5 uncommon digital marketing tips for startups

5 uncommon digital marketing tips for startups

Tuesday 30th June, 2020

Do you want to grow your startup’s audience? Are you looking to recruit new clients? Are you working to drive more traffic to your site?  

Of course you are. 

There are a number of digital marketing tools available for startup owners and each of them have their own specific use case. Facebook is a favourite for those looking to grow their audience while Instagram offers a more visually appealing means of communication. LinkedIn is effective when you’re trying to target niche, professional audiences and Twitter has become a titan of industry for businesses looking to keep their proverbial fingers on the pulse.  

Now, while these tools all offer powerful ways to build an audience and gain traction in an industry, there are a few outliers that you might not have considered when it comes to your marketing strategy. Below, we outline five atypical things you can do to gain more traction alongside your more traditional digital activities. 

Utilise referral marketing 

This is where your existing customers, friends, and family come to play. It’s a very simple strategy and concept that many startups don’t use. 

Everyone has an audience of their own and by promoting your product and/or services to their followers in an engaging and authentic way, you’ll likely see your own audience grow rapidly. To incentivise your ‘helpers’, give them access to discount codes and should someone use one, they share a piece of the profit with you. A lot of the time, a small slice of the pie is better than no pie at all. 

Engage with digital PR 

Many startups try to grow their own company blogs from scratch and don’t stop to think that there might be an easier way to generate site traffic without having to know the ins and outs of SEO. PR is a powerful tool to leverage.  

Reach out to industry leading online platforms in your niche with thought leadership pieces on a chosen topic of interest to you. If they publish your piece, they will link back to your site (good for SEO) and your personal brand will be open to new viewers you might not have had access to when trying to do it on your own.  

An example of a popular site where you don’t need to jump through hoops to be published is medium. The site is like YouTube for writers and has substantially grown many personal brands in the past couple of years. It’s important to remember that especially in the startup world, you are a product and brand yourself that needs as much marketing as your actual product does. 

Respond on industry forums 

Your community is out there and they’re looking for answers you might just be able to offer. If there are industry forums you follow, get involved and answer questions you believe you add value to. Just make sure you don’t try and upsell your product or services. 

If you keep adding value to your industry, it will pay dividends in the end. You might also become well known and people will start referring their friends to you. Sometimes, if you offer something for free, it can pay off.  

Offer exclusive beta experiences 

One of the best ways to build up hype is to offer something exclusive. If you’re launching a new product or service, open the experience to a few select people. Plus, it’s a great way to get feedback on new releases before opening it up to a greater audience.  

Part of human nature is that we all want what we can’t have. It’s that simple. However, to ensure this strategy doesn’t fail, the exclusive thing you’re offering needs to be of the highest quality and give users something they couldn’t easily get elsewhere. 

Poach your competitor’s users 

Chances are, there are other companies doing something very similar to you who might have an audience already. There’s no harm in redirecting these fans to your service offering. It’s not kidnapping if they come willingly! 

Look at who engages with your competitors and find ways to get in touch with them directly. Again, the hard sell is not going to work here. It’s all about a gentle push in the right direction. Offer value and they should follow. 


The power of the digital marketing sphere is that it offers endless opportunities to reach and engage with new and existing audiences. If you have a startup that you are bootstrapping from nothing, becoming your company’s most loyal and dedicated user will set you apart.  

Just keep adding value without asking for much in return and watch your audience, and customer base grow! 

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