Being the founder of a startup can be a challenging experience, especially if you haven't done it before. You don't really know what to expect, or if your idea will even work.
At the very beginning, all you think about is how to grow your business to provide you with a sustainable income.
Today, we will cover the 5 most important marketing tips for startups.
1. Create Social Pages
You've been told before, social media is one of the most important aspects of a successful business, whether it's online or offline. Find out the advantages of each social platform and pick the one that's right for your business. Most businesses will have Facebook or Twitter pages, and some will also have Pinterest (best for images) and Tumblr pages as well.
Gaining Twitter Followers
The best way to gain twitter followers is to follow your competitor's followers and you will find that a good portion of them will follow you back. Once they follow you back, you can then unfollow them. Keep doing this repeatedly for a few weeks, and you will build up a pretty big list of relevant industry followers, for absolutely free.
Be careful though, Twitter considers this sort of behaviour to be spammy and it could land you with an account suspension if you don't do it at a slower pace. We recommend following no more than 75 users per day and unfollowing around 50.
There are tools for doing this exact thing such as Tweepi.
Getting Facebook Likes
So, you've just created a new Facebook page for your business and you see a big fat 0 for page likes. We know how frustrating it can be, but its also easily fixed.
One of the best ways to get quick Facebook likes is to run a competition.
Here's how to run a Facebook competition:
1. Read Facebook's rules about competitions.
2. Find out the relevant laws surrounding competitions for your state/country. There can be laws regulating how/why competitions are run.
3. Determine what your competition prize will be. It can be many things, but the most common are cash or a product from your business. If you sell hair straighteners online, then a hair straightener would make a good prize.
4. Create an ad campaign targetting your customer demographics. If you are in the hair straightener business, you will want to find out who your customers are, and target similar people to them. Say your ideal customers are females who are between 25-35 years old, then why would you waste your money and show your ad to males who are 65+ years old?
5. Watch the progress of your campaign. Analyze the results. Identify any problems. Repeat.
2. Use Personalized Marketing
Its been proven time and time again that the most efficient way to get new customers is to utilize personalized marketing. This step is all about finding the in's and out's of your existing customers and using it to your advantage.
Personalized marketing is sending a custom-tailored message to your prospective customers by learning about your existing customers.
The opposite of personalized marketing is shotgun marketing, and this is where you simply fire off your marketing campaigns with no knowledge about who you are targetting in the hope that it will hit someone. Shotgun marketing is expensive and very inefficient. In general, it's the most basic and easiest way to do marketing, but it should be avoided.
3. Company Image
Company image is everything, it really is. Make the best logo you possibly can. Don't settle for the first logo design you see. Take the time to think about what your company does, and how you can best convey professionalism, trust and reliability to your customers. Your logo is your stamp, so make sure you get it right!
While it's important to give off a professional vibe to customers, you should also show your fun side to make sure things don't get too serious.
Half of the battle with creating a good marketing campaign is trying to get consumers to remember your brand, and this is where a good logo helps.
4. Competitor Analysis
Not all advertising channels are suitable for your business. You need to find out which ones work by seeing what your competitors are doing. Make a list of your top 10 competitors, and spend a few days figuring out exactly what they do.
Ideas of where to look:
- Search for your niche keyword in Google and see if any ads appear for your competitors. If you see your competitor ads, this means they are targetting this keyword to advertise.
- Check your competitor's social pages to find out who their followers are. Do all the followers have something in common? Are they all working in a particular field, like "sales manager"?
- Check which websites are linking to your competitors by using tools like Ahrefs. Using this tool will allow you to see where your competitors are getting traffic from and who is linking to them. This is especially important if you have an online business.
5. Set a Marketing Budget
As a startup, your funds will be limited. Many businesses fail early in their lifecycle due to the founders not keeping a close watch on cash flow.
Even if your funds are limited, you should set yourself a marketing budget. If you have a set marketing budget, it will help you work out the ROI (return on investment) of your marketing campaigns as a whole.
Knowing the ROI on your campaigns can tell you if they are working or not.
Don't be shy to experiment with your marketing tactics to find out what works best. Short burst marketing trials are a good way to try different marketing messages to see how people respond.
With as little as a couple of hundred dollars, you can easily find out what sort of marketing message works well for your target market.