Nothing is as exciting (or terrifying) as starting a brand new business venture. You have a great service that you are excited to provide to your future customers, and you are looking forward to working hard and making money. However, you happen to lack a reputation, customer base, and brand recognition, making it almost impossible to get your company off the ground.
In a lot of ways, you are a lot like the Ghostbusters. A new business with no customer base, and a lot on the line. One major difference, fortunately, is that you have a marketing platform that was not around in 1984 when the Ghostbusters were established: THE INTERNET!
Imagine how much faster the Ghostbusters could have produced brand awareness if they had a functioning website, search-engine visibility, positive reviews, and a strong social media following.
Website: Sure, traditional advertising and marketing approaches still make sense at times, but you just aren’t going anywhere these days without a website. How else are people in your market going to learn that you specialize in the capturing and removal of paranormal entities?
Having a mobile-friendly and content-rich website is the perfect way to encapsulate your small business’ mission and services. This should be a day-one priority because the longer you are on the web, the better your chances are at being discovered on search engines.
Search-Engine: So, Dana recently discovered that she has a 200-year old ghost haunting her home and it’s been preventing her from sleeping. She’s tired, grumpy, and she’s had enough. Who’s she gonna call? Nobody, unfortunately, because she has no idea who she would even call for something like this.
Instead, Dana hits up Google to search for “ghost removal,” “how to get rid of ghost,” and “I have a ghost problem.” If the Ghostbusters’ website was properly enhanced for SEO, and they had a Google My Business account that was enhanced, they would begin ranking for these terms over time.
Google “Crawlers” constantly scour the web for sites that match various search terms. This would allow Dana to potentially see the Ghostbusters in her search results. Unfortunately, SEO can only get the Ghostbusters so far.
SEO on Google allows you to rank locally based on your business’ address, but not the surrounding towns you service. Since the Ghostbusters’ market is all of New York City, they will need to consider SEM (Search Engine Marketing) to reach those further away areas.
Google’s version of SEM is called “Google AdWords,” which is basically a way to pay for top search ranking space in areas outside of your own. Since the Ghostbusters are a brand new business, they would need to at least consider SEM to get the exposure they are looking for with their underdeveloped SEO ranking.
Reputation: Alright. So they got their website, they started generating some exposure on Google, and Dana came across the Ghostbusters in her search, and decides to give them a call. The Ghostbusters make the conversion, fix her ghost problem, and she decides to leave them a nice review online. They officially have a reputation.
This is an excellent way to generate some word-of-mouth via the internet, and does a lot to give first-time viewers more faith in your services. Considering that a simple Google search showcases a business’ reputation, it might be worth your time to ask all of your early customers to share some feedback.
Once the customer reviews start flowing and you have an online reputation, you are going to want to show that positive sentiment off on social media.
Social Media: Another one of those day-one duties that the Ghostbusters would want to focus their digital marketing efforts on is social media. More specifically, Facebook and Instagram.
Uploading a video of their team taking down a slimy, green, ghost at a popular hotel would certainly be an engaging way to expose their services to those connected with their account. Afterward, they decide to share a pic of their team celebrating the hard-fought victory in the lobby bar. Both the video and the picture have helped showcase their legitimacy and the personal-side of their business.
However, like pretty much any other start-up, the Ghostbusters don’t really have much of a following established on Facebook and Instagram. So, how are they going to reach people? Thankfully, Facebook has a very targeted and cost-effective advertising platform which the Ghostbusters would wisely utilize to drive their brand awareness on Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook).
They first start off by “Boosting” their ghost-hunting video from the hotel to Facebook users within 30 miles. Boosting is a form of Facebook advertising designed to produce engagement (LIKES, comments, and shares) and brand awareness. This would generate strong exposure and branding on top of establishing their social following.
If you your start-up is looking to get off the ground and running, these are your best bets to do so. Unfortunately, not all business owners have the luxury of having someone on staff to handle these items. That’s when you might want to consider hiring a company like NEXT! Ad Agency, who specialize in various digital marketing elements.
I hope this info has been helpful. As always, feel free to comment in the section below with any questions or thoughts!