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How to Do Digital Marketing for Startups

The dream of the American entrepreneur is alive and well. While the initial pandemic smashed the world of small businesses, millions of new businesses are springing forth in their wake.

Countless Americans are looking to build their own company, and there’s never been a better time to do so. But just because the opportunity is here doesn’t mean it’s easy.

If you want to find success and ensure your company doesn’t fold within its first few years, you need to nail your digital marketing.

Wondering how to do digital marketing for startups? It’s a different beast than marketing for established companies.

Keep reading our digital marketing guide below for tips on building your customer base the right way.

Digital Marketing Explained

First off, what is digital marketing, and how is it different from traditional marketing? And which path should you take for your company?

Digital marketing is anything seen on a screen. It’s the advertisements shown by Google. But it’s also the organic search results that show up on Google

It’s the posts on social media, and it’s the design of your website. It’s email newsletters that are sent directly to your customer base. And it’s also the text messages your leads get to convince them to become customers.

The average person spends nearly five hours a day looking just at their smartphone. So, where their attention is, that’s where you should focus the majority of your marketing efforts.

So what are examples of non-digital marketing in a digital age? These are billboards. They’re ads posted on buses, benches, and the sides of buildings.

One of the most popular physical marketing strategies is direct mail, which many companies still prioritize in the digital age. 

While these traditional marketing methods can be effective, most of your customers are staring at a device all day. So as a startup, the best thing you can do is focus on digital. 

How to Do Digital Marketing for Startups

There are countless digital marketing strategies that a startup can pursue. But what are the most effective?

Incentivize Existing Customers

One of the most effective marketing strategies in today’s age is affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you pay regular people (or sometimes marketing experts) a commission each time they sell a product on your behalf.

It’s a win-win situation. Happy customers who love your products will advertise your products for you. Then, you just pay them an agreed-upon commission each time they get a sale.

And it’s surprisingly easy to handle this process as well. There are many affiliate marketing platforms you can use to generate unique affiliate links for all participants.

The platform tracks how many sales each affiliate earns, and you can release payment automatically. 

With an effective affiliate marketing strategy, you can create an army of people who market your products for you in person, through email, on personal blogs and social media, etc. 


Similar to affiliate marketing, sponsoring influencers can be very effective, depending on what industry you are in.

It can be hard for a new company to build up its own audience. So leveraging other people’s audiences on social media is much more effective for selling products, as well as building your own audience. 

When working with influencers, you’ll generally pay a flat fee to have them talk about and showcase your products to their followers. This might be on Instagram, Tik Tok, YouTube, or another relevant marketing channel.

The benefit is that the influencer has already built trust with their followers. So if they see them talking about a new brand or product, they are more inclined to pay attention and buy for themselves. 

Be Authentic

Marketing is an interesting industry. The goal is to make your company look good as possible. Unfortunately, marketing can be incredibly deceptive.

It’s actually quite easy to make a terrible company look really good. And as a result of looking good, they can make a lot of money in the short term.

But if you want to build a loyal following for the long haul, it pays to be authentic. Show the behind-the-scenes of your company. Show the real people that work for your company, not just paid models and actors.

Showcase what it takes to create your products and offer your services. Make sure the founder or current CEO/manager is interacting with customers in one way or another.

In the digital age, transparency and authenticity are becoming much more important than ever before. The more genuine you can be on the screen, the more trust, and the more customers you can earn. 

Pay-Per-Click Marketing

As a startup, you need results fast. You can’t pay for marketing efforts very long before you generate some ROI.

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is one of the most effective verticals for sales. People use search engines like Google all day, every day.

And while SEO, and building up organic search results is extremely effective, it takes time. PPC gets you on top of the search rankings right away and can lead to some immediate conversions. 


As a new business, you likely don’t have the manpower or resources to dedicate to a full-time marketing campaign. But in order to grow and eventually get to that point, you need to be marketing your company effectively.

It’s a double-edged sword. In the early days, it’s best to work with experts and hire digital marketing services

These are people that are in the trenches every single day, staying up to date on the latest marketing strategies and tactics.

They know how to drive traffic to websites and social media profiles. They know how to set up a website for conversions so that you get more people calling you, more people completing an online checkout, and more people signing up for your newsletter.

If you want to see results fast and gain an early boost in sales, then find a reputable marketing agency to help you get there. 

Consistency Is Key

Now that you know how to do digital marketing for startups, it’s time to take action. Start putting the word out about your business right now.

You need to be consistent with your marketing if you ever want it to take effect.

Looking for more digital marketing tips like this? Head over to our blog now to keep reading. 

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