In the early stages of launching your startup, one of the most important things you can do is generate buzz about your company. This is easier said than done, though, especially when you're not a marketing expert. Luckily there are a few tips and tricks you can use to start crafting a marketing strategy for your startup.
Marketing 101: A Quick Overview
Marketing often seems like a nebulous term, which makes it difficult to get started with an effective strategy. But once you work to define what you'd like your marketing to achieve, it becomes easier to create a plan and understand how to make it successful. At its core, the goal of a marketing strategy is to spread the word about your brand, your business, and the products or services you offer.
Marketing is all about getting people interested. Today's consumers are looking for companies they connect with on a personal level - someone who shares their ideals and values. Marketing is one way to show who you are as a brand and what you value.
To build a marketing strategy, think about the best platforms to reach your audience on. A few great starting points for your strategy are listed below. People often like a variety of ways to connect with brands - social media, email, and your website are just a few examples.
In the early stages of your startup, you may not have a dedicated marketing team, but it's important to work on building out a team since marketing is so essential to building a solid audience. In the beginning, your CEO may handle marketing, only because they are closest to the heart of the company. Your audience loves seeing the faces behind the company and getting to know your CEO may boost your reputation.
Early in your startup's lifespan, you'll have limited bandwidth to put towards marketing, but there are a few key areas you can focus on, each of which are detailed below.
Email Is Still Key
Some professionals believe that email is getting to be an outdated form of communication, but as long as you're using it correctly, the truth is, it's still a great way to reach out to those who have expressed an interest in your startup. If you haven't already started to build an email list, put an email signup box on your website to begin collecting email addresses.
Every time you attend a conference, convention, or networking event, ask connections if you can add them to your email list. Compile these email addresses in a program like Constant Contact or MailChimp to keep them organized.
Aim to communicate with your list at least once a month, maybe in the form of a newsletter. In your newsletter, you can let your fans know what's new with your company, what developments are happening, how they can get involved, and how they can connect with you in other ways. Include links back to your website, and information that they might find helpful or interesting. Make it easy for them to share this content with other people to help spread the word.
Write A Blog
A blog is a great place to show off your expertise and build up your authority as a leader in your industry. Think about what topics people may want more information on - things that can help them solve problems and answer questions. Great content will naturally attract a wider audience and help to boost your reputation.
Try to post regularly, at least once or twice a month. Your blog posts should be rich in keywords that your audience may be searching for and include backlinks to high-authority websites and links to other pages on your site.
Learn SEO Best Practices
Optimizing the content you create for search engines is one way to draw more organic traffic to your website. Though SEO best practices are always in flux as search engines improve their algorithms, there are a few SEO tips that are always useful:
Add keywords to your content. Think about what terms people may be using when searching for your business and include them in the content on your site.
Include backlinks. Backlinks, as long as they are high-quality, will help to build your authority as a domain.
Look at site performance. Google will rank slow-loading sites lower. Make sure to optimize your site for mobile devices, and work on improving your load times.
Pay attention to the structure of your site. Take a look at the topic cluster model.
Social Media Spreads The Word
With people spending so much time on social media, you already have a huge audience at your fingertips. At first, your startup may have limited bandwidth when it comes to creating content for social media and monitoring your profiles, so focus on one or two platforms that are most popular with the audience you want to reach. Post content that they might find interesting or entertaining, along with any news or new content that you create. Remember, branding across all the content you create should be consistent so that people get a clear picture of who you are as a business.
Paid Advertising Is Worth It
Understandably, you may not have a huge marketing budget in the early days of your startup, but paid advertising on social media and search engines is a great way to reach a very specific audience with your message. Paid advertising allows you to target specific demographics like location, age, interests, and more so that you can get your ads in front of exactly who needs to see them.
Having a marketing strategy in place can give your startup a huge boost. If you're ready to take your business to the next level, contact us for more tips and information.