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Digital marketing: Next steps for startups


Promoting your startup effectively is a critical step towards ensuring that your business makes it from being a big idea to a well known and self-sustaining concern.

In a previous article, on Digital Marketing and what startups need to get right from the start, I mentioned that building a new business is like caring for a baby. Now it’s time to teach your baby to walk!

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Once you have completed the initial steps in marketing your business online, it is time to get serious about the next two steps and make sure that your business has legs. The initial steps are:

  • Website
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC)

This is not to say that the first steps are complete and you can forget about them and move on; but rather that you should now build on to your existing marketing arsenal.

Content and social media are incredibly intertwined and they must work together with every other aspect of your digital marketing strategy in order to be as effective as possible.

The following two important aspects of digital marketing will help to ensure the longevity of your fledgling business in the digital environment:

Content

Web content is critical to convincing your potential customers that they need to use your product to make their lives better and solve their problems. There are five key things that content must have in order to make it compelling:

  • It needs to be able to tell a story
  • Make sure that you are invested in your content
  • It must add value to the reader
  • Include a price tag or value proposition
  • Be a timeless as possible as great content does not date

Further to being compelling to human audiences, your website content must be equally compelling to search engines.

It is appropriate content, combined with the other ranking factors, that will ensure that your website ranks highly in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).

Social Media

The new buzz word of the marketing world. Social media has very quickly become the “go to” aspect of marketing and it definitely does deserve to be there. Ideally for new businesses the major platforms to explore would be : LinkedIn; Facebook and Twitter. Each of these social networks have their own idiosyncrasies and a cookie cutter, “one size fits all” approach does not work.

Facebook audiences respond incredibly well to promotions and competitions, while Twitter is ideal for quickly sharing short bursts of compelling content and having that content shared again and again.

LinkedIn on the other hand is a true business network where you can highlight and profile a specific set of skills that will ultimately allow prospective clients to trust you (especially if you are selling a service). You can also create a business profile where your specific services/products can be highlighted and promoted on LinkedIn.

How does a business properly harness content and social media?

The key take away from this is context. There needs to be context in what you are saying on your site and on your social media platforms.

This context is what makes your content relevant to your audience; and it is this relevance that is the first step to converting them into customers.

As a business you need to understand your potential customers frame of reference and then construct your content around this. This is how context is built.

The working together of your website, SEO, PPC, content and social media profiles are a recipe for digital marketing success and will ensure that you as a business owner are able to raise your baby from being a fragile new born through to a brave and exploratory toddler. There are many more aspects which are equally important in ensuring the success of your business; but these foundation steps are critical.

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