Digital Marketing for Start-Ups: The Spark You Need to Catch Fire

August 17, 2017 Doug Milnor

As a new start-up, having a budget, any kind of budget for that matter, is a plus. Stretching that budget is second nature for you which is why you wear so many hats. However, it doesn't mean you have to skimp out on marketing. In fact, there are a number of relatively inexpensive digital marketing ideas that help to level the playing field with your larger competitors and they don't involve you investing a substantial amount of capital. So, what are these digital marketing strategies?

Your Website

It's not just a welcoming mat. It's the ultimate sales and marketing pipeline and the surest way for you to reach your target audience and generate sales. However, driving customers to your website isn't enough. It needs to be optimized so that you're converting as many leads as possible. Otherwise, spending what little money you do have won't be worthwhile.  

What are the characteristics of a good website?

  1. Needs to be responsive -- meaning it looks good on desktop, tablet and mobile.  Mobile is such as large percentage of online traffic today that not having a mobile-centric site will impact your results.
  2. Your website needs to be fast -- the search engines are putting a premium on faster loading website and penalizing those that have a slow load time. 
  3. It should be dynamic -- websites should no longer be just a brochure promoting "feeds and speeds", but be informative, consistently updated much like publications.
  4. Properly optimized -- there are several factors that go into being optimized online and much of this depends upon research to find out what key phrases you need to be optimized for.
  5. Access to metrics -- installing key online metrics such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console can provide valuable insight into what is working and what is not.


Social Media

No, social media isn't just Facebook and it's not just for consumers. Social media has a place in business markets as well. It's a universal platform and it can produce fantastic results for your startup, regardless of the industry, market or customers you sell to.

Digital marketing

Your global customers are closer than you think.

It costs next to nothing to get started and very little to build an expansive network of contacts, including high-level decision makers and market influencers. You can generate leads from social media and rely upon it to increase your brand and reputation through social media sharing.

Email Marketing

Don't confuse email marketing with spam. Yes, there's a fine line between the two but only when email marketing is in the wrong hands. When it's used properly, it can be an invaluable lead generation tool, a key part of your customer retention strategy and an excellent way to keep your customers informed and engaged. So, what does it take to make this relatively inexpensive marketing platform work?

  • First, make sure you have customer buy-in. Your customers have to want to receive your email campaigns. If you have too many customers who haven't opted-in, then you'll get frustrated by low click-through rates(CTR).
  • Second, don't make the all-too-common mistake of buying huge email lists or amalgamating lists from tradeshows, exhibits, and conferences. This is that aforementioned fine line between email marketing becoming spam. Customers that don't want the email will jettison your email address to their spam folder. It's that simple.
  • Third, make sure you use the email campaign as more than just a newsletter. For instance, you can use it for your reward and loyalty programs. Customers will want to know what they've built up within their program and it will give them a reason to click on your links.

Webcasts and Podcasts

These three are excellent market outreach platforms that put you front and center with your customers. Webcasts and podcasts allow you to provide your customers with insightful commentary while giving you a chance to showcase your competencies and skill-set. They're excellent platforms for customer engagement as they give customers a chance to ask questions and you a chance to wow them with your answers.


Don't underestimate the power of content and don't assume that content is nothing more than the written word. Content includes colorful infographics, business whitepapers, customer case studies, online calculators, videos and eye-popping imagery. When all of these things are combined in the correct manner it makes your content pop. However, it's not just about how you write but ultimately about what you decide to write about. Here are some rules to live by with respect to content marketing.

Digital marketing

Content is an affordable lead generation platform that's all your own.

  • First, focus on problem resolution. Ignore the age-old and outdated approach of overselling your product by talking about its features and benefits. Instead, identify a common customer concern and demonstrate your ability to remove it as a going concern.
  • Second, make sure you incorporate high-value keywords and strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategies within your content. Yes, it's meant to educate, but it's also meant for you to be found and a solid SEO strategy helps do exactly that.
  • Third, be consistent with your content. Use a content calendar if needed, one that allows you to plan your content weeks and months ahead of time. It will help you plan and allocate internal resources for content creation.

Your customers are nothing more than a few online searches away. You can reach them just the same as your larger competitors. You just need an all-encompassing and inexpensive digital marketing strategy.

If you're looking for help as a startup and need some guidance on getting your digital marketing plan off the ground, then contact us.  We have solutions available that are inexpensive that will help you grow your business and gain traction in the marketplace.  Plus you will have access to experienced marketers to help guide you so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.

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