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Digital Marketing for Startups: A Step-by-Step Guide

Written by Rosie Wait on .
Group of three young multi-ethnic successful business people writing in a notepad

If you're at the outset of your startup venture, you might be eager to delve into the realm of digital marketing, where startups can carve a niche and establish themselves in a competitive environment.

In this step-by-step guide, we will equip you with all the stages you will arrive at to propel your business to success, provide clear and actionable insights and help you harness the power of digital marketing for your online growth and visibility without spending a fortune.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing, often referred to as online marketing, comprises digital platforms to establish connections with potential customers and promote products through the Internet. It applies the fundamental principles of traditional offline marketing but operates within the digital world. Digital marketing uses consumer data to identify a company’s target audience and engage with them in a way that makes them stand out from the crowd. Platforms that are used in digital marketing include:

  • Websites
  • Search engines
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Mobile apps
  • Web-based advertising
  • Text messaging

1. Determine your company name and claim it

Choosing your company name should be a careful consideration. You want a name that is easy to remember and spell to ensure that customers can remember you and are able to recommend you to other people. If you are expecting to have a market overseas, you may want to check that the name you select doesn’t have an inappropriate meaning in another language. It might also be a good idea to share your name idea with friends and family to get a general feeling of what people think of it.

Once you are happy with your business name, you need to check that it is not in use by any other company. You can use the company name checker for this. Once you have established that your name is not in use you can register your business You will also need to register your company at an address of your choice. Bear in mind that this address will be publicly available so if you don’t have an office address and want to use something other than your personal address, consider using the address of your accountant or anyone else who will be managing the running of your business.

2. Establish your budget

Establishing your budget when starting your business will inform many of your future company decisions and allow you to determine how much of that budget you have to spend on digital marketing. Before you reach your figure, it is important to calculate the following expenses:

  • What will your fixed costs be? Think about the monthly costs of running your business.
  • What might your variable expenses be? These are the expenses that vary month by month
  • Consider one-off expenses. Think about furnishing your office or buying computers. These are one-off payments but are likely to be large ones as you will be purchasing everything you need for your business.
  • Estimate your income. This can be tricky before you have established yourself as a business but you can make a prediction. Try not to overestimate as this may affect your budget if it is incorrect.

3. Create your brand image

Before you start creating your brand image, think about how you want to be perceived by your target audience. A powerful brand image will set you apart from the competition, help you attract your customer base and engage them. Think about the purpose of your business. What do you stand for and what do you have to offer? You want to be able to give yourself a voice that shouts louder and clearer than all the companies offering a similar service as you.

4. Build your website

Take careful consideration when building your website. Everything matters, from the style of font to the colours of your logo. Your website should create an enticing, easy journey for the user that takes them from a place of interest to placing an order or booking your services.

If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider a free platform such as WordPress or Wix to build your website. Whilst using a free platform is appealing, it is not entirely free. Using the software itself will cost nothing to use if you select the free option. However, you will still need to pay for a domain and hosting. It is also worth bearing in mind that you will have to do everything yourself and if you don’t have any experience or knowledge in this area, your website will lack fundamental opportunities that more experienced developers would include as a matter of course. There are affordable website design services that can build you a bespoke, fully optimised website. This allows you to leave the design and build to the experts while you wait for the customers to come flooding in!

5. Use social media marketing

An estimated 4.9 billion people use social media across the world. It is an interactive way to engage with your customers and keep them updated on relevant services and products. It is also another way to get more eyes on your brand and grow your customer base on a platform that so many people are familiar with and use daily.

Customer service and engagement are hugely important to customers and being present on social media is one way of proving that you are responsive and available to users. It gives you the opportunity to share content, promote products and respond publicly to comments.

6. Start with email marketing

Over 333 billion emails are sent every day which is a figure that proves the ease and effectiveness of using them. Email marketing is an instant and cost-effective way to send information to your customers and communicate with them. You can also use this marketing method to collect feedback and surveys and send timely campaigns that reach people at the right time.

7. Consider enlisting the help of a digital marketing agency

Engaging a digital marketing agency is a strategic decision for startups. They hold a wealth of expertise and knowledge in the ever-evolving digital world which is particularly valuable to startups to accelerate their growth and success.

A digital marketing agency will bring with them a specialised set of skills that encompasses various channels from SEO to social media and everything in between. This ensures a well-rounded approach giving you a competitive edge to help you reach your target audience, engage with them effectively and establish an online presence. Other digital marketing methods such as paid advertising can be used as another way of increasing visibility but it is worth bearing in mind that these are generally more costly than the other steps we have covered.

When you consider how important the growth of your business is and the knowledge and expertise that will be offered to you by a digital marketing Agency, you will find that enlisting their help is a strategic decision that will see your company’s website optimised and give you valuable insights and data-driven strategies.

Would you like some help with digital marketing?

At Beyond Your Brand we go beyond the traditional marketing model. The true essence of a digital marketing agency lies in its ability to draw in new clients and enhance your business’s profitability and we will look after your business as if it were our own to give you the results you need.

If you would like to discuss digital marketing for your startup business, contact us today.

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