to many different factors, but at the heart of it all, you should have a strong digital marketing strategy. Here are some of the things you should be doing, even if money is tight.
Digital – what’s the point?
Digital is not a new phenomenon; it’s well developed, and every industry is exploiting it to its full potential. As a start-up business, you need to get a slice of the action. Going digital is simply about getting your brand in front of the biggest audience possible, reaching out to the converted and unconverted. You need to get your products and services in front of as many people as possible, and a digital strategy can help you achieve this on a local, national and international scale. Remember, you’re not alone in the market, so you’ll need to come up with innovative and creative ways to stand out from the crowd.
If this all sounds a bit beyond your skillset, and you would like to develop some business skills around your existing commitments, you could consider studying an online course to boost your management knowledge. You could try out an online MBA, for instance, to expand your understanding of marketing, finance, accounting, and management.
Get social to the max
Social media can be a start-up’s best friend. As it’s spread across different platforms, your company can spread the word, raise its profile, grow the brand and promote products and services directly to your market.
Once you have your profiles up and running on all the main platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, you need to get posting. You shouldn’t just do this on a whim. You should have a strategy and clear branding message for all your posts. You should be posting on a regular basis, to build interest – but don’t overdo it. There are a vast number of in-depth articles online about numbers of posts you should aim for, have a look out for them if you need some more guidance on this.
When you’re deciding on content to post, you need to think of it as far more than a promotional tool. You don’t just want to push direct adverts at people; this is not the best way to build a social following. You should be devising and sharing content that your audience wants to connect with and read. You can then, now and then, throw some promotional material into the mix.
Social media can also be a great tool to engage with your customers and potential customers, allowing you to talk to them directly. You want your followers to feel valued, to be members of your offering and to relate to it. If you get any negative comments or feedback (and it’s inevitable you will now and then), then try to see it as an opportunity to promote your start-up’s commitment to customer service – turn it in your favor.
Content marketing is key to promoting your brand’s image. When you’re looking to post material that goes beyond a few words and a photo, then have a look around for what’s available on apps and website design portals.
You can find various options for creating animated video explainers, which may save you some money in comparison with going to an agency. You may also want to consider getting some video content produced, which tell your market about who you are and what you offer.
This will all require some level of investment, but content can be King when it comes to publicising your goods and services, so it’s something you’ll want to think about commissioning for your start-up as you try to get its name out there.
Outreach – spread your wings
A key part of your digital strategy needs to be outreach, content promotion which markets your start-up to the max. Once you’ve got a great piece of branded content, you need to spread the word about it. It means seizing the powers of your social media channels. You also need to be contacting clients and professionals directly, sharing in online groups and chats and featuring in blogs. Just a little bit of your time each day (and each week!) could make a real difference to your sales, and the ultimate success of your start-up.