So, you have a cool product or offer an amazing service. You know it, but how do you get your target audience to know it? Simple: marketing.

If you put your passion and money into your product or service, but have little to no marketing experience, you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I get the most for my money?” “How do I get my target audience to know that I exist?” “What marketing strategies should our company implement?”

The exact strategy you should take will depend on your target audience, but here are some PR and digital marketing essentials that can help your tech startup flourish.

PR

Have a clear vision of who you are and what your values are. As a company, one of the most important things to do is establish your brand and make sure your identity is clear and consistent. This includes your company logo and key messaging. A consistent brand message will help consumers better understand who you are.

Communication is key. Keeping your target audience informed of your company’s news is so important. For example, you have a phone app that now works on the iPhone 5, so it would make sense to get the word out that users can download your app without compatibility issues on their device. Internal communication is also important, so your team knows the news that is being promoted.

Set realistic goals and expectations. As a tech startup, you should know that you’re starting from the bottom. More than likely, success will not happen overnight, so hard work will be required to help your brand grow and become more visible to the public. Your company won’t automatically be on the front page of the Wall Street Journal or be featured on The View, but patience will help your company get the traction it needs to thrive.

SEO 

Buy your own domain. Virtually everyone does online searches in one form or another, which is why it’s so important to purchase your own domain. It’s not only better for SEO to get your own domain over getting a free subdomain, but it also makes your company look more legitimate than people getting free subdomains as hobbyists. Registering your own domain through a company such as GoDaddy and hosting it on a platform such as WordPress can easily be done online.

Fill your website with optimized, user-friendly content. The content on your website is so important since it’s where users will be able to learn more about your company story and your product or service. If you’re an e-commerce site, it’s also where you can put your products on display to sell them. The content on your site should not only serve the user, but be optimized to bring more traffic to your website via search engines. This content should also include unique metadata for each page, so search engines can see what every page on your site is about.

Have a blog that’s constantly updated. A blog will not only give your site more content, but it will also generate more links, give you more places to optimize your website and let users get to know your brand. The best type of blog for SEO is WordPress.org, but any blog that allows you to customize the metadata of each post will work. It should be updated at least once a week to show search engines that your website’s content is being updated consistently. For user friendliness, it should be a subdirectory (page within your website), but it should be designed to match the website if it has to be a subdomain.

Install a traffic-tracking tool. If you have a website, you have to implement a tool such as Google Analytics. That’s because it will show where your traffic is coming from and what content is or is not working for your website. You should add on Google Webmaster Tools as well to see if there are any major issues with your website and make it more visible to search engines by submitting your sitemap and fetching as Google.

Social Media 

Set up social media pages. There are a few essential platforms that your company should utilize. The two most well known platforms with the biggest amount of users are Facebook (set up a business page instead of a personal profile) and Twitter. Google+ does not have as many users, but the posts are great for SEO because it is a Google platform. LinkedIn is where professionals network, so it’s wise to get your tech startup in the mix. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, so it’s essential if you produce commercials or product and service videos since videos rank well in search. If you have a lot of images, Instagram and Pinterest are great platforms to post to if those images are relevant to each channel’s demographic (younger and women, respectively).

Have an engagement strategy. Social media isn’t helpful if you’re not engaging with your audience. That’s why you should try to join the conversation in some way, whether it’s using hashtags, following and talking to influencers and consumers in the space, or both. Share your thoughts, or content from your website, blogs and static pages, with your target audience.

Use a social media reporting tool. How do you know what’s performing well? You should use the reporting tools that are available to you, such as Simply Measured and HootSuite. Many of the platforms have their own individual tools (ex. Facebook Insights, Statigr.am) if your strategy doesn’t extend into certain platforms.

This is a comprehensive list of the most important things that tech startups need from a PR and digital marketing perspective. To sum it up, the main goal is to have a consistent marketing message across all three of these channels and leverage each of them to make the other ones work even better.

There are two methods to implementing these essentials:

1. Hire employees who know these marketing tactics. It could be one person or three separate people, but loyal internal employees could be the cornerstones of your tech startup. The ideal employee(s) would have relevant media contacts in the PR world, a knowledgeable understanding of SEO and know the intricacies of social media.

2. Hire an outside PR and digital marketing agency. An agency will have people who specialize in these respective marketing tactics. This would be a better option if you would rather focus on making your product or performing your service.

Which of these essentials do you have and which of them are you having trouble implementing? Let us know in the comments below!

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