With all the work required to start a business, there is little time to think about marketing strategies that have proven to be successful and that can be realized by a startup's teams.
If you are in this boat, do not panic. You probably know the tools that start-up marketers can use to help them develop their strategy – such as a CMS, social media accounts, and graphic design software.
Now you need to know how to use these tools and similar methods to create campaigns that are tailored to your business goals. You may have seen other startups' bright marketing techniques and wondered how to develop a successful strategy.
We have secured you for this. In order to get a feel for how a marketing strategy can lead to the success of your startup, we will present some ideas. These ideas come from startups and help you visualize how a successful strategy can be helpful for your own marketing goals.
Let us examine ideas and strategies for startup marketing that can help you increase awareness, leads and customers of your brand for your startup company.
Apart from creating an email list, using online software, and taking high-quality pictures, what else can you do to market your startup? Here are some examples.
If you're struggling to develop new marketing ideas, you may be able to develop a new variant that works for your campaign goals. Like some of the companies mentioned, you can use tools that are already available to you to run a successful campaign.
Starburst Data is a B2B company that helps companies understand their website analytics. They use a search engine that organizes data so customers can quickly interpret large amounts of data. This startup uses ads on LinkedIn to connect with its target audience, such as those who advertise their software:
A content marketer for a company like Starburst has a good chance of finding its target group on LinkedIn as it is a platform for professional networking. Part of this marketing campaign is to use LinkedIn ads to build a community and provide helpful information.
A similar B2B startup strategy could consist of using the paid advertising offers of a social media platform to address your target group. Alternatively, you can upload offers free of charge and use hashtags to make them visible to potential customers such as # B2BMarketing or #MarTech.
Social media marketing doesn't have to involve spending money – it can be used to grow your audience and connect with existing members. Take, for example, paperless parts, a manufacturing company with an outstanding Facebook page:
It is free to create and optimize a Facebook business page so that leads and customers can find it. The paperless parts feed starts with recommendations and reviews from satisfied customers, indicating that the company has a dedicated customer base. The company then publishes videos that take a look behind the scenes of the manufacturing process, as well as reminders for webinars and other website content.
A social media page for a startup that presents customers offers helpful content and encourages audience participation. It's a free strategy to increase reach, get clicks to your website, and show industry credibility.
Are you considering starting a crowdfunding campaign? Doing so can help you earn great press releases and expand the reach of your campaign. Take NeighborSchools, for example, a startup for childcare. NeighborSchools offers unique day care centers by licensed and experienced professionals.
When the brains behind NeighborSchools were looking for funding to expand their service, they turned to crowdfunding to find people who believed in and could invest in the service. This tactic brought the company $ 3.5 million in seed capital, and the success caught the eye of major publications.
Even if you have only a few customers, you can use your crowdfunding campaign as a marketing tactic to get more people interested in your company.
Mabl is a Boston-based SaaS provider for test automation in machine learning. This makes life easier for developers who need to test their solutions. In order to build a larger community, Mabl organized a virtual meeting with industry experts.
The speakers of the Meetups informed the participants about software tests. This idea is a cool and affordable way to expand your professional network and deliver valuable content to customers without hosting a conference.
Startups typically don't have the revenue to create large-budget social media campaigns. For the Hopjump travel agency, the marketing team found that the best way to tell their story was on Instagram. The business page is filled with customers who enjoy their vacation in their destination and who have booked through the service:
Customers who post their fantastic travel pictures on Instagram can tag Hopjump to be featured on the page. This also increases the awareness of the startup. Satisfied customers can share their experience with more Hopjump target groups.
A marketing campaign with user-generated content is an easy and free way to create testimonials. You can use your social media channels to run the campaign and include hashtags so that there is the possibility of being displayed in other feeds.
When you think about campaign ideas, you may not have to look that far. You may be able to activate some of the tools you already have to improve your campaign messages. Is there a webinar you can host on a topic or a content offering that you think is particularly popular with your LinkedIn audience?
6. Create SEO-optimized content to attract visitors with high intentions.
SEO is another free, low-cost strategy that startup marketers can use to get their business known.
But here is the limitation: Of all the strategies mentioned, this takes the longest.
That doesn't mean it's incredibly time consuming – it isn't, but it's a continuous job. The more you optimize your website, the better its performance will be, which in turn will generate more leads for your company.
We need to let you know that SEO at this point does not bring in your leads or opportunities immediately, but forms the basis for continued success in the coming months and years.
The idea behind SEO is that you optimize your websites (and content) for keyword terms that you know potential customers will find products or services like yours.
Even better, you identify and use long-tail keyword terms with low to medium competition and high search volume that are relevant to your product or service.
Your main service pages will of course compete with other companies in your area in many similar conditions, but you can use the content you create to link to these pages, increase their SEO value over time, and rank them on SERP results pages to improve .
Updating and optimizing your website ensures that it continues to grow and attracts long-term interested parties. So this is an opportunity you don't want to miss.
7. Implement a referral program.
Recommendation-based marketing has become a hype in recent years as customers are increasingly looking at product / service reviews, testimonials, and case studies to validate their buying decisions.
The goal of this particular startup marketing idea is to take advantage of those who have already bought your product / service and ask them to stand up for you – be it through a review, a testimonial or a case study.
This type of content is invaluable because it shows your potential customers and tells you that you have solved for others like them in the past. To increase your customers' chances of doing this for you, offer them discounts or free product tests.
You can also consider giving away free keys, trial versions, or versions of your product to specific people. For example, a good way to get press coverage and brand awareness is to have tech journalists test your offer for free. You can then write a review and distribute it to the appropriate online publications and link back to your website.
Finally, make sure you publish these reviews prominently on your website. They help to build trust and authenticity. Both are the key to sales in today's digital world.
8. Offer a free or trial version of your product.
One of the best ways to get your startup on the market is to offer a version of your product / service for free – and this already works for many companies.
Canva, Dropbox, Zapier, HubSpot – all of these high-profile technology companies offer a free trial version of their product or service so customers can try it out before buying (or upgrading) it. When people use them and realize how great these products are, they feel compelled to buy the "unlimited" full version for everyone. Great, right?
But not only getting people to use your product – and naturally talking about how good it is as a result – but also lowering the customer's initial cost. With a freemium model, many companies offer current test users a discount on the full price of the software. This is much more attractive than paying the full price and can potentially convert very leads into paying customers very, very quickly.
If you convert non-paying customers with this offer, you can understand which functions or parts of your service are missing. You can ask for feedback, make the necessary changes, and then roll it out to see who is using the full range of products.
For maximum impact, you should compare what you offer with the main problems that your buyer personalities have with technologies like yours. Consider adding features to your product / service to address these issues (if possible). Maybe create a roadmap and show people what they'll get. Transparency is a great way to increase the number of users!
Finally, keep in mind that this approach involves the risk that users may not want to upgrade to the full version. However, be as clear as possible about what users can get out of the full version and highlight how valuable it can be for them. Keep your coolest features under wraps!
Startup marketing strategy
Next, let's explore different strategies (and some tips and tricks) that start-up owners and their teams can use to successfully market their products and services without breaking the bank.
These strategies are intended to lay the foundation for future success and ensure continued interest even after paid campaigns have been completed.
Check out these five steps you may want to implement to create a successful, comprehensive startup marketing strategy.
Startup marketing strategy
- Use SMART goals to focus on business-critical goals in advance.
- Create detailed documents to distinguish who your target customers are.
- Have clear, compelling news.
- Create a content marketing strategy to generate leads.
- Implement a digital PR strategy to increase enthusiasm for your brand.
1. Use SMART Goals to focus on business-critical goals in advance.
At Huble Digital, we use SMART targets. These are goals that are S.specific, M.easy, Areachable, R.Elevant and T.imely. For example, a SMART target could be:
- Increase organic traffic on our website by 50% by 2021
- Create 10 new sales-oriented blogs by September 2020
The purpose of SMART goals is to make companies successful. They give a sense of direction and help to organize the efforts.
SMART goals are invaluable for any company, but are particularly beneficial for startups.
In most startups, employees have to wear multiple hats (often due to budget constraints or lack of resources). For example, the founder could be responsible for strategy, product development, and even PR, while the chief technology officer (CTO) could be involved in designing the website, marketing, and social media. There is just so much to do!
Of course, for all startups, the main focus is on product development (and will always be up to the "release" level) … but what about all the other elements that support the growth of the company?
This is where SMART goals can really help. Instead of trying to do everything at once, focus on the most business-critical goals, put everything you've got behind you, and do things strategically. For example, instead of wasting your time on several initiatives (some of which may not be important at the moment), focus on three or four that form the basis of your activities or support your current efforts.
For example, when you start with a new product, you focus on development, but you also set goals such as:
- Create 10 new blogs to raise awareness of the product by the X date
- Publish 2 new websites to promote the new product by the X date
- Secure 5 placements in online media with digital PR by X-date
These are just a few examples, but they can undoubtedly help improve your company's profile without costing a lot – the only real effort is time. Instead of spreading your skills across multiple initiatives, focus on those that support your current activities.
The key to sustainable growth is consistency and focus. You can do just that with SMART targets.
2. Create detailed documents to distinguish who your target customers are.
SMART goals give direction and focus to your marketing efforts, of course, but to whom are you marketing?
In order for your start-up's marketing efforts to achieve tangible results, they must be tailored to your ideal target group.
Now you probably have a good understanding of who you want to do business with, but have you communicated this to the rest of your team, or at least put together a document detailing who your buyer personalities are?
This is where buyer personalities come in. Buyer personalities are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers. They are based on market research, current data, existing customers and some well-founded assumptions. Buyer personalities help you understand the drivers, business challenges, and needs of those you want to market to.
It is also important to note that buyer personalities are not real people, but archetypes of them.
After we have briefly dealt with the buyer personalities, you may ask yourself: Okay, but what makes them so valuable for my start-up? In short, with buyer personalities you can refine your marketing and segment your target group (s).
You want and need quick profits during the product development and release phase. So why waste time (and money) throwing the widest possible net when you can focus on those who are most likely to buy from you?
Your buyer personalities give you a good idea of who these people are. Use this information to create marketing and PR campaigns that focus on the right people at the right time and in the right place on the buyer's journey.
3. Have clear, compelling news.
If you've ever seen a Ronseal ad, you're probably already familiar with the following sentence: "It does what it promises."
In times of tricky marketing campaigns and buzzwords with a large budget, it is up to you to keep your messages clear and precise.
People don't want platitudes or jargon. You want to understand what your product is doing and how it can help you solve your business challenges. Indeed – and that may sound tough – it's not even about your company, but how you can help your potential customers.
With this in mind, all of the content that your start-up creates (and this applies to all companies of all sizes) must be created with the end user in mind. It has to be simple, informative and convincing.
4. Create a content marketing strategy to generate leads.
Content marketing is about creating high quality content that answers your potential customers' questions and leads them to a point of sale.
For example, blogs are great for increasing your website’s organic traffic and brand awareness. Every blog should be optimized for a long-tail keyword term, as this helps to drive targeted traffic (i.e. people who are definitely interested in what you have to say) to your website. This is a very easy way to increase your startup's digital footprint and build its name.
The content you create also helps generate leads and demonstrate your expertise. For example, you can create informative e-books and place them behind landing pages on your website. Visitors can then download your e-books in exchange for their details.
With this approach, you know that those who download your e-books are interested in hearing from you. The e-books you create are particularly useful for targeting early adopters. H. Those who want to be up to date with new technologies / software.
Over time, your website becomes an information store as more and more content is created. Assuming everything is optimized for the right conditions, the right people will find it again and again.
5. Implement a digital PR strategy to increase brand awareness.
Now if you want to get the most out of everything you do – especially from a content creation perspective – you can extend it with digital PR.
Digital PR effectively uses all the best of traditional PR: press coverage, events, public relations, content for thought leaders – and the same for the online area. Suddenly, the assets that you have created for your marketing activities can be upgraded for PR purposes.
In fact, digital PR goes one step further: The agency you are working with will do its utmost to get backlinks (editors and publications are known to be difficult to keep links in content) back to your website . Then those who read your content through online publications can actually find your business, and the content itself is already optimized for search, as you have already done so.
All in all, digital PR helps to increase the visibility of your startup both online and offline, helps you to be featured in important trade media about your activities, and creates positive excitement in your industry.
The best strategies use a combination of ideas and tactics
If you want to get the best possible results from marketing, you need to focus on what works.
While there are many different ways to achieve your goals, you should always focus on the most effective and cost effective. As a startup owner, you already know how important this is.
The best strategies use a combination of the above strategies and then analyze their performance to determine which ones require more or less investment. No matter what you do, remember that your marketing activities are only as good as your goals and direction. Good luck!