5 Digital Marketing Essentials for Startups

For small startups with big potential, marketing is often viewed as a requisite hurdle that must be overcome. After all, no matter how compelling or useful a new product or service may be, entrepreneurs must work tirelessly to ensure they get the message of their brand out to the public. But intelligent business leaders will see opportunity in this challenge, and as an article from Forbes contributor Martin Zwilling pointed out, “digital marketing is a great equalizer for startups.”

“Intelligent business leaders see opportunity in the challenge of digital marketing.”

Still, the question remains – how can nascent companies make the most of their limited marketing budgets and ensure that their organizations get the publicity and momentum they deserve? To help entrepreneurs navigate these early stages to the best of their ability, here are five essential marketing tips that every startup leader should keep in mind.

1. Set reasonable expectations
It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of a burgeoning startup environment and assume that a marketing campaign will go viral in a matter of days. But the reality is that marketing takes time, effort and a great deal of persistence just to make a tangible bit of progress.

As an article from ReadWrite contributor Stephen Moyers noted, “few marketing campaigns will achieve instantaneous results.” If they want a shot at success, marketers must remember that they are in it for the long haul.

2. Create a more specific budget
Too many startups set aside capital resources under a general “marketing” umbrella, believing that all necessary products and service will fit neatly into this category. While this may not hamper the impact of a campaign, entrepreneurs would be wise to allocate their limited funds in a more strategic and targeted manner.

Decision-makers should break down budgets to account for internal talent, external partnerships, technology and other necessities that may spring up down the road.

3. Focus on mastering key channels
No organization has ever found success by trying to be a jack of all trades, and the same dynamic applies to marketing – even in a multi-channel environment. Instead of spreading itself thin across an endless array of social media platforms and live interactive channels, a brand should focus on the basics of email, Facebook and Twitter before moving onto more complex strategies.

4. Understand the power of content
Smart marketers know that while outreach efforts are necessary for an initial push into the public eye, content development is what will keep consumers interested and engaged over the long run. In his article for ReadWrite, Stephen Moyers went so far as to state that “content is the foundation of any successful digital marketing campaign.”

5. Measure and manage campaigns
Without an idea of how digital marketing campaigns are performing, there’s little chance that a startup will be able to learn from its mistakes and launch a stronger initiative the next time around. Any organization should always fortify its campaign strategies with plenty of metrics and reports to ensure that it is set up for continuous improvement and refinement.