Just starting out? Right, so I’m guessing you have mountains of money just to throw at marketing and see what sticks? I’m kidding, obviously. You’re bootstrapping… and that means you’re in the tricky situation of needing an amazing marketing campaign that really works, without the blockbuster budget behind it.
In this article, I’ll talk you through my top three ways to approach digital marketing for startups, showing you how to get the word out and engage your ideal audience, without spending a fortune.
We’ll look at how and why you should…
- Create Content That’s Evergreen
- Carefully Target Your Social Marketing
- Focus on Building Your Email List
Ready to go? Let’s start your digital marketing journey, now!
1. Create Evergreen Content
The holy grail of any marketing strategy is inbound traffic. In other words, you want people to find you, by themselves, without having to actively go out, grab every single one of them, and direct them to your site. Not only is it an easier sell, it’s typically a lot cheaper and easier for you, too.
The best way to do this is to create top quality content on your site which isn’t only engaging, compelling and shows off your expertise, but which never gets old. People might search the terms it contains today, tomorrow, or in a year’s time, and it will still be valuable to them. That’s exactly what you need: content that will continue to attract people to your site for months or even years to come.
Of course, to do that, you can’t only think of smart topics that won’t age faster than a teen star with a partying problem. You also need to pay very close attention to your SEO.
After all, if you haven’t figured out which search terms turn up this piece of content now, you’re hardly going to have more luck with it next month. So do your keyword research and be sure to weave in the top words and phrases that your audience actually looks for.
2. Use Carefully Targeted Social Marketing
Getting noticed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or any other popular social media platform isn’t going to be easy. You need to create a coherent brand voice, build a following and conversations around your posts, take time to interact with people, post interesting stuff on a regular basis, etc. etc. This takes time, effort and momentum.
That said, you can make your task a whole lot easier if you’re smart about your targeting. I’m not just talking about age, gender and location; to stand out from the crowd, you need to be much more imaginative than that.
Facebook, for example, allows you to be incredibly granular about the demographic information you want to target, right down to the things like the kind of pages they follow, how often they travel, and many other niche factors.
If you have a clear picture of your target market, you’ve done the hard work of creating detailed buyer personas and you really understand what makes your desired audience tick, you can be super-specific about your targeting, with excellent results.
3. Build Your Email List
When you’re just getting off the ground, what you need more than anything is a loyal following. People who get you, know your story and where you’ve come from, follow your development, regularly keep an eye out for new products, offers, sales, and so on.
Social media followings are nice to have, but in the long run, the only way to safeguard your access to an audience you’ve painstakingly built up is to get people to hand over their email addresses, and keep in touch with them regularly.
Again, the emphasis here is on a loyal following. Buying an email list is always a terrible idea. Instead, focus on nurturing relationships with people who have already engaged in some way with your website, content, or offering.
Use pop-ups and calls-to-action to encourage people to share their details. Offer them useful gated content, for which they need to enter their email addresses in order to download.
Of course, the success of your email marketing campaign depends on what you do with those email addresses once you have them, and you can check out some of our more detailed advice on that here. But the fact remains, when it comes to digital marketing for startups, building up a solid email list is one of the first and most important steps. Make it your priority!