Digital Marketing for Startup Business Success
August 2, 2023

Leveraging Digital Marketing for Startup Business Success

What led to the success of startups such as Uber and Calendly? At one point in time, these successful businesses were startups. They had no users, struggled to acquire users, and had to pay from their pockets. 

So, what led to the turnaround? They can pivot, invest in their ideas, and have a strong online presence. We will discuss this third and vital element of building a successful business- digital presence. 

If you talk to potential customers about your business, they are most likely to visit your website immediately (if they are interested). The website educates them, builds trust in you, and acts as the sole point of contact. 

Apart from the website, there are several touchpoints for the customer. To ensure you are ready with all the points of contact and have a strong digital foothold, you must invest in digital marketing. 

However, the numerous channels, strategies, and aspects of digital marketing can overwhelm you. We have outlined the essential steps you must follow to ensure you gain maximum output from your digital marketing. 

Here, we have listed the key steps and strategies to help you build a strong digital presence and uplift your marketing capabilities. 

Preparing your Startup for Digital Marketing

When you decide to invest in digital marketing, it is important to start preparing your startup for this change. You are moving away from the traditional marketing practices. You will be working on newer channels. The marketing approach and method will change.

You need to have a solid base to prepare your marketing strategies. That’s why this step is essential. It will give you the building blocks and the foundation. 

Preparing your startup for digital marketing

  • Defining Your Target Audience and Niche

The first step is determining who you are talking to. The target audience is an essential part of your digital marketing communication. For example, if you are talking to the CEOs of the company, your marketing communication should possess authority. 

Similarly, if you are a company that offers tips and strategies to parents, you must direct your conversations to them. The target audience will decide the nature of communication, tone, and mediums. 

After defining the audience, you must determine the niche you want to operate in. For instance, the education industry offers several niches, including teacher training, k-12 education, online courses, and mentorship/guidance. Similarly, a retail online store could sell jewellery, earrings, food products, baby food, etc. 

Your niche will also help you determine the audience group. You can define the exact demographics and persona of the audience to whom you sell the products. This can help you plan digital marketing effectively. 

  • Setting Measurable Goals and KPIs 

Once you have settled the target audience and your operating market, you need to define the goals of your digital strategy. What do you expect to gain from leveraging digital marketing?

  • Would you like to improve your startup’s visibility?
  • Do you want to earn more conversions?
  • Would you like to get more people to engage with your business?

Gaining more visits, increasing revenue, or reaching beyond known geographies are some goals you may want to achieve with digital marketing. Once your goals are fixed, it is easier to determine the key performance indices or KPIs. 

For instance, how will you measure your engagement goals? You might want to check the session time, visits, and other parameters. This will indicate if they spent longer than usual on your website. It is an estimate of the engagement on the website. 

Similarly, other goals will have few other metrics. Align the metrics to your digital marketing goals for effective outcomes. 

  • Conducting Competitor Research and Analysis

Once you have identified your niche and target audience, it is time to examine the competition. See how they are implementing their digital marketing strategies. What channels do they choose to connect with the audience?

A detailed competition analysis would include  

  • The types of products/services they sell
  • The sales, marketing, and service tactics they use
  • Content and optimization strategies they have incorporated
  • The engagement they experience from the customers
  • Promotional tactics to market the content
  • Social media and email marketing strategies
  • Their chosen channels or platforms for the promotion

The answers to these pointers would help you determine how your competition is faring in the market. You will also know what works for them and the gaps in their strategies. You can fill your digital marketing approach with these gaps and content ideas. 

  • Creating a Strong Brand Identity

To leverage digital marketing strategies, you must have a strong brand identity. People must resonate with your brand’s values, image, and story. You must have all the brand elements in place. It will help you plan your marketing effectively.

For instance, if your brand logo has distinct colours, it will help market your content on social media. People would recognize your brand from the colour and logo, thus attributing the content to you. 

There are a lot of things that you can avail from creating a strong brand connect. 

Building Digital Marketing Strategy

Once you have the four pillars- brand, competition analysis, target audience and KPIs, it is time to create the strategy. You must derive a 360-degree marketing plan that leverages all points of contact. At the same time, you must include the appropriate digital marketing channels to promote your content. 

Building Digital Marketing Strategy

  • Comprehensive Marketing Plan 

Your first step should be building a detailed marketing plan to boost your digital presence. This will include identifying the channels, planning the content, and even determining the channels. 

The 360-degree marketing plan would include an integrated aspect comprising a single message for your business. We have already looked at the competition and target audience. At this point, you need to determine your positioning and the unique selling point. 

This would help you define why customers should choose your brand over others. Ensure you have a strong, clear, crisp USP relevant to users. 

Along with the USP, you should also plan your product pricing, promotional facets, and assets for your digital marketing. As you have already determined the metrics for digital marketing, you must also define the budget. 

After defining the plan, you must organize and complete the different facets. This would help you gain effective outcomes. 

  • Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Channels

There are different facets to digital marketing. You must choose the ones that fit your budget and help you achieve your outcomes. For example, outreach can help you grow your visibility. You can post guest blogs on other high-ranking websites that fetch you a good reach. 

Similarly, other digital marketing activities are important to garner a good reach for your business. Let’s look at some of the most important ones.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 

The ultimate goal of a business is to attract maximum visitors to its website. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help improve the website’s ranking on Google. This would help attract and acquire new customers, thus enhancing conversions. 

You must ensure proper descriptions to ensure the target audience discovers your website. You must ensure the links reach the right page and the user feels good moving around the website. 

  • Social Media Marketing

Distributing your content on appropriate social media channels so your brand is visible is social media marketing. It will help you gain social recognition and visibility. It is an essential part of digital marketing strategy. 

Select the social media channels you want to use when creating the strategy. At the same time, you must create content suitable for the channels. 

  • Content Marketing

This is one of the prominent methods of improving digital presence. Creating and distributing content across channels such as blogs, website content, guest posts, and other formats is content marketing. You can enhance your business authority in the target market with relevant content. 

  • Email Marketing 

You cannot avoid this marketing strategy when planning a 360-degree digital marketing plan. Emails are cost-effective marketing solutions. At the same time, you can send out emails to offer discounts, showcase new products, educate customers, and other promotional/educational aspects. 

It is a wholesome marketing solution. With automation, it helps nurture your customers and maintain a neat workflow.

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising 

When you start, you are not visible or known. Paid marketing can help you acquire a share of voice. You can offer paid advertisements that can help you maximize your presence. This is an essential part of the digital marketing strategy for startups.

  • Influencer Marketing 

Paid partnerships with influencers in your niche can help you maximize the marketing outcome. You will seek help from influencers to improve product placement and endorse your products/services on their pages. This is an exclusive part of social media marketing. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Startups

SEO for startups

Once you have determined the strategy and defined the digital marketing channels and the KPIs, it is time to build each aspect of the strategy. 

Let’s begin with the SEO strategy for your business. This is a key element as it will enhance the visibility of your startup and maximize its reach. 

  • Start by defining the SEO goals and key metrics for your business. Will SEO be primarily used to drive traffic to your website? Would you be using SEO to build a brand? Do you plan to improve lead generation methods with SEO?

The goals will determine the SEO strategy for your business website. If you want leads, your key metrics will focus on this goal. As a result, you may not be interested in the traffic possibility for the website. 

  • Plan the content for different stages of the customer lifecycle. For instance, you want to create blogs for educational purposes. You want to drive attention toward your business. You must study the user’s intent to ensure you have the right content for each stage.

You must engage the customers and build a strong base using appropriate strategies. 

  • Conduct a thorough audit of the existing website to determine how you can improve the SEO for your site. The idea is to check for broken links, determine the URL issues, and check the website’s movement.
  • You should optimize the technical SEO for your business site. You can use popular SEO tools to figure out the technical SEO requirements and fix them on the website. 
  • Conduct keyword research to help you find phrases matching the user’s intent. You must include a good mix of high and low-volume keywords. 
  • Make sure you have a good content mix to promote your website. Have a solid plan to reuse and repurpose the content as available. This would help you maximize the outcome. 

Startups must follow these SEO steps to maximize optimization and meet the defined goals. 

Creating Content for Startup Success

content marketing for startups

Creating compelling content to help your startup succeed in the digital era is important. A good strategy can help you plan and distribute content to improve your startup’s visibility and capabilities. 

  • You must list down the content marketing goals for your startup. How do you plan to use content marketing to grow your startup business? You may want to grow your business organically. This goal includes writing high-authority blogs and good content for the websites. The goals will dictate the strategy and plan.
  • Once you have defined the goals, it is time to build a persona for your users. Knowing who your users are makes selling effective. You can use the apt content tone and style to improve the intent of your writing. It would help if you looked at their content preferences, intent, and demographics to build appropriate articles and blogs.
  • To make content marketing useful to your business, you must invest in identifying the content types that will sell. For instance, content solutions like blogs are important for your business. You might want to include short-form blogs, too, for the business. These things matter when you are planning marketing.
  • At the same time, you must think through the channels where you can distribute your content for organic visibility. For example, podcasts are a popular content marketing channel. Similarly, you might want to invest in vlogs or videos to enhance your communication. 
  • Lastly, have the right mix of people to help create the content, develop the graphics, and distribute it. Make sure to add the KPIs aligned to your content marketing goals to check the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. 

Social Media Marketing: Building Your Startup’s Online Presence

social media marketing for startups

Social media is a great way to build a two-way customer communication channel. It is a cost-effective and highly engaging channel for your startup. With social media, you can reach more customers and gain better visibility. It gives the best field to startups to learn to communicate.

Moreover, this channel would help you improve brand awareness and enhance business solutions. You can use social media to understand your competition and gain insights into your niche. Here’s how you can use social media to boost startup success. 

  1. Identifying how you aim to use social media to attain your business goals is important. This will help you plan the content and choose the channels. For instance, you should put your store on Facebook if you have a retail business. Similarly, a B2B business might want to send out messages on LinkedIn to their potential partners. 
  2. It is important to define the content types at the start. Also, prepare the content to improve your marketing efforts. Having a social media calendar and regularly posting to the right channels can help. Your calendar must include the type of content you want to post, the date, the channels, and the link. Once you have posted, update the calendar with the results achieved through social media marketing. 
  3. You should use a proper tool to schedule your posts. Stay on it once a week and determine how to ensure you have blocked the time for social media. You can use several automation tools to enhance your social media marketing. 
  4. You need to build a strong community on social media that can help you thrive online. It takes a lot of commitment to grow the community of your users. You should post on the groups regularly, determine ways to connect with potential customers and identify what they want to hear. Being present where they are can boost your social media efforts. 
  5. Ensure you incorporate key metrics and detailed analytics to understand your business better. It would help you attain success. 

Email Marketing Strategies to Drive Startup Growth

email marketing for startups

Email marketing is a low-investment and high-return digital marketing strategy. It can help you grow your business through relevant content sent at the right time. 

You can send your customers educational, promotional, and even sales emails to enhance the outcomes. 

If you plan a good email marketing strategy for your startup, follow these tips.

  1. A good email list is the first step toward effective marketing. Your emails will be lost in the crowd if you don’t have a list of potential leads or customers. The list will help you reach people in your target market interested in your product.
  2. Email marketing goals are equally crucial for a successful startup. You might want to write down the goals to help you plan better. For instance, do you wish to increase conversions with email marketing goals? Are you planning to enhance your visibility or sales through email marketing? You must define the goals at the start.
  3. The frequency of emails should be settled during the planning phase. This will help you set the expectations with your customers too. Preparing the frequency will also help you know the exact number of contents you need to have.
  4. It is imperative to personalize the email so the sender is intrigued to read it. Make sure to make the content relevant to the target segment so they can click the links. 

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising for Startup Success.

As mentioned earlier, a startup is relatively new and unknown to the target market. Paid advertisements will improve visibility. It will help improve brand awareness among the target users. 

It can get you visits and clicks to the website. It is an incredible way of gathering a sound user base. 

  1. A reasonable budget is a sound way to start PPC. You must consider the possible amount you are ready to spend on advertising. Spending more than that can lead to losses. You should always spend a certain percentage of your marketing budget on PPC.
  2. Read into your competitor’s strategies before you unleash your PPC campaigns. Knowing what the competition is doing better and how to fill the gaps is essential to the PPC game.
  3. The goals for each ad campaign will differ. If you are selling a product, you want people to purchase it. That would be the goal for the particular ad campaign. Make sure to set the goals before you start planning the PPC ads for the specific sale. 
  4. Don’t start with too many ads for your startup. While it might be the quickest way to visibility, it can take away much of your money. Start with small and limited-day campaigns. If it works, you can start to scale your ad campaigns.
  5. Make sure to detail the metrics that can help you measure the campaign’s success. Performance marketing can be deemed successful if you can measure it effectively. 

Influencer Marketing

influencer marketing for startups

Influencer marketing is a great way to connect with people who understand the market to sell your products. It is a paid partnership between the business and an individual to showcase your product’s benefits and values. 

  1. You must have a good plan for influencer marketing. It is not enough to think about influencers. Consider how to approach them for comprehensive digital marketing. You want to invest only a few resources or enter the field with the right tools.
  2. Knowing our audience is vital for efficient influencer marketing. You can connect with the right influencers if you know your users and the market. 
  3. Add content to help your influencers understand how you position the brand. It will help them connect with the users using appropriate content strategies.
  4. Make sure to use the right methods to promote the content. This could include product placement. You can also use the product review method to market the business. 

Data Analytics for Digital Marketing Success

Data analytics for digital marketing success

Data-driven marketing is a huge way to guarantee success. It helps you know your customers, their habits and preferences. You get enough insights to personalize the content and marketing for the customers. 

  1. Ensuring you have the right metrics to improve your insights is important. You will have enough to build solid insights when you track the important data. 
  2. Ensure you use the right tools and approaches to collect and analyze the data. You need data on customer preferences, purchase behavior, and interests. You might also need their feedback to deliver a successful startup.
  3. Ensure you have a data-backed culture supporting investment in data and analytics. The data will give you a 360-degree view of your customers. This can help you plan recommendations and personalized dashboards, thus improving their experiences. 
  4. Make sure you test the campaigns created using data-driven marketing insights. It is important to check if your marketing campaigns offer the promised growth. 

Mobile Marketing for Startup Business Growth

mobile marketing for startups

Mobile marketing is a strong way to reach your customers where they are. It is one of the finest ways to grow your brand organically. You can use mobile marketing in several ways, including Whatsapp and SMS. They can be used to send out promotional content. At the same time, you can also use the medium to offer customer service, enhancing engagement.

  1. When you are implementing mobile marketing, make sure you have optimized for voice search. For instance, your business should appear on the search engine results pages even if the user has searched for voice. You must include semantic keywords and optimize them for all types of phrases. This would help you grow the startup via mobile marketing.
  2. The advertisements should be optimized for mobile searches. Your sponsored post or ad should appear on the results pages when a user searches for relevant keywords. 
  3. Leveraging location-based marketing to enhance your startup’s growth with mobile marketing is very important. You should list your business on Google My Business. Add your listings with the geographical location mentioned at the end. 

Creating a Strong Personal Brand as a Startup Founder

Having a face for your brand is equally important. The startup founder is the face of your brand. You must create an image of the founder that will resonate with the target users. The users are likelier to engage with the brand and buy from the business if the founder creates the right impression. 

Here are a few strategies to help create the personal brand for your startup founder.

  1. You must determine how you want to position yourself in front of the audience. Know who your target audience is and how they should connect with you. 
  2. Make sure to talk about the problems your product will solve. 
  3. Connect with the users over the reasons you started the business. What makes it important to you?
  4. When you are talking about these things, make sure to talk about the hardships and the strengths. These discussions will connect with everyone in the target market.

When working on creating a personal brand, you must think of the people you will be inspiring. This can help you plan the content that connects and inspires the customers. You can also identify ways to keep your investors interested in your business. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Let’s answer a few frequently asked questions about startup digital marketing.

1. What is the annual cost of digital marketing for startups?

The annual cost of digital marketing for startups starts at 3lakhs. A few businesses pay around 5000 to 15000 per hour to fulfill their digital marketing needs. 

2. What are the steps to start B2B digital marketing?

Create the segment for your digital marketing needs. Identify the ideal customer for the B2B segment. Perform a detailed competition analysis. Define the unique positioning of your business. Lastly, create personalized customer journeys for each segment before you begin actual marketing. 

3. What is SEO in digital marketing?

Search Engine Optimization is the strategy used to focus all your efforts on building a website for search engines like Google. You must create a website for all the popular queries in the segment. 

Digital Marketing For Startups CTA


Digital marketing is a crucial element of your startup growth. You can boost startup success with apt digital marketing strategies and plans. Including the top elements of digital marketing, such as SEO, content marketing, and social media, is essential. New-age marketing trends like influencer marketing are also crucial for success. 

It is important to partner with digital marketing agencies for startups to help attain success with the right strategies. Define the work scope, determine the goals, and work around the right strategy for effective implementation. 

GreatLike is a leading digital marketing company for startups. We offer diverse approaches to help you grow your business. 

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