Marketing is a vital aspect of any business, and for startups, it could mean the difference between a good idea and a flourishing business. You must get your product and what value it offers out there if you want people to know about your brand and for them to actually buy your product. If you’re just starting out, spreading the word about your business is mission #1, and it’s a mission that you should never fail this early on.
Below are a few tips that can help your startup break new ground and ensure that your brand is on the top-of-mind awareness of your target audience.
Establish an Online Presence
One of the easiest ways to do this is to start your own business blog. It’s a great way to generate both exposure for your brand and organic traffic to your website. The content you put on your blog can help make you an authority in your chosen niche, and if you consistently create useful, informative content that’s valuable to your audience, it can help transform first-time visitors into regulars.
Lead generation is another thing where a blog can help; by attracting the right audience with your content organically, you can then lead them into your product offerings naturally since you’ve already generated interest through your content. It’s also a good idea to invest in a long-term strategy early on so you can get visitors that you can potentially turn into regular customers.
Social media is also a good avenue if you want to establish an online presence, since almost 3 billion people are on social media nowadays. You can either take the organic route or pay for traffic and exposure; most social media channels offer plans or programs to help businesses promote their brand or product.
For new businesses, this is a crucial step because no one knows you or what you offer just yet. After you’ve done some prospecting, reach out to potential customers via short emails that promote your product or brand.
Before you can do email marketing though, you’ll have to collect the email addresses of your prospects. One way to do this is to create a weekly or monthly newsletter and have users sign up for it. You can also directly ask them for it via social media or come up with social media promos that will encourage them to sign up or share your blog, website or social media page to friends and colleagues. Promo prizes need not be big or extravagant; they could simply be eBooks, gift vouchers, online tools, or other small prizes that are of value to your audience.
Once you start with your email marketing, remember to diversify your emails into commercial and non-commercial ones—with the former being sent sparingly. If you spam your customers with a barrage of promotional messages, they’ll probably be gone before your product launch.
Advertise Online and Offline
If you think offline advertising is dead, you’re missing out on opportunities to promote your brand creatively via multiple channels. Many people still rely on traditional media for information and as a way to engage with brands. Newspapers, magazines, and television are still popular and show no signs of going away anytime soon. The trick with offline advertising is knowing how to use it right and combining it with your online advertising efforts to get the best of both worlds.
Your product launch or any offline events can be advertised online, especially via social media. This will help build hype before the event and increase the chances of your event announcement going viral. Adding QR codes to your printed advertising materials is also a good way to promote your website or any limited-time offers through offline means. You can even put the codes on your business card so your contacts can go to your website easily. The key is providing your contacts and potential customers a seamless experience between your marketing channels.
Create a Solid Go-to-market (GTM) Strategy
For new businesses, it is necessary to have a go-to-market strategy that outlines what needs to be done to reach your target audience and get an edge over your competitors. It may seem very similar to a marketing strategy, especially during the early stages of a startup, but it’s a strategy at the micro-level. If the marketing plan is the product road map, your GTM strategy is the navigator when it comes to launching new products, relaunching old ones, and tapping new markets. A data-driven GTM strategy ensures that all your bases are covered and that new products or features are designed according to customer needs and expectations.
Keeping a startup afloat is a financial balancing act; there are companies who fail to see the benefits of marketing in the early stages, choosing instead to invest in other seemingly more important endeavors. Although this may seem like a prudent decision, neglecting marketing stifles growth and leaves a business with a more restrictive budget than when it started. This is a vicious cycle that can be avoided with careful planning and specific goals.