Today, startups need to have a strong online presence to reach and engage with their target audiences effectively. And the most cost-effective and efficient way to do so is to leverage digital marketing for your startup growth.

However, with so many different digital marketing channels and strategies available, it can be overwhelming for startups to know where to start. This is where I can help!

Disclosure: This content may contain a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).

In this post, I’ll help you explore the essential elements of digital marketing for startups, and provide you with practical tips and strategies to help your startup succeed

This involves helping you build a brand identity, promote your products and services, and drive growth in terms of web traffic, user engagement, and sales.

Whether you're just starting out or looking to take your digital marketing efforts to the next level, this post will provide you with the insights and tools you need to succeed.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

The Best Strategies to Grow Your Startup in 2024

Here are some digital marketing strategies to help grow your startup in 2024:

1. Build a Recognizable Brand

Some brands are immediately recognizable such as McDonald’s golden arches and Nike’s Swoosh. That’s the power of unique and consistent branding.

If you want your startup to succeed, developing a recognizable and trusted brand is essential. This involves creating a unique logo, tagline, website, and social media presence that communicates your value proposition and builds trust with your target audience.

Also, the key to powerful branding is consistency.

Let’s get started with the basics of brand building.

1. Create a Unique Logo

Your logo doesn’t need to be complicated. It should just capture the essence of your brand’s purpose, products, and services in the simplest way possible.

As mentioned before, Nike’s famous Swoosh is an excellent example of a simple, yet effective logo.

On average, a logo lasts for 10 years, which is why it’s worth investing in a good designer.

The current logo trends support:

  • Minimal styles with greater impact
  • Company initials or business name
  • Classic color choices
  • Negative space within or around logo details

2. Decide on the Fonts and Color Palette of Your Brand

It’s important to define the look and feel of your brand – which depends on the fonts and color palette you use.

When it comes to fonts, I recommend that you keep them simple. Select two fonts at most to build an image in your audience’s mind. You can use one for the headings and another for the body text.

You can also choose fonts from the same font family such as Sans-Serif, Monospace, or Handwriting fonts.

Fontpair is an interesting website that helps you find fonts that go well together. You can also consult your designer to finalize fonts that best suit your business.

Different colors can affect mood and perception differently. The colors you choose for your brand will define the feeling you want to communicate to your potential buyers.

For example, Coca-Cola’s signature red color represents energy and excitement, and it is also known to trigger impulsive buys. This works in the favor of the soft drink brand as it entices consumers to make a purchase.

When choosing your brand colors, you should:

  • Know your focus. Do you want customers to feel happy, intelligent, or confident?
  • Understand color psychology. Select colors that convey the feeling you want to communicate.
  • Research your competitors' brand colors.
  • Consider your brand’s personality traits. Is your brand fun, serious, or inspiring?
  • Be ready to experiment.

For example, if your brand produces organic foods, you can go with earthy colors like brown. However, if you want to focus on sustainability in your messaging, the color “green” will suit your brand more.

You can also use a combination of two or three colors to define your brand’s color palette. For this, it’s best to use a color wheel or a color palette generator to pick similar colors.

Here are some color palette examples for inspiration:

For entrepreneurs who are new to brand building, you can use ZeBrand, a comprehensive brand building tool to get started.

3. Finalize a Tone of Voice for Your Brand

The tone of voice is how your brand decides to communicate and connect with your audience through messaging across customer interactions. It’s best to have consistent messaging across all channels to build brand recognition and trust.

For example, Dunkin’ is known for showing off a playful side in its messaging.

To find your brand’s tone of voice, you should:

  • Define your brand’s core values.
  • Ask what your company goals are.
  • Understand your target audience and how they prefer to communicate.
  • Establish a brand messaging framework that outlines your startup's core values and what you want to be known for.
  • Create and implement tone of voice guidelines, including details like the vocabulary to use and avoid.

4. Build a Website That Represents Your Brand

Another essential element of a solid brand is a branded website. It is also a fundamental part of any startup's digital marketing strategy.

A website is a must for all startups, even if you don’t sell a product or service online. So, ensure you build one right at the onset of your business.

When designing a branded website, you should keep the following points in mind:

  • Design your homepage wisely. It should include all essential elements such as compelling call-to-action buttons, high-quality images, and clear messaging.
  • Create all essential web pages such as the “About Us” page, “Contact” page, “Privacy Policy” page, and product/service pages.
  • Make navigation easy to allow users to find what they are looking for, be it information or products. Include links to important pages in the header as well as the footer section of your website.
  • Optimize your website’s page loading speed to prevent users from bouncing off. Remember, users have a very short attention span these days.
  • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly to deliver a better user experience.
  • If you have got products to sell, consider using ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce or BigCommerce.
  • If you want to create a simple, informative website, you can start with creating a WordPress site. Learn more about website development as a first-time website builder.

Aside from a website or ecommerce store, you should also consider listing your products and services on relevant marketplaces. Some of the popular ones include Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Fiverr, and Upwork.

These online marketplaces can help expose your startup to thousands of potential global customers every day.

5. Claim Your Social Media Handles (In Your Business Name)

Claiming social media handles in your business name is an important step in establishing your brand's online presence.

As a startup owner, you should:

  • First, decide which social media platforms you want to use to promote your business. Some popular options include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok.
  • Check if your business name or a variation of it is available as a username or handle on your chosen social media platforms.
  • Once you've found an available handle, create an account on the platform and claim the social handle for your startup. Be sure to fill out your profile information, including your business description and contact information.
  • Be consistent. Use the same handle across all your social media platforms to ensure consistency and make it easier for customers to find you.

However, claiming your social media handles is just the beginning. Once you create your business accounts on social media, you can’t leave them inactive.

Regularly post updates, engage with your followers, and use social media to promote your business and build brand awareness. It can help you reach new customers and build a solid fan base for your company.

I’ll cover more on this in the “social media marketing” section below.

2. Invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

You have built a website with an awesome design and conversion-friendly content. But what if no one visits it?

All your efforts will be in vain.

To prevent this, you need to ensure your website ranks at the top of the search results pages for relevant searches.

The first three spots on the SERPs are said to receive more than half of the search traffic and 90% of users never click on the second page of the SERPs.

organic search traffic stats

With hundreds of websites in your niche, it can be challenging to secure the top positions in search results. But that’s where search engine optimization (SEO) plays a decisive role.

If you want to conquer SERPs, you need to address the five elements of SEO, which are as follows:

1. Keyword Research

Your SEO success lies in your selection of highly-relevant keywords and phrases that could drive targeted traffic to your website.

To get started, you should:

  • Make a list of relevant topics to target.
  • Find seed keywords for these topics. Basically, find broad keywords and phrases relevant to the topic. For example, if your startup sells pet care products, your seed keywords can be:
    • Pet care company
    • Pet care products
    • Pet care service provider in California
    • Pet care services
  • Use a keyword research tool to find all relevant keywords for your seed keyword. I personally use Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool to create my keyword list. It provides useful insights to help you choose your keywords wisely and increase your chances of ranking for them.
  • Identify the keywords your competitors are targeting and getting traffic from.
  • Refine your list of keywords based on qualitative data about their search volume, competition, and keyword difficulty. For most startups, keywords with a lower keyword difficulty score are the best choice to start with because they’ll be easier to rank for.

These points are just to give you a quick overview of the process. I’ve written a separate in-depth guide on how to conduct keyword research, which can help you learn the trade secrets. Be sure to browse through it.

2. Technical SEO

Technical SEO includes optimizing your website for factors like:

  • Broken links
  • 404 redirects
  • Page loading speed
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Appropriate alt text for all images (for visually-impaired users)
  • Accessibility
  • Sitemap
  • URL structure

Keep all of these factors in mind while building your startup website. To ensure you’re on the right track, schedule regular technical SEO audits of your website, preferably every six months.

3. On-Page SEO

On-page or on-site SEO is the process of optimizing individual web pages for specific keywords to improve their search rankings.

This includes optimizing:

  • SEO title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • URLs
  • Heading tags – H1, H2, H3, and so on
  • Web copy or body content
  • Alt text for images

Primarily, you need to optimize the overall content quality of your web pages and blog posts. To attract organic search traffic to your startup website, ensure your site is optimized for all essential on-page search ranking factors.

4. Off-Page SEO

Other than optimizing the elements and content on your website, you can also optimize for off-page search ranking factors to increase the SERP discoverability of your website.

Off-page SEO strategy focuses on using third-party content and link building opportunities such as contributing to other publications as a guest author.

You can also build backlinks to your website by participating in:

  • Expert roundups on topics relevant to your niche but you should have industry experience for this
  • Social media content sharing
  • Quora answers
  • Guest blogging (also mentioned above)

However, choose your backlink sources wisely. Links from poor authority or irrelevant websites can do more harm than good.

When building backlinks, prioritize quality over quantity.

For example, I contribute to top publications like Forbes and industry-relevant websites like Jeff Bullas’ blog, Content Marketing Institute, and Business 2 Community.

These contributions have helped me build my authority as an expert in the digital marketing domain.

Here’s a quick recap of what we discussed above:

seo factors by shane barker

5. Local SEO

If you’ve launched a store or shop in a particular area, you should also use local SEO strategies to increase the footfall of your store.

Local SEO basically helps you rank and become more visible in local search results.

For example, if you run a bakery in Sacramento, California, you can optimize your site and content for local keywords like “cookies in Sacramento” or “bakery in Sacramento.”

When people search for similar keywords or phrases like “bakery near me,” Google is likely to display results relevant to that geolocation.

google search results for bakery in sacramento

As you can see above, along with the name of the bakery, users can also get information about:

  • The address of the bakery or any business, in general
  • Operating hours
  • Customer ratings
  • Available services or unique selling propositions like takeaway, dine-in, delivery, and the style of pastries available

To rank for local searches, you need to:

  • Create a free Google Business Profile [formerly known as Google My Business (GMB)] and fill out information bout your business. This includes:
    • Your business name
    • Logo
    • Address
    • Contact information
    • Operating hours
    • Photos
    • Website or online store link
    • Services you offer
  • Ask your customers to review your business on Google. Good reviews can help you attract more customers.
  • Target local keywords in your content to attract local visitors.

3. Use Social Media Marketing to Raise Brand Awareness and User Engagement

Any discussion about digital marketing is incomplete without the mention of social media. Social media platforms offer a cost-effective way to reach and engage potential customers and persuade them to buy from you.

Recent statistics show that the number of social media users will reach 4.86 billion in 2023 and will further rise to about 6 billion in 2027.

With the increase in social media users, business profiles will also increase. That’s why I recommend that you start utilizing social media early when the competition is less.

So, how can you establish your startup’s presence on social media?

Here are a few tips to start with social media marketing:

1. Pick the Social Platforms to Build Your Profile On

Identify the social media channels that your target audience is most active on and create your profiles (if you haven’t already). For startups, it’s best to focus on 1–2 platforms on which your audience hangs out the most.

For example, if you run a bakery, you may want to attract youngsters on Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat to try your products. Creating fun-packed baking videos for Instagram Reels or tempting cookie photography for Pinterest Pins can be a good starting point.

But if you’ve launched a SaaS tool for businesses, LinkedIn will be a more relevant platform for you to attract mid and senior-level executives and decision-makers.

If you’re a startup, you need to focus on quality over quantity. Don’t try to do too many things at once. Instead, you should focus on a few core products, services, or strategies that you can really excel at.
serial entrepreneur and investor, and a Forbes 30 under 30 alumni

2. Optimize Your Social Profiles

It’s simple but many businesses and creators ignore this step. But your social media profile creates the first impression of your startup in potential customers’ minds. So, ensure that you leave a good one.

Here’s how to optimize your social profiles:

  • Upload a high-quality profile photo. Use your logo for building brand recognition. Keep it consistent across social networks.
  • Update your bio with relevant information about your startup. Write what you do, what products or services you offer, and what makes you unique.
  • Include a link to your website and your contact details.
  • Create and curate hashtags that you want to use. I recommend using one branded hashtag and 2-3 industry-specific hashtags to reach your customers.

You can see below how I’ve been using the same profile picture across social platforms and mentioning details about what I do and what type of content you can expect from following me.

3. Build a Content Strategy for Each Social Platform

Next, you should create a social content strategy for all platforms you want to target. This strategy should include details about the type of content, number of posts, times to post, hashtags to use, and any specific campaigns to run.

Here are a few tips to create and implement an effective social content strategy:

  • Jot down the topics you want to cover. Write down ideas as they come.
  • Batch create content to ensure that you don’t run out of post-worthy content and can maintain a consistent posting schedule.
  • Don’t shy off from repurposing content and sharing it across social media channels to amplify its reach and engage as many people as you can.
  • Use different content formats such as videos, images, carousels, Reels, Stories, and Live videos to engage users who enjoy varied content.
  • Figure out the best time to post content on each platform and schedule your posts for those times. You can check out my guides on the best Instagram posting times and the best TikTok posting times.
  • Use social media tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your content. I personally use Buffer. Later is a good platform for planning your social content calendar.
  • At a later stage, you can also use social commerce to create shoppable posts and ads, and sell your products on platforms like Instagram.
Videos between 30 seconds and one minute perform the best for promoting your brand or products. These are short enough to keep someone’s attention while still being long enough to provide value.
Head of Marketing at Ninja Transfers

4. Put an Engagement Strategy in Place

Just posting content is not enough. You should also create a strategy to engage your audience on social media and build meaningful relationships with them. Eventually, you’ll be able to influence their purchasing decisions, and they’ll be able to trust your brand.

To increase user engagement on social media:

  • Post polls and questions on Stories.
  • Respond to their comments on your posts.
  • Reply to their DMs.
  • Go Live to engage with your audience.

5. Regularly Track Results and Optimize Your Social Strategy for Maximum ROI

Monitor your social media posts’ performance regularly using the social network’s built-in analytics tool or third-party social media analytics tools.

You should track metrics like:

  • Number of likes, comments, and shares
  • Number of replies to your Stories
  • Overall engagement rate of your accounts
  • Your follower growth on different social platforms
  • Amount of traffic driven to your website through social links
  • Number of brand mentions
  • The sentiment of conversations about your brand

Tracking and analyzing your social media analytics can help you understand your customers’ preferences better. Based on these insights, you can optimize your social strategy to engage and convert them, which will help grow your startup’s visibility and credibility.

While you follow all of these social media marketing tips for your startup, be sure to not make any of the common social media mistakes that can be fatal to your startup’s growth.

4. Leverage Content Marketing to Grow Your Startup Manifold

Content is the center of all digital marketing strategies, be it social media marketing or email campaigns.

34% of consumers are likely to make an unplanned purchase after reading quality content. That’s the power of high-quality and relevant content.

Leveraging content marketing for your startup can help you:

  • Increase the visibility of your brand and raise awareness about your products and services.
  • Reach, engage, and build lasting relationships with your prospects and customers.
  • Increase organic traffic to your website.
  • Build high-quality backlinks that contribute to your expertise and authority.
  • Boost brand recognition and trust.
  • Build credibility and authority in your niche.
  • Establish your thought leadership.
  • Generate high-converting leads for your startup and increase sales and revenue.

But to achieve these results, you need to create content that appeals to the needs and wants of your target audience. It should demonstrate that your startup brand can fulfill their expectations.

1. Analyze Your Target Audience and Their Preferences

Understand what your customers and prospects want.

  • What are your target audience’s demographics, interests, and location?
  • What do they want to learn about your brand, products, and services?
  • What type of content do they prefer to watch? Videos, written content, or podcasts.
  • Which stage of the buying journey are they in? Awareness, evaluation, or conversion.
  • Which platforms do your prospects frequent? Google searches, Twitter, or Instagram.
  • Which are the common pain points or points of confusion your audience may experience?
Compile a list of all the questions your target audience is asking about your product or service and then create content that answers all of those questions thoroughly.
This content then can be used on your website in the form of articles or blog posts, which can help drive organic traffic to your site. It also can be used in lead nurturing emails sent to prospective clients at opportune moments during the sales cycle. Furthermore, your customer support team can use it to help respond to customer inquiries
 It's a tactic that provides a lot of value to the company from the get-go.
VP of Marketing, Nozzle.io

2. Create Valuable Content for Your Prospects and Customers

Create content that appeals to your prospects and customers. For example, if you are selling a SaaS product, write professional product reviews and create explainer videos using the tool you’ve developed.

But if you are selling a face mask, highlight its benefits using before and after images of using the product. Or, ask a beauty influencer to promote it to their audience via Live streaming.

When creating content, follow these best practices:

  • Prioritize in-depth topic research to write content that your audience will love to check out.
  • Help answer your audience’s questions or help them solve a problem like taking care of the rose plant.
  • Work on engaging content ideas for your potential customers such as industry trends, product comparisons, and useful insights about your niche.
  • Diversify your content formats, varying from blog posts to explainer videos, social media Stories, infographics, ebooks, case studies, and so on.
different content types
  • Proofread and edit your content to prevent duplicate content, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes.
  • Update and repurpose your existing content to make the most of it by publishing it in multiple formats on different channels.

You can use content writing tools like Grammarly, Copyscape, and Surfer to improve your content quality and search discoverability.

3. Promote Your Content Through Various Channels

To put your content in front of a wide audience, choose your content distribution channels.

For example, when I publish an article on ShaneBarker.com, I also share it in my newsletter and on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

I also syndicate my content on platforms like Medium.com and include links to it in my Quora answers.

As a startup, you should use different content syndication platforms, social media, and email marketing to increase the reach of your content.

5. Start Leveraging Email Marketing From the Beginning

Email is the third-highest source of all digital conversions. This means it’s a crucial digital marketing strategy for your startup.

And the best thing about email marketing is you don’t have to break the bank to run an email campaign.

You can start with a simple, free email marketing solution like Mailchimp. It allows you to send up to 1000 emails a month to up to 500 contacts for free. This is good enough for a startup.

As you grow, you can upgrade to a higher plan to get access to more monthly email sends, contacts, and features.

Here are some tips on launching a successful email marketing campaign:

  • A lot depends on your email subject lines. Make them catchy, engaging, and benefit-rich.
  • Avoid jargon in your email copy. Write in plain, persuasive language.
  • Break up text so it’s easy to scan. Use bullet points, subheadings, and visuals.
  • Talk about the benefits you’re going to offer. Include a discount on your product they showed interest in.
  • Optimize your emails for mobile devices.
  • Include a professional email signature with your startup’s logo, address, website link, social media handles, and contact information.

And the most important? Start as early as possible with email marketing.

1. Sign Up with an Email Marketing Tool

The best way to run email campaigns is to use a tool to design your emails and schedule email sends. Many tools also offer automation workflows, which can help you with abandoned cart recovery, repeat purchases, and retargeting website visitors.

Some of my personal favorites are:

  • Mailchimp
  • Sendinblue
  • Constant Contact

2. Build Your Email List

All of the popular email marketing solutions let you create a sign-up or a subscription form for your website. Here’s what mine looks like:

shane's newsletter sign-up form

As a startup, you can offer a benefit to encourage people to sign up for your email list. For example, offer a free product sample or a 5% discount voucher for their first purchase from you.

email signup form with a discount
Source

Direct traffic from all channels to email such as your website, landing pages, and social media profiles.

3. Set Up Email Automation Campaigns to Maximize Conversions

Let me tell you about some of the campaigns you should create and schedule.

  • Welcome emails to welcome your new subscribers and tell them about your brand and what they can expect in your future emails.
  • Weekly newsletter to keep your brand on the top of people’s minds and update them about your latest products, sales, and discounts. You can also send them educational content related to your niche to keep them engaged.
  • Sales and product launch emails to remind your customers about the products or services you sell.

4. Monitor and Measure Results

Just like with other digital marketing strategies for startups, measuring the performance of your campaigns is essential for email marketing too.

Most email marketing solutions give you access to analytics like:

  • Email open rate
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Number of unsubscribes

Use this data to optimize your email strategy and copy for better results and higher engagement. You can take inspiration from successful email campaigns of other brands in your niche.

6. Spread the Word About Your Business Through Referral Marketing

One of the best ways of promoting your startup is by letting your customers do it for you. Referral marketing refers to using recommendations and word of mouth from your existing customers to reach new prospects and get them to trust your business.

You should launch a referral program when you start your business, right from your first customer. Give a custom referral code to your customers and they can share it in their circles.

So, what does this do?

When anyone from their circle purchases from your brand, you can provide a freebie or discount to the referring customer. This can motivate them to refer more people and help you grow your startup.

Here are some tips to help you start with referral marketing:

  • Ask your customers if they have anyone in mind to refer your product.
  • Sign up for a referral marketing software solution and offer a discount voucher to customers when their referred person purchases your product or service. When the customer redeems their voucher, it will also bring another sale for your startup.
  • Decide on the incentive you want to offer for referral marketing. Keep in mind your profit margins so that you don’t suffer a loss. Your offering doesn’t have to be monetary always.

    For example, Dropbox offers a storage boost to their customers for every referral they bring.
dropbox referral program
  • Pay out rewards as soon as possible. This will help keep your customers engaged and interested in your referral program.
  • Encourage customers to review your startup on Google Business and social media platforms to help spread a few good words about your business.
  • Always offer exceptional customer service to ensure your customers are happy and satisfied. A good reputation is the best strategy for your startup growth.
Focus on creating an exceptional customer experience. Customers today are savvier than ever before and have come to expect a seamless, personalized experience from the brands they interact with. Investing in customer journey mapping and utilizing data to personalize messages and offers can help you stay ahead of the competition in 2023.
CEO and Founder, ShiftWeb

7. Partner with Relevant Influencers to Grow Your Startup Reach and Sales

Influencers have become the voice of online communities, and they’ll continue to play a pivotal role in digital marketing for startups as well as enterprises.

The only difference is that big brands can afford to hire celebrities and macro influencers as their spokesperson. As a startup owner, you should consider partnering with nano- and micro-influencers who fit your marketing budget.

And that’s not at all a sad thing.

Nano- and micro-influencers may have smaller followings, but they have greater influence over their audience’s minds than those celebrity influencers. They also offer higher engagement rates.

There are many benefits of using micro-influencers for your startup’s next marketing campaign.

With influencer marketing, you’ll be able to:

  • Reach customers who have become immune to traditional marketing channels and practices.
  • Leverage the influence of niche influencers on the buying decisions of their followers to recommend your brand and raise awareness about your products.
  • Drive instant sales with a small discount, valid for a limited time period.
  • Build trust for your brand using the authenticity of content creators who are experts in your niche.

The biggest and my favorite example of influencer marketing success is how Daniel Wellington grew from a $15,000 startup to a $228-million watch brand. They sold over 1 million watches in just 3 years by partnering with influencers.

1. Research and Vet Your Influencers

Before partnering with influencers, do your research first.

When finding influencers, ensure that:

  • They are relevant to your niche and brand and have a similar audience as your target customers.
  • They have a decent reach and engagement to ensure they are worth paying for.
  • Your audience resonates with their content and ideas.

You can use influencer marketing platforms to easily vet the authenticity of potential influencers and gain insights about their reach and engagement.

2. Establish a Win-Win Influencer Collaboration

Reach out to influencers you find relevant to your startup via an influencer marketing platform or through email. 

Decide on the type of influencer collaboration you want to do. It could range from a simple sponsored post to a brand ambassadorship.

Define everything in advance to avoid confusion and conflict later.

  • What type of content do you want the influencer to create?
  • How many posts or Stories do you need for your campaign? Do you also need the right to repurpose influencer-created content?
  • When do you want the influencer to post that content?
  • What will you offer the influencer in return? Will it be a fixed amount or a pay-per-lead/sale?

3. Monitor Your Influencer Marketing Campaign Results

As usual, be sure to track the results of your influencer campaigns. You can track metrics like engagement rate, number of likes and comments, and website traffic.

For startups, I recommend that you create a custom discount code for all of your influencers to track the sales they drive. Pay out a small fixed fee and a commission per sale. This will help you regulate how much you spend on influencer marketing.

Pro tip: Take inspiration from other successful influencer campaigns to plan yours.

8. Leverage Affiliate Customers and Revenue

Affiliate marketing can be treated as a sibling of influencer marketing. It, too, relies on the influence of people to bring in sales. This is why you should consider integrating it with your influencer campaign.

You can start affiliate marketing with little or no investment, which makes it a profitable digital marketing strategy for startups.

But how?

  • Offer results-based pay to your affiliates. You’ll only pay them when they generate a sale for you.
  • Your affiliates will create content to promote your startup brand and products. This will save time and money you spend on your content team’s efforts.
  • When you receive mentions from your affiliates, it will help increase your brand’s visibility, credibility, and search rankings.

The grammar checker and writing tool, Grammarly offers $0.20 for every free account sign-up and $20 for every Premium plan purchase to their affiliates. This has helped them grow to over 30 million users.

Read my comprehensive guide on how to set up an affiliate program for your startup. For quick access, here are a few tips:

  • Use an affiliate marketing software solution to create and run your affiliate program.
  • Choose a commission rate that is attractive to your potential affiliates but also leaves a profit margin for your company.
  • Find relevant affiliates. They could be small content creators in your niche or one of your customers with a decent social following.
  • Keep a shorter cookie duration. Let’s say – 30 days. This will help you save money if an affiliate’s referral takes longer than 30 days to buy your product.
  • Affiliate networks like ShareASale are more costly than creating your own affiliate program. So, avoid them and give greater benefits to your affiliates instead. They’ll be happy to promote your business more. 

9. Use Pay-Per-Click Advertising to Increase Your Business’ Search Exposure

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a method of using search engine advertising to bring visitors to your website. Leverage this digital marketing tactic to generate sales-ready leads for your startup.

When I search for “sunglasses in New York,” here is how the PPC ads look:

google ppc ads for sunglasses in new york

No startup should ignore pay-per-click marketing as it offers many practical advantages, such as:

  • You can reach your customers at the right time with the right ad.
  • Get high ROI as you will pay only when an interested person clicks.
  • Control over how much you want to spend on ads. Stop your PPC campaign anytime.
  • Get customer data and insights to help strengthen your other digital marketing strategies.

Words of caution: PPC campaigns are expensive, and you can exhaust your budget quickly. So, hire a PPC specialist to run a successful campaign for your startup that generates more conversions than clicks.

10. Run Retargeting Ads on Google and Facebook

Retargeting an audience who has shown interest in your product with an advantage + catalog ads is the key to driving more conversions.

But why is retargeting an important digital marketing tactic for startups?

You may not have too many customers at the start of your business. So, it’s crucial to keep them interested in your business and products.

With retargeting ads, you can:

  • Advertise to people who already know your business and have either visited your website, app, store, or social media profiles.
  • Personalize ads through dynamic content so that every customer sees products they are interested in.
  • Keep your loyal customers coming back to your business to check out and purchase new products or replenish old items.

For example, you must have seen ads relevant to the products you research or check out. Here’s one from Semrush on my Instagram feed:

semrush's retargeting ad on my instagram feed

To run retargeting ads for your startup, you should:

  • Choose your platform – Google Ads or Facebook Ads. You can also do both if you’ve got the money.
  • Install a tracking code on your website if you want to run retargeting ads for them. You can integrate Google Analytics with Google Ads Manager. Similarly, add Facebook Pixel (a short code) to your website code.
  • Select the audience you want to retarget. These could be people who visit your homepage or people who check out a product but didn’t buy it.
  • Create dynamic ads to show prospects relevant items from your product catalog.
  • Track how your ads are performing using a built-in analytics tool.

Which Are the Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Your Startup?

There are a variety of strategies that can help grow your startup.

But first, it's important to create a comprehensive digital marketing plan that includes SEO, content, email, and social media. This will help you reach more potential customers and boost brand recognition.

If you’ve got some money to invest, consider forming partnerships with content creators and influencers that share your target audience. This will give you access to a larger audience.

Finally, focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences by investing in customer service, feedback loops, and analytics. Remember, happy customers can be your best brand advocates.

By utilizing these digital marketing strategies for startups, you can increase your chances of success in 2024 and beyond.

Do you want to add any strategies or tips to this list? Share them in the comment section. I’d love to hear about them.

FAQs

1. What are the best digital marketing strategies?

SEO, content marketing, advertising, email marketing, and social media marketing are some of the most popular digital marketing strategies. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so the best strategy can be different for different businesses.

2. How do you create an online marketing strategy for a startup?

To create an online marketing strategy for your startup, you should:
– Understand your target audience and their needs and wants.
– Define your startup goals and budget.
– Choose the tactics to use such as SEO, content marketing, email marketing, and social media. – Ensure using cost-effective strategies first.
– Have clear and compelling messaging.
– Create promotional content materials for your products and brand.
– Distribute the content you create.
– Invest in powerful tools to leverage customer and campaign data for higher ROI.
– Track important metrics and measure the performance of your campaigns.

3. How can I promote my startup business?

You can use a mix of digital marketing tactics to promote your startup business.

Investing in SEO, for example, is a good strategy to drive organic traffic to your website. You can use social media to spread awareness about your business.

If you have the budget and want to see quick results, you can generate immediate leads for your business through paid advertising.

4. What are some of the best marketing practices for startups?

As mentioned above, SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing are some of the best marketing best practices for startups. All these are fairly cost-effective marketing strategies that show great results.

5. What are the best social media marketing practices for startups?

The best social media marketing tactics for startups include:

– Choose the right social platforms for your startup promotions.
– Focus on your target audience, and help answer their questions or solve their problems.
– Finalize a brand voice that you’ll use across channels. Do you want your brand to sound fun or professional?
– Leverage different content formats such as images, videos, carousels, Stories, Reels, and Live videos.
– Create visually-appealing graphics and images.
– Create interactive content such as quizzes and polls to increase engagement.
– Capitalize on trending situations and industry news.
– Track results to see what’s working and make the most out of it.

96 Comments

  1. Ansh Aggarwal says:

    Very useful article. It helped me a lot in my digital marketing career for my website. Thanks.

    1. Shane Barker says:

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad that my article about digital marketing strategies for startups was useful for you in your career.

  2. Altagracia says:

    Awsome article and straight to the point.

    1. Shane Barker says:

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you loved it.

  3. Birpal Kaur says:

    What a superb explanation. Digital marketing could not be explained any better!

    1. Shane Barker says:

      Hi Birpal, thank you! I’m glad that you enjoyed reading my post about digital marketing strategies.

  4. It’s a very informative blog on Digital marketing. I really like this.

    1. Shane Barker says:

      Hey Manuel, thanks! Keep visiting for more such information 🙂

  5. Thanks for the great information. These strategies will help me.

    1. Shane Barker says:

      Hey Vishal, thank you so much! I’m glad you liked my post about the best digital marketing strategies for startups.

  6. Clinton Borr says:

    I agree with you!

    1. Shane Barker says:

      Hey Clinton, thanks man! I’m glad you like my post about the best digital marketing strategies for startups.

  7. Thanks for the blog article. Very helpful.

    1. Shane Barker says:

      Hi Mike, thank you so much. I’m glad my post about the best digital marketing strategies was helpful for you.

  8. Great, thanks for sharing this blog.

    1. Shane Barker says:

      Hi Cathy, thank you so much! The pleasure is all mine.

Comments are closed.