With the changing market realities, globalization and mobile app revolution, entrepreneurship is the new phenomenon. There’s no age limit to starting a company and becoming a millionaire these days. Be it the 20 something or young high school kids, the new breed of entrepreneurs are defying norms and challenging limits. They’re small business owners, inventors and tech geeks building business empires and inspiring others. But the most important part is the fact that entrepreneurs are living their dreams and aspirations.
Well, but it is not always a picture perfect scenario. Entrepreneurship is a daunting experience. Limited or no budget, long working hours, inability to hire and retain skilled workers are some of the problems that add to the woes of entrepreneurs. It is also about keeping pace as technology moves at an incredible speed.
In today’s social media age, quality of service is key. If you’re like most startup owners, you focus on providing a great customer experience that sets you apart from the big sharks. Now digital world is the most effective form to reach out to your target audience at an accelerated pace.
But before you jump on the digital world bandwagon, it is important to understand what will be the driving force of your marketing efforts.
Make Google Your Best Friend
Oh come on, you would say. You know that. But still there is a difference between using a search engine and knowing how a search engine works. This difference can make or break your online business.
Search Engine Optimization has evolved a lot. Gone are those primitive days of fooling Google with black hat spamming techniques. In today’s world, only the fittest can survive the wrath of Google’s sophisticated Panda and Penguin algorithms. Don’t take Google for granted. It is about improving your chances of appearing in top results for key phrases. In order to rank high, you need to apply strategic Search Engine Optimization methods. Remember, organic search is one of the most cost-effective marketing channels for your startup.
Leverage Actionable Insights
Don’t shy away from using advance analytics tools to get a better outlook about your customers. When used properly, analytics tools can provide key insights about the performance of your marketing efforts. Ultimately, everything boils down to customer experience with your product/service.
Take Small Steps with Social Advertising Channels
Remember, marketing is not always free. You need to judiciously invest in the best paid options. There are several different opportunities that you can invest in – based on your target audience, industry and unique brand proposition. It is important to experiment, iterate, and evolve. You can finally narrow down on what provides the best ROI for your startup.
Facebook: You can improve engagement level by promoting your Facebook posts.
Sponsored Tweets: This microblogging platform has several paid solutions for businesses such as sponsored tweets. Sponsored tweet increases engagement with followers.
LinkedIn’s Premium Membership: LinkedIn offers extremely valuable paid features, including a Sales Navigator. These advance features help in identifying leads and contacts.
Curate to Perfection
If you are walking on a tight budget, you might not be able to afford content writers to write impactful articles for your blog. Instead of trying to create something new, just curate. It is not rocket science. But you need to apply strategic thought to tactfully use something that already exists on the web. Research reports, trends, case studies, interesting stats and lots of such relevant information goes unnoticed.
Find an interesting study about your niche and elevate it to next level. Highlight the interesting parts of the study, add some images, few charts, and make your own thoughts on the data.
It is not just about content curation. You can repurpose your old content into new content. How? You can consider turning a webinar into tutorial or a series of blog posts into a free ebook. Don’t shy away from repurposing your old content. It could well turn out to be a completely new content for your audience who might have missed out on your old content.
Stop Scheduling, Start Engaging
Social media is not all about creating accounts on all possible sites and trying to push annoying sales pitch to fake followers. It is not about auto scheduling your accounts. Think about user engagement.
For startups, social media is the best way to reach out to both existing and potentials customers. Ask questions, provide answers, and solicit opinions. Engage and educate, rather than just hard sell.
Most brands aggressively use social media accounts for promotional purposes. Remember, social media is to connect with people and not primarily a marketing tool. Your strategy will bite the dust, if you don’t provide value to followers.
Instead, find and share information that will help customers and occasionally post promotional content.
Be Active Member of Online Community
Never ever underestimate the importance of being a part of an online community dedicated to your niche. Online communities are a great way to establish yourself as thought leader and understand industry concerns. Again, don’t try to push through cheesy promotional content. It is important to understand the community before mentioning your service.
Give away your company’s techniques and processes. Sounds crazy? But it is the most effective method of winning your customer’s trust. When you provide valuable information for free, you demonstrate your thought leadership and expertise. Tell users how you get results, and they will come back to you to get it done.
Are there any channels you’ve found to be effective for your startup or small business? If yes, please share your experience with us about them in the comments section below.
Latest posts by Todd Riddle
- Digital Marketing Strategy for Entrepreneurs and Startups - April 5, 2015