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8 Affordable Online Marketing Tricks for Startup Businesses

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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.

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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 August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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