Digital marketing for startups – quick-fire ways to launch your product or service!
Shyam Sekar S, 28 Sep 2015
The world is witnessing the emergence of startups that was never seen before, in this scale. The biggest question that most entrepreneurs face is that of how to launch their product or service quickly into the market place. As we all know, startups are meant to be ‘lean’. So finance is going to be one of the biggest challenges for most of them. Does digital marketing cost a lot of money? Or can be done ‘cheap’?
Answer is yes and no! Confusing?
If you get into wrong hands in pursuing your digital marketing initiatives, your money can be getting into a bottomless pit. But then yes, if you work with a digital marketing evangelist, or a digital marketing firm that understands the startup mindset well, then you could be in safe hands. Not just safe, but you are creating yourself some extra room to succeed, right at the start itself!
Can it be done cheap? Certainly no! As the saying goes, if you throw peanuts, you will get monkeys! Well, it can be done in a very cost effective way, and one that can deliver results for you.
Let’s quickly look at what are all the right steps that you need to take, to launch your product or service.
- Get your presence online: You can do this by registering your domain name (preferably .com) and get your website up. Gone are those days when you wait for over a month to see the first cut version. Today, website can be launched in a few days or in weeks, depending on the functionality that you would like to build in. There are numerous domain and hosting companies to choose from. Check their service credentials as the big names that we have experienced have offered poor customer service. Another important point – just make sure that your site is mobile-friendly!
- Social media: The world is becoming more and more socially connected. Depending on whether you are a B2B, or B2C, or B2B2C, create social media accounts as need be. For B2B, you got to have LinkedIn and Twitter accounts; for B2C, have Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Creating accounts does not take time. But engaging through these social media platforms will demand your quality time. Here again, content is the king. You can publish, or share content (preferably original) else you can work with your digital marketing consultant to help you create those contents that are worthy to read/share.
- Build database: You can start to build database with the help of database subscriptions, through web research, and through your website too. This will be an ongoing activity and can start anytime.
- Email campaigns: In one of the reports that I had read some time ago, it mentioned that email campaigns have the effect of almost 40x times than Facebook and Twitter combined. If you know to use the right CRM, you will be able to track the mail opens, understand what your prospect needs/wants, their interests, etc. Email campaigns can be a very powerful strategy and so do not underestimate its power. So keep sharing interesting articles (original content) with your network constantly. This can help create your brand, and establish you as a thought leader in this space.
- SEO: Search Engine Optimization, is usually not done as many does not know or think that it is not for them. In many of my engagements, I have made my clients realize the value and importance of doing SEO for their website. It is more a strategy, and not just an activity that can be given to someone who just knows ‘tagging and coding’. This means you are outsourcing your online brain to that lower level.
- SEM: Search Engine Marketing is suggested to go hand-in-hand with SEO. If you have not optimized your site, then the money that you spend in SEM can go down the drain. Startups need to conserve cash and do it effectively (e.g. Google Adwords, LinkedIn ads, Twitter ads, Facebook ads, etc.) so that they get the bang for the buck. I have suggested some steps as to what to do when (pre-launch, during launch, and post-launch), while launching your product or service, in one of my earlier posts.
- Analytics: Google analytics’ basic version is free. So get this integrated along with the Webmaster tool. These analytics can give you significant insight as to what’s working and what’s not working. It is very simple and easy to use, and you may not need an expert to get those insights if you are savvy enough.
- Monitor, fine-tune, and build your startup to scale.
It is not about doing all things right; It is about doing right things.
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