Digital Marketing: Improve the Marketing Performance of Your Startup

If you’re an entrepreneur ready to take the next step of either creating or improving the marketing performance of your startup, here are some tips on taking actions to get you started.
When preparing this article I talked to a couple of people and asked about difficulties that they faced at the beginning of taking actions on marketing. Some of them feel overwhelmed by the multitude of various tools and possibilities. The others have problems defining a target audience. The remaining do not know either what to put in advertisement’s messages nor how to start at all. That’s the whole reason why this article started. I’m going to go through them and then expand these ideas in the upcoming articles of a “Digital Marketing: Improve the Marketing of Your Startup” series.

Getting started could be easy if you decide to follow some simple guidelines on how to deal with it. You do not have to plan a long-term marketing strategy immediately. In time, by a couple of completed tests, it will become easier for you to choose what works for your business. Remember though that even the experienced marketing specialists consult each other as required. You can always ask me if you have any questions or need some advice.

How to start the enhancement in the marketing performance of your startup

No matter if you would like to start paid or unpaid actions, always start defining their goals. Also try to answer the following questions: 

  • Who would get benefits from your offer? 
  • What would they take a target action for (their primary need)?
  • How will they benefit from your offer? 

Do not worry about the best tool, you would be better thinking about one that will help you to reach your target audience. Test different solutions and adjust them to your needs.

Why am I doing this? What are my goals? 

Depending on what kind of startup you run, your result may be different: 

  • Visiting your website
  • Reading an article
  • Getting to know the offer
  • Watching a video 
  • Listening to a podcast
  • Filling in the form 
  • Newsletter signup 
  • Download an ebook 
  • Purchase
  • Hypothesis verification
  • Determining of benchmark

Define only one goal for one action. That means that when you plan a campaign to encourage users to download an ebook, it doesn’t make sense to make the advertisement promoting your podcast, by the way. Therefore, it is not a problem because taking one action reinforces the other. Moreover, it is impossible to purchase on a website without visiting it. The point is to have a specific goal and to match all the next steps to it. We will have a lot of them: 

  • Tool 
  • Copy 
  • Creative
  • Landing page
  • Target audience

Define your marketing goals into conversions and smaller goals (micro-conversions). Value any user’s activity because even a small action on a customer journey may lead to the main goal completion.   

Who would you like to inform about your company offer? 

Many times we have heard “define your target audience” and “define a buyer persona”. But what does it mean? Below I am going to list only these attributes which stem directly from the selection of a target audience. In some situations, this head up is enough to define your persona but in others it requires some research. I will clarify this in the next article.

The Demographic criteria to be taken into account are: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location (City, Region, specific areas)
  • Education
  • Family status (parent / partner / single / pets lover) 
  • Income (unavailable in some countries)
  • Profession (occupation / industry / seniority level)

The Psychographic criteria

  • Personality
  • Lifestyle
  • Values
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Behavior

Remember, however, it is not necessary to fill all these criteria in every single situation. The occupation of your buyer persona is useless when you sell vegan food. Their lifestyle is more important. In turn, when you are looking for a client who would start a six-month project in your company, it does not matter if they have a pet. It’s more important to choose the right industry and the decision-making person.

Tools for improving the marketing performance of your startup

When selecting a marketing tool, first of all, ask yourself if you will reach your target audience with it. There are a lot of marketing tools and channels. The most commonly used are: 

  • Google Ads offers paid search campaigns, display network advertisements, and videos on Youtube.   
  • Facebook Ads offers image and video campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Linkedin Ads offers different advertisement formats that are recommended for a business to business campaigns. 
  • Pinterest Ads offers different advertisement formats. It is a good choice for visually attractive products. For example fashion or interior design products. 

All of the mentioned tools mostly have some analytics opportunities to report and visualize the results. This would provide you key indicators of the performance of your campaigns. If you need more detailed analysis you can choose a dedicated tool.

Which analytics platforms can you use for free? 

  • Google Analytics provides the possibility to track all the events on your website and allows partial aggregate traffic from all the sources that lead to your website. 
  • Firebase is equivalent to Google Analytics, but for mobile applications. It helps to track application downloads or concrete actions in the application. 

There are a lot of analytics systems, but there is no sense to focus on them at that stage. By deciding on the next reporting tool, think about what questions would be answered.

Why would someone take that? Users benefits 

Do not forget about your users. Just put them first in everything you do. You care about your business goal, but what are the user’s goals? Wondering what the benefits would give them a conversion on your website. Take that, answer the user’s questions and give them what they are looking for. 
The lack of conversion or a purchase is not the end of your relationship. The returning user is more likely to convert as a client than the new one. Still take care of them.

Make tests and improve your marketing performance

One of the goals mentioned at the beginning of this article is the hypothesis verification. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. Nobody knows what channel and campaign will bring success. Even experienced marketers will run tests to verify a hypothesis and collect data. 
You can estimate your budget using benchmarks from the platform or industry. But they show the average result and we do not know where our company is in this average context. Besides that, the crisis of 2020 turned all the benchmarks upside down. 

That is why you have to create your own benchmarks and run tests. 

So, run your first paid campaign as a  test on a low budget. Select one target audience and create four different advertising messages. Check which one is the most attractive for the audience and has the most clicks and the highest click-through rate (CTR). Check which advertisement brings the most conversions. You can also test different target audiences for one message. Choose variables by yourself. Run tests to start and improve your marketing performance.