For any startup, building an online presence is essential. When implemented strategically, digital marketing helps you get noticed by the right audiences, boost sales, and increase customer loyalty.
In this article, we cover the basics of establishing an online presence for startups.
Optimize your Website
Build a navigable and SEO-friendly website. The goal is to offer frictionless browsing experiences.
The navigation menu should be simple, while product categories need to be clearly defined. Provide search boxes and filtering options to help customers find the right products or content faster.
If you sell products online, write informative product descriptions and provide high-quality images. Remember that online customers rely on the content you provide since they cannot touch or feel your products.
Here are a few proven design tactics to implement for your new website:
- Show customer testimonials on your homepage and checkout pages to build trust with customers.
- Provide detailed contact information, including business address, phone number, email address, social handles, etc.
- Add high-quality photos to showcase your products and convince customers to convert.
- Take advantage of virtual reality technologies, such as 360-degree videos.
- Invest in chatbots and live chat to provide seamless customer support right from your website.
Build your Email List from Scratch
Email marketing increases brand recall and transforms leads into paying customers. Above all, once a customer purchases from you, quality and personalized email newsletters will nurture stronger relationships and inspire brand loyalty.
That is why you need to focus on building an email list from the very beginning.
But, how can new businesses inspire visitors to sign up?
For starters, create personalized CTAs for each page on your website. According to HubSpot, individualized calls-to-action have a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than their generic counterparts. That is not surprising, given that visitors are looking for something specific on your website.
Combine them with relevant lead magnets. They do not have to be time-consuming or expensive. For example, if your blog article on “Choosing the Right Skin Care Products” is driving a lot of traffic, why not add a “Sign up to download the ultimate guide on skincare.”
Focus your SEO Efforts on Local Presence
SEO is an essential aspect of your online presence. However, optimizing your website for competitive and high-volume phrases is not enough to appear on Google. Always remember that your startup is competing with thousands of established and more recognizable brands.
Recent statistics back me up on that. According to a Sydney SEO agency, 26.4% of small businesses cannot be found in Google search.
That is where local SEO helps. It allows your small business to appear in front of relevant local audiences.
For starters, claim and optimize your Google My Business listing.
Google My Business is a vital marketing channel for any local business. Add as much information as possible, including your business name, address, phone number, photos, business category, etc. Apart from benefiting your local SEO, GMB also makes your business appear legitimate in front of your target customers.
Get Inbound Links with Relevance
Inbound links are the backbone of your startup’s SEO strategy. They tell search engines that you are a legitimate company and, therefore, boost your domain authority. As such, they are an investment in the long run.
You can build links in multiple ways.
For starters, drive inbound links from high-authority business improvement districts, local business directories, licensing bureaus, trade associations, manufacturers, the Chamber of Commerce, and so forth. That way, you will strengthen your local SEO strategy and put your startup in front of local audiences.
However, the most effective way to build high-quality links is through guest blogging. The goal is to identify authoritative blogs in the same or related industries. Inspect website domain authority, backlink quality, content relevance, user engagement, website design, etc. Next, analyze their audiences and the types of content they share.
Focus on publishing content on highly credible and SEO-friendly websites. The quality of your link-building articles should also be high. Insert keywords and links organically and keep content fresh, authentic, and data-backed. The quality of inbound links is far more important than their quantity.
If you are not sure where to start with your link-building strategy, hiring an SEO agency or a freelance off-site SEO professional may be a wise investment.
Build a Solid Presence on Social Networks
Social media marketing benefits your startup in multiple ways, including increasing brand reach, boosting brand memorability, and delivering direct customer service.
To ensure consistency on social media, create a solid brand style guide. Whether you are hiring an in-house team or a digital agency, make sure they are familiar with your brand values, tone of voice, design goals, etc.
Start by creating engaging social media content. Apart from sharing content from your blog, you should also create authentic social media content and repost posts from authoritative resources in the industry. You can use social media management tools that allow you to automate content curation and publishing.
Social networks let you communicate with your audiences directly. For example, you can use social listening tools to track brand mentions and hashtags. That way, you can respond to customer questions faster and analyze their sentiment.
Over time, as you establish a solid social media presence, you should invest in influencer marketing to expand your reach and attract new customers.
Over to You
Sure, this is not the ultimate digital marketing guide for startups, but it may serve as your starting point. As a new business, you should focus on those marketing tactics that grab audiences’ attention, increase user engagement, and earn trust.
Once you start growing your customer base, you should focus more on social proof marketing. It includes customer reviews, testimonials, referrals, and user-generated content.