13 proven digital marketing strategies for Startups

Cheap Digital Marketing Expert

By Guy Hudson

Digital marketing is crucial for all businesses in the modern world, however the types of business it is most important for is startups. Big businesses and brick & mortar stores often survive on reputation and old customers, however even big brands have struggled in recent times due to not focusing their efforts online and having a lack of digital marketing strategy. 


For start ups digital marketing is extremely important. It is an opportunity to get customers to use your new brand without high marketing costs. Modern digital marketing can be very cost effective and the biggest advantage over traditional marketing is that everything is trackable. This means you know what method is working best for your start-up and this will allow you to make an analytical decision on where you should focus your digital marketing efforts.


Below you will see 13 digital marketing methods that have been proven to be successful for start up businesses. 




Email marketing seemed to have peaked years ago, but at the time of writing it is certainly making a big comeback. 


Email marketing allows you to directly contact; new, old and potential customers. All of your emails can be tracked and you can create an automated system to ensure it is not time consuming. 


Email marketing is no longer just sending sales messages. Email is a great way to nurture potential leads with informative and educational content which will showcase you and your business as an expert in your field. 


Setting up your first email campaign can be very cost effective, in fact Mailchimp offers free email campaigns for your first 1000 contacts, once you go past 1000 contacts it is certainly worth paying for email campaign software as it can be very profitable and rewarding. 




Paid Social


Organic social use to be a very good route to use, for it’s free makes people feel like it is a good route to go down, however it is much more valuable to put some of your marketing budget into paid social media ads. 


Paid social media ads are one of the most targeted forms of advertising. Facebook allows you to input the exact type of audience you want to target and what location you want to advertise in. This is not only a key tool for starting your business but actually works great for when you want to scale and grow into new locations as well.


Pro tip – Install a Facebook pixel onto your website as soon as you can. This will allow you to have more data for remarketing campaigns. (more on remarketing later on) 






Content marketing is crucial for a start-up because quite simply no one knows who you are. If you are in a competitive industry it is crucial your brand produces content that is useful for potential customers.


Content is not only a great way to have more keywords in the search engine ranking. It can also be useful to use in your email campaigns.


Creating targeted content will allow you to present your expertise in your field, create guides and free how-to’s that your potential customers will find helpful.


If you are struggling to think of content ideas, try and search some key terms in your industry. This should show some blogs and articles, now read a few and you should be able to improve on the content that is current ranking. This is known as the Skyscrapper method and was first coined by Brian Dean of Backlino.com 






Video marketing is massively underused in the majority of industries. Video ads are proven to get the best engagement and videos help with conversion rates on your sales pages. 


Most companies believe video marketing is expensive which is true if you hire a production company and have a professional edit the footage. The benefits of video marketing for a start-up is that you can be more personal, potential customers actually can find a video filmed on your phone in selfie mode talking directly at them more engaging than a professional commercial shoot. 


Youtube is still not used correctly by the majority of businesses, posting videos relevant to your industry on Youtube is one of the fastest ways you can present yourself as an expert in your field. 


Pro tip – create Youtube videos around what people are searching, Youtube has a very high domain authority so it gives you a good chance to rank your content above your competitors. 




Google Ads 


If you want to start generating leads and sales straight away a Google Ads campaign will be one of the best methods to use. 


You can directly target what people are searching for and have your website appear first, yes this comes at a cost but it crucial you calculate how much you are willing to spend for each conversion.


Google Ads has many benefits for start-ups including: 


  • Only paying when someone visits your site

  • High ROI with a correctly targeted campaign 

  • Fast results 

  • Data and analytics to help you scale your ad campaigns 


Social Media 


Social media marketing is nowhere near as beneficial as it was a few years ago; however that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. The main benefit of social media is that it is free, it is a quick and easy way to build awareness for your start-up.


Social media also gives you a free way to interact with your audience, nearly all of the social media sites have direct messaging features. This makes it one step easier for current and future customers to contact you.


Pro tip – You can set up automated message responses on sites such as Facebook which can save you hours of messaging time in the future.  






Search Engine Optimisation is important for every business and website however for start-ups it can be crucial. If you have a small budget, it is vital you learn SEO as organic traffic is free. Once your site begins to rank for your target keywords your organic traffic will improve and you will have potential customers visiting your site for free.


It is important you see SEO as a long term project and avoid any process that goes against Google’s violations as this can come back to haunt you in the future. 


If you are interested in learning more about SEO feel free to check out the beginners guide to SEO on this site. 




Local SEO 


Local SEO will be crucial if you run a service based startup. One of the most important sectors of local SEO will be Google My Business. A well optimised GMB listing can allow your site to appear top of the search results for targeted keywords in your local area. 


No matter what type of business you run there is no excuse not to optimise your GMB listing, it is free marketing for your start-up. 


It is also a key place where potential new customers can view reviews about your company.


If you are interested in finding out what it takes to optimise a GMB listing view my guide here. 






This can be tricky if you are a brand new startup as you will have no one to remarket to; however once you have built an audience, remarketing will be one of your cheapest cost per conversion marketing channels. 


Facebook remarketing is one of the most popular forms of remarketing where you can track users via a Facebook Pixel installed on your site. This allows you to create a custom audience where you can promote your ads only to people that have visited your site. 






Influencer marketing can be extremely helpful if you are in a niche market that is either not allowed in some marketing channels or is very expensive. Influencers can be a costly marketing channel so should be used with caution. 


Micro influencers may actually be a more cost effective avenue for your startup. This would be using people with smaller followings but who are very targeted in your niche, offering them free products/services in return for them promoting your brand. 




Conversion Rate Optimisation is important for your startup especially once you build up traffic, even if you can improve your conversion rate by 1% it can be £1000’s over the course of a year. 


Tools such as Hotjar and using data from Google analytics can inform you what is not working on your website and allow you to make relevant changes. Improving conversion rates can be as simple as making a contact form easier to fill out or even just making your contact number click to call. Small steps can make a massive difference to conversion rates. 




Referral scheme 


Use your current customers to get more customers. A referral scheme is where you offer your current customers a reward or % of revenue from people they refer to your business. It is worth running one as they are effectively free. You just need to calculate what you would be willing to pay per conversion for your business and this should give you an estimate of what the reward should be to a current customer for referring to a new business.


This is beneficial in two main ways; firstly your current customers are happy with the extra bonuses they receive from you and secondly you will get more business. 




Good old fashioned PR is often forgotten about in the digital marketing industry. The negative in appearing in things such as newspapers or tv is that it is not trackable. You have no idea how many people read an article and visited your website. 


This does not mean PR should be ignored though, quite simply the more people who are aware of your business the more potential customers you have. It is worth trying PR as a digital marketing strategy and seeing if it works for your business. 


Try and do something fun and entertaining that could be picked up by the local newspaper, if your business is unique the fact you are a local startup could be enough to get you a feature in some papers. 




In conclusion these digital marketing strategies can all be beneficial for your startup. There is no correct answer to what will work the best, in an ideal world you would use them all together to create your perfect marketing system; however time and budget often doesn’t allow that. I recommend you start with a few that you believe will be most beneficial for your business. Think where does my target audience seem most of their time and that should be the place you market your business the most.


If you need any advice on choosing what digital marketing strategy will be best for your business feel free to message me at guy@bespokemarketingplans.co.uk 


If you want some professional help with your digital marketing why not check out our Cheap Digital Marketing Services