SOURCE: YAHOO FINANCE

There’s no doubt that start­ing up on your own is a huge achieve­ment. But once the ini­tial con­grat­u­la­to­ry mes­sages fade into the back­ground, there’s a ton of hard work that needs to go in to ensure that your busi­ness suc­ceeds. In today’s fast-paced, dig­i­tal­ly con­nect­ed glob­al mar­ket­place, it can be chal­leng­ing to stay rel­e­vant, let alone ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion. Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing is a sure­fire strat­e­gy to estab­lish, nur­ture, and even­tu­al­ly expand your startup’s online pres­ence.

How­ev­er, for dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing to be effec­tive in pro­mot­ing your start­up online, you must first have the nec­es­sary brand­ing ele­ments and tools. For instance, hav­ing a logo is vital, as it’s the face of your start­up and will be used con­sis­tent­ly through­out all your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing efforts.

Once your start­up has a logo, brand aware­ness and recog­ni­tion will soon fol­low. Your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing efforts will help fur­ther strength­en your online pres­ence. Here are six dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing tips to help your start­up gain trac­tion, recog­ni­tion and even a com­pet­i­tive edge.

6 essential digital marketing tips to help startups succeed

1. Present a consistent brand image

A sure­fire way to increase aware­ness about your start­up is to use a con­sis­tent brand image across all com­mu­ni­ca­tion and mar­ket­ing chan­nels. This begins with hav­ing a unique logo, and you can eas­i­ly cre­ate your own with the Wix Logo Mak­er with­out hav­ing to hire a pro­fes­sion­al design­er. Your logo is the face of your com­pa­ny. Its pur­pose is to present your startup’s iden­ti­ty and aim. While small in size, your logo has a big job to do: as it will appear in all of your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing efforts across all social media plat­forms. It sets the tone for the mes­sages that you’re relay­ing, and that tone should be con­sis­tent. For instance, if your com­pa­ny logo is whim­si­cal, then your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing should also be (the same applies if you’re seri­ous, tra­di­tion­al or avant-garde). Oth­er­wise, you’ll be send­ing out mixed mes­sages about who you are, and your tar­get audi­ence won’t rec­og­nize, remem­ber or trust you.

2. Ensure Positive User Experience

To suc­cess­ful­ly pro­mote aware­ness, you need to reach your tar­get audi­ence online. Then, it’s time to build and sus­tain a last­ing rela­tion­ship with them by inspir­ing them to engage with and trust your brand, val­ues, and prod­uct or ser­vices. Your startup’s online iden­ti­ty begins with hav­ing a web­site and a logo. Both will go a long way in help­ing you engage your audi­ence and con­se­quent­ly get them to remem­ber you.

If your start­up doesn’t have a web­site yet, it’s time to cre­ate one. With Wix.com, you can eas­i­ly and quick­ly cre­ate your own pro­fes­sion­al-look­ing web­site with­out any need for cod­ing or design skills.

The trick to long-term audi­ence engage­ment is to pro­vide a unique and pos­i­tive user expe­ri­ence. After all, the bet­ter the user expe­ri­ence, the more recep­tive peo­ple will be to (repeat­ed­ly) asso­ci­at­ed with your brand and busi­ness. Some exam­ples of how you can pro­vide a pos­i­tive user expe­ri­ence include:

  • Fast web­site load­ing speed
  • An intu­itive web­site nav­i­ga­tion menu
  • Chat­bots that assist in com­mu­ni­ca­tion
  • Con­cise and infor­ma­tive con­tent (includ­ing dig­i­tal newslet­ters and updates to keep your con­ver­sa­tion and bond going with clients)
  • Client man­age­ment that pro­vides pos­i­tive cus­tomer ser­vice
  • Dig­i­tal newslet­ters and updates to keep the com­mu­ni­ca­tion going with your clients

3. Creative content

So, you’ve effec­tive­ly reached your tar­get audi­ence and piqued their inter­est. Now it’s time to cre­ate a con­stant stream of fresh, unique and rel­e­vant writ­ten and video con­tent. The pur­pose of your con­tent is two-fold: You’ll use it to relay your startup’s mis­sion and brand mes­sage as well as to engage your audi­ence and keep them inter­est­ed in your prod­uct or ser­vice over the long term. While con­tent is an impor­tant way to mar­ket your prod­uct or ser­vice, it should also add val­ue by pre­sent­ing infor­ma­tion that your tar­get audi­ence will find new, use­ful and inter­est­ing. And remem­ber, less is more, so keep your con­tent con­cise.

4. Integrate video

While video is not a new mar­ket­ing tool, it remains a pow­er­ful way to com­mu­ni­cate your startup’s mis­sion and brand mes­sage. Plus, today, peo­ple are not only used to online video con­tent but expect it. Con­sid­er inte­grat­ing videos into your web­site and on social media plat­forms. Use videos on Face­book Live and Insta­gram Sto­ries to com­mu­ni­cate with and engage your audi­ence. Oth­er video mar­ket­ing ideas could include tuto­ri­als, webi­na­rs and live events for prod­uct or ser­vice launch­es or for infor­ma­tion­al ques­tion-and-answer ses­sions. Such videos will make it eas­i­er for your audi­ence to con­nect with your start­up and its prod­uct or ser­vice. For SEO pur­pos­es, hav­ing video on your web­site could boost your search engine results.

woman editing a video

5. Social media platforms

Social media plat­forms play a pow­er­ful role in grow­ing your online pres­ence. They allow you to reach and engage a larg­er audi­ence quick­ly, even in real time. In doing so, they can boost your startup’s brand aware­ness, lead gen­er­a­tion and con­ver­sions, as well as search engine rank­ing. There­fore, a social media strat­e­gy should be a large part of your dig­i­tal media strat­e­gy.

Social media is there­fore key when it comes to shar­ing your online con­tent. What good is qual­i­ty con­tent if it doesn’t reach the right peo­ple or inspire them to seek you out? Accord­ing to indus­try guru Neil Patel, social media mes­sag­ing is an extreme­ly effec­tive chan­nel to engage peo­ple. For instance, Face­book Mes­sen­ger has met­rics of an 88 per­cent open rate and a 56 per­cent click-through rate. Patel asserts that your audi­ence will tend to fol­low a link they received from you via Face­book Mes­sen­ger than through an email mar­ket­ing cam­paign. The bot­tom line: it’s not just the con­tent you cre­ate but also the medi­um you use to share it, and social media can pos­i­tive­ly impact your startup’s growth.

6. Search engine optimization

It’s vital to invest in SEO for your startup’s web­site. Focus­ing on SEO will help more peo­ple find your site, and thus boost the num­ber of site vis­i­tors you get, which could mean more busi­ness. One option is to have an SEO audit review how users are inter­act­ing with your web­site and social media plat­forms. This entails review­ing aspects of your web­site, page opti­miza­tion, device opti­miza­tion, and exter­nal links to see how to get high­er vis­i­bil­i­ty in search engine results. It’s impor­tant to note that in a recent Google update, web­sites that were not respon­sive on dif­fer­ent dig­i­tal devices did not appear in the Google search. If you can’t afford to hire SEO experts, or don’t feel com­fort­able tack­ling SEO, there is anoth­er option: Wix.com offers an SEO Wiz­ard, which explains every­thing you need to know about key­words, SEO, and how to set up your website’s SEO to get found online.

The Bottom Line

A dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy that specif­i­cal­ly appeals to your tar­get audi­ence will help expand your startup’s online pres­ence and over­all growth. To bet­ter con­nect with cur­rent and poten­tial clients or cus­tomers, focus on using a con­sis­tent brand image, mak­ing your user expe­ri­ence more appeal­ing, cre­ate qual­i­ty writ­ten and video con­tent, expand your pres­ence on — and use of — social media, and refine your SEO. No mat­ter what aspects you focus on, be con­sis­tent in meet­ing your audience’s inter­est and needs. And, before all, be sure you have a mem­o­rable logo and web­site. All of these brand­ing and dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing tools com­bined will ensure your startup’s suc­cess.