The world is trying to find a sense of normalcy, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to paralyze most economic activities. As of this writing, the virus has infected more than 9.8 million people worldwide, including 495,760 deaths.
International travels remain limited, most schools are closed, and many businesses are opting for remote work arrangements. Small and medium companies are especially hit by new regulations that restrict face-to-face customer interactions.
Retail businesses are expanding their e-commerce operations and delivery services, as people are directed to stay at home.
A recent study revealed that a double-digit share of online shoppers was buying more online since the COVID-19 outbreak. Retail sales from e-commerce are rising worldwide and are expected to reach one-third higher by 2024. It is no surprise that digital marketing strategies for start-ups are in high demand these days.
How should you position your start-up, as more businesses are shifting to e-commerce? How can you boost traffic to your website and eventually make profitable sales? Below are four innovative marketing strategies that can help you get ahead of the game:
1. Set Clear Goals Through a Top-Down Approach
A rookie mistake made by new businesses is to go online without a solid purpose. Why do you maintain a website or a Facebook Business page? What do you intend to achieve?
By clearly setting your goal, you would be able to create a solid digital marketing plan. A marketing plan shall lead you to the right digital platforms, the suitable type of content, and the appropriate promotional tactics, among others. This is no time for hits or misses.
Identify your short and long-term marketing goals. Do the top-down approach in which you start by looking at the big picture. Do you wish to expand your product offering or partner with a distributor abroad? Then, set long-term goals to help you get to that destination.
You may aspire to further build your brand voice, or whatever makes you distinct from your competitors. Finally, choose short-term goals that will support your long-term aspirations. Build your brand voice by effectively communicating with your audience on social media.
2. Focus on The Right Social Media Platforms
The best start-up marketing campaigns do not happen in a vacuum. These are fruits of well-planned and meticulously executed marketing strategies. If your short-term goal is to better connect with your audience on social media, you should identify the steps on how to improve your social media presence.
Social networks such as Facebook and Instagram are changing the way businesses and consumers interact. Gone are the days of spending a long time on the phone trying to reach customer support.
Today, consumers merely shoot direct messages to businesses via social media. You can expect an influx of online inquiries, requests and complaints while the global pandemic is forcing people to stay at home.
Choose the right social media platform for your business by getting to your audience. Below is a rundown of the top social networks and the type of audience that actively use these platforms:
• Facebook remains as the largest social network in the world. It is immensely popular with people aged 25 to 54, a majority of whom are females (about 60%).
• Twitter is a preferred platform for news and public relations campaigns. Most of its users belong in the 18 to 29 age bracket.
• Instagram is an effective platform for retail, art, food and beauty businesses. It mostly caters to millennials ages 18 to 29.
• YouTube is the largest repository of free video content on the Web. This is popular among users of all ages looking for instant how-to resources.
Maintaining an account in all of the popular networks can use up our time and resources. It is practical to just focus on a couple that is heavily used by your audience.
3. Create Compelling Content Through Storytelling
Content is king even in the pre-pandemic days. Businesses have been shifting from traditional selling techniques to more engaging content marketing.
Content marketing is focused on “creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience” with the ultimate goal of driving customer action.
Businesses no longer push the features of their products and services upfront. In creating content, they shine the spotlight on the needs of their audience and match these with the solutions they provide.
Incorporate storytelling into your content marketing. Storytelling is much more engaging than simply throwing in statistics, product specifications or scientific findings. Convey facts through a narrative that can capture and hold the attention of your audience. Make your story relatable to elicit meaningful responses. Below are some storytelling tips to help you:
• Tell your story in an organized manner. It must be easy to follow and uses plain language that suits your brand voice and audience.
• Build a strong connection with your audience by tapping into experiences and emotions your audience is familiar with.
• Keep the narrative amusing to compel your audience to read or watch the entire content. You may use humor, suspense, nostalgia or inspiration.
• The ultimate goal of content marketing is to drive a profitable consumer action, whether it is a sale or an e-mail subscription. Make sure that your story includes a powerful call-to-action that is aligned with your objective.
4. Expand Your Audience With The Help of Influencers
Social media influencers can help you promote your business and content and expand your audience. Without spending much, you can attract brand ambassadors who will champion your business.
Do you need to collaborate with online celebrities with millions of followers? Not all the time. Explore working with influencers with a smaller but more dedicated following. These people have greater power to encourage their followers towards a profitable consumer action.
Choose influencers who are already talking about your business or brand. You can use social monitoring and listening tools, like Hootsuite and Mention, to track your brand mentions.
Check out the Domain Authority of influential bloggers who meet your criteria. Do their topics match your business type? Do they cater to the same target audience? Contact them for a possible collaboration.
Everyone is adjusting to the new normal that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the world. People are avoiding social gatherings and limiting their outdoor activities. Businesses are setting up shop remotely and many are adopting work-from-home arrangements. Stores are ramping up their e-commerce operations, focusing on the delivery of orders.
Make sure your business is fully prepared for the rising demand for online e-commerce transactions. Master effective marketing strategies for start-ups.