Digital marketing is a series of tools that most modern businesses use to bring customers to their products and services. It involves using digital outlets like websites, social platforms, and software applications as marketing channels. There are a wide variety of options in digital marketing encompassing many different methods.
Some marketing techniques that fall under digital marketing include:
- Search engine marketing (search engine optimization, and pay-per-click digital advertising)
- Content marketing (everything from podcasts and video marketing to infographics)
- Social media marketing and networking on platforms like Linkedin or Facebook
- Viral marketing
Digital marketing activities have several advantages over traditional marketing techniques. For one, digital marketing strategies can reach a vast audience of potential customers. The internet is now available in nearly every part of the world, and the number of Internet users grows every year. Secondly, online marketing can be quite easy to put in place and track.
Contrary to what you might assume, digital marketing is not just for big firms and businesses. Small businesses and, indeed, startups can leverage the power of digital channels to build their brands, get leads, and reach more of their target audience. In fact, startups usually need all the help they can get to lift business off the ground. Here are some of the ways that startup businesses can best use digital marketing strategies.
Gain Insights into The Market with Digital Marketing
Digital marketing methods use trackable metrics that show marketing performance and behavior of customers. This information is useful in informing business decisions and optimizing marketing approaches. An entrepreneur just starting out in the business world may find these insights particularly helpful as they choose media channels and refine digital marketing campaigns.
Many entrepreneurs jump into businesses blindly without a clear marketing plan or course of action. Business is inherently risky, so “winging it” could be a recipe for disaster. It’s crucial to serve a market you understand and can predict, digital marketing enables you to do that.
High ROI on Marketing Efforts
The early stages of a business are critical and difficult. Many startups struggle with managing expenses and available resources. Low cash flow is a common problem with many startups, and it can lead to business failure. So, most early-stage companies are very cautious about their spending. This is where digital marketing comes in handy.
Compared to traditional marketing styles, some digital marketing methods are more cost-effective. Email marketing, SEO or PPC campaigns can cost very little to launch and run. Also, digital marketing tactics can generate impressive ROI if carried out well. This type of marketing can reduce the upfront startup marketing cost considerably.
Many entrepreneurs assume that digital marketing is highly expensive. Well, this may be the case for some techniques, such as Google adwords or Facebook ads. But for organic digital marketing – efforts like SEO, guest blogging, or social media, outreach doesn’t cost that much. So, there’s no good reason why a startup shouldn’t start using digital marketing channels. The results, in most cases, more than justify any costs incurred.
Keep Up with the Competition using Digital Marketing
The good and bad thing about the digital space is that it levels the playing field for all businesses, big and small. This is good for startups though. It means even digital marketers at new businesses can go head-to-head with established cooperate giants.
The success of digital marketing has nothing to do with the size of the businesses. It’s all about identifying and capitalizing on market opportunities. Despite dominant influence of large competitors, startups can still contend by taking advantage of digital marketing techniques.
Drive Conversions and Sales
The ultimate goal of digital marketing is to drive conversations and sales, both online and locally. Nowadays, it doesn’t matter whether your business is a brick-and-mortar shop or an online e-commerce store. Digital marketing will still prove useful. Startups can use inexpensive techniques to boost sales during the critical early stages. That generates the revenue needed to grow.
Many businesses use digital marketing to maintain online presence, increase sales, spread brand awareness, and promote new ideas. Startups can do the same, and without necessarily getting into expensive marketing campaigns.
CEO, Boitnott Consulting LLC
A journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked at TV, print, radio and Internet companies for 25 years. He's an advisor at StartupGrind and has written for BusinessInsider, Fortune, NBC, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur and Venturebeat.