Why digital marketing is important for any start-up
If you are a start-up enterprise, you are probably very high on energy and enthusiasm, but low on cash. How can you build your business and brand, and start making money without having to invest substantial amounts of base capital?
A start-up and a small business differ in one main sense; attitude. While both may be small at present, a small business will stay small, whereas the goal of a start-up is to very quickly become huge. A product or service created by entrepreneurs, start-ups are new, innovative and incredibly fast growing. And the reason why there are so many start-ups now is because the speed and reach of the internet and social media have evolved as the perfect platform for them.
Through digital marketing you can connect with customers, advertisers and investors; the three groups of people who will bring in money.
Through digital marketing your advertising campaign does not need to be expensive, it is more important that it be clever.
Traditional marketing used to be about volume and bombardment. If you repeatedly gave your audience a message, it would get stuck in their heads. But you had to pay for every time the message was broadcast. Using digital marketing you can tell your message once, or a calculated minimum of times, and then let the impact of the message carry itself forward.
You no longer need to repeat and bombard, and your campaigns are far more sophisticated. You can connect with the people who most want to hear your message and who are the most likely to respond favourably towards it. Using the intelligent medium of digital marketing, you can ensure your advertising campaign is relevant, which is one of the most important things it can be.
Investment is easier to access
With the growth of start-ups come the vast numbers of start-up millionaires. Younger, more innovative and more adventurous people are able to make millions quickly now, through business systems that used to take generations to gain traction.
And because there are more emerging millionaires, new start-ups like yours have access to more investors than ever before. And more of these investors are willing to take the risks that their own businesses were built on, feeding the benefit forward to you.
Ideas are easier to steal
As a start-up, your main goal is to get word out as quickly as possible as broadly as possible, and grow your business. Doing this means sharing your idea, and while ideas spread faster than ever, they are also more easy to steal than ever before.
A key aspect of your start-up process is to protect what you are creating. Look immediately into intellectual property protection such as trademarking your product, logo, images, colour palette, even the font you use in your social media posts.
Build the story behind your brand
Use online media to build yourself a professional profile. While it makes sense to invest a little money into digital marketing, you can support this by creating a personality and story behind your business for free.
Explain where your ideas come from, what your reasons are for doing what you do, and let your customers get to you know you. Then link these personal profiles to your business pages. You can also write articles or blogs on communal pages or forums of people with mutual interests and encourage potential customers to find you this way. Although it all happens through the internet, businesses are perhaps more human than they’ve ever been before.
A few things start-ups need their online advertising to be:
- Original – be unique, create your own images and posts, build your own identity
- Goal oriented – work out what you want to achieve through your digital marketing campaign
- Well planned – think about what you are doing beforehand, and post consistent messages
- Consistent – post often, and at the same time each day; be reliable and able to be found
- Striking – learn how to write subject headings, blog titles and call to action buttons that grab people, and are generally impossible to ignore
- Human based and focused – always remember you are writing for real people, and that you are a human being behind your business as well. Be honest, genuine and treat your customers with respect
When it is used well, digital marketing is highly interactive, responsive and offers a medium for great customer service.
It gives new companies the capacity to make mistakes, and learn and grow in a much shorter time than they would have traditionally. Everything they do is public, yes, but if handled well even the positives and negatives can be turned to your advantage.
One Christmas an online store received a negative review from a customer who was unhappy that her order wouldn’t be delivered in time for the holiday. Instead of looking bad, the owner turned the poor review around to his advantage by explaining that his family-friendly workplace preferred to let their staff have time off rather than work to get late orders out. It ended up being a great PR boon for the company, you can read more about it here: www.adweek.com/creativity/fans-and-orders-pouring-bottle-maker-who-stood-angry-customer-facebook-154499/
Access talented and economical creatives online
Creative freelancers are ready and waiting on the other side of your internet connection, with original designs and very reasonable prices. You can purchase logos, characters, cartoons, videos, blog pieces and so much more, knowing that no one else will have the same material. It has never been easier to find well priced contractors to work for you.
Give your customers benefit
Being confident and proactive in digital media will single your business out as an innovator, a leader and influencer. If you delay and dawdle with digital marketing, or shape your campaigns with a gentle touch, you run the risk of being the follower rather than the ringmaster.
Focus on giving your customers something: be interesting and engaging, help them solve problems, entertain them, show them the benefits of using your product or services. Make their lives easier, better or more fun.