Article

Moss Clement
Moss Clement 1 October 2020

Top 7 Digital Marketing Strategies That Will Scale Your Startup Business

Are you looking for the best digital marketing strategies to sell your products or services? Are you thinking about how to maximize your online business or startup using digital marketing strategies? This article explores the top growth hacking strategies every digital marketing startup should be using. By using the tips you’ll learn in this post, you will become a much better digital marketer.

So if you're gearing up to establish a massive client-base for your small online business, this blog is right for you. Every marketer (online or offline) wants to grow a large community of consumers, which is an excellent idea. But the issue with building your user base hovers on how to get the right targets to adapt your products or services.

Interestingly, there are several efficient methods you can implement for optimal results. All you need is creativity to cut costs and reach your objectives. But before we get into the meat of this blog post, let us look at what digital marketing strategies represent.

What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?

A digital marketing strategy characterizes a succession or sequence of marketing activities you implement through various online marketing platforms to accomplish your goal. Hence, there are three online media channels available to achieve your targets. They are:

  1. Owned media
  2. Paid media
  3. Earned media

However, if you're new to digital marketing, you may be thinking, what are these marketing channels mentioned above? Let us consider each one briefly.

Owned media 

This media asset consists of digital marketing channels that you or your organization controls—all the platforms where you exercise authority. Examples of owned media include, 

  • Company website
  • Social media profiles and pages
  • Service page
  • Business blog
  • Email newsletter

Paid media

Paid media is the opposite of owned media channels. It suggests any external marketing platform that requires paid placements to generate results. Examples of paid media are:

  • PPC advertising
  • Display advertising
  • Branded content
  • Podcast advertising
  • Social media ads (Facebook ads, Twitter ads, Instagram ads), etc.
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)

Excitedly, paid media is one of the most significant growth hacking elements for brand recognition and business growth.

Earned media

Earned media, also called earned content, applies to brand mentions, such as content written about your business. Or where others mention you without you paying for the promotion. But you earned the comments and remarks in various content materials based on your activities or actions. 

For instance, SEMrush editor Melissa Fach mentioned me in her post on Twitter based on the article I wrote for the SEMrush blog. So people can note you in different media outlets. (Please, embed the code below) for emphasis!

Examples of earned media include:

  • Blog posts
  • Social media
  • Word of mouth marketing
  • Online reviews

However, notice that a digital marketing strategy is different from a digital marketing plan. Although some marketers use those terms interchangeably, they are different. 

Digital Marketing Plan vs. Digital Marketing Strategies — The Differences

A digital marketing plan lets you develop and initiate a successful digital marketing strategy. Therefore, your digital marketing plan differs from a digital strategy because it is a comprehensive marketing document that outlines your digital marketing endeavors or plan of action. It helps you establish a successful marketing plan for your startup.

It includes the strategies you intend to apply and the marketing channels for achieving your goals. But, a digital marketing strategy involves a series of marketing undertakings via various online platforms that enable you to accomplish your marketing targets.

Now that we are clear with those, let us move ahead to why a stable digital marketing strategy is essential to your business successes.

Why Do You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy?

Technology has transformed the marketing landscape with almost all businesses and organizations going digital. And the way people consume content has also changed, with more users digesting content materials via:

  • Desktop and mobile devices
  • Blogs
  • Social media
  • Emails
  • Other information marketing platforms

For this, marketers in all niches, including the advertising industry, have adjusted to this change. As a result, advertisers strive to present their products or services in front of their target audience using various digital marketing assets.

This marketing method has resulted in positive ROIs. So, having a digital marketing strategy is crucial since it lets you reach your customers and potential clients at the right time where they're hanging out. Even so, it is essential now since 75% of consumers don't trust online advertising. That is according to research by HubSpot.

Screenshot-(143).png

Source graphic via HubSpot

Furthermore, it gives you insights about what they want from you and helps build long-term brand-customer relationships. Now that you have a better idea of digital marketing strategy and its importance to your startup business let us look at the top digital marketing strategies for growth hacking your online business.

7 Epic Digital Marketing Strategies to Growth Hack Your Small Business

Although there is much growth hacking digital strategies for growing your business, we have selected the proven online marketing strategies for easy implementation to grow your startup. Let's move forward, shall we?

1. Implement referral marketing programs

One of the best ways to amass a massive customer base is through referral programs. The referral marketing program is a strategic growth hack marketing approach that uses word-of-mouth tactics to spread your brand message. It can improve your customer base and grow your brand significantly. Notice that word of mouth advertising or recommendation takes different forms.

But the core concept of a referral marketing program is to get your message out to the right audience. It also helps you enhance brand recognition and convert leads. But why are referral programs so effective? The survey mentioned above points out that 90% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family. It also shows that 70% of shoppers trust customer recommendations.

Screenshot-(142).png

Source image; HubSpot

However, marketers use a variety of terms when quoting referral programs. These include:

  • Refer-a-friend-program
  • Word-of-mouth marketing
  • Royalty reward marketing program
  • Loyalty rewards program

Why is that so? Because participants get rewarded for their efforts. It is one of the best ways to get more people involved in your business. Why? Because you're using existing buyers to help promote your business to new consumers. And they get bonuses for referring new clients to your company. 

So, knowing the referral incentives or rewards for referrals that awaits them, several customers will gladly embark on the campaign. As a result, you transform customers into loyal brand advocates for your products or services. Ultimately, it improves your customer retention rate, generates more targeted leads, and increases sales.

2. Establish buyer personas

Let's say you've been a digital marketer for a few years or more. Thus, I'm assuming you have heard the terms:

  1. Buyer persona
  2. Customer persona
  3. Persona profile
  4. Marketing persona 
  5. Audience persona

These terms refer to a research-driven audience profile that portrays your ideal customer. But if you're new to digital marketing, those market terms may probably be confusing to you. So, let us define what they represent.

What is a buyer persona?

A customer or buyer persona is a knowledge-based consumer profile that describes or represents your target client. A persona profile reveals vital details about your target customer, such as their challenges, interests, and objectives.

Nonetheless, you can have several buyer personas. How? If a customer seeks advice before paying for your products or services, those involved in making the decision that influenced the buyer's behavior are your marketing personas. 

So, you need to establish your audience personas to enable you to understand your audience better. Knowing your buyers lets you improve customer experience. Remember, happy customers, are loyal buyers. You can only make shoppers happy if you know them well.

That's why creating customer personas is vital. Although it may sound complicated, it is easy. What you have to do is connect with your target audience through various marketing platforms. Then move them to action using strategic marketing, such as surveys and polls.

The surveys you conduct will give you useful information about your ideal buyer. You'll know their names, demographics, what they need help with, and more. Also, the data you collect helps you understand:

  • What content will excite them
  • What marketing channels should be your top priority
  • How to serve them better

Consequently, you will not have a focused, profitable business without a buyer persona. And you will not know who will buy your products or services without marketing personas.

3. Craft exceptional content for lead generation

According to research, 96% of content marketing decision-makers affirm that content is the most effective digital asset for their business success. Why? Content helps you retain existing consumers, attract and nurture a new audience. Ultimately, it drives web traffic and generates targeted leads.

Indeed, 1-in-5 of those marketers explained that marketing content is beneficial to their campaigns. Hence, it is no wonder that almost all businesses and organizations are integrating content marketing into their marketing mix. The study also points out that marketing content is now an essential element of the overall company objectives for 90% of marketers. 

You can create different content types, such as videos, infographics, podcasts, etc. But content writing and blogging are prominent marketing content types. That is why 86% of online marketers utilize blog posts as a top content strategy. Thus, content writing is a vital component of their digital marketing toolbox.Screenshot-(190).png

Source graphic: Zazzle Media

Nevertheless, you may ask, why are these marketers so successful with content marketing? 

Because they create, publish, and distribute useful content frequently. Some marketers also connect their blog posts to special offers that direct users to a landing page where they convert to quality leads. Therefore, creating blog posts that connect with your readers is crucial to your digital marketing success.

How to create top-quality blog posts your readers and Google will love:​

  1. Select topics that excite you and connect with your readers
  2. Research the subjects to gather valuable information
  3. Develop an outline for your material
  4. Craft a captivating headline
  5. Follow up the heading with a compelling introduction. (Apply the dos and don'ts of an irresistible intro)
  6. Use statistical data to amplify your posts
  7. Analyze your facts and the sources
  8. Maintain brief sentences and short paragraphs
  9. ​Include quality images. (Visuals make your content appear attractive, and make complex subjects easy to understand)
  10. Use the right keyword terms and create SEO-friendly content to improve SEO search visibility and ranking
  11. Charm your readers' emotions with a forceful conclusion
  12. Read your content aloud to yourself to define its flow
  13. Get someone to read your blog post to you to get a better feeling of how it flows and how your readership will relate to it.
  14. Track your content performance and regularly measure your key performance indicators (KPIs)

Seasoned content marketers know the value of quality content. It helps you accomplish your marketing objectives, such as brand recognition, generate and nurture leads, and increase sales. 

Screenshot-(191).png

Source image via Oberlo

Indeed, 86% of marketers reached their brand awareness goal through content marketing. Seven out of ten are upping their content marketing investments.

4. Use social media to showcase your brand authority

Social media sites are remarkable for promoting your content and connecting with your target audience. Networking websites also let you show users that you're a thought leader in your niche space. Furthermore, it reveals your brand authority and credibility─helping you build trust with your buyer persona.

Therefore, use social media platforms to display your company values and goals. Post a variety of content and monitor performance to figure what your followers want from you. If the written content is doing better in terms of engagement, keep posting blog posts. 

However, keep in mind that interactive content does well on social sites. So experiment with this type of content across social media, as it helps you understand consumers better. In the end, you'll become the go-to for information materials and scale your startup business quickly.

5. Implement SEO content writing best practices

Creating and publishing blog content without applying SEO content writing best practices means leaving money on your competitors' table. How? The absence of creating content for SEO means that you're missing out on valuable organic search traffic. 

Keep in mind that targeted traffic comes from organic search and is easy to convert. Consequently, to help your audience and eventual customers find your posts online, utilize SEO techniques. Write blogs for your audience that will appear on Google and other search engines.

Here's what to do:

Start by researching your keywords. Look for keyword phrases your readers may be searching online. Then find keyword terms related to your focus keywords. Also, define the search intent of your target audience and make a list of all those keywords. Your list of key terms should include:

  • Focus keyword
  • Related keywords
  • Semantic (LSI) keywords
  • Long-tail keyword phrases
  • User intent

With this information, you are ready to create SEO content that will show up on searches. If your website doesn't show up on searches for your focus keyword, you can appear on Google for related keywords. The idea is to use keyword variations to strengthen your SEO content strategy.

Research your keywords the right way.

I use SEMrush and Ubersuggest when doing keyword research. But I'm using Ubersuggest for this illustration since it is beginner-friendly. Thus, access the app and key in your target keyword.Screenshot-(148).png

For this example, I searched for "content strategy." You can choose your region or the area you're targeting traffic by clicking the dropdown arrow at the top right corner. Ubersuggest shows you local search volume, NOT global search numbers.

To get a worldwide idea of how people are searching for those terms, I use SEMrush. You can use your preferred SEO tool. Here's the result I got for my search query.Screenshot-(146).png

Next, click the "Keyword Ideas" tab on the left sidebar to access more keyword suggestions and related phrases. The idea of using suggested and related keywords is because they are usually long-tail, more descriptive, with added benefits.

Screenshot-(145).png

The benefits of long-tail keywords include:

  • Drives more web traffic
  • More descriptiveーexplain details of what the user is searching
  • Less competitive─meaning that your competitors may not be using them to rank their sites.
  • They generate better conversion and account for 70% of website traffic

So gather the right terms and use them to optimize your posts to increase search visibility and SEO ranking. Besides, if you have the budget, invest in paid ads. It is a faster way to show up on searches and drive traffic. The more target traffic to gain, the more sales and revenue you will make.

6. Get published on leading publications

​Why should you care about blogging for or submitting content to publish on leading publications in your niche? They have the audience and potential clients you are targeting. For instance, my latest client found me via a leading website (Thrive Global) and reached out to me after reading my article.

That blog post I wrote for Thrive Global landed me a high-paying writing client. Besides, I have worked with other clients who saw my work on other publications. There are more benefits, such as brand exposure, drive targeted traffic, and build a community around your business blog from their audience. So it is a smart marketing strategy that drives results.

So, look for top websites in your niche and pitch them your ideas. They will help you grow your startup faster than you imagine. My recommendation is, start building relationships with content managers and editors of sites you want to pitch.

Connect with them by sharing their posts, comment on their blogs, and engage them across social media. They will notice you, and when you send your pitch, they will recognize you. It heightens your chances to get a shot at authority sites.

7. Include mobile marketing into your digital marketing strategy 

Why mobile marketing? Because more people are accessing the internet via mobile devices. Why this trend? It enables consumers to browse online, gathers information, and make purchases on the go. According to research, over 50% of all web traffic comes from smartphones, excluding iPads.

​According to Marketing Land, consumers spend 70% and 79% of their time on mobile devices and social media. In the US, people spend 77% of their online time on mobile. So it is logical why desktop traffic took a nosedive. Thus, if you combine traffic from smartphones and iPads, you get a 70% worldwide traffic coming from mobile devices.

Given these statistics, it makes sense to prioritize mobile marketing as a crucial element of your digital marketing strategy. It helps to improve your conversion rate. 

Maximize mobile marketing. How?

  • Make your website responsive to mobile
  • Make it mobile-friendly 
  • Ensure that you optimize your site for mobile SEO (A mobile-optimized website is mobile-friendly. However, you can create a mobile-friendly website, but fail to optimize it for mobile SEO). So fix it.
  • Improve your site speed
  • Utilize mobile opt-in forms
  • Make your calls-to-action accessible on all mobile devices

Read this article to learn more. Also, you can learn about the differences between a mobile-friendly, mobile-responsive, and mobile-optimized website here.

Wrap Up

I believe you have learned valuable marketing tips you can start implementing to grow your startup business faster. While there are no one-size-fits-all, keep testing your marketing performance to identify what works best for you. 

Apply the pointers in this article, test your strategies, adjust or discard what is not working, reuse, and amplify those that generate results. Also, improve your landing pages to convert more, including email marketing, and device a tracking system for available evaluations.

Do you have more digital marketing tips and strategies that will benefit our readers? We will appreciate your insights and recommendation in the comment section below.

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