Startups have an uphill battle ahead of them in terms of digital marketing when entering a competitive market. Competitors could have years of marketing spend invested. The competition could’ve built large social media followings. Established larger companies will not be as flexible as a startup. Large companies likely will have more steps for approval for digital marketing campaigns. Larger companies and budgets will require a startup to be more creative and to target certain niches of their market when starting out.

Setting up a digital marketing department for success will rely on several factors. The hiring process needs to be nailed down early as employee turnover will only dry up a marketing budget. Freelancers are going to be an important part of any startup’s digital marketing efforts especially if they have a tight budget. Content truly is king in today’s digital marketing landscape. The consumer is oversaturated with content on their mobile devices. This leads them to be much more selective than in the past with what they spend their time reading/watching/listening to. The following are tips to help a digital marketing department of a startup set itself up for success well into the future.

Each New Hire Should Be Asked About Results Garnered at Previous Positions

The digital marketing world is full of professionals that can really generate results. Others are less than proficient although they still include buzzwords like ninja or guru in their resumes. Asking for previous results on campaigns that they have worked with whether they are a content marketer or a PPC professional.

Practical tasks as a part of the interview will reveal valuable information. Hiring software that utilizes artificial intelligence can be a great way to increase the quality of an average hire. These tools can identify patterns in resumes or experience that have resulted in great hires in the past. Marketing is a data-driven industry so a professional without results to show probably has not garnered any for a previous employer or client.

A Base of Reliable Freelancers Can Help Scale Projects

The creation of a base of freelancers that can assist with a myriad of digital marketing tasks is important. A startup might have a need for link builders but does not have the budget to staff these positions in-house. Freelancing can allow for the scaling of projects whether it is writing content or doing extensive list building. Freelancer platforms can allow a startup to comprehend which freelancers deliver the best work. Rating systems on websites like or help companies sift through freelancers. Quality of work combined with an affordable rate might take some searching. Freelancers that not only communicate clearly but also hit deadlines need to be utilized when possible.

Content marketing campaigns can allow various positive events to occur. Building links via articles, blogs, podcasts, or infographics can help a startup rank higher on search engines for relevant keywords. Content quality has to be high as generic content will result in little to no ROI. Associating the startup’s brand with great informative content can work wonders. This can eventually lead to the startup being considered a thought leader on specific topics. Social media content being of high quality can boost engagement with followers and relevant personalities in an industry. Social media is also the perfect platform to promote content that has been published to reach a wider audience.

Outsourcing Digital Marketing Needs to be Considered

Outsourcing digital marketing work can help generate results in a far quicker fashion than hiring in-house. Digital marketing agencies have established connections in a variety of industries. Being able to be featured during a startup’s infancy in a relevant publication can legitimize a startup almost immediately. Asking for case studies and references from the potential partner will be important. Far too many low-quality agencies try to trick clients that might not be trained in digital marketing. Another reason this is important is unethical marketing techniques can lead to Google penalizing a website. This will result in lower organic traffic and for more serious offenses the search giant could deindex the startup’s website. Quality companies like Digital PR utilize data, experience, and advanced marketing tactics to help companies of all sizes thrive in competitive markets.

Tools to Gather Data and Provide Actionable Feedback

Data in marketing has become easier than ever to gather with all of the tools technology has created. Actionable feedback can be used to help modify a marketing campaign if certain tactics are not delivering in terms of ROI. Finding these tools is quite simple with the right research. Marketing websites usually have lists that help summarize the best tools to gather certain types of data.

Digital marketing is a full-time job but in today’s digital world it is essential. The tips above are a great start to building a digital marketing team that your competitors will respect and FEAR!

Michael Zhou is a Senior VP of Business Intelligence Development and has assisted the Fortune 1000 company with expertise in the web as a whole, including ground-zero marketing efforts that benefit both consumer and vendor. He is also contributor on Esprittoday.

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