In the arena of where young crowd are choosing to be self-employed over high paying corporate jobs and where innovative startups are coming from every corner of the country, there is another side to this where a lot of innovations doesn’t get market place, recognition and engagement. Reasons could be many such as lack of funds, lack of skills, manpower etc. Again, a lot of these innovations disappear owing to lack of proper market research.
Leveraging on digital marketing can surely give a better glimpse while researching idea without committing completely to business. A properly designed digital marketing campaign targeting the prospective customer can help you get useful feedback; thereby one can surely make necessary changes to your product and services in initial stage of startup journey. Easy said than done, leveraging on digital marketing gets tough for startups (or anyone in general) owing to many reasons such as:
• Lack of knowledge of digital platform
• Quality of data used to for idea validation or gaining market traction
• Lack of effective strategies
• Lack of skills to leverage on knowledge of digital marketing
• Lack of budget
Even if these services are out-sourced, there are particularly 2 issues that crops up:
• Professional agencies are too costly for startups to afford. And hiring someone simply to spend less might not give your optimum results
• Freelancers are options and are available at throw-away prices. However, working with multiple freelancers and tracking their work is cumbersome
So the bigger question is: How can Startups leverage on Digital Marketing platform? Here are few tips:
1. Start with social media: Offer content that customer wishes to see and mix it with your product offering. Gather followers and engage with them on regular basis. Make your followers feel valuable. Try investment in tools like PPC (Pay Per Click), Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads etc. as per your prospective customers. Since startups are innovative and come up with unique solutions to various issues (or products that make life simple) Social media is a great platform for educate your customers about USP’s.
2. Content is King: Investment in content marketing is the best way to get engagement with your prospective clients. Original (or even curated) content that excites clients will not only give your followers but also engagement. Content gives you opportunity to convey your brand message without making customer feel like they are bombarded unnecessarily.
3. Search Engine Optimization: A lot says that SEO is dead but trust me, it is still the game of keywords that help you rank high on search engines. SEO helps you to come-up in search ranking whenever the prospective customer searches for product or service category you offer. Google has amazing products like keyword planner, analytics, adwords, etc to reach out to customer and monitor their behavior which gives valuable insight for improvement. Google Local Business is another tool when you cater to a geographic region.
Few Quick Tips:
• Define your objective and goals clearly while juggling with digital marketing tools
• Don’t bother doing everything yourself. Outsource as required – this will not only improve quality of work but also gives you time to focus on more important tasks
• Focus on analysis you receive. Try making necessary changes and test your hypothesis again till you have substantial results. Different channels may give contrasting results at times. Follow this principle: TRY-MEASURE-ANALYZE-REPEAT
• Focus on quality (and not quantity) of data generated over this exercise. Having website (during idea validation process) may not be necessary but having a great landing page is vital.
• Do not over-complicate. Keep things simple. Focus on USP and not selling.
• There are various tools (either 100% free or offers free trial) that a startup can look for and test and see what works for them.
Digital Marketing as an extension of traditional marketing does have enormous benefits if used optimally. Practicing will help you get hands-on experience on this platform. Hopefully these basic tips can help you to understand basics of digital marketing that you can use for your startup.