Why Digital Marketing Strategies Are Pivotal for a Startup’s Online Commercial Success
In 2014, Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, boldly declared that the company—and the larger industry—was moving towards a cloud-first, mobile-first future. And while Microsoft missed the boat with the smartphone revolution, they couldn’t have made a more prescient statement regarding how central a digital strategy is for any business in the future.
US smartphone penetration hit 87% in 2018, meaning that most consumers now have access to an internet-connected device. Furthermore, 97% of smartphone users use them to find a local business! That’s a staggering number.
Digital Marketing Strategies Are Pivotal for Success
If you’re heading a startup, missing out on the sales and discovery potential of solid digital marketing is setting yourself up for failure. To drive the point home, let’s take a deep dive into what digital marketing entails and why it’s pivotal for your startup’s commercial success:
Online Visibility Equals Tremendous ROI
Let’s put things into perspective; the US e-commerce business is projected to be worth around $735 billion by 2023. Here’s the kicker: the top 3 Google results drive 61.5% of clicks across all business niches. And the drop-off is even steeper from there.
Even though the e-commerce marketplace is bigger than ever, surviving heavily depends on whether your business ranks on the first search engine result pages (SERPs).
Investing in long-term internet marketing for your small business can get you to the first page of SERPs over time, meaning that the investment you made in it will pay for itself!
Especially for startups facing a constant battle for visibility, it’s crucial to have a digital marketing strategy that focuses on optimizing your business for high-volume keywords in your industry and your online presence for local SEO. Which is a great segue into…
Local SEO is a Great Equalizer
To minimize the importance of a digital marketing strategy, most startups use the excuse that competing with much bigger players on SERPs is impossible. That’s where local SEO comes in. Search algorithms have evolved to consider local intent as online searches migrate to mobile devices.
This means they prioritize businesses that a) are close to customers and b) help them get things done in as little time as possible. In addition, deploying a digital marketing strategy that optimizes hyper-targeted keywords with regional qualifiers makes it possible to rank even higher than huge competitors on SERPs!
Central to this strategy is being listed on online directories that search engines query; the most important is Google My Business (GMB). Making an account is free, and maintaining a frequently updated listing can even net you a spot on Google’s coveted 3-pack listing.
93% of local searches show the Google 3-pack business listing at the top; it drives an incredible number of click-throughs and supercharges online lead generation. Moreover, 50% of consumers who conduct local searches visit a store the next day, and 18% of local searches end in a sale!
Make Lasting Relationships With Your Audience
Whether through personalized emails that make customers feel valued, segmenting customers and rewarding those who give you a lot of business, or maintaining a killer social media feed, digital marketing can make people perceive your business as more than just a brand.
Survey upon survey has found that consumers crave authenticity in businesses. It fuels sales and creates brand loyalty that can last a lifetime. So especially if your startup caters to millennials—as it should—it’s important to make them feel valued and show them that your business is more than just a brand logo and empty corporate promises.
The most successful brands tell a story at every sales funnel stage. Make potential customers aware of how much you care about a problem that only your services or products can solve, how your product enriches their lives, and why they should trust you.
Multiple Avenues For Success
Startups often have the right product at the right time but cannot break through and be seen. And the more time passes, the more likely a bigger company will capitalize on your breakthroughs and enter the market with their product.
Digital marketing adds a whole host of tools to your arsenal. For example, if traditional SEO takes too long, you can run a PPC campaign instead. Customers who click on pay-per-click campaigns are 50% more likely to buy a product. These campaigns also radically improve brand awareness as they catapult you to the top of SERPs. This helps you reach customers who otherwise would never have known about your brand.
Don’t have the resources for a full-fledged PPC campaign that targets all the important industry keywords? How about an influencer marketing strategy instead? The industry will hit $10 billion by 2020, and influencers have immense reach; the most popular ones have as many as 100 million followers!
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Digital marketing has transformative potential regarding the future of your business and its commercial success. From making your business’s website a revenue-generating machine to exponentially increasing organic traffic to your site, you must invest in it.
About the Author
Aaron Tylor has been an SEO specialist at Search Berg for over a decade. The full-service digital marketing firm has finished over 15,000 SEO projects, helping startups across countless industries be seen online.
Aaron has 15 years of hands-on experience developing bullet-proof SEO strategies for small businesses; whether it’s link-building service, web development, or small business SEO, your business is in safe hands with his advice.