HOW TO MARKET A NEW
Jamieson Lee Hill, LMB Content and Copywriting Manager & Videogame
15 WAYS TO MARKET YOUR STARTUP
USING A DIGITAL STRATEGY
This is a concept put forward by the leading
US organization DigitalMarketer. They
describe the relationship between a business
and its customers or prospects as a journey
or relationship that needs to be built.
Customer Value Journey
Customer Value Journey
The CVJ goes in stages and it is important not to be
salesy early on in the relationship with a new
prospect. DigitalMarketer uses the analogy that if you
go on a first date with someone and ask them tomarry
you and name yourfuture kids, the other person will
probably run away never to be seen again.
Potential customers love excellent content and Google does too. Blogging, making
videos, doing audio and video podcasts, creating memes and infographics, and
writing articles to send to well known websites in your sector are all effective ways to
get your content out there.
• Plan a campaign of social media posts on a
theme related to your business.
• Do 1 minute videos everyday about your
business, brand and related items to build a
relationship with prospects.
• Contact other websites about being a guest
blogger or to appear on their podcast and
offer to do the same for them.
• Remember that content build your authority
as an expert and strengthens your brand. It is
also excellent for SEO purposes because
quality content will bring users to your website
and social media. This in turn increases your
ranking on Google.
• If you don’t have the time or ability to create content,
then hire freelancers that do. The emphasis should be
on quality. You should avoid buying in cheap, poor
quality content which has spelling and grammar
mistakes and low quality graphic design. This will
damage your brand and make it look unprofessional.
• Refresh old content by giving it a rewrite or edit. This helps
your ranking on Google too.
• Also, you can Repurpose old content e.g. take a podcast
interview and use the audio script to create an article or
splinter a large video into smaller chunks. Think of ways
you can repurpose content into other forms. It saves
time and it is always wise to reuse popular content.
• Evergreen content is content which has lasting appeal
over a long period of time. Your best content that
doesn’t age should be reposted but you should always
refresh it with an edit or rewrite to help your Google
Understanding your target audience is massively important in Marketing. It is this
research that should underpin your Digital Marketing Strategy.
Look at this Customer Avatar Worksheet and fill it out for your typical customer type.
You may have more than one. Before you create content always refer to the Customer
Avatar to influence your writing. Write in the voice of the target audience and consider
their challenges, needs, aspirations, background etc so the content is relevant and
targeted at them.
Customer Avatar/Persona Template
The before and after state is a term used in marketing to refer to the
transformation that the marketer shows the prospective customer in a piece of
content. To give an example if you were a company selling warm and stylish
winter jackets you could focus on the before state of a prospect as follows:
Before and After State
Before buying a jacket
the prospect feels cold
in Winter and hates the
After the buying the
customer is warm, cosy and
dry. Also, they feel very
confident with their stylish
The point of the Before - After State is that people buy products and services based
on emotions/feelings and not just because of the product features. Effective
marketing and advertising appeals to the emotions of the target audience.
The Four Ps of Marketing or The Marketing Mix
The 4 Ps are a classic concept in marketing. Let’s
look at the basics of what they mean for your
You are entering the market and you want to sell as many
units as possible. To gain market penetration you need to
decide whether to go for a price lower than your
competitors or to aim for the high end of the market.
Charging a high price is called market skimming as you
skim off the top of the luxury end of the market.
Do your market research about pricing by looking at your
competitors and see how they are approaching it.
Remember that it is okay to make a loss in the short term,
but long term you need to be making a profit and
covering all your costs while generating revenue.
Remember that the amount you charge will affect
customers’ perception of your brand i.e. either low or
high quality or mid-range.
How will you promote your products and services?
Will you use social media platforms? Which ones
are best for your target market? Will you use paid
advertising? If so, on which platforms and how
much will you spend per day, per week, month
Will you do contests and giveaways to build up
Will you send out Press Releases and harness the
power of the media? (See later sections on HARO
Deciding what you are selling is crucial. Will it be
physical products or will you offer services such as
To determine your products and services, you first need
to research the market and identify a real demand for
something. It is not about selling what you like yourself;
there has to be real world demand enough to sustain
your new business. Part of product research involves
looking at what your competitors are doing and how
you can emulate their success and enter the market as
Traditionally, this would be on the high street in a
bricks and mortar shop, but in the 21st century online
shopping is huge. Where will you sell? On Amazon?
Shopify? Ebay? Your own website? Esty? And so on…
Again, do your research about the different platforms
to sell on and decide which are best for you and your
products/services. You need to discover where your
potential customers go to find out information about
your proposed sector. For further information, I
recommend you check out Neil Patel’s article on the 4
Ps. Neil is a fantastic source of information for Digital
The Rise of Online Shopping
So unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few years, you must have realised
that online shopping is now massively popular. E-commerce has been on the rise
since the mid-1990s.
With the onset of the pandemic the Digital Boom was immense. Check out these stats:
“With the rise of ecommerce, it’s only natural that the number of online shoppers
worldwide rises along with it. As it stands in 2021, the number of digital buyers is at
2.14 billion. That makes 27.6 percent of the 7.74 billion people in the world. In other
words, more than one out of every four people you see around you is an online
In 2021 the number of online shoppers worldwide rose by 900 million:
“The number of online shoppers has been growing over the past few years. In
2021, there were 900 million more digital buyers than there were in 2020—a 4.4
percent year-over-year increase.”
At that rate of increase, online shopping is set to become even more important in
the world. This is why you must take digital marketing seriously because
ecommerce is here to stay. Plus, the pandemic has shown the world market that
it is vital to have digital sales to survive in these times.
A basic rule of thumb for social media marketing is to choose 2 or 3 social
media platforms that are relevant to your sector. Then put out your best
content and have a really effective social media strategy that is tailored to
your audience. To make sure your content is appealing to your audience
you need to do some social listening and listen for what people are saying
in your industry, their problems and challenges, their wish lists etc and
then you can design your content to offer solutions to their issues.
There is sometimes a reluctance for
small businesses to spend money on
digital advertising. This may be in part
due to the horror stories of people
getting it all wrong and literally burning
money on PPC ads. However,
advertising done correctly can provide
an immediate hit for your sales
trajectory. Here are a few basics that
you need to Google and learn about:
• Paid Ads vs Organic SEO
• PPC Ads
• Google Analytics
• Facebook Analytics
• Retargeting ads
• Boosting your posts
A note of caution - it is very easy to burn money on Ads
in Facebook, Google etc. Therefore, do your research
first. Both Facebook and Google offer free training which
will help you. Check out Google’s Digital Garage and
Facebook’s Blueprint. If you don’t have the time or
inclination to learn these skills, you can always hire a
freelancer or agency to create and run paid ads for you.
SEO Organic Search
The holy grail of SEO still seems to be a
mystery for a lot of businesses.
SEO means Search Engine Optimization. It is
all about understanding how to rank highly on
Google and other search engines. By
understanding customers’ search intent you can
optimize your website and social media to be
picked up in search engines.
The ultimate goal is to be on the first page
because for a large company that can mean
millions of dollars in sales and for a small
company it can mean sustainable growth and
Be warned - there is a worldwide pool infested with
Shark SEO companies who promise the world and
deliver very little. SEO done properly is a very
involved business which needs to go through
systematic steps. It doesn't happen overnight, SEO
is the long game approach but it brings sustainable
results and growth. You don’t usually see real
results for about 3 months. That doesn't mean that
you won't get lucky and get on the first page of
Google for a certain set of keyword phrases sooner
than that. But staying there is another matter!
A combination of SEO and Paid Ads can be very
effective. Again, you will need to learn the skills of
both or hire freelancers to do it for you. If you do
fancy learning SEO yourself, Hubspot offer free
Blogging is still a serious way to market your business and brand. Conventional wisdom
was that blogs should be short and no longer than 500 words. That was because people
tend to have short attention spans in the digital age. However, this way of thinking has
created a shortage of longer content.
In a nutshell, if you can write some articles 1000 to 2000 words packed with really useful
content, you could find yourself making your way to the first page of Google. Yippee! The
Promised Land of the first page. So get writing people! You don’t have to write all of your
blog posts this length but a few big articles on key topics for your business will give you a
great chance of ranking high on Google if it is quality content.
For your blog, plan ahead and outline the topics you will write about with a Content
Plan. Again write about relevant topics for your industry and target audience. Practise
‘Social Listening’ before you write your blog articles i.e. go online to social media and
see what prospective customers are talking about in terms of their problems, needs
and their view of competitor brands, products and services.
For blogging, write about relevant topics with authority and giving value first i.e free
valuable content which helps solve customer problems. Then you will build trust with
your audience and some of them will become paying customers.
Remember - to save yourself time and money, see what your competition is putting out
there and emulate the best performing content that they are creating. This requires
you to be an Analytics Detective! Which of their posts have the most engagement and
why? Is it the headline? The photos? The keywords? The topics? Etc.
Avoid Half-finished Bridges
Ryan Deiss of DigitalMarketer advises against this pitfall. It basically means
you shouldn’t try and do everything all at once. It is better to choose a few
digital marketing strategies that suit your target audience and do them
well. In doing your research you will decide what works best for your
E.g. Choose 3 Social Media platforms where your target audience hangs
out e.g. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Or just two if you prefer. The
main thing is to put out great content.
Then develop a Content strategy for your social media centred around
those 3 platforms. Create valuable and free content for your audience to
build your brand authority and trust.
Review what you are doing each month and get into analytics i.e.
analysing which posts get the most engagement - likes, shares,
comments etc. Then you can repeat and emulate the posts that perform
the best. But remember likes, shares and comments mean nothing
without sales. In fact, we call them ‘vanity metrics’ because the real proof
in the pudding is sales conversions! Remember that. It is a vital lesson to
learn. Lots of followers does not always mean lots of revenue if people in
that audience are not buying from you.
Avoid Half-finished Bridges
Still a big hitter in terms of income generated.
Although you hear people complain about being
spammed and having information overload via
email, if you share valuable content with an
engaged audience you can convert a good
percentage of that audience into buyers. What is
a good percentage? Well, for 1000 email
recipients, if you manage to convert 2% to 5%
into paying customers, then those are pretty
The key to success in email marketing is to:
• Email people who are interested in your
• Don’t leave big gaps of months between
• Don’t email every day
• Create a sales funnel where the emails build
a relationship with prospects first - Nurture.
Don’t be salesy at first, build a relationship.
• But later send emails that are selling
products and services to them - Promotion.
• You can also write emails to re-engage
previous customers who haven’t bought
for a while.
Read this fab article about Email Marketing to
get fully conversant with the process.
Community Action and Media
Connecting with your local community or creating online
communities through setting up Facebook groups or groups on other
social media, is a great way to connect with your target audience.
A PR approach of sending out press releases to local, national and
international media outlets helps keep your brand at the forefront of
prospects’ minds and is also good for your search engine ranking
Featuring in the media is a form of free advertising that you should tap into.
Consider ways that you can hold publicity stunts or hold events that will
capture the attention of people.
Here are some examples:
• Run a community event and send out a press release before it happens to
media outlets e.g. give free products to a charity, support a local school
with your skills, do a charity sponsored run or similar event etc.
• Sponsor a local charity or non-profit organisation to be featured in their
advertising e.g. sponsor a local charity concert.
• Put your business forward or yourself for a business contest. Winning
such an event will put your business out there in the media.
Community Action and Media
This is an effective way to get free publicity. The blurb on the website states:
“HARO connects journalists seeking expertise to include in their content with sources who have that
You sign up via email and each day you will get various emails asking for expert sources regarding a
range of topics and fields. If your skills or knowledge align with any of these, you can write and offer to
contribute. If you are chosen you will be mentioned in the article or whatever the form of publication is
used and your business will be listed. This can be extremely profitable if your business details end up in
a national media platform.
The downside is that you do get sent a lot of emails and it is a bit of a lottery as there is no guarantee
that you will be chosen. Yet if you are chosen the stakes are high and a listing for your business could
lead to new customers. Check it out on the HARO website.
Help a Reporter Out - HARO
Agile Marketing is the Way of the Web!
In the modern digital age, it is important to practise what is called ‘Agile
Marketing’. This means that you listen and adapt your marketing and sales
strategies to keep up with the changes in the market. Innovation and change
are the keys to survival in the digital economy.
Watch out for trending content that is performing very well that your
competitors are using. Analyse why it is working so well and getting excellent
engagement. Then emulate the content by creating your own.
To read more about an Agile Marketing Strategy check out articles by the organisation
Copyblogger. They have tonnes of great content and run a course on the Strategy of
Content Marketing which is definitely worthwhile to make your business a success.
Finally, don’t forget to focus on ways to market your brand and products/services to the
local market. Of course, you can also pitch to the national and international communities
but start local. Here is a fabulous blog post to get you started on Local Marketing.
Onwards and Upwards! You can do this. Become the Marketer you never knew you were.
If you are not selling, you have to be marketing as my great friend and mentor Edward
Van Der Kleijn once said!
PS Read more below from this fantastic list of articles on marketing....
Agile Marketing is the Way of the Web!