Running a startup business is not easy. You are the founder, accountant, HR person, admin, sales, customer service and more. On top of wearing different hats, digital marketing for startup businesses is also crucial for success, and takes up considerable time.

Not to fret! This handy guide will take you through the tips and tricks on effective digital marketing for startup businesses.

1. Have a SEO strategy in place

Let’s start with the fundamentals! Without an SEO strategy, all your other digital marketing efforts will be for naught. This means that you should get clear on your SEO goals and what you hope to achieve. Optimize your website, fix any technical issues and use your primary and secondary keywords.

Search engine optimization is a must for every startup business. However, SEO efforts take time to work. You also need to keep track of it on the regular. All-in-one tools like SEMrush are great because you can do keyword research, track your SERPs ranking and see how you fare next to your competitors!

2. Social media is your friend

In today’s age, digital marketing for startup businesses will not succeed without social media. When you’re just starting out, you might not get a whole lot of likes and shares, but they’re key in building your brand image. Read more about how you can build a stronger following in social media

In short, having a presence across different social media platforms is one of the primary steps for a startup to establish themselves. Maintain a schedule for posting on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and/or TikTok. And get creative with the types of content you put out! They can be photos, videos, articles and more. People like variation!

3. Content is king

Content marketing plays an important role in effective digital marketing. We’ve written extensively about blogging and how it’s an extremely beneficial way to create value for different types of businesses – startups included!

For one, it’s cost-effective and it helps a new business build authority. Creating content is a way to show your audience that you’re reliable and knowledgeable about your industry. Like your SEO efforts, the results of writing content will not show right away (unless your content goes viral), but it helps to build steady traffic and leads overtime. There are a whole host of other benefits to blogging, and you should definitely read more here!

4. Gain new leads with cash

We’re not talking about paying for ads, although that is also an effective way to get people’s attention. We’re taking an unorthodox approach with this one – what if instead of spending it on ads, you gave that money directly to your new customers?

That is exactly what Google Pay did. It offered new customers S$8 free for signing up and making a payment of at least S$10. Most people simply sent the money to a family member or friend, who then sent it back – free S$8 for everyone! On top of giving out S$8 for free, there was also a scratchcard promotion for users to gain cashbacks with every transaction they made.

That said, we know that not every startup will have the budget to finance this unique form of marketing. You have to admit though, it’s a very effective way to gain a whole lot of new customers within a short timeframe!

5. Host a giveaway

Another great way to get people’s attention but without burning a big hole through your budget is to host a contest or giveaway. They help to generate buzz around your brand and the products/services you offer. Not to mention, they’re interactive and often require participants to leave their details with you. Which means more leads for your business!

Whichever platform you choose to host your contest, you can rest assured that it’s a powerful tool for your startup. They offer a highly effective way to get quick results. More traffic, more leads, more engagement and so on!

6. Reach out to an online community

Hopefully, you already have a clear idea of what your target audience looks like. Apart from reaching out to them via social media platforms, you can also do so via online communities. 

That is exactly what Dropbox did. They created an explanation video for users on the Digg community, complete with inside jokes and memes that only Digg users would understand. What happened next is that the video went viral on Digg, growing the waitlist from 5,000 people to 75,000 overnight!

7. Partner up with another brand

As a new startup, your primary goal is probably to grow your following and increase brand awareness. Drawing in a large audience can be difficult from the start, and a great way to navigate this is by collaborating with a more established brand.

Back in 2013, Android partnered up with KitKat to promote their release of Android 4.4. As part of the promotional efforts, KitKat produced bars in the shape of the Android robot logo. The collaboration helped Android reach out to new customers, as KitKat customers learnt about the new phone and operating system.

Even if you might not be able to collaborate with a big brand such as KitKat, reach out to brands and try to create a strategic partnership to boost your visibility.