Digital Marketing For Startups: The Ultimate Guide - Kase Dean
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Marketing Strategy

Digital Marketing for Startups: The Ultimate Guide

March 4, 2021

The Uncomfortable Truth About Digital Marketing For Startups

Many business owners try and market themselves as fully-fledged, super succesful businesses.

They may have been freelancing or selling products for a few years and they are more likely to refer to themselves as small business owners rather than the owners of a startup business.

I hate to love to break this to you.

It’s my responsibility as an online business expert to tell you the truth.

Your business is still a startup.

So many of us, business owners, find some strange comfort in saying that we are not the owner of a startup.

Some of us say this because we believe that startup sells software or the latest, new and improved gadget.

Embrace The Truth – You Own a Startup

Embrace The Truth - You Own a Startup

Some of us prefer not to be called a startup because of the word “start”…because they started their business 2 years ago and they sold some stuff.

“I am not a startup, I’m a Small Business owner”

Well, I love to break this to you.

You are the owner of a startup.

But, don’t just take my word for it.

Does this in a way describe your current state?

“A startup is a young company founded by one or more entrepreneurs to develop a unique product or service and bring it to market. By its nature, the typical startup tends to be a shoestring operation, with initial funding from the founders or their friends and families.”

Startup Definition

The Perfect Working Lifestyle

The Perfect Working Lifestyle

A perfect working lifestyle depends on you becoming increasingly in charge of the 4 Ws of your career and professional satisfaction:

  1. What you do for work
  2. Where you work
  3. With whom you work
  4. When you work

Achieving the last 3 Ws:  Where, With Whom and When are been drastically changed because of the internet.

You can theoretically work anywhere, with anyone and whenever you choose.

Especially if you make use of effective and profitable digital marketing and online business strategies.

A lot of startup businesses are doing a whole bunch of marketing activities but not getting the results they want.

What is Effective Digital Marketing?

Effective Digital Marketing

Your potential customers are seeking answers and solutions to important needs and desires.

An extremely small percentage of those people – less than 3% – are going to make an impulse purchase of your services and products.

A big part of their “buyer’s journey” consists of weighing up suitable options and considering alternative solutions.

Effective digital marketing does not focus on trying to shortcut or shortening this purchasing process.

The focus of effective digital marketing is about “building bridges over the gaps” of every stage of the buyer’s journey.

Every step on this journey is one where they could lose interest if your message isn’t right at that moment.

Effective Digital Marketing is More Than Lead Generation

More Than Lead Generation

Bridging the gaps between the purchase decision-making process is at the core of effective marketing.

Mastering this is the key to generating and retaining more profitable customers.

Many business owners consider marketing to be all about generating leads that will eventually…hopefully, become sales.

This lack of understanding of how marketing works actually costs millions in wasted budgets and lost revenue.

Effective digital marketing for startups, entrepreneurs, small business and large organisations is all about taking your services and products to market.

Digital marketing strategy is made up of many different tactics which all require a specific set of skills and expertise like:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Google Ads
  • Content Marketing
  • Email marketing

You don’t need to use all of these tactics to build and grow your business.

However, you do have to select the right tactic for each stage in your potential customers’ buyer’s journey.

This is the essence of a digital marketing plan that works no matter the marketing budget.

I say no matter the budget because you could have tons of money to throw at your marketing but if you don’t keep the focus on the people you serve, you will struggle to have consistent results.

It’s important to see your business through your potential customers’ eyes.

Seeing Things Through Your Potential Customers’ Eyes

Potential Customers' Eyes

Before you launch another marketing campaign, it is important for you to understand how effective marketing works.

You need to see things through your potential customers’ eyes.

If you don’t do this then everything you do is going to be based on your need for revenue.

For example, your website will be focused on an internal view or your business and result in an extremely poor user experience.

Everything depends on this.

The results you get from the social media platform(s) you use, the advertising platforms (Facebook, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads etc…), the social media content you post, SEO Strategies…

The success of all your marketing efforts depends on you understanding your ideal customer and then showing them every step of the way that you really care about them.

This is the key to increasing your leads and your sales conversion rates.

This is the key to reducing your cost per conversion, cost per click and cost per acquisition.

The 6 Steps of Digital Marketing For Startups

awareness

Your potential customers are going through the following steps :

Step 1: Awareness

This is the step that most business owners believe marketing is all about.

They understand the importance of being visible…of being seen as a viable option for their target markets problems.

What You Need to Do

Research where your potential customers hang out, in person or online, and make sure that what your business does and who you do that for is represented clearly and consistently.

Tactics Used at This Step

  • Public relations (PR)
  • Social media channels
  • Direct mail
  • Outbound telemarketing
  • Search marketing
  • Email newsletter
  • SEO tools and keyword tools

Bonus Download

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Step 2: Interest

Interest

Let’s imagine that your potential customer comes across your business because they are thinking about buying the kind of services and products you sell.

You need to do here is connect with these people by offering them something of interest and of value.

What You Need to Do

Find out the questions they’re asking themselves at this moment. Then use different types of content to answer these questions.

Some of this content should be easy to access and some of it should be used as a value exchange for their permission to continue marketing to them.

Tactics Used at This Step

  • Blog posts on your website
  • Guest posts and relevant content on highly regarded websites
  • Social Media Posts
  • Direct mail
  • Outbound telemarketing
  • Web marketing
  • Email newsletter

BONUS TIP: Use alsoasked.com to discover the question people are asking.

Step 3: Consideration

Consideration

Once you’ve gained their Interest, people will start evaluating whether you meet their buying criteria.

The main thing they need at this sep is evidence that you can deliver exactly what you say you can.

What You Need to Do

You need an integrated content strategy that proves your knowledge and expertise.

Tactics Used at This Step

  • Case studies
  • Comprehensive guides
  • Product sales pages
  • Online events
  • Offline events
  • Outbound telemarketing
  • Advertising Campaigns

Step 4: Evaluation

Evaluation

If you get to this step, it means that your potential buyer believes that your business could be a serious option for their needs.

Therefore, the next step for them is to get a real sense of what it would be like if they bought from you.

What You Need to Do

Find ways to help your potential customers experience what it will be like being one of your cherished customers.

This is not the time to tell them how you can help them.

You need to show them exactly what it feels like to experience how you would resolve their problem or satisfy their need.

Tactics Used at This Step

  • Free trials
  • Product Demos
  • Personal Selling

Step 5: Purchase

Purchase

Your potential customer has explored all their options and they are ready to move forward with a purchase from your business.

At this point, they need to feel confident about their purchasing decision and they also need to be reminded about the problem that guided them to your business.

What You Need to Do

Make it as easy as possible for your customers to buy from you.

This could be improving the speed of your website or being clear about how they can purchase from you

Tactics Used at This Step

  • Discounts
  • Promotions
  • Personal Selling

Step 6: Loyalty

Loyalty

Do not take it for granted that your customer is in fact a customer.

In fact, you should be focused on moving them from being a customer (one-off purchase) to being a client (making regular and repeat purchases).

Don’t stop there!

They should in time become referrers and why not…even partners of your business.

What You Need to Do

Set consistent expectations throughout your entire sales process.

Treat each customer like gold. Like they are the only ones you have.

Even if you have hundreds of them.

Show them that you value them.

You need to go above and beyond.

You need to keep looking for ways to stop being an option and become essential to their lives.

How you need to do it

  • On-boarding process
  • Email marketing
  • Online events
  • Satisfaction tracking
  • Social media

Conclusion

Digital marketing for startups is a responsibility.

As the business owner, you are responsible for getting your marketing message in front of people who:

  • are already seeking your kind of services and products
  • don’t yet know they need your services and products

That marketing message should be based on creating “spaces to think and consider”.

You need to create these spaces so that your potential customers can people can pause, think, and then actively decide to take the next step in their buyer’s journey.

No hard-selling.

No cajoling.

Just act like a trusted advisor…like a best friend who just happens to be a trusted expert.

You need to show that you deeply care about their needs.

In fact, you care so deeply that you have created “bridges” that help them get from Point A (the problem they have they don’t want) to Point B (the result they need that they don’t yet have).

This is at the heart of a profitable marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing For Startups – Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

  • Most purchasing decisions are not made impulsively, they take months – the more important the problem is, the more help they will need with that decision, and the harder your marketing needs to work.
  • You need to understand the buyer’s journey from your potential customer’s point of view.
  • Once you master the human interactions you would go through if the internet did not exist – you can digitise that sales process and create marketing for each stage.
  • Using effective marketing tactics at each stage of the buyer’s journey will result in more of the right people being attracted to your business and buying from you.
  • Increasing your leads, customers and transactions will allow you to help more people, raise your prices, and be more selective about who you personally work with.

This all begins with mastering effective digital marketing.

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Kase Dean works with consultants, coaches and a select group of small business owners who need help selling more of their services and making more revenue using automated marketing and sales systems.


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