Digital marketing tips for start-ups

Digital marketing is one of those buzzwords that everyone says you need to know about if you’re going to run a successful business. But how can you make sure you’re getting it right? Emma Gribben, founder of Digital by Emma, shared some tips on the Virgin Media Business VOOM Tour in Belfast recently…

“You know your business inside out, but do your customers?” Emma asked at the start of her talk. “No. So you need to tell them.”

But, she said, you need to tell them in a way that they understand, on channels that they use, and in your own language. “You need to understand who your target market is and the channels they are using,” Emma said, and recommended: “Be yourself. Be your company. Be very clear about your tone of voice.”

Where do you start?

1. Own your space

Emma said that you need to make sure you own your brand name on Google – and to make sure that you’re on top of what people are saying about your brand online. “You want to put your competitors onto page two of search results,” she said.

Image from Virgin Media Business

2. Know your audience

Obviously you need to know who your target market is for your business – but you also need to work out who you’re targeting online. Target market profiling can help you to work out what that person looks like – and where they are active online. Then once you’ve done that, Emma said, “it becomes clear what the questions people have about your business are” – and then you can work on answering them.

3. Create an experience

Marketing of all kinds is about creating an experience and with digital the scope is even greater, with technology enabling you to do so much more. “Give [your audience] something new and exciting,” Emma said. “We are consuming digital content all the time so you need to find what is unique about your business.”

How do you do it?

Mobile first is the real key here. People use their mobiles to surf the internet more than they use tablets, laptops or desktop computers now so you need to make sure that mobile is your priority when you’re creating anything digital. Emma said: “Start with mobile and build it from there. If you are not mobile optimised you will lose out.”

Image from Virgin Media Business

When creating your mobile first website though, it’s important that you only include the necessary information. Don’t overload your pages with too much – keep it simple, Emma recommended.

Once you’ve created your site, Emma said it’s important to test it and make sure that it works properly and isn’t loading really slowly on mobile. She recommended using Google’s testing site,, to see how your website performs.

For more expert advice for small businesses, check out the Virgin Media Business VOOM Tour. Visiting cities across the UK and Ireland, the VOOM Tour is offering free advice for entrepreneurs in everything from funding to marketing to PR. The next stop is in Newcastle on July 6th, find out more on the Virgin Media Business website.


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