Every business needs an impressive online presence to succeed. The challenge is even bigger for startups because they have to compete with larger corporations with deeper pockets and greater reach.

So, how do small businesses compete against larger ones?

This brings us to the next question – How to increase market penetration?

The answer to both questions is – Digital Marketing.

If done right, digital marketing can help your business not only reach out to a wider target audience but also get a competitive edge in the market. Let’s learn more about how startups can leverage digital marketing to compete with larger corporations.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is also called online marketing. In simple words, it refers to all the marketing efforts occurring on the Internet. Businesses use digital channels search as emails, search engines, social media, etc., to connect with their existing and potential customers.

Importance of Digital Marketing for Startups

Here are a few points to understand the importance of digital marketing for startups.

  • Digital marketing offers entrepreneurs a means to expand their audience and develop brand awareness without spending much money.
  • Startups can generate leads and conversions more effectively by using digital marketing to target particular audiences with customized messages.
  • In contrast to traditional marketing strategies, digital marketing allows entrepreneurs to connect with potential customers globally, increasing their customer base beyond local marketplaces.
  • Digital marketing provides a platform for startups to establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry and build brand awareness, essential for gaining a competitive edge.

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What are the Biggest Marketing Challenges for Startups?

Let’s look at the challenges you might face as a startup when trying to grow your business with digital marketing:

Biggest Marketing Challenges for Startups

Customer Acquisition: Entrepreneurs must have a client acquisition strategy that clearly conveys the value they offer and sets them apart from rivals. Not having a proper strategy can result in a loss of customers.

Increasing Prospects/Leads: Low-to-no success in generating qualified leads is another crucial business marketing problem. It can be difficult for a new business as potential clients are already connected with other companies.

Increasing Web Traffic: Another step for entrepreneurs to attract leads and new clients is increasing web traffic. However, increasing website traffic might be difficult because many websites and online platforms are vying for users’ attention.

Increasing Social Media Following: Social media is a crucial marketing tool to spread brand awareness and connect with prospective clients. New businesses might find it difficult to establish a strong social media presence and gain more followers. 

Increasing Conversions: Even if a business gets leads, converting them into paying customers is a significant problem for startups. It is not enough if the leads you create do not convert into sales.

Businesses that Utilized Digital Marketing to Gain Traction

Let’s look at the businesses that were once startups and leveraged digital marketing services to fast-track their growth:

  • HubSpot

HubSpot was launched in 2006. By 2011, they had grown to over 4000 customers and 200+ staff (with $33 million in venture capital funding). Their upward growth continues. 75% of their leads were generated from inbound marketing activities, including content and social media platforms. Their marketing blog alone has 300,000 members and 2 million monthly views.

  • American Express

American Express had a different digital marketing strategy. Instead of generating its own content, it encouraged guest authors from several industries to contribute their experience on its Open Forum website. This resulted in building a website with valuable content that attracts many potential customers. 

When American Express built an online community and a massive following, it increased service requests.

  • Airbnb

Airbnb has transformed the travel domain. They came up with a unique concept, and using videos and images on the website turned Airbnb into a profitable venture. They promoted the accommodations on their website using user-generated photographs and videos from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They provided local guides and how-to videos for owners who wish to have their businesses listed on the platform.

As travelers prefer to check out photos of the places they want to visit, Airbnb uses Instagram to upload captivating images of travel destinations worldwide. There are already over 4 million Airbnb hosts and 6 million postings on the network worldwide.

7 Ways Startups Can Leverage Digital Marketing to Compete with Larger Corporations

7 Ways Startups Can Leverage Digital Marketing to Compete with Larger Corporations

  • Create a Level-playing Field

Creating a level-playing field might involve leveraging digital marketing strategies accessible to startups and big corporations, such as social media management, search engine optimization (SEO), site speed optimization, content marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising.

By using these strategies effectively, startups can gain visibility, engage with potential customers on the same platforms as big corporations, and potentially even outperform them in reach and engagement.

For example, startups can use social media sites like Twitter or Instagram to establish a strong brand presence and get in touch with their target market. They might also invest in producing excellent educational content that can position them as thought leaders in their sector.

  • Focus on Your Target Audience

To maximize the impact of digital marketing, startups should take the time to gain an in-depth knowledge of their target audience and craft personalized marketing strategies that speak directly to them.

By utilizing data-driven strategies, businesses can create segmented campaigns that specifically cater to the interests and needs of their target audience, resulting in higher engagement, improved conversions, and build a loyal customer base.

  • Use Paid Advertising Campaigns

According to Statista, PPC is the most popular online marketing method, with up to 20% of respondents claiming it offers the highest return on investment.

Paid advertising is a form of online advertising where marketers place bids to take part in live auctions for the right to place their adverts on a particular network or platform. These are a practical approach to promoting products or services and acquiring potential customers, even with a limited budget. You can hire PPC experts for professional help.

  • Create Valuable Content

Creating valuable content is essential for startups to attract and engage their target audience. You can create valuable content by hiring digital marketing experts. These experts will help you to develop marketing strategies, conduct market research, create content, manage to advertise, and analyze data.

You can also hire SEO experts to establish yourself as an industry expert and build credibility. It can help your startups improve their search engine rankings and drive organic traffic to their website.

  • Track Results

To ensure the effectiveness of content marketing services, startups must regularly track and assess their outcomes. They can use tools like Google Analytics to monitor website activity, participation, and transactions. It allows startups to adjust their tactics and optimize their initiatives for improved results.

  • Targeted Marketing

To reach their niche market efficiently, startups can use targeted digital marketing. Startups can adjust their marketing strategy to match their target audience’s needs and interests by recognizing and comprehending them. This strategy may be more affordable and result in higher conversion rates than conventional advertising.

  • Brand Building

Startups can position themselves as credible and trustworthy businesses in the eyes of their target audience by generating a strong brand message and maintaining a consistent brand image across all digital media.

How Can PixelCrayons Help Startups Through Their Digital Marketing Services?

PixelCrayons is a full-service digital marketing agency and software development company that can help startups grow their businesses through effective digital marketing strategies. With a team of experienced marketers and developers, PixelCrayons offers a wide range of services, including search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing.

We can help startups create a robust online presence by developing and executing digital marketing strategies tailored to their business goals and target audience. We thoroughly analyze a startup’s current digital presence and customize campaigns to enhance the startup’s online visibility and engagement.

If you are a startup looking to leverage digital marketing services in your business, PixelCrayons’ content marketing services can support you. Connect with us and grow your business with digital marketing.

Final Words

To create a successful startup, developing a digital marketing strategy is necessary. Digital marketing allows startups to compete with larger firms, even on a tight budget.

We hope this blog has given you all the information you need to leverage digital marketing for your new business and understand how small businesses can compete against larger ones. Follow the simple marketing content marketing plan:

  • Ascertain your target market by assessing the market
  • Recognize the kind of material your audience wants
  • Establish a process for continuously releasing high-quality content

In case of expert advice, feel free to contact us.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the 5 ways that businesses compete with each other?

The five ways companies compete with one another are price, quality, convenience, branding, and innovation. Businesses can set themselves apart by providing lower costs, better quality goods or services, more comfort, effective branding and marketing, and cutting-edge solutions that address customers’ requirements.

2. How do you leverage digital marketing?

Businesses can use a variety of channels, including social media, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, content marketing, site speed optimization, and more to utilize content marketing services.

Businesses may improve their online presence, reach new customers, and produce leads and sales by developing relevant and engaging content, optimizing their websites for search engines, and employing data-driven insights to fine-tune their tactics.

3. What strategies can smaller companies use to compete with larger companies?

Smaller businesses can compete with larger ones by concentrating on their specialization, utilizing flexibility and agility, providing individualized and attentive customer service, investing in digital marketing and social media, and working with other companies to boost their network effect. You can also hire digital marketing experts for professional assistance.

4. What are the main 5 reasons to implement digital marketing in a company?

The 5 main reasons to implement digital marketing in a company are:

  1. Increase brand exposure
  2. Reach out to new clients
  3. Generate leads and sales
  4. Enhance client loyalty
  5. Analyze and optimize campaigns for better results

Apart from this, you should hire SEO experts to increase website traffic and stay at the top in SERPs. Also, hire PPC experts to set campaigns for your business.

5. What are the three basic strategies companies adopt to compete?

The three basic business strategies organizations use to compete are cost leadership, differentiation, and focus. Cost leadership involves offering lower prices than competitors, differentiation involves offering unique or superior products or services, and focus involves targeting a specific market niche or segment.

Additionally, businesses can combine these approaches to produce a hybrid strategy that meets their requirements and objectives.

6. State the difference between big business vs small business.

Here is a table outlining some of the key differences between big businesses vs small businesses:


Big Businesses

Small Businesses


Large, with hundreds or thousands of employees

Small, typically with fewer than 50 employees

Organizational Structure

Hierarchical, with multiple layers of management

Flat, with fewer layers of management


Centralized, with decisions made at the top

Decentralized, with decisions made by the owner/manager


Abundant financial and other resources

Limited financial and other resources

Market presence

National or international presence

Local or regional presence

Market share

Large market share in their industry

Small market share in their industry

Customer relationships

Formal and impersonal relationships

Personal relationships with customers

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