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8 Affordable Online Marketing Tricks for Startup Businesses

8 Affordable Online Marketing Tricks for Startup Businesses

According to research, 9 out of 10 startups are bound to fail. One of the reasons why startup businesses fail is the lack of funds to fuel their advertising campaign and become visible within the niche. Since most new companies don’t have the money to invest on traditional advertising strategies, it is a good idea to learn how to use online marketing strategies instead.

Online marketing makes a great alternative to the expensive traditional advertising methods. Online marketing is a cost effective option that even businesses with the smallest marketing capital can use. Thanks to our digital world, a startup can build their presence online at a minimal cost.

Here are eight effective online marketing strategies that startups can adapt.

1. Create superb content

Content is an important currency in today’s world of digital marketing. Content drives traffic, helps improve ranking, and could potentially help your site convert. However, you have to understand that it is not just any type of content. You have to ensure the quality of content that you produce.

How exactly do you make superb content for your online marketing campaign? As rule of thumb, content must be original and valuable. It should contain information useful to a particular niche.

Also, you have to maximize using headlines in order to help readers keep track of what you are discussing. Just how important are the headlines? 80% of people will read your headlines, but only 20% will read the entire content.

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It is also important to include images and videos to keep the readers interested. More importantly, images can be used to get ideas across even better. Next, you also want to consider the length. It has been proven that longer content favors your SEO strategy.

2. Increase the reach in social media

Social media is a game changer for startup entrepreneurs. It has altered the way businesses influence and communicate to their market. It has also benefited startups by providing them with leads. In order to maximize the use of social media, it is pertinent to increase your reach in social media.

Facebook is still the largest social media platform online. With billions of accounts, Facebook is (appropriately) the face of social media marketing. Unfortunately, organic reach for Facebook pages declined since the platform changed its algorithm. From 16% reach in 2012, organic reach is only at an average of 2.7% last year.

In order to increase the reach in social media, you will have to resort to both organic and paid methods. For organic methods, it is important to develop a voice that matches your company’s branding. Next, it is important to know exactly when to post. Timing is important, especially in maximizing engagement. Also, you need to share valuable content more than you promote your products and services.

As for paid methods, you need to first know your market well. This way, you get the most from your advertising budget on social media. It is important to know the demographic, and the location of your market to maximize results.

Also, it is highly advisable to mix the use of social media platforms. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have different specializations, which make them unique. Each unique social media platform provides another way to help you reach your niche.

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3. Improve SEO

How important is SEO for startup entrepreneurs? According to statistics, organic search leads have generated an average of 14.6% close rate. Also, 75% of Google users will simply stay on the first page of the search result. This means that finding your site even on just the second page of the search result equates lower traffic and fewer views.

In terms of cost, SEO is also cost effective. In fact, it is considered 61% cheaper than outbound marketing. Why is it affordable? SEO experts maximize what any given search engine’s algorithm offers. Marketers simply adapt to the changing algorithm in order to maintain and improve a site’s ranking.

Over the years, Google has improved its algorithm in favor of websites that provide the best user experience. This is why web owners are forced to adapt a mobile friendly site, and to have high quality content to provide their niche. Social media also becomes a game changer as it provides signals to search engine spiders which entries become trending.

4. Use influencers

Influencer marketing is relatively new in the range of effective online marketing strategies. However, in terms of concept, it is a modern means of word-of-mouth advertising. Influencer marketing is the use of a person’s network to promote a product or service.

Influencers can range from bloggers, to famous people on Instagram, and even YouTube celebrities. A startup entrepreneur can manage to increase the reach of their startup company once they have the right influencer. This is also a low maintenance and cost effective marketing strategy. Typically, influencers only require freebies.

5. Make a responsive website

There is no reason for startup entrepreneurs to ignore redesigning an outdated website. It is no secret that with improving technology, we have witnessed an increase in traffic from mobile phones and tablets. 16% of the entire web traffic now comes from mobile sources.

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Your website will reflect what your company is all about in the eyes of your market. According to a survey conducted by Google, almost 50% of users think that the company doesn’t care about their business if they don’t have a responsive website.

In case your site is still not mobile friendly, you are missing out on a lot. In addition to this, 70% of mobile searches have led to an action.

6. Use visuals

It has been proven that visuals can affect how a person thinks. In fact, addition of visuals can boost a person’s willingness to finish an entire text by as much as 80%. Also, associating visual images to information improves the retention of data.

By implementing visual strategy on their online marketing, startup entrepreneurs can increase the likelihood that their market is going to purchase from them by as much as 85%.

What are the types of visuals that you could invest in? Infographics make a great option. According to statistics, there’s an 800% increase in search volume for infographics from 2010 to 2012. What makes infographics popular is their ability to convey statistics and ideas in a simplified manner.

Videos also make a great option for visual marketing. YouTube and Vimeo are among the most popular video marketing platforms used by startups today.

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 7. Email marketing

A lot of startup entrepreneurs may hesitate in using email marketing given the presence of social media. To give you an idea about the power of email marketing, 77% of consumers prefer to receive marketing communications via email. Also, 44% of email recipients have purchased at least once because of a promotional email.

Startup entrepreneurs should understand that email marketing remains a proven effective online marketing strategy. In fact, 89% of marketers believe that email marketing is their primary channel for lead generation. In 2012, email ad revenue has reached $156 million according to a study.

As far as the cost goes, emails are free! In order to get noticed, you simply need to catch someone’s attention with a great headline and content.

8. Offer freebies

Does freebie marketing really work? How can a business afford to give something totally free? For startup businesses, offering freebies can help your business in so many ways. It can open a different market, not to mention prove your company’s worth.

What are things that you can offer for free? Valuable content is usually given for free in order to catch the attention of the market. Content may come in the form of blogs, but for startup businesses that want to take it to the next level, they can make an e-book instead. It is also possible to offer free videos, as well.

There are many creative ways on how to make use of freebies. For example, if you are selling a product, you can give coupon codes, or raffle off free items on social media every now and then.

Conclusion

It is possible for startup businesses to reach their marketing goals despite having a small marketing budget. By using the right online marketing strategy, it is possible to not only get more people to look in your direction, but also increase your sales.

Featured photo credit: Jay Wennington via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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