Startup Marketing can often pose as a challenge due to a lot of reasons. It can be tiring, laborious and exhausting. Making your startup reach greater audiences and be successful requires a lot of effort. You need to plan and execute each step of the way meticulously.
All this meticulous planning is easier said than done. But there is a way to make things easy. That is if you decide to opt for Digital Marketing. Digital Marketing is cheap and can give you measurable results. Brands who do not have the luxury of spending millions of dollars on ATL activities can opt for Online Marketing and be fairly successful.
The secret behind coming up with the best marketing strategy for your startup lies in choosing and making use of digital channels wisely.In this article, I help you with a complete guide on marketing for startups, particularly using digital marketing.
Guide to Startup Marketing
Perfection is a dream. There is nothing realistic about it. But being near to perfection in your startup marketing is achievable. Things that may work for one brand might not for others.
Products are different as well. There are products that have a very ‘touch and feel’ kind of a buying behavior. Others are more of an instant buy just on seeing. So, there would be a word of caution here. You must check with your digital marketing consultant or do a self analysis as to which strategy should you invest in.
1. Laying the Foundation
The first step to building a strategy for marketing your startup is getting all your basics sorted. This is a lot more important than you may give it credit for. Following are the steps on how you can lay foundation for your business:
Know Your Audience
Now, let’s be honest here. You can’t expect the whole world to love your product. Only a small portion of people will be interested in your product. Hence, it doesn’t make any sense to market your product to the whole world as it would only mean a waste of your time and money.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when choosing the right audience for your startup?
- What kind of people do I aim to target?
- Is my product meant for women or men?
- Is it for adults or kids?
- Is it meant for people that fall into a certain age group?
- What can the tentative size of mu audience be?
- Would the people I have chosen as my audience be willing to spend what my product is worth?
- How much competition do I have?
Choosing the Right Keywords
Next, you will need to make a list of keywords relevant to your business. You will need these keywords for your website, for blogging and also for social media. The keywords that you choose need to be extremely relevant to your brand. Your keywords are what will bring your target audience to you.
For example, if you sell handicrafts online, every time someone searches for ‘handicraft online’ on Google, you’d want them to reach your website. Thus, ‘handicrafts online’ can be your primary keyword. In a similar manner, choose 4 to 5 primary keywords that most clearly define what your business does.
You will also need some secondary keywords. These keywords are a little more specific. Considering the example mentioned above, one of your secondary keywords can be ‘wooden handicrafts online’ or ‘handicrafts online in India’.
You can make use of various tools like Google’s Keyword tool, Ahrefs, UberSuggest, SemRush etc. to identify keywords relevant to you. But, you need to make sure that the keywords you choose should have low competition and high volume.
Identify Your Goals
For your startup, your goals can be getting 100 new people to subscribe to my newsletter or it can be increasing sales for a certain product. Whatever your goal may be, it is important to identify it to take steps in the right direction.
Estimate Your Conversion Rate
Tracking the conversion rate is an essential part of startup marketing. Without this, you cannot know whether the efforts that you are putting behind your business are paying off or not. Let us consider an example of B to C marketing. Let’s assume that you are getting 1000 new page views every month. This could mean significant growth if even 10% of your new traffic becomes customers who end up buying your products. However, if the conversion rate is like 1-2% then the 1000 new page views don’t really hold that much significance.
2. Setting up Your Startup Marketing Budget
The typical marketing budget for a startup can vary from a startup to startup. Decide how much you are willing to put in for your startup marketing strategy. Divide that budget carefully. You should be investing more in the strategy that yields the most returns. Make sure to plan very strategically.
Investing in Social Media
Social media has become one of the most popular tools to promote your business online. You can reach a greater audience if you make the right use of social media. Here’s how social media can help startup marketing.
Choosing the right social network: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Pinterest are the most commonly used social networks by marketers. However, each one of these works differently. Pinterest is hugely based on ‘images’ and works by users pinning them. While Instagram is a super-fast growing platform and works great for visual-based businesses.
What time you post does make a difference: It makes sense to share a post on social media when your target audience is the most active. Sharing a post with working people as the target audience on a Wednesday afternoon wouldn’t be as effective as posting it on a, let’s say, Saturday evening. Understand your audience behaviour and share posts accordingly.
Make Influencer Lists
This is one of the best ways of marketing for startups. It is also great for B2C marketing. Sure, you can influence thousands of people directly with your startup but it’ll take a long time for that. Instead, you can use an already-established influencer as a mediator between your brand and your target consumers.
For example, again, if you have a brand that sells energy bars or protein powders, you can connect with a fitness influencer. If the influencer loves the products that you are selling, they can talk about it on their page and help you get lots of new traffic as well as customers.
A study suggested that the purchasing behavior was moderately or highly influenced by posts made by brands for about 78% of social media users. Do your research and come up with an influencer list.
Set up a blog
This is very simple but also very effective. WordPress is a great platform that is also free and offers some great plug-ins like Yoast SEO, RankMath etc. Download it, upload it to your server and then just follow the setup instructions. After that is done, think about how it looks. Design its look in a way that is aesthetically appealing and yet easy to read. The more user-friendly you can make it, the better.
3. Creating Enticing Content
Content creation is an important step of the whole startup marketing process. Here is how the process can be simplified:
Create a List of Topics
Well, now there can’t be a blog without any content, can there? After you have set up your blog, it’s time to begin the content creation process. Before you start writing, make a list of topics. Wondering how to select topics for content creation?
Base topics off of your primary keywords. This is great for SEO. Come up with about 7 to 8 topics around each one of your keywords. After you have a list of topics, start writing. Also create a proper schedule for when you will post these articles.
Understand Which Type of Content You Should Publish
Aside from articles, there are various other types of content. They include webinars, guides, videos, newsletters etc. To decide which type of content you should publish, you need to keep your business and target audience in mind and then decide accordingly.
Guest posting is an essential strategy for marketing for startups. You can either guest post on a popular blog or have a popular blog guest post on yours. This is a great way of increasing traffic to your website and reaching more relevant audiences. You can start by searching for popular blogs that have the same business niche as yours.
A lot of blogs accept guest posts. Contact them and send them a personalized message/ email. Pitch them your idea for the guest post and then begin writing an original and high-quality guest post.
4. Analyze and Look for Ways to Improvise
You have a startup marketing strategy going on in full-swing. But, how do you know whether it is actually working? There are always new techniques that you can try out. Testing can help you determine what’s giving the most results and what’s not.
Set up Analytics Tools
Analytics tools are a great way of measuring your marketing success. Google Analytics is a great tool. You can track almost everything with this tool and measure your success rate easily.
Compare Month on Month Success
Going forward, use your previous month’s/ week’s numbers as a benchmark. You can easily track your growth by comparing it with how well you performed the month before. This will give you a better idea of how well your marketing campaigns are working out and what is working the best for your business.
Come up with New Ideas
When it comes to marketing for startups and especially B2C marketing, innovation is the key. Keep brainstorming and come up with creative ideas on what you can do to market your business. The businesses that see great success are always coming up with newer ideas. What you can do here is truly limitless. Who knows, maybe your new idea can end up becoming the next big thing in marketing.
Pro Tip! Some Great Startup Marketing Practices
- Convince your audience why they need the product that you are trying to sell. Focus on selling the solution rather than selling the problem.
- Make good use of the resources available to you. Leave no stone unturned. You never know what might end up working for you and turn your business upside down.
Over to You
Here, I shared some tips on startup marketing. Even if you don’t have a startup marketing budget, there are so many things mentioned in the list that don’t really require a budget. It all may seem a little daunting at first, but slowly, you will get the knack of it. So, if you want to flourish your startup, get set and start working.
Mir Saeid is a Full Stack Marketer and a Start-up Enthusiast who is the Co-Founder of Kashmirica. The brand is poised to take Kashmiri exclusive products global and offers everything from a Pashmina to an Attar Online.