Marketing is essential for all businesses, but it’s even more important for startups. Unless your startup is easily recognizable and people are familiar with your products and services, they probably won’t feel inclined to invest in your business.
As a startup there are several aspects to consider when developing a marketing strategy. Marketing for startups is a unique case, because unlike larger more established businesses startups may not have access to big budgets for marketing. However, even if funds and resources may be low starting out, there are ways to develop a solid marketing plan to grow your business and attract customers.
Marketing Strategies For Startups
The following are top aspects to prioritize when creating a marketing strategy to spread the word about your startup.
- Identify SMART Goals
Start by identifying your business goals. The purpose of SMART goals is to give you the foundation to set your business up for success. They help you organize your efforts and give a sense of direction, which is invaluable for any organization, but even more so for startups.
With most startups, employees often wear several hats due to low resources or lack of funds. For instance, a CEO might be responsible for business growth strategy, product ideation, finances, and even hiring, while a marketing manager might be responsible for social media, content strategy, and web development. The to-do list is never ending!
This is where SMART goals can make a world of difference. You can drown out the noise and have the time and resources needed to focus on the most business-critical goals and tackle them in a strategic way. Rather than spreading yourself too thin and attempting to focus on several initiatives, (some may even be unimportant), focus on three or four goals that will establish a strong foundation for your business and support your current efforts.
- Create Buyer Personas
Next to identifying your SMART goals, creating personas for your target audience is just as important. Knowing who you want to reach will clarify your “how”. You’ll have a clear understanding of how to reach your intended audience and how you can help.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional profile of your target customers, based on real data and market research. A good buyer persona is detailed and may include pain points, job title, income, age, and purchase motivators – to name a few elements.
There are several ways to conduct market research including focus groups, surveys, and social listening. Surveys and social listening work well, but take a while to see a return. Focus groups also work, but can be quite expensive since participants typically receive a token of appreciation in return for their participation. Since resources are usually scarce when starting a business, conducting interviews is the best option because this form of market research is simple, effective and inexpensive.
Questions to ask your interviewee’s may include:
- What is your job role?
- What is your age?
- What are your biggest challenges?
- Describe a recent purchase
Keep in mind that as your company grows you may find that your buyer personas need to adapt. We advise re-evaluating your buyer personas yearly or after big changes to ensure they are still in line with your target audience.
- Set and stick to a budget
When starting something new it’s normal to focus on mastering one skill before moving onto another. For example, learning how to write poetry has many layers to it. Someone who is just starting out may focus on mastering sentence structure first, then move onto practicing their style and delivery to perfect their craft.
Similarly, the same applies to entrepreneurs in the startup stage when deciding where to put marketing dollars, especially since resources may be tight. To keep things simple, choose one or two channels to focus marketing spend on as you start. This will help you spend wisely and master a small sample before you start focusing on building out other options as you begin to get more business.
No matter how much money you allocate towards marketing, be sure to make it count. Think carefully about your SMART goals, and focus your marketing dollars on the channels that will help you excel and achieve those goals.
- Create a content marketing strategy to gain leads
A strong content marketing strategy shows your “why”. It determines who you are creating content for, who you are helping, and how you can best assist them in a way that your competition can’t.
Roughly 47% of buyers view 3 to 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales representative. As a new business one of your main goals is to gain the trust of consumers to influence their purchasing decisions. To build trust with potential customers you must establish yourself as a reliable source of information in your field. Regularly sharing content that provides valuable, relevant information people care about and enjoy engaging with can help grow your customer base. This commonly consists of sharing blog posts, videos, podcasts, and other forms of media.
Over time, content marketing can prove to be a cost-effective tactic that benefits your business in more ways than one.
- Find your startup’s place in the market
Unfortunately, many startups fall by the wayside because they fail to identify their unique positioning in the market. Potential customers want to know how you can assist them and what makes you different from your competitors. Gaining an understanding of the current market will help.
There are several ways to complete this research:
- Google products and/or services similar to yours to identify direct and indirect competitors.
- Interview people in your target market to see what services and products they are interested in.
- Observe social media accounts your target market shows an interest in.
From there you can further break down what makes your business unique and see how you can best serve your target market.
- Keep messaging clear, consistent and compelling
One of the best ways to keep your business front of mind for current and potential customers is to follow these 3 C’s and keep marketing messaging: clear, consistent, and compelling.
- Clear – keeping your company’s marketing messaging on brand throughout your marketing channels. Messages should always be to the point, easily repeatable, easy to understand and offer a solution to the customer’s problem(s).
- Consistent – you have a brand guideline for a reason, stick to it. This means keeping messaging consistent on social media, your website, in blog posts, etc. You should never sound like two completely different brands across separate channels.
- Compelling – draw your audience in with your messaging and give them a reason to listen to what you have to say. For some businesses this may look like sharing thought leadership blog content or starting a podcast.
Mastering clear, consistent, and compelling messaging is a vital step in the marketing strategy for any startup.
How DIA Creative Can Help
The bottom line is, that developing a solid marketing strategy for your startup early on will give you the tools needed to grow and expand your business. As a multi-channel marketing agency, Dia Creative can easily adapt to the needs of your business and help you develop a marketing strategy that works.
Interested in working with us? Schedule a consultation today to begin your journey towards promoting your startup the right way and generating more sales.