Monday 29th Oct 2018
How Start-ups Can Employ Digital Marketing to Increase Revenue
In 2018, digital is the major form of marketing for most start-up businesses, especially when it comes to small businesses and start-ups in particular. Once your product and business organisation is set, there are few other ways of boosting revenue as effective as the right online activity, which is why it’s essential that any new business understands the value that digital can bring, and has a good idea of how they can go about utilising this type of marketing activity.
Firstly, let’s take a look at some of the major areas of digital marketing that start-ups might look to invest in. Digital marketing is a very broad subject, and not all businesses will want or need to invest in all channels, but they all have their significant benefits.
How digital marketing can help Start-ups:
SEO - Search engine optimisation is perhaps the best known and most often misunderstood element of digital marketing. Quite simply, it’s the practice of undertaking efforts that allow your web pages to be displayed higher up in the results of search engines. In the past, the SEO industry didn’t have the best reputation, but it’s now arguably the top method of increasing online revenue, but it can be extremely complex.
Email - Email still isn’t dead, even in 2018, and campaigns can be highly lucrative, particularly when it comes to repeat custom, and the promotion of events and sales.
Social Media - A huge driver for awareness, traffic and sales, social media presence is essential for every start-up. While social doesn't always directly impact your bottom line in a measurable way, it’s a case of ‘don’t be seen without it’.
PPC - Pay-per-click, which generally covers all kinds of paid advertising online, most commonly with Google’s AdWords service, but also Bing and other search engines. This does often cross over with paid advertising on social channels.
Online PR - A fairly broad channel, but much of digital marketing is about gaining exposure online through just about any outlet, ranging from tiny blogs to multinational newspapers.
By using all of the above, start-ups can boost awareness of their brand, bring new traffic to their websites, and ultimately drive revenue. It’s worth noting that many of these channels work together and complement each other, and that there isn’t always a firm dividing line. The phrase ‘content marketing’ for instance is common, but is likely to incorporate SEO and PR. A good campaign is likely to take a holistic approach.
One of the major attractions of digital marketing, which should be understood by any business looking to increase their online activity, is how trackable it is. And this is hugely important for start-ups when they don’t have a large marketing budget to play with. With more traditional forms of marketing activity, like events or print media, it can be difficult to demonstrate a return on any spend. With ecommerce websites and the right tracking in place, start-ups can see a return on their investment into things like Google’s AdWords down to the penny. This makes digital marketing very flexible when you’re looking to grow.
Start-up Digital Marketing Strategies
So how exactly do start-ups go about starting their marketing activity? There’s no right answer here, and different options will work better for different businesses. Broadly however, you have two potentials. Either do the job in-house, or work with an external agency. In-house means hiring someone (or multiple people if you have the funds) well-versed in digital marketing to cover all of your bases, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that simply hiring someone to look after your Twitter presence is going to cut it. This is a great start, but it takes a concerted effort and effective campaigns to show a return, and deliver increased revenue. Agencies are the other option. There are many, many out there these days which means there are plenty of options, whether you feel you need to work with a very large organisation or one similar to your own size. You can reach out to a few of them, discuss your requirements and goals, and they’ll come back to you with a proposal for what they’re going to do each month.
The final takeaway should be that if you’re a start-up, then you need to be focusing on finance and have some form of digital marketing in play. It’s an essential part of modern marketing, and there are so many elements that there’s always something new to pursue. There aren’t many better ways of increasing revenue, and you can start small.