Every single day a new start-up is formed, full of promise and hope for the future. As a start-up founder will tell you, competition is tough, especially if you are entering a marketplace that is full of long-established, large companies. Typically, start-ups don’t have a large budget or tons of resources at their disposal. This means that start-ups need to be even more savvy and responsible in using the resources they have at hand. This is where digital marketing comes in, as it enables even very small, young companies to potentially compete with well-established, multinational businesses.
Why Is Digital Marketing So Vital for Start-Up Success?
If you have been in the world of start-ups for any time, then you will have likely noticed the trend for digital marketing. There are many reasons why start-ups, even those with the most limited resources, prioritize digital marketing. The list below outlines just a few reasons why digital marketing is so vital for start-up success.
Digital Marketing Is Cost-Effective
The first reason why digital marketing is so effective is, quite simply, because it is so cost-effective. Digital marketing practices are significantly cheaper than traditional marketing methods. For example, print, radio, or television advertisements can cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands, whereas a digital marketing advertisement might only cost a few cents.
Advertisements are not the only digital marketing method to beat traditional marketing in terms of cost-effectiveness. Many digital marketing practices can be performed in-house with the help of dedicated software, eliminating the need for costly expert consultants. Digital marketing methods can also be combined with other techniques, such as web design. All this means that digital marketing is much more affordable than traditional marketing.
High Levels of Targeting
Just think about it – it makes sense for a huge business like MacDonald’s to market to a large group of people. MacDonald’s will choose to display advertisements on popular bus stops or billboards overlooking areas with high traffic levels. Since most people viewing these ads will already be familiar with the brand, it enables the advertisement to have much more of an effect. Businesses like MacDonald’s also choose to opt for mass marketing simply because they can operate on a scale that can handle considerable inputs and outputs. However, the same cannot be said for the majority of start-ups.
Unlike MacDonald’s, which has a huge customer pool, start-ups will probably operate in a much more restrictive niche. The start-up will also not be as recognizable as a household name business like MacDonald’s. This means that traditional marketing would, again, offer less of a return for the start-up. Not only would the start-up be less recognizable and less universally appealing, but it would not operate on the same level as a big business like MacDonald’s. Simply, the start-up cannot and does not need to facilitate such a high level of traffic to make a return.
It makes much more sense for start-ups to use a marketing platform to facilitate a higher level of targeting. Digital marketing enables businesses to specifically target relevant audiences that are actively searching for similar products or services. This means that digital marketing can offer start-ups a much more effective return on their investment by targeting only the most relevant audiences.
Digital Marketing Allows You to Become a Competitor
When the right digital marketing practices are deployed, digital marketing can enable even the smallest start-up to compete with large, well-established companies. Things work differently on the internet; unlike traditional marketing, the biggest exposure does not necessarily go to the company that can afford the biggest billboard. Practices like search engine optimization enable start-ups to gain exposure, credibility, and recognition. This is because online shoppers do not discriminate based on familiarity with a brand as much as a brand’s ranking on a search engine.
A customer is 10 times more likely to click on the first result in a search engine than they are to click on the fifth, even if the first is a business they are unfamiliar with and the fifth result is a household name. Not only is a consumer much more likely to click through and potentially make a purchase from the highest-ranking website, but the ranking will also impact customer perceptions. Studies have found that online shoppers perceive higher-ranking websites to be more credible and trustworthy. Big businesses cannot buy this credibility as consumers perceive businesses that pay for search ads to be less appealing than those that gain an organic standing.
A business that is looking to improve its rankings should employ search engine optimization practices. This will involve many different techniques. You will need to optimize your website to facilitate the best user experience possible. You will also need to focus on creating engaging content. To do this, you should create a clear brand voice, use targeted keywords, and use proofing software to ensure the highest quality output.
The Digital Marketplace Is the Future
Entrepreneurs are, by definition, risk-takers, but successful entrepreneurs do not take risks without first backing them up in research. Although it might seem like a bit of a risk to put all of your resources into digital marketing, it actually makes complete sense. This is because the digital marketplace is the future.
Consumer behavior has been changing a great deal in recent years, specifically, where and how people are shopping. The ubiquity of internet access and the proliferation of affordable internet-enabled devices have had a huge impact on the way people shop. This behavior, which has been increasing in recent years, seems to have been sealed due to last year’s events. As more people were staying home, more people than ever started shopping online, which is set to continue well into the future.
All of this means that start-ups choose to focus on digital marketing quite simply because it makes sense. Digital marketing allows start-ups to deploy a much more cost-effective marketing campaign. It enables small, young businesses to compete with long-established businesses and pursue a high level of targeting. Since the digital marketplace is set to become the shopping destination for most consumers eventually, it would only be right that start-ups get ahead in the future marketplace.