In the last couple of years, startup ecosystem in India and the world over has seen a surge in online ventures. With the growth of internet startups, online marketing has become an integral part of an overall marketing strategy. According to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), digital advertising spend in India grew at 30 percent in 2013 as compared to 2012. Whereas TV and print advertising grew by 13.8% and 4.6% respectively compared to the year 2012.
Unlike traditional marketing the roadmap for online marketing is not static.The biggest advantage of online marketing over offline marketing is that it gives an opportunity for a marketer to measure and take decisions effectively based on the data. Following is the list of 4 such cost effective online marketing strategies which every online startup can use to promote itself.
Online PR: It is imperative that marketers include online PR in their online marketing strategy. PR helps in not only building credibility but it is also one of the cost effective marketing tools
Basic PR can be completely done in-house by a startup. Learn how startups can do PR in-house by referring to this article (How to do PR in-house for startups)
For an online startup, offline PR should only be employed if the brand objective is to create awareness about its product or services. Whereas Online PR serves the dual purpose of creating brand awareness along with getting relevant visitors to a company’s website. Couple of strategies in online PR are:
a) Getting bloggers/news portals to review the portal
b) Issuing of the press release in case of a new product launch/service.
c) Scheduling one on one interview of the brand spokesperson with journalist/bloggers to share industry trends or future plans of the company
Affiliate Marketing: It can be defined as the type of marketing in which a brand rewards a website owner/blogger for every sale which happens when a visitor directed from them makes a purchase on the brand’s website. Affiliate Marketing has also one of the lowest cost of acquisition compared to other online advertising channels.
For an e-commerce venture, affiliate marketing becomes all the more important since they can contribute to as much as 15% to the company’s revenue. Affiliate marketing has become all the more easier with the launch of firms like cuelinks.com etc which connects merchants(brands) and publishers(bloggers, website owners) on a single platform.
Amazon earns around 30% of its revenue from Affiliate Marketing of which 55%-60% comes from bloggers and the remaining from deal sites, coupon sites and price comparison sites.
Email Marketing: It has one of the highest conversions in online marketing. Email marketing helps a firm to get repeatvisitors on its website on a regular basis. An online marketer should regularly look at employing various strategies to build his/her mailing database. Offering freebies or discount coupons could be one such strategy.
Content Marketing: If planned and executed systematically, content marketing can significantly help an online portal to get backlinks from high authority websites.
-Guest blogging is one such strategy. It is important to note that according to Matt Cutts-Head of Google Webpsam team too much of guest blogging can be considered as a spammy practice by Google. See this (Article The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO)
Conclusion: It is important to note that Digital Marketing is still evolving and online marketers should constantly upgrade their skills and strategies to get the best return for their time and monetary investment.
JimishJobanputra is the CTO and Cofounder of Cuelinks.com-A content monetization platform for bloggers, website owners and anyone who sends outbound traffic.