With more than 50% of startups failing in the first four years, it’s important to implement an effective marketing strategy from the get go to stay clear of this horrifying statistic. But which strategies work?
The importance of branding
In the words of Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, “branding is what people say about you after you leave the room” and it couldn’t be more vital when introducing an effective marketing strategy for your start-up. Understandably, many new entrepreneurs obsess over their product or service and neglect the idea of branding in those crucial early stages.
Proving to be just as important, branding is so much more than just your image. It includes extensive research into your surrounding competition and target audience to discover what they identify with and trust. For example, a company that sells baby clothes won’t perform well with harsh fonts, dark colours and disturbing imagery but a haunted tour company probably would – everything is relative once you understand your target customer.
Think of your brand as your company’s fingerprint. Totally unique to you and a real representation of the DNA that makes your start-up what it is.
Falling off the back of branding, creating entertaining and informative content is a great tool when building personality for your start-up. Suddenly, you transform from just any other business to one with an authoritative voice. Your thoughts and opinions matter and you have a sway over your audience. As long as the content you are producing is smart and relevant, you can expect to build a reputation as a trust-worthy brand, even having influence over what your audience does.
Your content marketing efforts can have an affect on almost any other online strategy you have. Fill your social media channels with blogs that you have created or drive traffic to your website by sharing articles you’ve written on other relevant websites. An example of this is guest posting. By releasing some of your content on applicable and influential blogs, suddenly you’re content is visible to an entirely new and relevant audience, boosting brand awareness and driving traffic right back to you. When it comes down to it, content can form the basis of many of your other strategies, as long as it’s done right.
A lot of businesses turn a nose up at search engine optimisation because a fair amount of work is required and results are not instant. But who said starting a business was an easy run anyway? It may seem a little complex to begin with but with a little reading into, improving your SEO is fairly straight forward. Identify which keywords relevant to your business perform best and if possible have the least amount of competitions (tools like Moz’s Keyword Explorer on Google Chrome are perfect for this) and tweak your site and content to include these keywords.
Go through your website and make sure it reads well, that there are no broken links, that all your content is of high quality and relevant to what your audience has searched for and you’re a step closer ranking higher in search positions.
An email list for your startup is priority. It is the best way to build a relationship with potential clients in an intimate way because, at the end of the day, an email is going to stay in someone’s inbox unless opened or deleted. Create a subject line that is practically impossible not to open and you may as well be sitting in the same room as your customers.
As we mentioned earlier, a well optimized blog post is a valuable way to share information but an email list gives you a lot more control over what your readers are seeing and reading.
Email marketing is also a great tool when it comes to expanding your audience and growing your client base. For example, let’s say you send your customers a coupon code with a catch. They must refer a friend. Whilst not only providing an incentive to your audience, the element of word of mouth is present too. With this type of strategy implemented, you could see your start up potentially growing in just a matter of hours.
The introduction of a sales funnel in your newsletters could be the difference between a free customer and paying one. If you are producing weekly newsletters that are consistent, educational and filled with positive testimonials, it may take something as simple as a discount code to tip your customers over the fence. Proactive information over a period of time can plant a seed in your customers head. Without them even knowing it, they have developed a sense of trust for your brand so with the peak of a financial perk, it would be silly for them not to comply.
A startup may seem like hard work to begin with, and to be honest, starting anything from the ground up will be. But if your follow the points mentioned and put in 110%, your efforts will be reflected in the shape of a rapidly growing business with a well earned return on investment. If you have any questions, please get in contact with a member of our team.
|Bio – The Good Marketer is a Marketing Agency in London which drives more traffic, generates conversions and increases sales for Small-To-Medium Sized Businesses.