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Digital Marketing for Startups in India on Bootstrapped Budget – Proven Strategies

Startup in India

There was a time when starting a business was believed to be a challenge of a Himalayan scale. And scoring your first sale was the next big thing.

But today with digital marketing for startups, it is easy to start a business in India. Also making sales within a few days is not a challenging task anymore.

Welcome to a digital age in India, where a young entrepreneur can experiment and build a million-dollar business online.

If you’re one from the tribe, then you’re at the right place. I’ve for you some of the best and proven strategies for digital marketing for startups in India that actually work.

With maximum efforts and little budget, you can do wonders for your bootstrapped startup in India.

Let me start with it then.

Website and on-Page SEO – this is where everyone goes wrong

I seriously mean it. I have seen often that entrepreneurs do not take their startup websites seriously.

Even if they do, then website planning and on-page SEO is the weakest part of digital marketing for startups in India.

So, how do you go about it?

Let me give you a sequence of things to do for your website planning, development, and on-page SEO.

1. Keyword researching: you will need keywords to target your audience on search engines. These keywords will be used in your content and on-page SEO optimization. There are few effective keyword tools such as Uber Suggest, SEM Rush, Google AdWords Keyword Planner, KW finder etc.

Top 5 Keyword Research Tools for Startups

The Startup Guide to Keyword Researching

2. Website Planning: now you will need to jot down your website plan. If you’ve some knowledge of User Experience, it will come handy in planning and designing your website. Your website plan should define in details the following things:

a. Content: what kind of language, format (text, graphics, and video), tone, structure and storytelling you will use for your content. Finally, what keywords will you target on each page? I recommend you to use target specific and local keywords for each service page. For example, if you deal in “used sedan cars in Connaught Place” then your service page should also be about it. For the homepage, target open-ended (example: used cars) or your brand keywords.

Content Marketing Tips for Startups

b. Website structure: plan how you want to structure your website. So, users are able to navigate through the website. Also, each page is designed to convert users into leads. Starting from your homepage design your structure. And while planning the structure, keep in mind three things: Speed, Mobile responsiveness, Relevancy, Conversion strategy, and Engagement

How to Create a Site Structure That Will Enhance SEO

c. On-page SEO plan: as I’ve mentioned how to target keyword for each page. There are two parts of the on-page SEO plan. In the first part, you should create a checklist of places where you will insert keywords such as URLs, Page Titles, Content, Headings, Subtitles, Bold Texts, Image Alt Tags, Meta Tags, and Meta Information, Schema etc. The second part of on-page SEO plan should contain internal-linking and outbound linking strategy. I would recommend you to organically link each page instead of only linking the target keyword of the page. For outbound linking only link pages from top ranking sites that publish quality content such as news sites, government sites etc.

3. The color scheme and website design: often startups use the CMS theme, for example, WordPress Theme with their default color scheme and style on their website without customizing it. It is important that your brand colors are used on your website and it should look unique.

4. Mobile Responsiveness: 79 percent of total India’s internet traffic is based on Mobile. And India’s mobile traffic is going to increase 7 fold by 2021 according to Cisco. Therefore, you cannot afford it to ignore. However, mobile app development can be a costly affair. Nevertheless, you could optimize your website to work as a mobile app itself. If you’re using WordPress, you could create a mobile app out of your site using plugins and tools such as WordApp Mobile App, Androapp, AppPresser, MobiLoud etc.

5. Add-ons – also preemptive planning of how to use add-ons such as chatbots, email automation, lead nurturing plugin, coupon plugin etc. will enhance the effectiveness of your website. Unplanned use of add-ons often leads to high bounce rates, low website speed, and lower conversion rate. There are three things you should ask yourself or your marketing team before using add-ons on your website:

  • How do you plan to use add-ons for increasing traffic engagement and conversion rates?
  • What is your lead magnet? Have you planned the content for it?
  • How long do you plan to use it?

What Makes a Startup Website Great?

A Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Business Website

The Ultimate Guide to Site Structure

Social Media – be selective and keep the right approach

I believe startup marketing without social media marketing is incomplete and ineffective.

We have seen in recent years that social media has come out as the most effective tool for startups to generate sales and build their brand.

However, you need a decent knowledge of social media marketing. Also, work on your creatives and engagement plans before you get down to use social media.

Because, without preparing for social media, you will stay invisible and reach nowhere.

So, how to go about social media marketing for your startup?

I have got a few tips for you as following:

  • Choose the right platform: there are a lot of social media platforms available that you can use for your startups. However, you cannot use all. Therefore, be selective and chose the right platform. For example, if you’re an ed-tech company then Facebook will be most suitable for you. But if you’re an HR service provider startup then LinkedIn has to be the first place where you should go.
  • Design your creatives and content strategy: people want to see original branded content from you that emotionally connect with them. It can be in the shape of images, videos, infographics, blogs etc. Do the following to develop your content strategy:
    • Set goals: social media is more helping in the brand building than the lead generation or sales. Therefore, I recommend you to set your goals accordingly.
    • Set budget: you will need a budget for content development and social media promotion. Your budget should be credible and flexible.
    • Pick your techniques and tactics: there are numerous techniques and tactics to attract and engage your target audience on social media. You’ve to pick the right technique. For example, if you’re selling t-shirts then you could make creative videos and/or photo shoot with models wearing your t-shirts, or ask your customers to post photos wearing your t-shirt could be your technique for engagement.
    • Schedule and Delegate: you will need to draw an action plan to implement your social media marketing. It starts with scheduling a month in advance for your social media activities and then implementing it throughout the month. At the end of the month, you should come up with the recommendations to improve after analyzing a month’s implementation. If you have a team to delegate work to then it has to be seamless and structured. If you’re doing it on your own, then make sure you stick to the schedules. Without consistency and perseverance, you cannot achieve success on social media.

26 Tips to Create a Strong Social Media Content Strategy

  • Monitor, manage and improve: learning and improving on social media marketing is important for your startup. As your brand evolves so does your social media promotion, tactics and techniques. As you gain more customers and interact more with your prospects you will need to a level up for your social media engagement. If you do it in a planned manner, you will witness astonishing results.

Video – quality videos with right placement gets you maximum business

I’ve seen often startups avoid developing video content as it cost high and also is difficult.

But, these startups do not know that video marketing can increase conversion by up to 80 percent.

That’s why, if you can afford it then it has to be part of your marketing strategy. Let me tell you a secret, video production, and marketing do not cost much if you do it on your own.

However, it does depend on what kind of video you want to develop?

An instructional animated video costs much less nowadays. There online animation video making tools available such as GoAnimate and PowToon that you can use to create one.

You can also produce videos such as corporate film, entertainment video, edutainment, infotainment etc. Provided you have the following things:

  • Camera: you can use a smartphone or a DSLR camera. However, if you want to make the video on the go that too of top quality then I recommend either you buy a 4K GoPro Camera.
  • Lighting: it is the most important part of your video making. The lighting kit has to be there if you’re shooting indoors. If you’re outdoors, make sure you light during the day. During nights you can look for a properly lightened place or carry a handy lighting device.
  • Editing tools: there are a lot of cheap and easy to use video editing software available online. However, I would recommend you to use Windows Movie Maker and MS PowerPoint for video editing. You can create professional videos using these two software apps.

What kind of video content can you create for your startup in India? You can create the following types of videos:

  • Edutainment Videos
  • Explainer Videos
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Testimonial Videos
  • Review Videos
  • Blog Videos
  • Sponsored Video content (you could sponsor a video content of a top video creator in your field. For example if you’re an online food startup then you could sponsor a video of a food blogger.)

In terms of planning for video marketing, I recommend you to plan it with your blogging.

You must publish your video content on YouTube. And then try directing the audience from YouTube, Search Engine, Social Media and other sources to your blog and website. Because you will be converting your customers to your blog and website.

How to Develop a Video Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses

Blogging – do it nicely to attract huge traffic from search engine

You could start your business from blogging itself online.

I did that.

Many have done that and built businesses worth millions of dollars.

Blogging has immense power and potential. It depends on you and your startup that how you channelize it and take advantage of it.

If you’re another garage-based startup, which is really short on budget, then you don’t have to do anything but blogging. Your maximum investment in the shape of time and money should go to only blogging.

Now, the question is how do you use blogging and make it part of digital marketing for startups?

Here’s how to do the blogging for your startup:

  • Understand your audience: the first thing is understanding your audience: demography, psychology, online behavior, user experience, and others. It is simple to do that. Just put yourself in your customer place, and think through on “why you should buy your own services or products”.
  • Search the target keywords: this the most crucial part, which is targeting relevant keywords to reach your audience on the search engine and social media. Just innovate and go with long tail keywords. Also, while targeting your customers online keep in mind the context and intent of your prospects.
  • Plan your content: you can plan and schedule your content for the blog. Make sure your plan has following important things in it: goals, the keyword to target, blog content type (infographic, article, video etc.), work delegation, budget, and lastly reporting and analysis.
  • Publish and promote: your blog’s social media promotion, SEO, and online advertising are strategic to attract and engage traffic. Because, if you publish a blog post and wait for traffic to generate itself; then let me tell you there are high chances of not attracting traffic at all. You can forget reaching to top searches on Google, getting popular on social media and generating business online with this lame strategy.

8 Ways That Blogging Will Kickstart Your Startup

Online Advertising – it will help you generate leads and sales online relatively faster

If you’re short on time and ready with your marketing collaterals and website, then you could start from online advertising directly.

Online advertising is an instant recipe to get instant results. But you need to use it intelligently otherwise it will sooner or later make a hole in your pocket without giving you any returns.

I personally like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. Apart from this, you could also plan to target various websites and portals for online advertising. However, if you’re starting out, then I think you don’t need anything apart from GA and FA.

Let me give you a few simple tips to start with online advertising:

  • Start from the budget: advertising has to start from the budget. Because your budget will tell you what you can and how long you can advertise online. Make sure you have a credible and flexible budget. However, initially, you could try with the small budget to experiment and test. Nevertheless, do not be stingy while setting your first budget for online advertising.
  • Target your keywords: the right keyword targeting will actually get you the business. Therefore, extensively work on keyword researching. Or you could use the keywords that you found while planning for SEO.
  • Landing page and content: you will need a place to convert your incoming traffic. Landing page with quality content will help you do just that. However, if your purpose is only brand building then most likely you may not need the standalone Landing page. Therefore, planning in advance will help you to achieve advertising objectives effectively.
  • Monitoring: you will need to keep an unwavering vigil on your advertising analytics. Because wrong keyword targeting and low conversions may lead to poor ROI. Moreover, you will need to keep improving your targeting, content, and strategy to boost your ROI.

7 Creative Strategies for Marketing Your Startup on a Tight Budget

I’ve tried my best to give you all the important ideas to generate business online for your bootstrapped startup.

There are many more methods to promote your business online. If you’ve anything to share do use the comment box below.

Kanishk Matta
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Kanishk Matta
Kanishk Matta
I’m a digital marketing expert, entrepreneur, and trainer, who loves to: 1. Help businesses get online and win at marketing 2. Train people in digital marketing 3. Create, experiment, and innovate with new ideas

1 Comment

  1. Manish Nair says:

    Nice informative blog. Thanks for sharing such a nice & helpful blog.

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