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Inside: Digital Marketing for Start-ups


Digital Marketing is more than just SEO and Ads, but can be tricky to navigate if you aren’t a specialist. We sat down with Tim Donald from Climb Online to get the inside scoop on some of the do’s and don’ts of Digital Marketing for Start-ups.


What do companies need to know / have in place before they approach a Digital Marketing agency?

It doesn’t matter what you have/haven’t got in place to approach an agency as a good agency will be able to adapt their service depending on your experience and goals. The only element of guidance a good consultant will need to be able to help formulate the most effective strategy is goals! What do you want to achieve from marketing your business online, are you looking for brand reputation, long term sustainability, quick growth etc.? This is what you will need to know before getting in touch with an agency, as a consultant at a leading agency, I can quickly understand what is the best strategy based on your website & your goals for growth. Without these goals in place, there is a lot more understanding from the business before deciding on the most effective strategy.

We know what SEO & PPC are and have a solid website in place. Where does a Start-up begin on their journey to Digital Marketing greatness?

You have a reputable brand, you make sales / drive leads, but you don’t know the steps you need to take to grow the business and improve profitability, this takes investment.

In regards to online marketing the old saying “You have to spend money to make money” applies. This investment could be in an in-house team, an agency or training to run this type of campaign yourself.

When starting on your digital journey, in my opinion, your best bet is to start with an agency. Agencies have a wealth of knowledge with different team members who can grow your business. If you have chosen a good agency, they can grow your account to a level where you can consider redirecting the extra income on staff to run this internally.

There are 100’s of Digital Marketing agencies to choose from, some under-deliver, some are ok, some are good and some are outstanding. How does a Start-up know which agency to trust?

This is a difficult question, as each business will differ in terms of their needs, but ultimately, it comes down to the teams running the campaigns. If I was looking for an agency, my first thing would be to find out as much as possible about the teams running the campaigns, are they seeing good results on other campaigns, where are they based, how many in each team, how many are working on my account, will I have direct access to them, will the sales consultant be a part of the campaign team etc.

I would then look into the culture in the agency, do their staff enjoy working there and what has their growth been to date. Whenever possible I would recommend going to the agencies offices to see what they do rather than let the sales consultant come to you. This will give you a better understanding of the company as a whole and allow you to trust the teams.

Finally, it comes down to the trust you feel with working with that agency, have they got a reputable brand, do they have customer reviews and testimonials to show you & how confident are they of achieving your results.

Backlinks, SEO, PPC, E-Mail, Web Design, Social Media, Media Type, AdWords, Paid, Organic, A/B Testing, Content Marketing. There’s a lot to get your head around. Where should people start?

There’s a lot of detail to understand, the first thing to do is educate yourself. This doesn’t necessarily mean learn the difference between H1 tags and Alt tags, but have a broad understanding of the pros and cons of different types of campaigns. Know what paid search vs organic search is and what to expect from different types of campaigns. This will help to shape your goals for the campaign, a good consultant will be able to help you understand better and learn while the campaign is developing so your knowledge improves as the campaign is running.

Ultimately, know your business and understand where you are looking to be in 12-24 months. This will aid your learning with the help of your consultant.

Many businesses know they need to ‘do’ Digital Marketing, but don’t understand where to include / exclude or what to measure. Do you have any advice?

Assign goals with values in analytics to all the different actions that can be completed on your website. This will help to track ROI.

Be realistic about your conversion rate from an inbound lead as overestimating this will set your expectations higher.

Utilise a consultant’s knowledge, they are working for you and can provide valuable advice that will impact your growth.

Only use social if you are going to be active, having a social media account that hasn’t been updated since 2013 is causing more harm than good to your business.

Do not be afraid to invest in online marketing, it is the most trackable and effective way of promoting your business.