How to build a digital presence for your startup
Congratulations, you’ve found your dream job. Literally. You founded it – your own startup. You’ve joined thousand others in making your entrepreneurial dream a reality. But you did read it right- there are a thousand others. And even if your product is exceptional, unlike any other, there’s still one ingredient necessary to move it towards the path of success – Marketing.
Now let’s get real. You’re a startup, whatever funding you raised was spent in making a kick-ass offering. So how are you going to make sure that you stand out with marginal budget? Your answer is obvious – digital marketing. We won’t get into why digital marketing is integral for your business; you already know it (& if you don’t, read this article by James Lewis).
Instead, let us help you with a step by step guide to get started!
Step 1 – UNDERSTAND TARGET AUDIENCE
Well, this one seems obvious. No business can function without first and foremost defining their market and audience. However, it’s even more important to understand your target audience. Gauge their behavior online, know what they like and what they don’t, what activities they follow and how to best reach them. One of the best ways to find out about this is through online surveys – sites like SurveyMonkey offer various pricing plans, some of them even free.
Step 2 – LEVERAGE SOCIAL MEDIA
Now that you have some idea about your customer behavior, next step is to reach them. Social media is easy, simple and powerful. Create a presence on platforms that are used by your audience to reach out to them easily. If you want to explore this step more, check out the guide to leveraging social media.
Step 3 – BUILD A WEBSITE
Build a website, no really. Build it. Most entrepreneurs use already available themes and website layouts to start their website. That’s great for a start- only it isn’t specific to your brand or catered to your audience. Your website is the front-face of your brand, always remember that. Keeping it more personal and making the UX more enriching is what you must aim at.
Also, ensure your site is mobile optimized, secure against threats and SEO friendly.
Step 4 – CONTENT IS KING
It’s not how many times you post content on your social media or your website, it’s what kind of content you post. Your content needs to be valuable enough for your audience to want it. They need to keep coming back for more. And if your audience finds your content worthy, so will search engines – in return, driving more traffic. So, write as much as you can. Mix it up with blogs, emailers, images, infographics, videos and whitepapers. The more the merrier.
Step 5 – TRY PAID PROMOTIONS
When starting out you will, without a doubt, have a smaller audience. You will need to promote your service or product to build that audience. Figure out what your end goal is – whether it’s just awareness, an app install or lead generation. Once that is confirmed, start experimenting bit by bit on various platforms. Though you need to keep in mind where your ideal audience is present, don’t completely rule out other platforms. Try A/B testing to better improve your ad/content quality. Don’t just create ads for lead generation or website traffic, promote your content and create ads with irresistible offers. Understand which platforms works best towards your end goal and expand on that.
Step 6 – TRACK, TRACK, ANALYSE
If done correctly, your online presence will lift off well. Sooner than later, you will find more interactions on your website, more engagement on your social media profiles and consequently, higher sales. What you need to keep in mind amidst this is analytics. Keep a track of your digital touchpoints, your sales funnel and your customer journey. How do they travel through your website? Which page has the highest bounce rate? Where, on your website, do your customers spend most of their time? Answering questions like these might not only help you understand your customers better, it will also help you market to them better.
Consider your digital presence as your brand endorser. For most customers, their journey with any brand starts online. Hence, first impressions are everything! Your digital presence should be nothing but a reflection for the value and the principle your brand stands for. But always remember, it’s a scary web out there, don’t be stuck doing the wrong thing. Your online activity can make or break your brand.