A Digital Marketing Guide for Start-ups and Small Business

If you’re a start-up or a small business and don’t think you have an adequate budget for an effective marketing campaign, think again. If you have a computer and Internet access, that’s enough to get you started on the right track.

AAWoman_laptopA strong social media strategy, if applied correctly, can actually help your brand go viral. Below are some practical tips for an effective Internet campaign for your small business:

  1. If you don’t have a Facebook page for your business, create one now. Businesses can build relationships and connect with clients directly.
  2. Open a Twitter account and connect with clients and “experts” in your field to build your network.
  3. Launch a Twitter chat party introducing your brand. Schedule weekly twitter chats and brand yourself as an “expert” in your field. This will give you the opportunity to create a platform where you can share your knowledge all the while bringing awareness to your brand.
  4. Create a You Tube channel. Identify a spokesperson for your channel, and a producer and editor, then develop your content. Create fresh, consistent content.
  5. Design and implement an e-newsletter. Constant Contact provides you with free and low-cost tools to design a professional looking document in minutes. Use the e-newsletter to build your database, strengthen relationships and promote your brand. Share coupons and updates about products and services provided by your company.
  6. Create a blog. Make it interactive and include video as much as possible. Engaging your customers is critical to building relationships. Use the blog to talk with your clients, share company insight. Maybe you recently launched a new product that faced challenges in its development stages – write about it.  Draw the reader in by sharing a personal story associated with a product or service you offer. People love transparency – be honest and draw people in by your story.
  7. Purchase a domain name. Domain names can be purchased inexpensively. Even if you don’t have the budget to create a website, it’s ok. Link your domain name to your blog until you’re ready to invest in a website. Also, purchase a few email addresses @yourdomainname.com. Doing so helps establish credibility to your business or start-up.

As you build your brand, always remember to apply these simple steps at every stage of your business:

  • Build Relationships
  • Fresh Content
  • Share Your Knowledge
  • Image is Everything
  • Connect with Clients/Customers
  • Be Transparent

When identifying the right social network for your business, consider the following:

  • Research the social networks that will work best for building your brand
  • Understand the needs of your target audience
  • Make connections and talk to people
  • Share your goals and identify supporters
  • Measure results

There are so many free and low-cost tools available to you. Use these tools to your advantage. Don’t wait for that million-dollar check to come in the mail. Just go with what you have and work it!

This post originally appeared on the New York Women In Communications blog, Aloud.

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