So, you started a new business. Congratulations! You’re probably overwhelmed with all the responsibilities on your plate. Whether you’re in an investor-backed startup or a self-funded small business, it’s easy to get lost in the world of digital marketing. It’s challenging to decide which marketing efforts are worth your time and which are a waste of time.
While there aren’t any shortcuts to figuring it all out, here are a few tried-and-true tips to help get you started down the right path.
Tip #1: Invest In SEO
SEO for startups doesn’t have to be stressful. It just has to happen. Without search engine optimization, you have no other way to get organic traffic on your website. Most people never go beyond that first page of Google when searching online, so if you aren’t on that first page, people aren’t going to find you.
It’s easy to overlook search engine optimization, or SEO, because results aren’t immediate. If you have to hire experts, sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s worth the money. However, Study after study has shown that SEO is one of the best investments a startup can make. To ensure potential customers can find you, you must search engine optimize your website.
If you don’t have the time and can afford to spend a little money, hiring an expert is generally worth it. However, if it’s totally out of the question, there are literally thousands of free resources online to help you DIY your search engine optimization.
A few quick SEO tricks:
- Do some keyword research and include those keywords throughout your website.
- Make sure you aren’t missing any header tags on your site.
- Make sure all your pictures are correctly tagged.
- Ensure your SSL certificate is up to date.
- Optimize your site’s speed.
Tip #2: Know Your Target Demographic
Understanding your target demographic is critical for any successful business. You must know who your ideal customer is, so that you can appropriately market to them. Failing to identify a target demographic, leads to wasted ad budgets and unsuccessful campaigns.
Trying to market to everyone is equivalent to talking to your parents the same way you talk to your best friend or a cashier at a grocery store. You don’t communicate to everyone the same way in real life, so you shouldn’t in digital marketing either.
A lot of companies recommend creating a buyer persona. A buyer persona is just a fake person that represents your ideal customer. Creating these personas makes staying on brand and keeping your marketing efforts focused incredibly simple.
There are tools and templates online that allow you to create a buyer persona easily. A few questions to get you started:
- What’s your buyer’s name?
- How old are they?
- What’s their annual income?
- What do they like to do for fun?
- What’s their gender?
- What are their goals in life?
There are hundreds of questions you can ask to create a buyer persona. Ultimately, it should lead you towards a clear person. Then, when you go create any marketing material, create it with your buyer persona in mind. Every time you craft a social media post, send an email, create an ad campaign, or write a blog, do so with your target demographic in mind.
Getting focused on who your target demographic helps you better communicate with potential customers. It also prevents you from wasting your ad budgets targeting people who will never buy what you have to sell.
Tip #3: Test Everything
Marketing isn’t cut and dry. To make sure that you’re getting the most out of your marketing efforts, you have to test everything. Set up analytics and tracking software to track conversions and run split-tests on all your marketing campaigns.
When you send out an email, send two different ones. See which performs better. When you run ads on social media, don’t just choose one format and call it good. Test several different ad types and ad copy to see which results in the most sales. Test out different landing pages, blog content, SEO strategies, and more. If you don’t test, there’s no way to be sure that you have the best strategy.
Especially with startups and new businesses, it’s essential that you know and understand your numbers. Know your average conversion ratios, click-through-rates, and cost-per-acquisition. The more solid data you have about your business, the more equipped you’ll be in making decisions.
And here’s the thing, mistakes are inevitable in business and marketing. You aren’t going to get it right every time. Some tests you do will fail, and that’s okay. Every time you test, you learn something new, and that knowledge will ultimately help you grow and achieve success.
As long as you learn all you can about SEO for startups, know your ideal customer, and test everything you do, you’re well on the way to making your new business a success.