Starting a business is just the beginning of a long success story ahead.
With so many startups on the block, the biggest challenge for a startup is to stand out among its competitors.
The way to do that is to market your startup in a way that it soon builds credibility among its users.
But marketing and promoting your startup is not as easy as it sounds. It is not something that you can do overnight. It is a continuous process that does not have an ending.
In this article, we are going to tell you everything that you need to know about in order to market and promote your startup. So, let’s get started.
Startup Marketing Strategy Ideas:
When you are starting out, all you need is to create brand awareness and then a brand identity.
You have to be everywhere. For that, you need marketing strategies that will set you apart from your competitors, both startups and the industry biggies.
Your target audience has to take notice of you. Here are some startup marketing strategy ideas that are effective and low on budget as well to suit the interests of businesses that have just started out.
1. Be present everywhere:
This involves a lot of efforts on your part as a business owner. You have to be super active on social media to promote your business and its idea.
You also need to have a blog, as that is one of the most essential ways to connect to your target audience.
But then being everywhere is not just limited to these two aspects. Make sure people see your brand everywhere. It is okay if they do not know what your brand does or what business it deals with initially. Just knowing the name would suffice.
For this, you can go for inexpensive ways like painting a wall or do street art with chalk. You can give stalls at events where you can distribute merchandise to your staff and freebies to the visitors.
This is not a very new and innovative way but it is a direct way to make people aware of the existence of your brand. In a given budget, make your brand as much visible as possible.
2. Do not just sell products or ideas. Engage with your customers instead:
Do not be one of those annoying entrepreneurs who just want to sell their products to everyone they meet.
Of course, it is important for you to talk about your brand and promote it as much as possible. But there are many subtle ways to do that.
You can engage in discussions with your fellow competitors or your audience that might not necessarily involve your business.
Since social media is such an important part of your promotion strategy, you can utilize social media to engage with your target audience in so many ways.
There are brands that comment on others’ posts which is really encouraging. You have to build your credibility and certain brand trust by lending your support to other members of your community or to your online followers.
The more you engage, the more your audience and customers will remember you because of your high interactivity with everyone.
You can even share posts and pictures of your competitors or of other members in your community. This will make your customers remember you for your generosity.
3. Once you start the blog, market your content well:
Content marketing has so many sides to it and mostly all of them are inexpensive.
Whether you are selling a product or a service, you have to own a blog and you have to market the content of that blog and of your business as well.
You have to maintain the blog by uploading articles regularly. These articles can be informative or funny or entertaining, as long as they keep the readers engaged.
You can market your content on various social media platforms with the help of memes, or infographics or videos. These generally have a high entertainment value and users find them very interesting.
When your users will like your content, it will automatically increase your brand awareness and slowly and steadily you will be building credibility for your brand. This is how you will start getting traffic to your blog, and your startup will benefit ultimately.
4. Announce contests and give out attractive coupons:
Who does not like coupons and discounts?
Whether it is a store coupon or an online coupon, your users will not be able to resist the temptation of using them.
In fact, the great thing about coupons is that it makes people purchase things that they were not planning to buy at all in the first place. Once a person gets a coupon, he has this urge to redeem it.
You can adopt various ways to give out coupons to your customers. Your dedicated customers will appreciate this move more and this will spread as word of mouth.
For new customers, they will appreciate the fact that you are giving out coupons and will start following you on various social media pages. This will not only increase your brand awareness, but it will also help you get an elaborate user database that you can use later to market your brand.
5. Be the co-sponsor of an event within your industry:
Look out for any upcoming events in your industry. Most of these events are planned by planners who look out for lots of sponsors to fund the event.
This is a great platform to market your startup. These events are generally attended by prominent and important people from your industry.
The next time you attend an event in your niche, you can just straightaway ask if there are any spots open for sponsorship.
When you co-sponsor an event, it not only helps people notice your brand but also creates a good name for your brand.
Apart from that, it helps you understand what your target audience will be, and it will help you to network and might even generate some leads for you.
How to Market a Startup Business?
Even before you design marketing strategies for your startup business, it is important to know how exactly you are going to market it.
Irrespective of your budget that you have set aside for marketing, you have to know the basics and you have to start doing preparations to market your business even before you launch it.
Here are some great ways in which you can market your startup business.
1. Understand that selling something is different from marketing your brand:
Whatever product you are selling, you always have competitors in that industry. But how you market yourself and your brand is completely up to you.
When you are marketing yourself, there are 3 things that you have to keep in mind.
- How you are pricing your product
- The quality of your product
- How you combine the above two and provide a better value
When you are marketing your brand, you have to keep in mind the fact that sure you are not just selling your product, but you are building credibility for your brand.
You might be selling the same product as your competitors at a lower price than them, but you have to focus on how this difference is going to make a difference in your customers’ life.
You have to focus on the benefit that you are providing to a customer.
2. You have to market your product even before it is ready for sale:
A lot of businesses do the mistake of waiting until their product is completely ready to build a campaign around it.
As a businessman, you cannot just expect that your product will start selling as soon as it is ready. That is because just after our product is ready, there will be no awareness about it.
Your target audience will be having no idea about the existence of such a product at all. Hence, the demand will be zero.
This is why it is better than you start awareness campaigns about your product while it is getting ready. This is called a pre-launch campaign. It does not have to be large scale. People should just know that your product is coming to the market.
You have to sell the idea and the benefit of your product to people beforehand. So when the product will be ready, there will already be a certain demand for it.
3. Advertise on different media:
Once you have understood your target audience well, start advertising your product and your brand on various media. You will not have an idea initially about which media will bring the best results for you.
Sometimes, it might be one single form of medium, sometimes a combination of all of them that will bring you, customers.
So make sure you try all these different media. You have to be everywhere so that people start recognizing your brand.
4. Always trust PR to raise brand awareness:
By marketing and advertising, you are selling your product. When it comes to PR, it means you are letting a media house or a member of the press to talk about you and your brand. That is called a brand endorsement.
It also contributes a great amount in building the credibility for your brand.
If you have a tight budget, you can always approach local news channels or smaller blogs. Even little PR is better than no PR at all.
The Ultimate Guide to Startup Marketing
By now you know how multi-faceted the process of marketing your startup is. To cut down your confusion, we have summarised all the basic things you need to do.
1. Creating the base:
Choose a market for yourself: Even before you start building a product, you have to choose the market you want to function in. Consider these 4 factors while determining a market for your product-
- Market size
- Market wealth
- Value of your proposition.
Define your keywords:
After you have determined the market, you have to research for the highest performing keywords. This is for the blogs you will be maintaining.
Define your success:
Success is a very broad term and has different meanings for every individual. When you say you want your startup to be successful one day, make sure you have pre-decided parameters which define success for you.
Have a rough estimate of the conversion rate:
For every marketing and advertising investment that you make, you have to guess and calculate a conversion rate first.
2. Social media:
In order to make your business flourish, your brand has to be on social media.
Choose the right platforms, determine the best time to post in order to reach out to maximum people, sticking to the list of keywords, etc. are all measures you have to take in order to make the best out of the given resources you have.
3. Using PR to market your startup:
We have already told you the importance of using PR for your startup marketing. But PR can be a tricky business.
You will reach out to the media, but how are you going to portray yourself?
- Write effective sentences. They should be powerful enough.
- Define how your startup is going to make things better for your TA.
- Choose the right writers who can deliver in words what exactly you want to communicate.
- Reach out to journalists and create an interactive relationship with them.
Startup marketing is quite a complex process, but not rocket science. It is a permutation and combination of many factors. And you never know what might work out.
Sometimes the best ideas have failed miserably. At other times, unexpected ideas have worked like crazy. So, hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.