How to Develop a Startup Marketing Strategy
“Stopping advertising (Marketing) to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.”
~ Henry Ford (Founder of Ford Motors.)
Develop a marketing plan to boost your startup business’s visibility, establish a digital marketing presence through strategic positioning, and promote your business.
If you have a startup, the key to your growth and to show how you’ll set yourself apart from your competition is marketing your business. Marketing your startup also includes elements like ‘Logo’, ‘Corporate Colors’, ‘Brand Name’ and ‘Mission and Vision of the brand.’
In this marketing guide, we’ll discuss which strategies you require to market your startup from Outlining a strategy and connecting with the audience to making required adjustments and measuring the success.
If you have a Saas(Software as a Service) startup business or you are a SaaS Entrepreneur, you can join this group SaaSpreneuers from Gisborne Victoria, Australia.
This is a Group/Community which brings together business-minded entrepreneurs and there they collaborate their ideas for the betterment and growth of their own brands. The Organizer of this Group/Community Mr Mike Lester Rosales says "I started this group to meet fellow entrepreneurs and business-minded people interested to grow their business with software technology."
#1: Developing a strategy
There are many types of startups, which means marketing strategies will be different for each of them. But all successful marketing strategies include 4 common key components:
- Market research
1. Setting a goal.
In the early stages of a business, the determined goals vary depending on how and what you define success. But for many startups, goals often have these categories, Increase in brand awareness and Pulling new customers towards the brand and while both categories are important for the betterment of the startup, it can be helpful to prioritize the goals that make the most sense for the startup.
Increasing brand awareness:
When starting a new business, it’s important to introduce the startup to its potential customers or clientele. The brand has to be introduced to the people about what it is, what it does, and what sets it apart from the other competitors. If the startup chooses to prioritize brand awareness, the goals and the marketing strategy might revolve around getting people to recognize the brand name, logo, or products.
Acquiring new customers:
If the brand chooses to acquire new customers and makes it a priority, the goals might include getting new people signed up to the brand platform, encouraging them to become active users of the product, or converting existing customers into paying members. To reach these goals, the brand needs to develop a marketing strategy using effective design, copy, and calls to action that grab people’s attention and make them want to engage with the business.
2. Define your target audience
No matter what type of startup it is, it’s crucial for brand marketing to reach the right people with the right message. As the startup is developing a marketing strategy, take time to think about who the ideal audience is or what type of audience does the startup needs.
Here are a few questions the marketing team might ask itself as they deciding which audience to target with its marketing:
- What is the business offering its potential customers?
- What makes the brand unique?
- Why would a customer choose your brand over the competitors?
- If you’re B2B, would the product be more beneficial to businesses of a certain size or within a certain industry?
- If you’re B2C, does it make sense to choose a preferred audience based on their location, demographics, or interests?
3. Find your place in the market
Lack of demand in the marketplace is the number one reason startups fail. Maybe the product or service being offered doesn’t solve the problems of the customer or the brand isn’t unique enough to set itself apart from the competition.
Maybe its focus is too narrow and the potential customers aren’t large enough to build a successful company or maybe it just the marketing isn’t done correctly and never had the chance to reach the right people.
To give the new startup a better chance of avoiding these common loopholes, take time to thoroughly research other similar products on the market and gauge interest from the potential customers.
Once the brand has determined there is enough demand to sustain the business, it can start thinking about how to tell the target audience about all the great stuff it has to offer.
4. Determining the budget
The marketing budget for a startup will be affected by several factors, including operational costs and revenue forecasts. But no matter how much money you’re able to set aside for marketing, it’s important to spend wisely. Think about the goals, and focus the marketing dollars on the channels that will help you achieve the desired goals. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments or make changes along the way or to try something new if a particular channel doesn’t give the desired results.
With time as the business and the budget grows, a business can always start allocating more money towards marketing and expanding the reach to previously untapped audiences.
#2: Reach your Audience
1. A website
A website is a unique marketing tool that works around the clock to help the brand communicate with its audience and grow its business. If the brand is not ready for a full website or it should just have a single page encouraging visitors to take a particular action, start with a landing page. Landing pages are a great way to collect details of the customer such as email addresses or sell an item or provide the potential customers with a quick overview of the business, brand’s newest products, or the services the brand offers.
While creating a website, here are a few other aspects to keep in mind:
A domain name is the brand's online identity, so it’s important to choose a recognizable name, fits the services provided by the brand, and will be easy to remember. Considering all the options, be sure to check the availability of the respective potential domain name on social media also. Using the same name across all the different channels of marketing can help to establish a unified brand identity and improve the reach.
Google Ads allows you to keep the business top-of-mind by displaying targeted ads to people who visit relatable content and then navigate away from your website. These ads are a powerful way to boost traffic and engagement and recapture sales from customers, no matter where they go on the web.
SEO (Search engine optimization):
SEO helps to increase the visibility of (and the traffic too) the website through search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. As a startup, you can apply a few basic SEO elements to your website to improve your search ranking on different search engines, like keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, internal links, and high-quality original content.
Email marketing is an effective way to build a relationship with the audience and keep them engaged with the brand over time. Add a form to the brand’s website (or landing page) to collect email addresses from visitors, then start sharing updates about the services, content, products, and anything else that the brand provides that might be of interest to them.
If the brand decides to take things a step further, it can always ask for extra information from the new contacts, too. Requesting details like their date of birth, interests, or location can help to create even more personalized, relevant content for the customers.
3. Social media
As social media usage worldwide continues to grow at a rapid pace, so does the importance of incorporating social channels into the marketing plan for a startup with a social media marketing strategy. Creating and scheduling posts across channels, posting directly, or creating ads, social media can quickly communicate with the brand’s existing fans, friends, and customers. It can also help to expand the reach and encourage more people to check out the website, store, or products.
Facebook and Instagram ads:
Facebook and Instagram each have more than a billion users worldwide, which means businesses have got a huge collection of potential customers at their fingertips. Brands can target specific segments of people with ads for their startup like folks who live in a particular location or area within a certain age range.
Twitter provides several advertising options that help the brand to raise awareness of the startup, drive people to the website, attract new followers, and more. The brand can target people by demographics, location, interest, or even based on other accounts they follow or keywords they use in their tweets.
LinkedIn allows startups to connect with (and promote themselves to) other like-minded professionals. They even offer the ability to focus the brand’s marketing efforts on specific collections of people, like those who work in a particular industry or have a certain job title.
4. Content marketing
Content marketing focuses on creating (and sharing) content like blog posts, articles, videos, podcasts, and infographics for the brand’s target audience. Unlike the other advertising efforts or promotional messaging, this content isn’t just about selling; it should provide relevant, valuable information people care about and want to engage with.
Over time, content marketing can prove to be a cost-effective tactic that leads to big benefits for the business. Not only can it help to attract (and convert) new customers, it’s also a great way to establish yourself as a trusted source for information in the brand’s field.
5. Offline promotion
Online marketing is the main focus for many startups, but there’s still plenty of value in an offline promotion.
Creating business cards and brochures:
Physical items like business cards and brochures are a direct, convenient way to make a great first impression and tell new folks what the brand has to offer. Design and print professional business cards with the business’s name, contact information, and a relatable logo. Create brochures that explain what the brand does and what type of stuff it sells. Then, look for networking opportunities where you can hand them out to peers and potential customers.
Going where your customers are:
Networking plays a key role in developing relationships and getting your business off the ground. Be on the lookout for opportunities to have face-to-face interactions with people who might be interested in your goods or services and seem to be potential customers. Visit trade shows or conferences, attend meet-ups for entrepreneurs in the local areas, or do a bit of research and seek out one-on-one meetings with people who can help to get the business to the roofs.
Postcards can help to stand out from the competition and give the audience something tangible to remember you uniquely. It’s a fun way to introduce the brand to new contacts, announce a new release, invite folks to an upcoming event, or anything else.
Get people talking:
Word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing tools for startups. When people hear that their co-workers, friends, or family members had a great experience with the business, products, or services, there’s a good chance they’re going to give the brand a try, too. Strive to create a great customer experience and exceed expectations every step of the way.
#3: Measuring the success of the startup marketing campaigns.
Startups often have a limited amount of funds and resources available, so it’s important that every dollar spent leads to tangible and measurable results. Here are 3 ways to use data to inform the startup marketing campaigns.
1. Set and track your marketing KPIs
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are the metrics used to track the progress the brand has made towards marketing and business goals. If the goal is to raise awareness for the brand, choose KPIs like website traffic, social shares, and new contacts to measure growth in audience size. If the goal is to acquire more customers and make more money, measure KPIs against daily or monthly sales and conversion rates.
2. Test, iterate, repeat
No matter what type of startup is under operation, it will always need to listen to the audience even if they’re only communicating with the brand through click-throughs, page views, and conversions found in the reports. Be ready to make adjustments when something isn’t working and according to the customer’s review.
If email is in the startup marketing strategy, A/B testing is a great way to learn how small changes can have a big impact on the results.
3. Learn what works for your audience
With each marketing campaign, we create and learn more about your audience. In a CRM, we can get an overview of the people we are talking to in the audience dashboard, and at the individual level in contact profiles. See how the brand's campaigns resonate, learn more about who they are demographic and check out their interactions with the brand.
With all of this data, one can improve your strategy based on who is in the audience and what's working for them. Let the audience drive what the brand does, and it will hit those marketing KPIs in no time.
Is there entrepreneurship potential in all of us?
Yes, there is entrepreneurship potential in all of us. All that you need to become a potential entrepreneur is marketing strategies that will help your brand to reach out to many people and make them keener in your brand. Marketing will even help you to grow more capital for your brand in the later stage of your entrepreneurship. So being a potential entrepreneur is possible for all of us with good marketing strategies and a minimal amount of capital.