The question in the minds of every entrepreneur is, how can startup companies in Nigeria attract more and more customers and increase their sales? as old conventional ways of marketing are time-taking in terms of reaching out to customers and are also expensive.
The solution is quite easy in today's scenario - "DIGITAL MARKETING", as nowadays everyone is connected through Social Media channels, therefore, it has become more convenient for companies/brands to connect with the customers, putting up their advertisements via videos and images, get instant responses and much more.
But can we really say that startup success depend on digital marketing? Many would agree, many won't. One thing's for sure, the capacity to strategically use digital marketing for startups to reach masses certainly helps these entities to acquire more customers and skyrocket sales. So, what is the best digital marketing strategy to help drive your startup? Considering the fact that Digital marketing is a fast-paced industry that continues to evolve and switch focus.
Know What You Want and Set Objectives
Define your business overall mission and objective first, your digital marketing mission must fit into your grand plan. Start with setting up your goals and objectives, having the right mindset, and identifying with the right corporate culture.
Know Your Digital Consumer
Consumers have changed the way they use digital platforms at a speedy rate. To get maximum benefit, startups must take a closer look to understand who is doing what. Consumers are very smart and are always connected to digitally. They search, gather and consume information on search engines (e.g. google, Bing, yahoo), media sites, social media platforms, blogs, forums, and much more. They will not like to settle for anything but the best. Their quest will not end until and unless they have found maximum value at the best price.
Every Consumers digital journey is an opportunity for startups to develop awareness, entice potential customers, acquire traffic and generate sales leads. Using a mix of digital marketing strategies, creative marketing skills and precise target audience, startups can get good exposure on digital.
Start with your customers: Every business knows about their products and services. So before taking on any marketing initiative, it's absolutely essential to know everything about your potential customers. Each buyer's personas are fictional representations of customers likely to buy from you. So one should create multiple detailed buyers' persona. A complete understanding of your customers will help you in:
- Crafting a brand identity that connects with customers
- Identifying digital touch points
- Designing marketing communications
- Testing digital marketing channels
Find your voice: Authenticity is key these days. Use your voice and brand to connect with people, no matter the format. Being inauthentic will turn people off and consumers remember this.
Stop annoying your customers, Be Customer-centric: Every startup must be concerned with creating a positive digital consumer experience. A customer-centric approach can add value to your company by enabling it to differentiate itself from competitors who do not offer the same experience. So, whether you are selling offline or online, you must create a customer-centric culture in your business. Bad customer experience can have negative adverse effect on your digital strategy.
Integrated Digital Marketing - A 360 Approach
Integrated digital marketing is using multiple digital marketing mediums to reach customers online. To build a brand and to grow, one needs to integrate digital marketing. If your customer search's for your products and services on different search engines, your presence should be there. When they visit social sites or are consuming online content your presence should be there as well. A good integrated digital marketing approach works in the best way.
Set & Measure Your KPIs - This Will Minimise Your Guess Work: Digital is measurable. Be specific with setting up your KPIs by identifying the figures you will be held accountable for achieving. Be realistic with your KPIs by analysing your previous digital marketing efforts first, this will ensure you aim for a positive increase on your current results, while helping you to avoid setting your expectations too high.
By using analytics to monitor, measure and track your digital campaigns, you can tell which strategy is working and which is not. Here's a handy KPI template for you to steal: (Insert goal, e.g. "Increase traffic") by (insert figure)% in (insert number of months).
Before you begin planning your KPIs find out which metrics matter most to you. Merchandiser will get smarter advantage if they can increase their level of preciseness with methods that weren't possible before. You can also use BuzzSumo to aid in the success of your content marketing.
Implementing - Digital Channels
Before you start planning an effective digital marketing strategy, identifying what channels work best for your startup and working on them will help you propel your startup forward.
#1: Search Marketing
It is a very good option when you are looking for sales lead. Properly designed and managed search marketing campaigns will help you achieve relevant traffic and sales. When it comes to search, you may go for following options:
- Paid ads in search (PPC),
- Organic or natural search with SEO
- Or both.
#2: Display Advertising
Looking to develop your brand or product awareness? One should go for display ads. It's not a secret, awareness campaigns with smart targeting and marketing communications will lead to sales. Display advertising comprises of all the kind of graphic and video ads that you see while browsing the web. The Google Display Network (GDN) is one of the most promising platforms for display advertising. You can target people through ads on the basis of their interests. Ads can also be displayed using contextual advertising. Means, you can target specific pages through ads on the web with keywords related to your business.
Remarketing is advertising to people who have visited your website in the past. In my opinion, it's the best way to re-engage your site visitors. It also builds brand and trust. Anyone who engages with your business will certainly visit your site. With remarketing, you can ensure that everyone visiting your site gets to see your ads as they browse the web. Isn't it amazing, right?
You can do remarketing on: Google Display Network (GDN), Facebook, Twitter and even Search Ads.
#4: Social Media Marketing
Few startups feel social media marketing is not profitable, many believe it to be very useful. Of those who believe in social media, out of that only few know how to use it. Social media serves mainly three purposes, awareness, and branding and customer acquisition. Social media can be used to narrate your story in front of investors, customers and anyone and everyone who is active socially. With an engaged community, startups can reinforce their brand on any of the social platforms. With social media ad campaigns, startups can also put interest driven campaigns in place to directly drive traffic to their sites and acquire customers.
There are a lot of things a startup can do on social media. One thing one should always keep in mind is to know exactly what your objectives are on social media, as every objective would have a unique campaign design and strategies.
#5: Digital PR
Every startup has a storyline. You may also have. Online PR can work wonders for startups. Invest time in brainstorming ideas for press releases. A good PR agency sends your story to relevant media houses and bloggers. If they find your story interesting, they will share it with the world. For any PR campaign to work effectively, press release needs to be amazing. A good storyline is all you need to get success with PR. When you write one, ask yourself if people would share it with their friends and colleagues. If the answer is yes, then only you will get good results with PR.
#6: Digital Media Buying
Each time we buy ad space on the web, it is digital media buying. Buying ad space for Google search and display ads, Facebook ads, remarketing, all are digital media buying. But we have already discussed all this, right? So there is another dimension to media buying that takes marketing to a new level. It is buying ad/advertorial space with major publishers, online magazines and news sites, like Naij, BellaNaija, LindaIkejiBlog, etc. Although this turns out to be a bit expensive, the instant exposure a startup could get is priceless.
In summary, an effective digital marketing strategy could be summarised as Knowing What You Want and setting your goals and objective, analysing your past to ensure you learn from your mistakes, find your voice, identify you means and stick to your budget, create a plan and keep track so you know when to tweak.
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