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Businesses statistically don’t last more than five years in the beginning, and only about a third make it to become successful companies in the marketplace. What’s keeping them from growing? Well, that’s easy:

Marketing.

In general, marketing is the easiest way to get new customers and grow revenue. Hiring salespeople is fine, but marketing is how a company spreads the word about a product or service to a mass number of people. The problem is, paid advertising can be expensive – enter social media.

The internet has given the business world a wonderful gift by bringing together billions of people onto a select number of popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat, to name a few. These platforms each have a very different function in how they aggregate data, appeal to their users, and what type of personalities they attract. Just about everybody has a Facebook, for instance, but there are those who refuse to create a Facebook profile for personal reasons and instead prefer to focus on Instagram or Twitter to interact online.

Knowing a customer’s preferences is extremely important when deciding where to focus marketing campaign content. The reason this is vital to understand is because when deciding where to begin a marketing effort online, it can be done for absolutely free – this is called organic social media marketing.

The concept is very simple: create content such as blog articles, graphics, videos, etc., upload the content to a social media business page, and if possible schedule the content to appear at least 1-2 times throughout the day when customers will be most likely to see and engage with the content. It’s much more time-consuming than a pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement, which runs automatically based on parameters set by the advertiser. However, the return on investment has immense potential of a 0:1 ratio, whereas the company can simply create the content in-house and upload it for free.

There are plenty of excellent examples of how to do this by mimicking major brands such as Wendy’s, Coca-Cola, H&M, Walmart, and many more. They hire the best creative marketers from all over the world to manage their digital marketing campaigns, with organic social media being the meat and bones of their online presence.

Startup companies struggle because of a lack of digital content, and simply don’t promote their own business enough to the world wide web. There are at least 10,000 customers in any given market that would be more than willing to purchase a product or service if marketed correctly, but the messaging has to be on point and extremely powerful & convincing. Done wrong, and the startup is simply wasting its time.

Some startups have a successful launch, and are able to procure enough funds to hire a marketing agency to begin managing these campaigns for them (check out this example). This not only automates the marketing process, but it allows the company to focus on more active revenue-generating concepts and actions such as direct selling, product/service development, etc.

Once organic reach begins bringing in more revenue, then it’s time to focus on paid advertising. This is obviously more costly than organic social marketing, but it is immensely powerful: by paying for advertising through Google and/or social media platforms, a company can target specific avatars (e.g., ideal customer profiles) to increase the likelihood of lead conversions into sales online.

Remember, building a company is always a struggle in the beginning, but in the end the rewards are well worth the effort that it took to get it off the ground.