Complete Guide to Digital Marketing for Start-Ups | New Media Services
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Last updated on March 10, 2021

Your Complete Guide to Digital Marketing in 2020 for Start-Ups


Digital marketing has undergone numerous changes over the past years. Its channels for promoting services and businesses are evolving with the shifting demands of industries and customers. Regardless of digital marketing undergoes major or minor changes in its standards and rules for marketing, it still remains to be a practical option for startups and small brands.

Marketing online does not have to be complicated. As long as you have a clear vision of where you want to see your business in the coming years, and as long as you know what you need to prioritize to help you reach your goals, you’re off to a good start.

To help you map out a clearer and more feasible marketing plan for your business goals below is a comprehensive guide that identifies all the key components that will help you implement your advertising strategies more effectively. 

The guide is divided into four parts, with each part addressing the following key points of building and maintaining a digital marketing campaign: 

  1. Building Your Brand
  2. Formulating Your Strategy
  3. Establishing Your Online Presence
  4. Maintaining and Expanding Your Digital Marketing Resources

Building Your Brand:

  • Create your trademark

When creating a trademark or brand for your business, choose one that will best represent your core values and the services that you wish to offer to your customers. From the color scheme to the logo design of your brand, everything must be well-coordinated and closely related to each detail. Your trademark will also help you in designing your website and keeping a consistent branding approach across all your business’ social media accounts.

Pro Tip: Think of a name that’s unique and easy to remember. Avoid brand names that sound too similar to existing businesses, or trademarks that are difficult to spell or pronounce. It would also be beneficial to create a unique narrative for your brand. The narrative should convey what your business is all about and what changes it aims to bring to your target audience.

  • Define your niche and target audience

Ideally, your niche should be something you are greatly passionate about. Tinker on your thoughts and list down services, products and even topics that you see yourself getting immensely involved in. The more well-defined your business is and what it aims to offer, the easier it will be for you to create a unique story and branding approach that caters to your business’ identity.

Of course, a business will not be complete or successful without a specific group of individuals to cater to. Who is your target audience? Who are your customers? What demographic will benefit the most from your products and services? While a business can cater to both young and adult customers, there are services that attain higher and more stable engagement when it is focused on a specific group. For instance, a designer’s clothing line may target a particular age group of women. This way, the designer’s aesthetic speaks to individuals and customers who will likely be pleased by the design and overall structure of the clothes.

Pro tip: Create a chart or a graphical representation for your target customers. Divide your charts according to your customers’ age group, gender, location, and social class. 

  • Design your product/service’s unique selling points

A product or service’s unique selling points (also called value proposition) should be able to address the following: (1) Relevance to the customers, (2) Advantages it can bring to target clients, and (3) Distinct edge over competitors and businesses offering a similar type of product or service.

Formulating Your Strategy:

  • Evaluate your resources

Are you short on manpower? Is your existing in-house staff enough? Will hiring virtual assistants fortify your business’ efficiency and reliability?

Pro tip: Startups and small businesses will most likely benefit from employing the use of live chat services and remote staff for their customer support services. By enabling a flexible way for customers to reach out to your business and vice-versa, it helps leverage the business’s effectiveness in dealing with a growing number of clientele. Essentially, when the business begins to expand, making the best use of both existing and available resources for providing customer support and increasing sales will prep the business for future developments.

  • Conduct competitor research

It doesn’t hurt to learn a helpful marketing hack or two from brands you look up to and even from your toughest competitors. After all, where else can you find the most useful tips than from individuals with the same business mindset as yours? Researching marketing methods used by your competitors and determining what worked from those that did not, gives you a better eye for gauging strategies that may be compatible with your business’ goals.

  • Explore customer buying behavior and preferences

Aside from your competitor, you must also exert time and effort in getting to know your target customers better. What products and services appeal to them the most? What particular changes do you often hear your customers long for in terms of how your products and services are being carried out and delivered to them? Do they prefer availing your services online or are they more comfortable visiting your physical shop instead?

How often does your business receive negative reviews from customers? Have you tried learning and understanding more about your customers’ expectations?

Knowing and understanding your customers’ preferences will help you devise feasible measures that will address their needs more effectively.

Establishing Your Online Presence:

  • Create your website

A website helps set your brand in stone. It makes your business more established and trustworthy. Presently, customers will often Google a business or brand that’s new to them for the purpose of checking whether it is a scam or not. A carefully designed business website should contain the following:

  1. A sleek and clean design
  2. A home page, About Us page, Services page and a page or pop-up where customers can contact the business
  3. Links to social media accounts that the business may have
  4. Photos of the products or services offered

You can also opt to add a blog page for your website. Your blogs must feature topics and issues related to your services and the industry where your business belongs. At the same time, ensure that your website promotes easy navigation for your visitors. If it takes them over 5 minutes to find the ‘Contact Us’ button on your page, or if it seems as though site visitors need to scroll endlessly before they can learn more about your services, then it’s time for you to update your website’s overall layout.

  • Choose social media platforms that work best for your brand

Not all social media platforms will work for your business. If you wish to sell your products using social media as an additional selling channel, then Twitter is not the best option for you. Likewise, if your intention for creating a social media presence is to build a close relationship with your customers, then Instagram and Facebook should not be your top choices. There is nothing wrong with creating accounts on most social media platforms, as long as you are able to maximize the purpose of each for your business.

Pro Tip: Social media platforms can be grouped according to what they can do best for a business, and these are:

  • Creating brand awareness
  • Building customer trust
  • Improving credibility and implementing customer and business-oriented action
Social Media PlatformBest For:Advantages:Disadvantages:
FacebookBuilding customer trust-Ideal for most types of businesses
-Contributes to higher website traffic
-Can be used to boost sales
-Not ideal for increasing brand exposure and expanding the existing network of audiences
-Brand performance on Facebook directly affects its rankings on search engines
InstagramCreating brand awareness-Works best for business with high-quality pictures of its products
-Excellent for building a business’s audience and exposure
-Does not contribute well to increase sales and traffic
-Caters to visual content, text-based content are usually incompatible with this platform
LinkedinImproving credibility and implementing customer and business-oriented action-A good channel for building networks with customers and business partners
-Helps promote the business’ brand and unique value proposition
-Enhances brand credibility through creating and publishing service and industry-related blogs
-Banks more on corporate imagery for the business
-Casual language is less preferred when engaging with other brands and promoting the business
PinterestImproving credibility and implementing customer and business-oriented action-Reinforces branding for business with an existing solid fan base
-Perfect channel for featuring DIY videos, tutorials, and hacks
-Target demographic may be more limited
-Relies more on visual and graphic content
SnapchatCreating brand awareness-Best for seasonal promotions or campaigns available for a limited time
-Highly compatible with advertisements that need a ‘personal touch’
-Effectively engages customers belonging to the younger generation or age group
-Not ideal for sales and building networks with business partners
TwitterCreating brand awareness-Excellent channel for increasing brand awareness
-Widely used by users from both the young and middle-aged group
-Establishes a closer connection between businesses and their customers
-Not recommended for sales
-Not recommended for businesses whose target customers are aged 70 or 80 and above
YouTubeBuilding customer trust and increasing web traffic-Effectively boosts web traffic and search engine rankings
-Increases versatility and relevance of a business
-It may be a challenging channel for increasing a business’s followers
  • Create a content calendar

A content calendar specifies the different types of content that you will be using for promoting your brand and establishing better credibility. You can create blogs, infographics, video content and even promotions that will feature your services and highlight your expertise on key areas that your business specializes in. By consistently updating your website and social media pages with content relevant to your business, you are showing search engines that your business has the potential to leave a positive and helpful impact on your target audience.

  • Hire additional staff as needed

Employ support representatives, social media personnel, content writers, video editors and graphic designers to help maintain your online branding. Ensure that you have staff readily available to address your customers’ concerns, especially during your business’s operating hours. If needed, meet with your staff regularly to ensure that each of your employees is performing according to your expectations and their roles are being fulfilled based on what your company’s goals and priorities are. 

Pro Tip: Brainstorming with your staff likewise increases the likelihood of employees exhibiting a proactive attitude in fulfilling their duties. Even better, you are also providing them the opportunity to share their ideas and suggestions.

Maintaining and Expanding Your Digital Marketing Resources:

  • Stay updated with the latest digital marketing strategies

Digital marketing is continuously evolving. At the same time, industry standards and customer demands are gradually changing. It all depends on the trajectory of the current economy and shifts in the lifestyle of most customers. 

Among the most essential digital marketing trends that you need to watch out for this 2020 include:

  1. Promotional posts with CTAs to purchase
  2. Employing software designed for enhancing marketing reach and improving ads
  3. Social listening (Determining how a post, service or promo affects or influences each of your customers)
  4. UX-savvy and visually enticing email marketing content
  5. Collaborating with social media and digital influences covering a smaller niche
  6. Using social media messaging apps for direct and real-time customer communication
  7. Omnichannel marketing (Using more than one platform for marketing your services, either through blogs, social media, guest posting, etc)

All in all, don’t forget to add a dash of innovation and fun in devising strategies to promote your business. Make it a point to make your business’ brand and voice consistent when reaching out to your customers. More importantly, always lend an open ear to your customers. Their feedback and suggestions can serve as a viable reference for how you can continue improving your business.

Now that you have a solid digital marketing guide, get out there and grow your business!

For any business needs our assistance, you can always reach out to us at New Media Services where we can offer our tailor-made outsourcing solutions to help your business thrive.

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