For a new business or startup, one way to guarantee that your business does not fail is to see to it that you have people willing to purchase your products and services, and that’s where marketing comes in. Marketing is essential for all businesses, but more so for startups. With the popularity of digital marketing, it has further underscored its importance.
According to an analysis of about 101 failed business by Fortune.com, founders of failed startups admitted that poor marketing was a top reason for their startup’s failure. Some startups even have a disadvantage, as marketing usually takes a backseat when it comes to limited budgeting capital. However, with the existence of the digital space, there’s no reason not to be able to reach your customers since digital offers an affordable, quick and targeted way to market products. All your marketing campaign needs to succeed are the right strategies. Here are some types of marketing strategies that startups use.
1: Content Marketing
Content marketing is a must for both B2B and B2C businesses. Creating relevant content not only contributes to your SEO efforts but increases brand visibility, boosts brand awareness, builds credibility and authority, supports your social media efforts and positions you as a thought leader.
With an effective content marketing strategy, you can identify the correct modes of content creation at each stage of the buyer’s journey, which leads to higher conversion. A report found that businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads than their competitors without one.
A caveat? Remember that content marketing seldom offers quick results. As with SEO, it takes time before you start noticing effects, but the impact is long-lasting.
2: Social Media Marketing
Social media has become a powerful marketing tool these days. With over 2 billion people in the world with an active social media account, social media is definitely where the people are.
According to a Social Media Examiner’s report, 89% of marketers indicated that their social media initiatives had generated increased exposure for their companies. Buffer supports this statistic, saying social media is the number 1 marketing strategy used by startups.
The benefits of social media marketing include increased exposure, lead generation, and customer engagement, which eventually leads to customer loyalty. Marketers that use social media also benefit from the targeting options it offers, so that campaigns reach the customers most likely to convert.
Although many people have found success in social media marketing, there are several more who have failed, and that is because these are the people that think that having a social media account is enough. However, social media has evolved throughout the years, and digital marketers must quickly keep up and aim to stay ahead of the pack.
How does one succeed in social media marketing? First, it is essential to create a social strategy, which involves creating a customer persona, targeting that customer persona, and determining what types of posts to publish, as well as the frequency of publishing. Second, it’s essential to choose the right social media channel. Not all social media channels are meant for your brand. Simply choose the one where your customers are.
The beauty of social media marketing is that you can opt to do it in-house or outsource the functions to a reputable digital marketing agency.
There are many social media platforms but you need to choose the right platforms for your startup marketing. Here are some popular platforms to use:
- Facebook – With 2.41 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2019, Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide. You can use Facebook for almost any niche or promote any type of product. It is the cheapest social media platform to promote your business. But the actual cost depends upon some factors such as targeted country, niche, ad type, etc. It costs around 350 Naira to reach 1000 people
- Twitter – Twitter can also help you grow your startup. It is the best platform for B2B businesses but can also work for B2C businesses. However, it is more expensive than Facebook. But it allows you to run different types of ads for various objectives.
- Instagram – Instagram is the best platform if you have fashion, health, beauty, fitness, modeling, and photography related business. It can work for any other niche business too but Instagram can be the best choice for those niches.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a platform for professionals. That’s why it is best for b2b businesses. If you have launched a b2b startup business then you should try LinkedIn.
- Snapchat: Snapchat is the best platform if you want to target youth or are working in fashion, beauty, or health-related niche.
3: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Websites are a must for every business, and sites cannot afford not to use search engine optimization. With so many websites in a given niche, just building one isn’t going to cut it; you have to get the word about your site out and let search engines be able to find you.
Majority of small business owners believe that a search engine optimized website can bring more traffic and revenue to their businesses. Showing up organically on the search engine pages is undoubtedly one of the cheapest ways to market and bring in traffic to your site. It also builds trust. If customers see that your website ranks high in the search results, it leaves a positive impression on potential customers that you are a reputable company.
SEO is especially important if you have an e-commerce site. Aim to rank for keywords that are relevant to your site, since keyword stuffing can be penalized.
SEO involves many aspects–content, on- and off-page optimization, site architecture, and so forth. If you don’t know where to start, a reputable SEO company can help you.
4: Email Marketing
Although there have been predictions on the death/decline of email marketing, businesses must continue to leverage this powerful marketing strategy. Email marketing is known to have the most significant ROI. Brands earn an average of $44 for every $1 spent on email marketing.
You can start collecting emails by asking website visitors to sign up for your newsletter or ask people for their email addresses in exchange for valuable lead magnets (guides, and case studies for example).
It’s not hard to succeed in email marketing, as long as you have a catchy, engaging subject line that will make the reader want to open the email and excellent email copy which includes a compelling call-to-action. It will also be pertinent to optimize for mobile and take a personalized approach to your emails by sending them to the specific customer segments they are apt for.
Remember not to keep sending your list adverts; it’s best to mix it up with informative and entertaining content.
5: Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is quickly catching on as a marketing strategy. 84% of marketers have said that they’re expecting to work with influencers in the next 12 months, and 94% have reported that they found influencer marketing effective, as it can generate up to 11 times more ROI than traditional marketing methods and costs less to implement. There’s no reason why startups shouldn’t adopt it.
If your brand or startup targets younger consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z, you will significantly benefit from influencer marketing as these groups have become immune to more traditional marketing channels. Other than that, you will enjoy higher engagement because younger consumers believe in the authenticity of influencers. This authenticity will also help grow your brand by building trust and word-of-mouth.
If you want to develop a huge customer base or fan-following then nothing can be as good as referral marketing.
In referral marketing, your customers become your sellers. They refer your products to other people. According to a study, 92% of people trust personal recommendations. That’s why referral marketing can grow your business on automation.
There are many strategies to encourage people to recommend you. But most of the times people recommend something to others if:
- They are happy, satisfied, and enjoying it.
- They can get something free.
Facebook is a great example of this. Facebook encourages their users to “Invite Friends” to join Facebook. As a result, today they have more than two billion active users on Facebook.
Published On Top-Tier Publications
Last but not least, if you want massive exposure and traffic then you should try to get featured on a popular publication. Any popular publication like Forbes, HuffPost, Nairaland, lindaIkejisblog, naijaloaded etc. can generate massive exposure and traffic for your startup. You can also make use of tech (If your startup deals with tech) and startup focused platforms to get bigger exposure.
A lot of businesses and startups have used this strategy to grow their business. They got huge traffic and many new customers when they featured on notable platforms. These new customers helped the business to grow even further.
You can also use the same strategy (but not the same publication) to grow your startup. You need to build connections with journalists and editors of these publications. But don’t be overly promotional. Focus more on content that delivers value at the same time promote your brand.
There are a lot of strategies and channels through which you can promote your startup. But you need to understand your audience, their behavior, and the nature of your business.
Startup marketing is not impossible but you need to be sure before every step because of the limited resources. Think differently than others and be creative to get success.