10 Best Digital Marketing Strategies Startups Should Know

Do you have an idea and are launching your startup? But do you know that 90% of Indian Startups fail in the first few years and shut down within 5 years? If you are thinking that they shut down due to the lack of new ideas or lack of funds, then you are wrong.

Many well-funded startups with unique ideas have failed in the past, due to the lack of innovation, creativity, and experience., Auto Raja, Cab Auto, FrankleMe are examples of this.

Having a great-unique idea, team, and funds are not enough to grow your startup and make it stable and profitable. You need to get more customers, sales, and profits to grow it, which can be possible with Startup marketing!

Startup marketing is a completely different science. You need to choose and combine the right marketing channels and come up with an unbeatable strategy. Same old traditional marketing strategies don’t work well every time.

Today is the time of smartphones and the internet. According to the recent reports, There are 374 Mn smartphone users are in India and 270 Mn people are using the internet in India. Marketing has also changed over time. Many businesses (corporates to startups) are focusing on Digital Marketing and are growing their businesses and customer base.

There are many digital marketing channels which you can use for your startup. But not all the digital marketing strategies are the same and give you the same profit. Some digital marketing strategies give you amazing results while others don’t.

That’s why you should choose the right digital marketing strategies for your startup to get maximum output. Which strategy works well for your startup depends upon your niche, target audience, and many other factors.

But in this guide, I will share ten digital marketing strategies which you can use to grow your startup. You will have a clear idea about digital marketing strategies to boost your startup growth.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is one of the best ways to get exposure and customers for your startup. It is one of the best low-cost marketing techniques to use for your business.

Social Media Marketing has the power to turn your startup into a profitable brand but you must know how to use it for your business.

There are many social media platforms but you need to choose the right platforms for your startup marketing. Here are some popular platforms to use:

  • Facebook – Facebook is the most popular social media platform with more than 2 billion users. You can use Facebook for almost any niche or to promote any type of product. It is the cheapest social media platform to promote your business. But the actual cost depends upon some factors such as targeted country, niche, ad type etc. But it costs me almost 4 INR to reach 1000 people and avg. CPC of 1.4 INR for our clients’ campaigns.
  • Twitter – Twitter can also help you grow your startup. It is the best platform for B2B businesses but can also work for B2C businesses. However, it is more expensive than Facebook. But it allows you to run different types of ads for various objectives.
  • Instagram – Instagram is the best platform if you have fashion, health, beauty, fitness, modelling, and photography related business. It can work for any other niche business too but Instagram can be the best choice for those niches.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a platform for professionals. That’s why it is best for b2b businesses. If you have launched a b2b startup business then you should try LinkedIn.
  • Snapchat: Snapchat is the best platform if you want to target youth or are working in fashion, beauty, or health related niche.

Best Practices To Get Success With Social Media Marketing

  • Complete your social profiles and pages with complete info, logos and images.
  • Publish useful content regularly and engage your audience with polls, Q&A, etc.
  • Join your niche related groups to reach more people organically.
  • Choose the right audience to target
  • Offer free eBooks, trials, reports, demos, etc. to collect their emails and build email list.
  • Be responsive and reply to every message and comment.
  • Use pixels to retarget interested people and convert them into your customers.

Every business is unique and different, even if they are creating the same products. That’s why there is no guarantee that you will get the same success as another company is getting on a social media channel.

You need to develop a social media strategy to get success with social media marketing. An expert social media marketing company can help you to develop a strong social media strategy for your startup and optimize your campaigns.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is one of the most important and cost-effective techniques to grow startups. According to a study, email marketing delivers the highest ROI (Return-On-Investment) which is approximately 40x. It means you will get $40 return for every $1 investment. But if you are ignoring email marketing this means you are missing your customers.

Many startups are not focusing on email marketing. But email marketing is one of the few marketing techniques which you can start before the launch of your actual product or company.

Here are some email marketing ideas for your startup:

  • If you have not launched your startup (or product) yet then you can use coming soon or launching soon template on your site and collect emails of interested users to notify them when you launch.
  • Offer beta testing for your products or tools and build your email list.
  • Offer free trial, demo, reports, pdfs, or ebooks to build your email list.

Best Practices To Get Success With Email Marketing

  • Use catchy, attractive and engaging email titles to increase your email open rate.
  • Write your email in simple language and keep it short.
  • Break content into small paragraphs and use subheadings and bullets to make it readable.
  • Explain the benefits of what you’re offering. And tell them how it can help them. Don’t try to sell them directly.
  • Create funnels to get more conversions.
  • Keep your email subscribers engaged by sharing useful content with them on mail. But don’t send too many emails. 2-3 emails are enough in a week.

Search Engine Marketing

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is one of the best digital marketing strategies to get instant results for your startup. You can advertise on search engines for your startup and can get more exposure and sales.

Here is how you can show your ads on search engines like Google:

Major benefits of using Search Engine Marketing:

  • You can get instant results.
  • You can easily reach to your target audience.
  • High ROI; if someone clicks on your ad only then you will have to pay.
  • You can start with small budget too like $10/day and can stop anytime.
  • You will have complete data and insights to improve your SEM campaigns and other marketing strategies.

Best Practices To Get Success With SEM

  • Create a high-quality landing page with clear call-to-actions
  • Choose the right keywords to target
  • Set a bid cap and budget limit to avoid overcharging.
  • Use Google Pixel for re-targeting

SEM campaigns can exhaust your budget rapidly. To run successful SEM campaigns, you need some expertise & experience to get maximum results out of it for your startup.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the most cost-effective channels that deliver higher ROI than other marketing methods.

Every startup should focus on SEO. It is the process of getting organic traffic from search engines without any added cost. So with SEO, you can continually acquire new customers for your startup, without any cost. You can start a blog, optimise your services pages, homepage, and landing pages to get organic traffic from search engines.

Benefits Of Using SEO For Your Startup

  • Cost-effective but higher ROI
  • Long-lasting results
  • Increase your reach organically
  • Get trust and authority automatically
  • Become a reputable brand

SEO is a challenging game. It requires skills and experience to get results. For this, you can hire an expert SEO Company to help you.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing is one of the trendiest marketing techniques these days. It is a highly effective and inexpensive technique to grow your startup.

Benefits of using Influencer Marketing:

  • You can get huge exposure for your startup.
  • Helps you gain trust and customers for your startup
  • Low-cost marketing strategy
  • Easy to use

You can hire popular influencers or some micro-influencers (less-popular) to promote your brand.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is a highly effective strategy to grow your startup. According to a recent report by the Content Marketing Institute, 90% of organizations are actively using Content Marketing for their businesses.

Content marketing generates three times more leads than paid search, according to some researches. It a cheaper and effective strategy for your business.

It is also helpful for SMO and SEO. Content marketing gives long-lasting results but it can take some time to see results.

Many big brands like HubSpot, Buffer, Blue Apron, Mint, and Kissmetrics have skyrocketed their startup success with content marketing.

Benefits of Content Marketing

  • Highly effective and long-lasting results
  • Helpful to create buzz for your startup
  • Cheaper than paid ads
  • Builds trust and authority for your brand

YouTube Marketing

YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world. There are more than 265 million active users on YouTube in India. That’s why many brands are using YouTube to reach out to their target audience.

But startups are not considering YouTube as a part of their startup marketing. However, you can get amazing results in startup marketing. Flipkart, Hyundai, Asian Paints, Pepsi, and Coupon Dunia have grown their businesses with YouTube Marketing.

Viral Marketing

If you want to generate massive traffic, sales, and create online buzz for your startup then nothing is better than viral marketing.

You can get overnight success with viral marketing if you are able to create content that can go viral.

You need to create content (articles, explainer videos etc.) from a unique angle and should have a strong marketing plan to promote it.

A brand named Squat Potty became successful and generated $7 Mn in revenue with their viral videos. Blendtec and The Dollar Shave Club are also good examples of viral marketing success.

Referral Marketing 

If you want to develop a huge customer base or fan-following then nothing can be as good as referral marketing.

In referral marketing, your customers become your sellers. They refer your products to other people. According to a study, 92% of people trust personal recommendations. That’s why referral marketing can grow your business on automation.

There are many strategies to encourage people to recommend you. But most of the times people recommend something to others if:

  1. They are happy, satisfied, and enjoying it.
  2. They can get something free.

Facebook is a great example of this. Facebook encourages its users to “Invite Friends” to join Facebook. As a result, today they have more than two billion active users on Facebook.

Dropbox is a good example of this too. In the early days, Dropbox had used paid ads to get new customers but did not get any success. They were paying more than what they bargained for.

Then Dropbox focused on referral marketing to grow their customer base. How?

They encouraged their users to refer their friends and get free 16 GB space.

Amazon, PayPal, and many other brands are using the same strategy to acquire new customers. You can also do the same for your startup.

Published On Top-Tier Publications

Last but not least, if you want massive exposure and traffic then you should try to get featured on a popular publication. Any popular publication like Forbes, HuffPost, India Times, The Hindu, etc. can generate massive exposure and traffic for your startup.

I Done This (A Project Management Software; have used this strategy to grow their business. They got huge traffic and many new customers when they featured on LifeHacker. These new customers helped the business to grow even further.

You can also use the same strategy (but not the same publication☺) to grow your startup. You need to build connections with journalists and editors of these publications. But don’t be overly promotional.

The other option is to get help from a marketing agency to use this strategy.

In Conclusion

There are a lot of strategies and channels through which you can promote your startup. But you need to understand your audience, their behavior, and the nature of your business.

Startup marketing is not impossible but you need to be sure before every step because of the limited resources. Think differently than others and be creative to get success. You can also hire a company for your startup marketing.

About author


Morris is a Technology enthusiast and a writer by night. He has been a part of TheTechly for quite some time and he contributes knowledgeable news articles from the Technology niche.
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