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 going forward.
US smartphone penetration hit 87% in 2018, meaning that a majority of 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.
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, though: across all business niches, the top 3 Google results drive 61.5% of clicks. And the drop-off is even steeper from there.
This means that even though the e-commerce marketplace is bigger than ever, surviving in it heavily depends on whether your business ranks on the first page of 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, who face a constant battle of visibility, it’s crucial to have a digital marketing strategy in place that focuses on optimizing your business for high-volume keywords in your industry and optimizing your online presence for local SEO. Which is a great segue into…
Local SEO is a Great Equalizer
Most startups to minimize the importance of a digital marketing strategy use the excuse that it’s impossible to compete with much bigger players on SERPs. That’s where local SEO comes in. As online searches migrate to mobile devices, search algorithms have evolved to take local intent into account.
This means that they prioritize businesses that a) are close to customers, and b) help them get things done in as little time as possible. By employing a digital marketing strategy that optimizes for hyper-targeted keywords with regional qualifiers, it’s 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 of which 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. What’s more, 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 it’s 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. Especially if your startup caters to millennials—as it should—it’s important that you 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 stage of the sales funnel. 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 still, find themselves unable to break through and be seen. And the more time that passes, the more likely it is that a bigger company will capitalize on your breakthroughs and enter the market with their own product.
Digital marketing adds a whole host of tools to your arsenal. If traditional SEO is taking 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 is going to hit $10 billion by 2020, and influencers have immense reach; the most popular ones having as many as 100 million followers!
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Digital marketing has transformative potential when it comes to 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, it’s essential that you invest in it.
About the Author
Aaron Tylor has been working as an SEO specialist at Search Berg for over a decade now. 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 in 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.