Marketing a startup company is a challenge that throws some of the savviest entrepreneurs for a loop. It takes more than a sizable advertising budget to market a startup in an effective manner. Let's delve into a few marketing tips that will prove especially helpful to startups.
Key in on a Specific Target Audience
The first piece of the puzzle is identifying your startup's target audience. There is no sense in marketing your startup's products and services to the masses if only a small cohort of the population will actually derive benefit from them. Gear all of your marketing efforts toward grabbing the eyes and ears of these targeted individuals. In due time, these efforts will make meaningful inroads with the people who matter the most to your unique business. Take targeted marketing a step further by building customer personas. These are highly detailed descriptions of potential customers in terms of their demographics as well as their psyches needs and desires. Such personas will help you individualize marketing efforts to narrow groups of people who are inclined to use your startup's products/services to solve their problems.
Establish Yourself as an Authority
One of the best ways to build a loyal following of customers is to build your reputation as an authority in your particular industry and niche. Use your startup's blog as an opportunity to provide unique insight, important industry updates and other helpful information. Host webinars, seminars, tweet regularly and pen guest posts on others' blogs. Though you can charge for events like seminars, it is prudent to provide your expertise for free as a means of building interest in your startup's brand. Once you've established your legitimacy as an authority within your field, your startup will enjoy a steady stream of new business.
Social Media Exposure Really is One of the Best Marketing Strategies for Startups
Though your startup might not have an army of followers, you should still pay close attention to their feedback as posted on social media. Incorporate their concerns, suggestions and reactions into your marketing efforts. Update your social media accounts on a regular basis with engaging content that helps your followers in some manner. If the content is engaging, your social media fans will be inclined to share it on their own platforms. This is often the first step in content going viral.
Don't TRY to go Viral
Speaking of things going viral; content that goes viral is typically not forced. The best startup marketing gurus understand that high-quality content posted to the company's blog and social media pages will forge meaningful connections with the target customer base. Don't make explicit attempts to generate viral marketing ads. If your content is appealing enough to your audience, it will naturally go viral. By engaging your audience with helpful, thought-provoking content, they will feel compelled to pass on links to your website, blog and social media posts to others. This is the type of natural and spontaneous viral sharing every startup needs to increase brand awareness.
Focus on Building Strategic Partnerships
Partnering with other entrepreneurs, brands and websites might seem like an odd way to market a startup. Though unconventional, this approach is actually one of the best marketing strategies for startups. Such relationships will serve to maximize your startup's presence, allowing for increased publicity and the type of viral shares that can help your business reach a “tipping point”. Target certain industry websites to syndicate your content. Collaborating with relevant websites will be mutually beneficial to both parties. Ideally, you will hand-pick companies and websites that have attracted the users your startup desires as a customer base. These partnerships will prove critically important in your attempt to build your brand. It might take some time but you will eventually get there.
Contests, Competitions and Giveaways
It might seem counter-intuitive to give away your product or service. However, offering small free samples to interested customers really can generate a buzz about your startup. Consider holding contests and competitions on your website and social media pages. People will share your contest/competition information with their social circle, helping to build the type of buzz you need to get your company off the ground floor.