Digital marketing covers all the marketing activities you can do online to promote your brand and its products or services. Digital marketing for startups is essential to get your new business out there so that your potential customers can find you. However, there are many more benefits that digital marketing can offer.

Why Is Digital Marketing Important for Businesses?

More and more our lives revolve around the online world. And when we need something, we go online to find it. Digital marketing allows businesses to meet their potential customers where they are and that’s online on their mobile devices.

Not only are your customers online but your competitors are there too. It’s vitally important that you take your place online alongside your competitors.

Digital marketing is essential for building a good brand reputation. People rely heavily on word-of-mouth and place trust in the opinions of other customers. This means that loyal customers can quickly become your brand ambassadors helping to build trust in you.

How Does Digital Marketing Help Startups?

For a startup, digital marketing has some important advantages over traditional marketing.

The data held about people online, whether by Google or social media platforms like Facebook, makes it easy to find a highly targeted audience. Whereas traditional print advertising is displayed to everyone who reads a certain publication, social media or pay-per-click advertising can be set to only display to those most likely to be interested in your product. This can make it more cost-effective, an important factor when you’re just starting out.

It’s also easier to measure the results of your advertising. As a startup, it’s normal to not be 100% clear on who your market is and where to find them online. Measuring the results of your digital marketing helps here:

  • Over time you can tweak your targeting to give you a better return on investment.
  • As you improve your targeting you can learn valuable lessons about who is interested in your new services or products.

In a similar vein, you can ‘split test’ your marketing. For example, you can run two slightly different adverts for a period of time, measure which one works best, and then use that information to reduce your costs.

Level the Playing Field

Digital marketing has the effect of levelling the playing field between smaller startup businesses and their larger established competitors. In the past big companies who could afford expensive TV advertising campaigns had a massive advantage. But now smaller companies can use the lower barrier to entry of social media to compete with them.

Another big plus of digital marketing is the fact that it’s made it as easy to connect with somebody on the other side of the world as with somebody down the road. This really broadens your potential market if you’re selling something that you can deliver worldwide, whether a physical product or an online service.

Finally, a massive benefit of digital marketing for startups is how agile it is. With traditional marketing, you would typically be producing print materials for distribution or planning ahead for paid advertising. Evolution can be fast during the first few months of business, as you test out your planned products or services and test the market. It’s so much easier to change the tone of your social media posts or try a different social media channel than to make changes to a brochure when you’ve just printed 10,000!

What Are the Types of Online Marketing Should Businesses Engage In?

When you’re putting together your digital marketing strategy consider the following:

  • Social media – the quickest and easiest way to get your name out there. Experiment with different channels and start talking to potential customers.
  • Content marketingproviding useful content, whether via articles, videos or a podcast, is a great way to start attracting people to your business and building trust.
  • Start building a listemail marketing is great, but first you need to build a list. It’s never too early to start!
  • SEOsearch engine optimisation is a collection of techniques that will help your website to appear high up in search results. It can be a long game so get started now.

Once you’re clear on who you want to target and you’ve got some money to invest, you can consider using Google’s pay-per-click advertising or using paid advertising to promote your content on one of the social media channels, e.g. Facebook advertising.

How Much Should I Spend on Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is an investment in growth, not an expense. So, if you can afford to invest you will accelerate your growth. But there are a number of options depending on your budget. Whichever route you choose, there’s no avoiding it, you will need to invest money. However, if at this early stage a full agency solution is beyond the reach of your budget, you can invest your time instead and save money.

There are free digital marketing webinars you can explore to help you learn the basics. Alternatively, you can sign up for a digital marketing course or find a mentor to offer you digital marketing coaching, at a fraction of the price of a monthly agency retainer.

Whatever you choose to do, remember, digital marketing for startups should never be an afterthought. Your business deserves a good start. More importantly, it deserves the chance to grow and succeed. Digital marketing should be part of your business strategy from the start.

At Social INK, we’ve worked with hundreds of startups and early-stage businesses, helping to accelerate their growth through digital marketing. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Find out exactly what digital marketing can do for your startup.

Gareth Alvarez
Gareth Alvarez

Gareth, Social INK’s Head of Content (sometimes playfully referred to as ‘spellcheck’), just adores words. He’s written copy for ads, websites, and blogged extensively. Content marketing is his bag. He loves getting creative with his writing.