It was just today that I attended a YourStory meet up in Ahmedabad where boys and girls in their 20’s discussed about their startup ideas. At some point, I started to feel that I was growing old, though I am just 31. Anyways, getting back to the topic, few of the startups were in ideation stage while others had started before a month or so.
It was then when I realized that what actually these guys were missing. They were known to no one. The basic reason to that what I assumed was the lack of funds and so they didn’t have any marketing budget. Now we all know that when we talk about startup, they are either running tight on funds or they are funded by some heavy pocketed VC and so they have to spend money very carefully.
There’s no rocket science required to understand that without marketing no business can survive; whether you are running an MNC or a small store in your colony. If you are running a small store, you get noticed simply by distributing templates with newspaper and get your job done. But if you have a revolutionary idea and you are working on it, it has to be made public to get noticed.
As soon as we talk about going big, the first thing that strikes our minds is the funding part. This is what made me write this post and there’s no better place than to write it on YourStory in order to reach the right audience. Being a digital marketing expert myself, I thought to share my experience on Digital Advertising with budding entrepreneurs to learn from the mistakes that I made.
First of all, I’ll tell you all that I am a blogger and so I have used Adwords, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and many other platform’s paid advertisement campaigns to reach potential people. If you have just started up your journey of entrepreneurship below are some of the things you should consider to get yourself brand recognition without spending loads of money.
Google’s Adwords program is considered as the best platform for paid advertisement, but for me, it was a nightmare. The reason was that I was directly competing with E-commerce Giants and so their bid and Ad quality always beaten me to the dust.
Another thing I noticed about Adwords is that the competition to get your Ad noticed in B2C (Business to Consumer) segment is always costly. With $100 budget you hardly get any potential reach or conversion. But the ratio changes when your product or service is B2B (Business to Business) oriented.
Again, even though your prime focus is to target enterprise customers but your products are also used by consumers then Google won’t differentiate it (depends on your keywords). That will again place you in B2C competition, ultimately ending up burning your money with bad ROI.
For example, if you are dealing in Ceramic tiles, your Ad keywords can be “Ceramic Tile manufacturers”. Now this does not fall under B2C category by any means. In the above example, your ROI with Adwords will be much better.
As a Startup, I’ll advise you to stay away from Adwords if your product or services are made for end users.
Facebook is a life savior for people like me who are running tight on marketing budgets. One of my blog posts went viral on Facebook with just $30 budget because it was consumer oriented. You can’t run a Facebook advertisement for Ceramic Tile and that’s because a person looking for Ceramic tile isn’t going to search it on Facebook.
Facebook is a consumer platform and you have to choose the right product to market at the right place. Now coming back to startups, if you have a consumer based product or service, I’ll strongly recommend going with Facebook’s Paid promotion. The reason is simple; you can add images, videos, target specific geography, age group, Gender, and interest.
The best part is that you won’t need a lot of marketing budget. As I said earlier, it took just $30 to reach 10,000+ people with 1100+ website visits. I guess you are getting the picture by now.
As everyone knows, LinkedIn is a professional platform to find human resources, CEOs, and MDs. By now, you already know what this platform can be used for. If your startup is selling your services or products to corporate, LinkedIn can be your best bet.
As far as my experience if concerned, the only different between Adwords and LinkedIn is that you can directly target the main person of the company. In Adwords, you have no idea who is looking at your ads. With LinkedIn that limitation is eliminated.
Compared to Facebook, LinkedIn advertisements are slightly costly and potential reach is also not that great. That’s simply because the number of consumers are more than the number of CEOs and MDs. Also, converting one big corporate into business will give you a lot of revenue and on top of that, brand recognition. As a startup, getting recognized should be your top priority.
In startups, higher the number of people knows you; higher are the chances of getting business.
Twitter is last on my list for paid advertisement for startups. Twitter is more content based network rather than a selling platform. It can be used when your startup is growing and making profits. It can be used to launch a new product, getting feedbacks from the public, or publishing your growth story.
The audiences on Twitter are more mature compared to Facebook and so you’ll have to be very specific with it. You just can’t go out on Twitter as a startup and promote your products. Besides, Twitter has certain advertisement conditions which need to be met before running a paid campaign.
On the costing part, it is again much costlier compared to Facebook and ROI is not too good to be considered for a startup.
For a startup that is targeting B2B customers can bet their advertisement money on Adwords and LinkedIn but for startups that are focused on consumers should not even think about any of the other three.
With Facebook, you can explain your product with images and videos, while with Adwords you just have to rely on texts. Yes, there are certain options with Adwords to get images of products displayed, but we are talking about a cost-effective way of Digital Marketing.
If you have any specific query on digital marketing of your startup get in touch with me on my Twitter ID @Kunalbarchha and I’ll try to help you at my best. And Yes, all my consulting is free, so feel free to get in touch with me.