Digital Marketing for New Businesses
Yay! You’ve started a new business! Now that you’ve filed your LLC, the hard part is over, right? Of course not! Now that your business is official, it’s crucial to lay down a solid foundation for the future. The first step towards this goal is implementing a digital marketing strategy for your business right away.
If you’re a young, hungry entrepreneur or just want to know where to go next in your business journey, follow these digital marketing tips to set your startup up for success!
Let’s Talk About Your Startup’s Website
Think of your company’s website as the great digital front door of your business. Your website is the place where you build credibility, trust, and authority. Essentially, it’s how you give off a positive first impression of your company.
Everything that you do online – ads, social media, blogs, etc – all leads back to your website, so making your website stand out with relevant information and incredible accessibility makes all the difference.
When developing the structure and content of your website, focus on three things: creating user-friendly navigation that is easy to use, having compelling written content that incorporates keywords, and using visuals that will help users understand what you have to offer.
Now, these are all things that you might have the time and talent to do on your own, but hiring a web design firm is another option. Let’s explore these two options.
DIY Website Design
If you have a background in design or coding, going the DIY route can save you a lot of money. Most web hosting services offer a platform where you can build your own site using pre-made templates and other tools to help with the process. Depending on how deep you want to go, you can change the font, colors, logo, and even add interactive elements.
However, while it is possible to make a functional website on your own, optimizing and maintaining it can be a challenge. One reason for this is the SEO factor. Search engines like Google rate your site based on how well it is optimized to help people find you or your products/services, and not all DIY platforms offer helpful SEO plug-ins that allow for easy optimization of content.
Additionally, building your own website is time-consuming. It’s easy to waste time fiddling with the layout or changing small aspects of the site. If you don’t have a dedicated internet marketing person in your company, building your own website can be a tedious process.
The thing that most people won’t tell you is that many of the DIY websites look, well, exactly like you did it yourself. There are times when the color schemes don’t really fit, the images aren’t sized correctly, the call to action is nonexistent, and the site violates all design laws. (yes, that is a thing!). There are a lot of bad sites out there and they serve only one function- to drive customers to your competition. No company can afford that, particularly when just starting.
Hiring a Web Design Firm
In order to make your website the best it can be, consider hiring a web design firm. The company will work with you to develop a beautiful, customized site that is optimized for SEO and user-friendliness.
They’ll also provide guidance as you create content to help users navigate the site and understand what your business has to offer. Hiring a web design firm will ensure you have a seamless, effective website with little to no time wasted on your end.
The team may also be able to manage your site for you, so the content stays fresh and search engines continue to rank your site highly. That means you can dedicate less time messing with your website and more time growing your business.
Let’s Talk About Your Digital Marketing Plan
You’ve probably spent countless hours, days, and months developing your business. Now is not the time to be shy about what you have to offer! Promoting it in the digital space is essential, but where do you begin? There are countless elements that you should be aware of. Let’s discuss the basics of how to bring more people to your business.
This stands for Search Engine Optimization and is essentially optimizing your site so that search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing can easily understand what the page’s content is about.
In the old days, many people thought that SEO was all about “gaming” or tricking Google. As Google became more sophisticated, the algorithm would not only catch those tricks but punish them with lower rankings or de-indexing those sites completely.
These days, good SEO is about giving the search engines exactly what they want- great sites with fantastic content that is valuable to the readers.
This is Google’s advertising platform. Here you can create ads for your business that are tied to certain keywords and target people who are actively looking for businesses like yours.
Google Ads are essentially an auction where you bid on certain keywords that you’d like your site to show up for whenever searched. The highest bidder gets displayed. Whenever someone clicks on that ad, the price of that keyword comes out of your monthly budget. When you reach the limit of your budget, your ads are no longer displayed.
The issue with Google Ads is how often are those links clicked? It depends upon a lot of variables such as what industry you’re in, what device is being used to search, etc. The thing to consider is what is your average client worth? Once you answer that question, it can help you begin to determine if the ROI will be effective for Google Ads.
For instance, if your average client is worth $1,000 and you have an average monthly budget of $1,000/month, you only need one client from Google Ads to break even and two to make money. If your average client is worth $100 and you have a budget of $1,000 a month, you need ten clients to break even. Clearly, this is a marketing element where you want to monitor the money.
Social Media Marketing
A social media marketing plan involves setting up profiles for your business on sites like Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn, and others. It also involves creating content that is valuable to your target audience or leads. You then need to share, boost or spend ad dollars on that content, so it spreads throughout the web, bringing traffic back to your site.
With social media marketing, it’s important to consider where your target market spends their time. If you’re a plumber, Pinterest probably isn’t going to be where you attract the majority of your customers since few people go there looking for pictures of plumbing projects.
People that own their own business often feel overwhelmed because they think they need to be active on ALL of the social media channels. We always recommend you pick the ones that make the most sense for your customers and pursue those. Claim your business name in the others and go from there.
Clearly, Facebook is the nine hundred pound gorilla when it comes to social media, but the pathway to customers is not always direct. You can post regularly and that’s fine. You can even boost a post occasionally to have it seen outside of those already connected to you or you can run Facebook Ads that are definitely aimed at people outside your circle.
This is arguably one of the most important aspects of your marketing plan. Content marketing involves creating relevant written, audio, and/or visual content that is valuable to your target audience or leads. You then share it across various platforms, such as social media and through sponsored ads on search engines.
The type of content you create will help you decide how and where to share what you create. For instance, you may decide to blog. This will not only give your site keyword-rich, relevant content for Google to help rank your site, but it will give you something to post about on social media. It’s a great idea to create content that can serve multiple purposes.
This is also quite possibly the most effective form of digital marketing. We often refer to email marketing as “building your tribe” since one of the goals is to build a brand-loyal group of customers.
Email marketing simply involves creating email lists of people who are interested in your brand or products/services, sending them relevant content and ads, offering coupons and promotions through those emails, and then following up with them to ensure they convert into leads or customers.
It’s a great idea to offer specials, discounts, etc. to people who are on your email list as a way of helping them feel rewarded and included for simply being on your list.
One of the newest forms of marketing is what’s known as influencer marketing. Influencers are individuals who have earned their following based on either social authority or industry expertise. With this form of digital marketing, you engage with them to cross-promote messages and your brand.
You clearly have to be careful about the influencers you choose since this is a direct reflection on your brand.
Where Should You Invest Your Marketing Dollars First?
Now that you know a little bit about the different forms of marketing, you may be wondering where to begin. Or perhaps you are new to the scene and don’t know if your startup’s budget will allow for investment in digital marketing. Here are some tips on how to prioritize where you spend your money.
Network With Industry Experts
Where you market first may depend on your industry and where your customers are. If you’re unsure, then networking is going to be an essential aspect of your digital marketing plan.
By networking with industry experts, you’ll gain invaluable knowledge on where your target audience is spending their time. You can then focus more of your marketing efforts there (and invest more money into digital marketing).
Guerilla Marketing Tactics
When you think of guerilla marketing tactics, think of unique and creative ways to get your brand’s message out there. This can include putting up flyers or stickers, running a contest or promotion of some kind, sponsoring a local sports team, hosting an event at your location or in partnership with another business, sending out press releases promoting the launch of a new product or service, etc.
Guerilla marketing gets your brand’s name out there fast and effectively (if successful). However, it may take a marketing expert to pull this strategy off successfully.
Choose the Right Digital Marketing Partner
Marketing your new business can be overwhelming. You’ll need to come up with a unique marketing plan, identify how to market your brand where your target audience is spending their time, and make sure you know what tactics are right for you.
A great way to accomplish all of this is by partnering with a digital marketing agency that has the knowledge and expertise to pull it off. Not only will they help you create a digital marketing plan, but they can implement it for you as well.
Your Marketing Journey Starts Here
It is important to remember that your startup’s journey to success doesn’t have to begin in complete darkness. Contact Make It Loud today to kickstart the marketing strategy for your new business.