How Startups Can Solve a Problem like Digital Marketing

Great products and services don’t sell.

Some of the questions that follow are taken from actual private messages and emails I received from personal friends and friends within the startup community. I’ve dropped any names because I figure this post can help anyone who’s looking for answers.

I’m going to try and save you a ton of stress by briefly explaining why it’s important to pay attention to what goes on behind Digital Marketing for any business. (Yes, that includes startups.)

Here’s a very good question:

” W hy do startups need marketing ? Startups solve problems. Startups sell solutions. In order to sell, startups need to be visible. Startups need to connect with their buyers.

A great product that doesn’t go to market isn’t going to be worth anything more than salt that lost its saltiness.

“Why digital marketing?” Implementing a digital marketing strategy keeps your website dynamic and fresh with relevant, timely and mobile-friendly content.

This allows you to engage customers and potential customers alike, gives you insights on what your customers need, how they consume information and how you can position yourself more effectively.

“How can Digital Marketing solve my need for new customers?” Digital helps you build awareness and generates a consistent flow of traffic. Prospecting is made more efficient by employing digital marketing tools. It helps you qualify the traffic based on behavior and response.

These insights enable your sales team to act on high-potential leads and considerably cuts your sales-to-close time.

“Can Digital Marketing work on a shoestring budget?” In a word, yes.

  • SEO – “I don’t have expertise in-house for this.” Get found when people search online for services like yours. A sound SEO strategy and tactical optimization steps improve your online search visibility and drives organic traffic to the website. You can get a free SEO audit here.
  • Content – ” I already have a website from when we started and we update it whenever we’ve reached a milestone in the company.” Interactive, social video/visual content is the next big thing in content marketing. The digital divide between mobile-only, mobile-first and hybrid content consumers is closing in.

More and more people prefer content that is hyper-personalized, device-friendly and yes, you guessed it… short and sweet.

Although long-form pieces of content are still critical to a balanced and successful strategy, startups can compete by    adopting the ‘marketing for mobile’ mindset. In order to carry conversations with your audience startups should share and tell stories.

  • Social media – “Do I have to be in all these channels? What’s effective for startups?”

Two things:

  1. Selecting a social channel is not about you. It’s about where your target customers are. Social is like your office, storefront and pantry watercooler online. You interact, listen and meet people. It’s where people can reach you and get help.
  2. It’s always better to be present in fewer channels and be fully engaged there than being a mile wide and an inch deep.
  • Email – ” Do people still read emails?” Yes. Email is a powerful touchpoint. You can use email automation to share content and initiate follow-up with people who engaged with your content. Email unlocks data that allows you to see which emails generated the most response so you can do what works and improve what doesn’t.
  • Online Reputation Management – Customers aren’t automatic advocates. But yes, over time, a happy customer can refer new business. But let’s shift our paradigm here. By working to ensure your product or service receives good reviews and positive feedback, your startup business becomes a customer advocate itself. The core focus shifts from receiving good reviews to giving excellent service and delivering great products.

Early stage startups should keep in mind that everything a customer experiences is the product, including your content. Your website isn’t a customer’s secondary experience. In fact, oftentimes, it it the first encounter they ever have with your brand that makes them want to learn more.

Great products and services don’t sell. Of course not. They go to market effectively and efficiently. They create delightful and meaningful experiences for customers. And then they sell. These are a few of the many digital strategies you can implement today. Consider time spent on these tactics as investment that will eventually reap rewards for your business.

If you are considering implementing digital marketing strategies for your startup and need some help, drop me a line and I’ll be happy to give you a complimentary review and consultation, where I will help you draft your first content strategy!