5 Ways to Take Your Start-up to the Next Level
Nowadays, web is the way to go. Millions of business are flourishing on this medium and many more are coming every day. Everyone is fighting for that coveted place: No. 1 position on Google.
Moreover, after reaching the top, they have to stay there for sometime, and that is the biggest challenge for any business today. Marketing is not a one-time activity, rather it is an on-going exercise and business today needs to understand this fact. Once you stop your marketing activities, you will not flourish but perish (sorry guys). During my long career of 13 years, I have interacted with many brand managers, who are happy to see their website first on search engines, and then they discontinue online marketing & promotions; they simply bask in the glory for couple of weeks. Then all of a sudden, they come to know that their website is no more on the first page of any search engine, they run amok to regain the lost glory. Let me tell you that big brands like Coke and Pepsi still pump in millions of dollars for marketing & advertising activities. They are perhaps arguably the best brands in the world. And credit goes to their ceaseless marketing efforts. Still not convinced? Read on…
First off, think of a suitable domain name for your business. But what is a suitable domain name? Well, this again is a challenge for any new enterprise. Whether a start-up should go for a keyword-friendly domain or any other domain that subtly expresses the business or service they are in? Gone are the days, when website owners would prefer a keyword included in the domain name. This is now an old-school idea as new online marketing principles shun this practice. There are many start-ups that now prefer some wacky and crazy domain names just to grab attention of customers online. Regarding the extension, they prefer some country-specific domain names and some generic top-level domains like .com, .net, .biz, .OOO and others.
Design & Development
Once any customer lands on your website, first thing he notices is your killer design. Does your design shock your customers? Does it encourage to take any action? Does your customer spend some time on your website? Ask such questions to yourself or tell your designer to create such a design that attracts eyeballs. Remember, the more emotional value you create in your design, the more chances of your customers to spend time on web. This mantra has worked successfully for big brands online and offline. With the advent of new communication devices, web designers have another challenge of Responsive Design, which fits into any device used by customers. Instead of designing separate designs for different communication devices, brands prefer to create responsive design of website, which can be accessed through smartphones, tablets, laptops, phablets and desktop computers as well.
Needless to say that content is king. It is a fact universally accepted that Google’s crawler identifies content easily, hence online marketers upload and update relevant content on web pages to be marketed online. This content has to be unique so that Google gives priority to such websites as upload fresh content at regular intervals. But here lies a challenge for content writers, who have to write not only fresh content but also readable. Engaging and informative content will encourage visitors to spend sometime on the page, and it will also inspire them to take some action. This content needs to be updated with time – another challenge for content writers. Relevancy of content is also essential. For e.g. if a particular website is selling fish hooks online, the writer has to write informative or engaging text on fish hooks, how to use fish hooks, what tools to be packed before one goes on fishing etc. A visitor would happily read this content and will definitely take some action.
Guest Post: Your Online PR
Submitting a guest post is one of the latest techniques to market your brand online. There are many bloggers, who garner tremendous fan-following on their blogs. One of the primary reasons for their popularity is unique, informative and engaging content they upload on their blogs. Apart from their in-house editors, these bloggers also welcome other writers/bloggers to submit blogs. However, care should be taken that the blog you submit to such blogs has to be fresh & informative, and strictly not promotional. Nobody would welcome any promotional content as these bloggers upload blogs gratis. Some of the popular blogs are ShoutMeLoud, HubPages, Digital Inspiration, AndroidDevices and more. This could be your online PR exercise, where you build up strong relationship with bloggers and get your blog uploaded.
Do You Communicate Via Social Media?
Does your brand talk to your customers? Look at those successful brands, who make the grade by using social media channels only to communicate, and thus, engage their customers with the brand. A successful brand is one that is most spoken of frequently by customers. Social media are at your disposal; use it but never abuse it. It is a fallacy to expect monetary transactions from your social media campaign. A smart brand manager would never craft a campaign that would generate revenue from social media. This platform is to engage with customers, who would like to know more about your business, what benefits customers would get by using your products/services; use this channel to invite your customers to speak about your business/brand; ask them to share their experiences, feedback on products/services. Engage your customers in contests, games, puzzles and subtly weave your brand into this fun zone. A word of caution: never give an overdose of social media to your customers; this might work as repellent to your customers.
Finally, keep creating buzz around your business, brand, products or services. Never stay silent in the corner. Remember, a hawker with a small barrow always shouts to sell his toys on pavements or streets.