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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 January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

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