Guest post by Dave Mathews

Since startups and small businesses have limited financial budget, their reliance on a well thought-out marketing plan is a rarity. But the point that a marketing plan makes or breaks a business cannot be emphasized enough.

It has been reported by Forrester Research in their research that from all over the world, more than $200 billion were spent online in 2011 by the Americans alone, with an estimation of the total jacking up to $327 billion in 2016. This proves Bill Gates statement that, “the Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.”

It is a reported practice by some of the companies that they stress on sales before actually coming up with, or implementing, a marketing plan. This usually turns disadvantageous because, understandably, a potential client will be hesitant to buy a product/service he is not familiar with.

But this can be avoided by taking advantage of mediums that allow for a business to create its online presence. A startup can spread its word to a targeted audience by using social media, and resultantly creating a reliable and strong clientage and customer relationship. This article aims to get you acquainted with ways you can market your startup online.

The first step to creating a successful marketing strategy is to have a logo that gives your startup or small business a distinctively idiosyncratic edge.  A logo of your business is like a receptionist. It is be the first thing about your business that potential customers see, and as they say, first impression is the last impression. So put up your best face!

Social media is being increasingly used by businesses because of the advantages it carries and adopting   a few smart social media marketing strategies will have your business on its way to success.

LinkedIn has consistently proved itself as a network of professionals that helps in gaining business leads for your startup and expanding your professional circle. Read more.

Twitter has proved itself as a force to reckon with as far as allowing businesses to market themselves is concerned. (Learn how)

PInterest is, albeit new, but has seen success in the statistical count of people joining it. It allows businesses to share pictures of their products and services. (Learn how)

Create a blog to share useful content related to your business with the readers. This helps in diverting traffic on your website, besides acting as a marketing tool for your startup. Here’s how you can set up a blog on WordPress, but make sure it is then listed in web directories like the one of Google (learn how) because millions of people search blogs through them.

Initiate a video blog because it is reported by comScore that users watch approximately 186 videos a month, testifying for their success in reaching millions of viewers across the globe. Amongst the mediums used for video blogging, Youtube has seen tremendous success and playbacks reaching as much as 700 billion in 2011.

Co-market your business with other businesses that share their products/services with you. This is a great way for startups to save money that would otherwise be spent on implementing solo marketing plans.

Build credibility by joining Step by Step and writing on topics that relate to your target market.  Whether it is a retail outlet in London or a business providing services in Montreal, the titles can be endless to get your name in the list of experts.

A marketing plan should have all the ingredients to morph your business from a startup into a success story, and applying all of these techniques for online marketing is sure to give your business the push it needs towards the road of triumph.

About the author

This post is contributed by Dave Mathews, looking after PR activities of Public Relations and Social Media Marketing are Dave’s areas of expertise.

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