For many fledgling start-ups, marketing budgets are miniscule, if they exist at all! Given that marketing is so crucial for new businesses, what can start-ups do to market their burgeoning business online with minimal or no funds?
Get A GREAT Website. Your website is your shopfront. First impressions do count. A strong web presence is the core of all digital marketing:
• Ensure the message is primary – it should be benefit-led, concise and easily understood.
• Ensure the navigation is consistent and user-friendly.
• Ensure the call-to-action is succinct and crystal clear.
• Ensure the website is responsive and works well on all devices.
Get Google Analytics on your Website. • Monitor your website traffic sources to see where the most immediate opportunities are.
• You have limited time and money so tag and track every campaign keyword, post and tweet so you know what is working and what is isn't.
• Read more website analytics tips for start-ups.
Get your Targeting Right. Do not think that everyone is your potential customer. Segment your market and focus on small niche audiences, i.e. those most likely to buy your product or service, and target this niche immediately.
Get your GREAT Website Found. • Get up to speed on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and ensure all best practice SEO principles have been implemented onsite and offsite so you can be found on Google search engine results pages.
• Add your website to all location-based services, i.e. Yelp, Google My Business, Bing Local, Foursquare, Zomato, etc.
• Get listed in all relevant online, local and trade directories.
• Get in touch if you’ve any questions about SEO.
Get Writing - Publish Unique & Relevant Industry Content. • Start a blog.
• Create a content calendar and commit to producing unique content consistently, ideally weekly.
• Your blog content should be original, engaging, personal, yet provide answers and be thought-provoking.
• Share your custom content across social media (see below).
• Create engaging business profile page:
The look and feel of your profile page should emulate your website branding
• Build up a network of online influencers:
i) Identify and follow industry leaders, repost their content, participate in their conversations and make yourself known in an understated (read: not annoying) way.
ii) Become a guest author and leverage other audiences with guest blog posts.
• Utilise social media to amplify your unique, relevant (& hopefully brilliant!) content: i) Distribute your unique content across all your profiles, share content with relevant LinkedIn Groups, pitch to industry influencers (WARNING: your content better be good!), include in your email newsletter.
ii) Use Paid Social to expand reach: Boost your posts on Facebook, Promoted tweets on Twitter and LinkedIn Sponsored Updates.
Get Visual. Leverage visual media (video, images, infographics) over text to improve engagement rates and get cut-through:
• Visuals are processed 60kx faster than text (Source: 3M)
• 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. (Source: Zabisco)
• Visual content is more memorable. A study by Wyzowl found that 80% respondents remembered what they saw but only 20% of what they read.
• Viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos on them. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
• Visual content gets more social shares:
- 65% Facebook share at least one image, versus 28% no image
- 20% Twitter share an image, versus 10% no image
• Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video (Source: Internet Retailer)
Get Search Engine Marketing. Search Engine Marketing is the quickest way to drive qualified traffic to your website. It's instantaneous, flexible and can work with any budget no matter how small, so you remain in control so it's worth testing for all new start-ups:
i) There are no minimum spends, so advertisers control the daily budget, whether that's €5/day or €500/day.
ii) Advertisers control the amount they’re willing to pay for each keyword.
Note: It can take time to get a Google Adwords campaign performing well, so if budgets are really tight, you might be better off speaking to an expert.
Most of the above tips require just time (sweat!) and minimal financial resources. So as long as you put in the effort, you should see noticeable growth in the exposure you’re receiving in no time. As always, get in touch if you’ve any questions or need help with any of the above. Best of luck with your new business!