11 August 2017

Digital Marketing for Startups: getting the basics right

A founder’s mission is to propose a solution to a problem, find ways to make money out of it, drive revenue, look for the right talent to constantly push the startup’s development and attract an interested audience. Moreover, funds are often scarce and almost always severely scrutinized by Venture Capitalists. As a consequence, most startupers prefer to use digital marketing more than the classical marketing: it’s the cost-effective solution!


If you recognize yourself in this challenging task, before you start implementing a digital marketing strategy, make sure you get the following basics right:


Your startup’s website needs to be optimized for mobile uses – mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches according to Google’s Adwords blog. After all, it does make sense: everywhere you look, you see people staring at their phone screens!  


Content is key – content is what gets the most curious visitors on your website. Focus on your target audience and producing meaningful content, this will give you credibility for your product and startup as well. Your content needs to be relevant and adapted to each channel.


You might want to look into the 80/20 rule – the rule says to use promotional material in about 20% of your content, while the rest of 80% should be things that are relevant and interesting to your target audience.


Real-time marketing – Saying the right thing at the right time is by far the hardest part but also among the most rewarding. You might recall the famous tweet from Oreo which was published during an unexpected Super Bowl blackout:  “Power out? No problem! You can still dunk in the dark!”; it was  retweeted 15.000 times!


Listen first – this is one of the reasons why successful companies engage with people online; they will provide valuable insights about what they like and do not like. Never be afraid of negative feedback even if it’s sometimes difficult to hear: as Bill Gates once said “your most unhappy customers are the greatest source of learning”.


“The Purple Cow Principle” – Every day, people are overloaded with all sorts of commercials and content. Seth Godin encourages you to add a “Purple Cow”, everywhere: something truly noticeable in everything you build and do, including in your digital marketing efforts.


Make small investments on the main social media platforms – Sponsored Twitter, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Premium or Google AdWords services provide surprisingly good ROI (assuming your product/service is interesting for your target audience and well explained). Experiment to see which platforms works best for your startup. All have analytics which will enable you to easily see where your most interested audience comes from.


Sources: Startup Grind, Forbes, Financial Times, Entrepreneur.


Author: Dan Stanciu