A new year typically brings change to most people, whether this be a personal promise to become more health conscious and reignite that gym member, a new personal possession whether it be a new car or home, or taking the plunge professionally, with a change in direction for your career. 
If you’re like me and you have recently launched or a planning to launch your own business, the prospect of creating awareness about your business and building a healthy pipeline can be scary. Every new business however big or small should have a digital strategy and plan in place to increase the number of prospective customers that you can speak to. 
To help you on your way, I have developed my top for digital marketing tips for start-ups in 2020: 

Have clear business goals 

it may seem obvious; however, it is important to understand what good looks like. Having clear targets for how many customers you need, when you need to land your first customer, the value and what the assumptions are behind this. This will help you understand the importance of digital, including whether you need your own web site and how much you need to rely on paid marketing. A common mistake is that people start investing in developing web sites from day one. Depending on your sales or leads targets, having a strong social presence leveraging your network may be enough! A web site may only be needed for phase two of your business plan. 

Create your customer personas 

although this is not just exclusively required for digital marketing, having a clear understanding of what your customer(s) looks like is important to developing a customer first marketing strategy. This includes: 
Age, gender and location 
Behaviours, interests and habits 
Job titles and roles 
Also understand the demand volume and seasonal peaks and troughs for your products and services, using keyword planning tools. This will help you target the right customers through paid marketing channels such as Google ads and Facebook at the right times, whilst optimising your site for search engines (SEO) 

Clearly communicate problem statements 

If you need a web site, make it easy for prospective customers to understand what you do. Create specific landing pages, making it clear how your product or service solves a specific problem that your target customer has and why you are different. It is especially important that different messages are created for each customer group that you are targeting across your owned media channels. This messaging should also be used across your paid media campaigns too 

Content will always be your best friend 

Agnostic of the product or service you sell, content will always be king to educate and inspire your customers across social, email marketing and your web site. The importance of content hasn’t changed in the last 16 years, however the range and popularity of formats e.g. long form text content, videos, infographics and podcasts and brevity of content that brands use to speak to their customers has. The trick is finding the right content formats for that your prospects consume, in addition to avoiding the trap of too much promotional and product led content. This is where the use of your customer personas should come to the fore, with complementary content being developed based on their wider interests. It’s also important to remember that you can create the best content in the world, however you need to have a strategy in place for making it discoverable 

Nothing in life comes for free 

If you are searching for growth in prospects, followers or advocates and looking to do this at pace, you will often have to turn to paid for channels. It’s the best way of testing and learning quickly. If you have a product or service where demand is high, paid search (typically Google Ads or Bing) would be your natural starting point. Conversely, paid social (typically Facebook) would be the way forward, where your offering is new to the market and you need to educate the benefits. Setting up the campaigns to best practice will avoid inefficiencies in the budget you spend and ensure you deliver the best possible return on investment 

Key takeaways 

The temptation for many start-ups is to take a DIY approach to digital marketing. When launching your business, you should consider where your time is best spent, making sure your time is spent in the areas you specialise in. Or at least get some initial advice and training from a specialist such as a freelance digital marketing consultant to enable you to focus on the right activities. Most people turn to solicitors and accountants for legal and financial matters. We believe that digital should be recognised in the same way. 
For further information on how Customer First Digital can help you launch your business, contact us today. 
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