Digital Marketing’ New Age Mantra for SMEs

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should focus on creating their brand identity and uniqueness that can differentiate them from others to showcase in the market, said Shyam Sekar S, founder and chief mentor at Startup Xperts which is advocating digital marketing. He emphasised the need for the Startups and SMEs to pursue ‘digital marketing’ and position themselves as thought leaders in their space.

Addressing the third edition of ‘Start Manage Expand: A Knowledge-led Small Medium Business’ conference organised by Andhra Pradesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry Federation (APCCF) here Wednesday, Shyam Sekar felt that SMEs and Startups could leverage through smart marketing strategies by which they can position themselves better than competition. Effective and smart branding can help win clients, increase revenue and profitability.

“While pursuing digital marketing tactics, focus should be on the customers and their need. Twin strategies need to be adopted – inbound and outbound, where a right balance between these two, is essential for companies to succeed,” he said. Inbound involves SEO, blogs, and social media posts, while the Outbound include SEM and social media ads. Depending on the industry they are in, market, customer segment, budget and other factors also should be dealt with. “With the right digital marketing evangelist and business consultants, SMEs and Startups can use this opportunity well in our marketplace,” he added.

APCCF vice-president and Sravan Shipping Services managing director G Sambasive Rao said that the SMEs were playing a very potent role in all sectors especially in automobile sector to shipping allied services like ship breaking and dry docking. APCCF Vizag chapter chairman Pydah Krishna Prasad spoke on the need for technological knowledge in the prevailing ambience.

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Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing for Startups – 8 things to do before launching a product/service | Startup Xperts

The world is witnessing the emergence of startups that was never seen before, in this scale. The biggest question that most entrepreneurs face is that of how to launch their product or service quickly into the market place. As we all know, startups are meant to be ‘lean’. So finance is going to be one of the biggest challenges for most of them. Does digital marketing cost a lot of money? Or can be done ‘cheap’?

Answer is yes and no! Confusing?

If you get into wrong hands in pursuing your digital marketing initiatives, your money can be getting into a bottomless pit. But then yes, if you work with a digital marketing evangelist, or a digital marketing firm that understands the startup mindset well, then you could be in safe hands. Not just safe, but you are creating yourself some extra room to succeed, right at the start itself!

Can it be done cheap? Certainly no! As the saying goes, if you throw peanuts, you will get monkeys! Well, it can be done in a very cost effective way, and one that can deliver results for you.

Let’s quickly look at what are all the right steps that you need to take, to launch your product or service.

  • Get your presence online:You can do this by registering your domain name (preferably .com) and get your website up. Gone are those days when you wait for over a month to see the first cut version. Today, website can be launched in a few days or in weeks, depending on the functionality that you would like to build in. There are numerous domain and hosting companies to choose from. Check their service credentials as the big names that we have experienced have offered poor customer service. Another important point – just make sure that your site is mobile-friendly!
  • Social Media Marketing: The world is becoming more and more socially connected. Depending on whether you are a B2B, or B2C, or B2B2C, create social media accounts as need be. For B2B, you got to have LinkedIn and Twitter accounts; for B2C, have Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
    Creating accounts does not take time. But engaging through these social media platforms will demand your quality time. Here again, content is the king. You can publish, or share content (preferably original) else you can work with your digital marketing consultant to help you create those contents that are worthy to read/share.
  • Build database:You can start to build database with the help of database subscriptions, through web research, and through your website too. This will be an ongoing activity and can start anytime.
  • Email campaigns:In one of the reports that I had read some time ago, it mentioned that email campaigns have the effect of almost 40x times than Facebook and Twitter combined. If you know to use the right CRM, you will be able to track the mail opens, understand what your prospect needs/wants, their interests, etc. Email campaigns can be a very powerful strategy and so do not underestimate its power. So keep sharing interesting articles (original content) with your network constantly. This can help create your brand, and establish you as a thought leader in this space.
  • SEO:Search Engine Optimization, is usually not done as many does not know or think that it is not for them. In many of my engagements, I have made my clients realize the value and importance of doing SEO for their website. It is more a strategy, and not just an activity that can be given to someone who just knows ‘tagging and coding’. This means you are outsourcing your online brain to that lower level.
  • SEM:Search Engine Marketing is suggested to go hand-in-hand with SEO. If you have not optimized your site, then the money that you spend in SEM can go down the drain. Startups need to conserve cash and do it effectively (e.g. Google Adwords, LinkedIn ads, Twitter ads, Facebook ads, etc.) so that they get the bang for the buck. I have suggested some steps as to what to do when (pre-launch, during launch, and post-launch), while launching your product or service, in one of my earlier posts.
  • Analytics:Google analytics’ basic version is free. So get this integrated along with the Webmaster tool. These analytics can give you significant insight as to what’s working and what’s not working. It is very simple and easy to use, and you may not need an expert to get those insights if you are savvy enough.
  • Monitor, fine-tune, and build your startup to scale.

It is not about doing all things right; It is about doing right things.

Happy launching!

Startup Xperts is a management consulting firm with an objective to transform companies into the next level of growth. Our mission is to help companies to steeply accelerate their growth. Be it family run business, small or medium enterprise or a boutique firm, Startup Xperts have all the right answers to step up their growth. Startup Xperts help clients in a range of service areas including business consulting, strategic consulting, sales and marketing consulting, digital marketing, HR, Operations and leadership training.

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