Overall, 2020 has changed the way humans consume information. With a standstill on physical interaction, everything suddenly went online and customers became digitally-conscious. Young entrepreneurs need to know that this will continue in 2021.
With a growing digital market, young entrepreneurs might feel pressured to cater to users on online to expand their brand reach. If young entrepreneurs choose to do this, they must use the right digital marketing strategies.
If you are a young entrepreneur wanting to expand your brand presence, here are some digital tips to get started.
Know What Your Audience Prefers
Whatever the marketing strategy, begin your brand expansion by increasing your knowledge of your target audience. You should conduct market research and gather data using tools like Demographics Pro. Don’t forget to dig deep on social networks. Creating buyer personas from the information gathered can help you determine when and where to share your message.
Analyze your offerings and build personas that would be looking for your product or service. You should also analyze your competitors and their data to see who engages with them. Look at their personality traits, values, interests, and opinions to know your prospects as much as possible.
Harness the Power of Online Listings
For young entrepreneurs, the best way to be on the same platform as established enterprises is to get listed on directory sites. There are several sites in every industry niche where entrepreneurs can list their business to help potential customers discover them.
Why should you consider listing your business?
Customers trust reviews. If your business has reviews, potential customers will take you more seriously.
New customers will find you more easily online.
Your website will show up on search engine result pages.
With the right description and content, your brand can have better visibility.
Directories point quality traffic to your website, which may lead to conversions.
Here are some of the online listing sites where you should list your business:
Google My Business: For all kinds of businesses
Product Hunt: For all new digital products
Crunchbase: All types of startups
Clutch, Good firms: IT companies and related services
Launching Next: Digital startups needing startup tools & resources
Choosing the right business directory is all it takes for a startup to blossom. These directories can be the place where your startup can be the solution provider to solution-seeking users. It will offer your business the required visibility and the awareness that it needs to build its brand image. While some can help you launch your startup, others can offer the required platform to showcase it to your potential customer base.
Join Hands With Influencers
Another effective way for young entrepreneurs to increase their brand reach is by collaborating with influencers. Several startups have grown exponentially by getting influencers to use or advertise their products. Influencer marketing is going to stay very relevant in 2021.
Influencers sway people with their messaging, so look for influencers in your niche and get them to talk about your brand.
Don’t Forget Micro-Influencers
While influencers can increase your brand reach, they might charge a hefty sum. New startups don’t have high marketing funds to sign big influencers for their brand. This is where micro-influencers come in.
These influencers don’t have a large following, but the following they do have is loyal. Moreover, getting micro-influencers to showcase your products or services could come across as more original to potential customers compared to celebrity endorsements that look and feel like paid advertising. Micro-influencers feel more authentic and audiences can relate more with them than celebs. The relatable content micro-influencers create is what sways the users.
For young entrepreneurs planning to increase their reach, look for influencers with an engaging following.
Indulge in Referral Programs
Referral programs help generate word of mouth marketing, and the key is to offer something that is hard to resist.
Dropbox is the most successful example of a referral program. Its refer-a-friend feature helped the brand earn a huge user base in a short time back in 2010 when no one knew them. Their signups increased by over 60% and 2.8 million direct referral invites came from their users in just one month. They offered 500Mb additional space of free storage for each friend referred and this blew up their sign-ups.
Uber, PayPal, Evernote, Airbnb, and Amazon Prime also used referral programs to increase their brand presence. This is the single most effective and proven way to get more users in a short time. It offers existing users additional benefits and reassures new users that the company is legit since the introduction comes from a trusted friend.
You can offer a number of things in return for the referrals to your business. It could be:
Trials at no charge
Free access for the paid product
Unlocked paid benefits
Start with setting the goal for your referral program and define the parameters for successful conversions. Find your happy customers and look for ways to make them happier. It could be via email, social media posts, ads, blogs, etc. Make sure the incentive or reward you offer is worth each user’s time.
Another tip would be to keep it double-sided, i.e., reward both the promoter and the referred friend to increase the chances of conversion.
Plan Ahead But Be Ready to Pivot
If 2020 taught everyone one thing, it’s to be ready to pivot. Everyone had very different hopes and expectations from the year, but the pandemic gave a 180-degree turn. All marketing and branding efforts had to change to meet new expectations in unexpected times.
So, a great digital tip for young entrepreneurs would be to have an open mind and the readiness to pivot. They need to be swift and agile in their digital ways.
Customers are now more conscious and aware of the environment, social causes, and other happenings, so they want to align themselves with brands that are environmentally and socially-conscious. They want brands to speak about the happenings around them. It should be a lesson for young entrepreneurs to be ready to pivot their digital marketing game or their marketing message in light of the events happening to expand their presence.
Up Your PR Game
Publicity is important to showcase your brand publicly and get visibility, especially when just starting out. Relying on a professional PR team to help with this process will take weight off your shoulders.
“You have to get your brand out and about, particularly if you’re a consumer-oriented brand. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad,” said Richard Branson.
His points on PR included:
Choose the right channel.
Stress the second impression.
Listen to your customers.
These are indeed some important points that can help any young entrepreneur up their PR game if they can’t afford a professional PR team.
Investing in a great PR team and strategy can help any startup to increase its brand reach and presence.
SEO Remains Relevant
SEO will strengthen your brand’s online identity through your website and other online platforms. For young entrepreneurs, SEO can be a weapon of mass visibility if used smartly.
Search engine optimization is one of the most effective marketing means for any startup to boost their brand’s online presence. Anytime anyone has a query, ‘googling’ is the way to find a solution. SEO empowers you to be that solution-provider for your audiences.
To begin, perform an in-depth analysis of your business, competitors, and your offerings to find out what keywords you want to target. These keywords should be your base. Put all of your efforts and budget towards these keywords to try and rank for them on one search engine. That way, whenever your target audience types that keyword on search engines, your business should be the first one to appear.
SEO Tips for Beginners
Here are some startup SEO tips that might help increase your brand awareness:
Fix technical SEO issues like duplicate content, redirects, broken links, 404 pages, missing ALT attributes, duplicate meta description, etc.
Content is crucial for branding and young entrepreneurs need to be mindful of this. Additionally, the content should be rich with keywords: small-tail and long-tail.
With Google page experience update, UX plays a key role. Organize your navigation, track the heat map, and make sure the website is built on a mobile-first approach.
On-page optimization is crucial to SEO. Check for the keyword density, LSI keywords, HTML tags, Alt tags, meta description, content length, URL structure, internal and external links, and much more.
Make sure that you are also ranking for long-tail keywords. These are much easier to rank than small-tail keywords.
While these are some of the most effective digital tips to improve your brand’s reach and presence, this list is not exhaustive. There can be many more tips that one needs to keep in mind. Be it keeping the image consistent, focussing solely on branding, utilizing social media ads, or even by posting guest platforms.
Find the channel that your users are visiting and make sure to leave your mark. Gain authority as an entrepreneur, share your story, and be out there. Make sure your visibility is never hampered.
Focus your marketing efforts on connecting with people. If your brand is able to connect with the audience and keep them engaged, the reach will eventually improve.
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