Building a startup takes time, dedication, and hard work. There will be times when you feel like you’re a one-person army, which isn’t best if a particular area of business isn’t your strong suit. One of the largest barriers startup businesses face in the digital age is creating and sustaining a strong online presence. Succeeding with your online presence is the only way to thrive in 2022, which is why we’ve gathered together the top tips for any startup business struggling to spread the word.
Your business brand needs to be obvious online, and this includes everything from a consistent logo, to voice, and color schemes. In 2022, the majority of potential business comes through online avenues first, whether you’re operating a brick-and-mortar business or not.
Therefore, you need to drive consistency through a strong website, social media channels, and Google business page. A powerful website doesn’t need to involve hours of coding and can easily be made through a website builder for small business. The only knowledge you will need is your brand, which you should know inside out at this point.
People love to read reviews, so incentivize your customers to leave a couple of kind words online. Every so often, you can showcase reviews on your website and social media, which will bring them to the forefront of the viewer and can drive up business.
When seeking online reviews, you need to be prepared for any negative reviews from those disgruntled few. If you come across anything negative, you need to make sure you publicly acknowledge their concern and promise not to let it happen again. If you need to, invite the user back for free and show them what you’re made of; perhaps they will retract their negative review and throw a positive light on your startup.
In the tech age we live in, people like to interact with businesses using technology as much as they can. If you offer appointments or services in person, make sure they’re available to be booked online. Offering online bookings will help open up your potential customer base and will help to please people with lasting concerns from the Covid-19 pandemic.
An effective marketing strategy will help launch your business into the public eye. You will need to consider search engine marketing, social media marketing, traditional marketing, and email marketing. If you’ve got the revenue to hire professionals to take care of this, you should hire a public relations team.
Part of your digital marketing campaign will be deciding how much to spend on each avenue. If you’re looking for a benchmark, The Small Business Administration (SBA) recommends assigning around 3% of your revenue to running costs, and 5% to content creation and marketing.
Your aim online, especially when it comes to search engines, is to appear at the top and meet search intent. One way to do this during the startup phase is to pay for search engine marketing, which will put your page at the top of relevant searches.
There’s certainly merit to paid search intent, but you need to limit its usage because it’s not a sustainable business model. Eventually, you need to be hitting the top of the search engines organically, by targeting your website correctly and meeting the heavy demands of search engine optimization (SEO).
Your website will act as the first point of contact between general browsers and will be a huge asset to lead generation. However, there’s a huge number of potential customers sitting on social media waiting to find your brand within their feed.
To get this part correct, you will need to carry out extensive market research and decide where your target audience likes to hang out. For example, if you own a restaurant, you will find the large majority of your business on Instagram because of the visual element of food and drinks. With your primary social media platform in hand, you can target your content well. However, you will need to have a consistent presence across more than one platform.
You can build a buzz about your business by launching PR campaigns and getting your business mentioned in publications, which will help your business reach a wider audience. A great way to build white hat links with reputable publications is through Help a Reporter Out (HARO), which links journalists with experts in given fields through the medium of queries and pitches.
Creating a startup and putting your name out there is difficult, but it’s worth spending time on and will increase your sales. Having a strong online presence is essential, and there are several components worthy of the invested time; your website, social media, and emails all need to carry the same strong brand.