A startup venture is a difficult challenge, to say the least, so you need a good strategy. Startups tend not to have many resources and aren’t well-known in their target market. This is all the more reason why startups should focus strongly on a good marketing strategy.
Marketing strategies are essential for any business, but startups often rely on them more than others. Through the proper channels, you can get your brand out there for the world to see. The more of your target audience that you reach, the more sales you’ll make. Startups should consider the appropriate channels in order to satisfy all stakeholders and fulfill their goals.
No one marketing strategy is perfect. Even so, there are a few that are generally helpful if a startup owner has no idea where to begin. Below are some examples of such marketing strategies that you can choose according to your requirements and needs:
1. Send out emails (cold or not)
Cold emailing or calling is a must-have strategy. Keep in mind that hardly anyone knows about your brand or what it does. It’s essential to build up an email list of likely clients, suppliers, investors, or other stakeholders that can move your business forward.
Place a signup bar for your newsletter on your website. This will help you build your email list and provide updates on your activities. If you have the means to do so, offer them a free voucher or coupon for signing up in addition to the promise of a newsletter.
Keep in mind that strategy of the emails you send should be of some interest to the recipient. If they’re filled with boring updates or none at all, you will be losing out on a serious part of this marketing strategy. Diversify the commercial content with useful guides, lists, videos, how-to articles, and interesting graphics. Create an experience for the potential customer instead of selling, selling, selling.
2. An online presence strategy
In the modern digital age, no startup is worth its salt if it doesn’t have an online presence. It’s not enough to create a page and profile on all the major social media platforms. You think about strategy and have to devote time and energy into making these profiles worthy of having followers. To achieve success in this area, you have to work on your content, it’s timing and its relevance to current events.
Make sure you have a blog that’s regularly updated. Businesses that have their own company blogs have more than double the number of leads than those without blogs. With the traffic that a blog attracts, you can direct potential customers to your official website organically. The blog will also hold all your information, promotions, and even helpful articles that guide customers on how to use your products and services.
All this material will eventually lead potential customers through your sales funnel.
3. Positive PR strategy
PR, or public relations, is an excellent tool for uplifting your small venture and great strategy, even in the beginning. Don’t underestimate the power of media, especially with social media platforms and community sharing. Posts can become viral in no time. You should make use of professional media influencers and members to enhance your startup’s business as soon as possible.
The idea of the strategy is to start by building positive connections with the local press. You may achieve this by calling up the local media station and pitching your business idea. The press is always on the hunt for something new. Being a startup, you just might have a unique enough aspect to be on television or the news for a day or two. Needless to say, this greatly increases the visibility of your startup and helps launch your business in full force.
In order to gain a good relationship with the press, be ready to explain your concept in short and simple terms. Once you warm yourself up to the journalists and anchors, you may even get a call from them later on. Having good press on your side can be the starting point of your success as a small startup venture.
One example of grabbing the press’s attention is by focusing on the human angle or focusing on sustainability in your business. If you can convey how your venture is helping people or the environment, your startup will warrant a mention in local media.
4. Move Fast by Piggybacking
If you’re a new startup, with a great strategy you will be moving at lightning speed if you want to become successful. But new companies are guilty of moving too slow either because of their hesitation in competing with large corporations or due to their lack of resources and expertise.
If your company is young, the chances are online engagement is relatively low. But that gives you an incredible chance to grow trying your new strategy. Even if you’re using paid advertising, there’s not much chance of customers clicking on a name they’re not familiar with. Hence, your best strategy in the early phases might be to freeload or piggyback on other companies’ platforms.
Jumping onto such platforms helps you realize where your audience is and who they are. Airbnb is a great example of a company that saw the potential for growth by utilizing their competition. They posted their listings on Craigslist, using an already established and well-known firm. Today, Airbnb is viewed as a more reliable source than Craigslist. Since the former used tools to allow for cross-listing on both platforms, this built trust as well as a familiarity with the then-new company.
5. Customer referrals strategy
Customer referrals as a strategy? You may think it’s hard to get customer referrals when you hardly have any, to begin with. It can work if you have a good enough item or service to offer, though. Customer referrals are an amazing and personal way to gain followers, users, customers, and visibility all at the same time. Many companies and brands that are well-known today have used this system with a high rate of success.
When Facebook first started off, you could not get an account until an existing Facebook user personally invited you. There are several successful programs that went a step further in the referral system. Dropbox is one of the best examples, with the service offering more storage to those who invite their friends and spread the word.
Hotmail was one of the first services to apply this method, offering the first absolutely free email system in return for a text link in every email. This link offered the recipient a chance to get their own account absolutely free of charge.
As for the current times, e-commerce companies are working with services like ReferralCandy to gain similar benefits. When they get new customers for the business, they receive a bonus. In this manner, even a startup can gain a lot of visibility and fame without spending thousands of dollars on traditional advertising. The referral system doesn’t cost anything to the participants, enabling startups to invest their profits back into the business itself and great strategy.
Marketing often seems to take on a world of its own when startups are involved. If the strategy and marketing channels provided today are used properly, a startup business will be sure to grow and expand. Once it’s a large enough venture, it may then start to look at other techniques of marketing, such as word of mouth. To begin with, though, you should hold the above a good strategy as a priority.