Your digital marketing needs a Golden Circle

For every startup founder, getting to grips with digital marketing is a must.

A big influence on my approach to digital marketing has been the book by Simon Sinek: Start with Why. In the book he outlines a Golden Circle concept which helps in providing powerful messages that will resonate with your potential customers

Three principles form the basis of the Golden Circle: why, how, and what.

Their application in your digital marketing will mean that your startup can create a more impactful message that will connect with your specific target audience.


The why relates to the purpose or the reason behind a company's existence. In digital marketing, the why could be the company's mission statement, values, or the problem they are trying to solve. Communicating this effectively can create an emotional connection with your startup’s target audience, and lead to increased brand loyalty.


How will you achieve your business goals?  How could the strategies, tactics, and tools be used to reach your target audience? By communicating your how effectively you can demonstrate your expertise and build trust with your target audience – something that is particularly important for a new business.


The what are the features, benefits, and unique selling points of your services/products? Communicating your what effectively will mean that you can differentiate your startup from the competition you face and persuade your target audience to engage with and buy from you.

So how can you put this into practice with your startup team? It is important to begin with the how. Then you can use your why and what to shape your plan of action.

Social Media Marketing

Creating engaging content is essential for promoting your new business though social media platforms. Whichever Social Media platform you choose, create content that showcases your brand’s personality, enabling you to connect with people on a more personal level.

For example, launching a product. The how will be using, say, Instagram and creating engaging content, and the what is to focus on how your new product solves a particular challenge people have. 

Using hashtags is another tactic to increase the visibility of your posts. Hashtags allow you to reach a wider audience by categorising your posts with relevant keywords. It is essential to research the most effective hashtags – and deploy them consistently across, for example Twitter and Instagram.

Targeting the best audience. For example, Instagram has robust targeting options which mean that you can narrow down your audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviour. By targeting the best audience for your startup, your ads are going to be seen by the people most likely to be interested in your product/service.

Email Marketing

Email marketing involves sending helpful emails to your subscriber base in order to build relationships and promote your products or services.

A key tactic for email marketing is to create compelling subject lines. The subject line is the first thing the subscribers will see in their inbox, and it can determine whether or not they open your email. A good subject line should be attention-grabbing and give subscribers a reason to open your email. In general, a ‘does what it says on the tin’ subject line is much more effective than something clever but obscure.

By keeping in mind the why and what of the Golden Circle, you’ll be able to write subject lines that resonate with your audience (and work for your startup).

Another effective tactic is personalising your emails for email marketing. By addressing the subscribers by name and tailoring the content to their interests, you’ll increase the likelihood that they will engage with your emails.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) involves optimising your website or landing pages to rank higher in search engine results pages.

A key strategy for SEO is thorough keyword research. By identifying the keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for, you can create content that is appropriately optimised. The result will be increased visibility of the landing pages in search results, driven by organic traffic. And, of course, it should maximise conversions.

Creating high-quality content is also important for SEO. Search engines prioritise websites/landing pages that provide valuable and relevant content to their users. By creating content that answers the audience's questions and provides value, it can increase the authority and credibility of your website. Your content should be inspired by the why and what of your ‘Golden Circle’.

PPC Advertising

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) can be a cost-effective way to reach your target audience and drive conversions.

An important approach for PPC is to target the right keywords. I have found that the ‘Answer the Public’ tool is one of the best ways to identify the keywords that are most relevant to your startup and target them with your ads; you can ensure that your ads are seen by people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services.

Creating compelling ad copy is also important for PPC success. Be sure to tailor your ad for each platform as they all have different requirements.  Ads, in particular, should address the WHAT, specifically WHAT you can do to help solve your customers’ problems/challenges. Always focus on what is in it for the customer.

Monitoring and optimising your ad campaigns is another important tactic for PPC success. With regular analysis you can make adjustments to your targeting, ad copy, and bidding strategy. This will mean you keep improving the ROI of your campaigns and achieve more conversions.

In conclusion

As a startup founder you’ll have along to-do list. Make sure digital marketing is always there as it is an ongoing process without an endpoint. You’ll need to keep working on it and adapting as the landscape changes. Referring to the Golden Circle will help keep you on track.