So you’re a new business owner and you’re cash strapped. You’ve sown everything you have into your venture and worked hard to get things off the ground. Now you want to see some growth, and you recognize that the web offers a treasure trove of potential sales that you haven’t really tapped into. You’re on the right track, as the Internet offers startups the chance to compete with bigger, more established competitors. There are some risk to web marketing for up and comers, though. You can spend time and money on a marketing venture that just doesn’t bring returns.
Here are five strategies to help you invest those web marketing dollars efficiently in hopes of seeing sizable returns.
1. Believe in remarketing
Depending upon what you’re selling, remarketing might be the best way to get the most out of your marketing dollars. Remarketing is placing your ads strategically where they’re seen by people who are purchasing complementary items or services. For instance, if you’re an upstart private jet brokerage that’s looking for long-term clients, you might remarket to those people who have visited luxury car buying websites. You’ll know that these people have money and the willingness to spend extravagantly. This way, you won’t have to worry about your ad dollars being invested on people who have no ability to purchase your services.
2. Be careful with pay-per-click advertising
You may want to limit your pay-per-click advertising until you have a better grasp of who you’re targeting and how to target them. Budget control is key for startups in the competitive entrepreneurial world. Pay-per-click advertising seems to make sense because it provides the certainty that your ad dollars will lead to engagement.
Problematically, though, you may not have strong conversion rates in the beginning, especially if your website isn’t as functional as it might be later. Make sure you limit your exposure to pay-per-click marketing until you’re absolutely certain of your website’s ability to process requests quickly and without incident.
3. Piggyback your web marketing and offline marketing efforts
Let’s say you’re a startup that’s splitting marketing dollars between the Internet and offline ventures. You might spend a few hundred dollars sponsoring a hole in a celebrity charity golf tournament, or you may invest in a sponsorship agreement with a small-time professional athlete. It’s possible to have all of your momentum moving together in the right direction. Make sure that your web content highlights the ways in which your company is getting out into the community. Web marketing that highlights your offline marketing in an organic way can build credibility for your brand and make your offline marketing more effective at the same time. It’s critical to have these two forces working in the same direction if possible.
4. Avoid web marketing companies that lack familiarity with your field
If you’re going to pay money to a web marketing company, they better deliver results. Given the constraints of the web marketing budget for most startups, going with a major web marketing firm can be a risk. To mitigate this risk, you’ll want to choose a marketing arm that has familiarity with your field. Some agencies market restaurants well. Others are better for purely online businesses. Find a marketing agency that has a demonstrated record of success in dealing with companies like yours. This way, you’ll be able to see measurable results sooner and get your cash flow up.
5. Become an authority in your field
There are many ways today that you can become an authority on your own business ventures. You might write articles for publication through LinkedIn. You may share useful advice to consumers and prospective clients through your Facebook page and Twitter feed. If you work to become an expert in your field, you’ll build relationships with other important and meaningful people. From this, you may benefit from free marketing, as individuals will share, comment, and otherwise engage with your content.
Many startups make the mistake of thinking that all of their web content must try to convert sales. This isn’t true. In reality, some of your content should be designed to build your credibility so your company can fully engage with long-term clients and with other leaders in your industry.
Web marketing is far from easy, and it’s not an exact science. If you’re going to come out ahead as a startup company, you’ll need to have a smart, measured approach. Do everything you can to maximize the momentum of your marketing dollars, be careful how much you invest in pay-per-click services, work to be an industry authority, and don’t be afraid to remarket to people who seem like an excellent target demographic for you.
By utilizing these strategies, you’ll put yourself ahead other new business owners looking to exploit the power of the Internet.
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