Starting a business requires an enormous amount of effort, leaving you with little time to seriously reflect on practical as well as feasible marketing strategies to implement.
However, do not freak out if you find yourself in a similar situation. There are a lot of helpful marketing tools specifically for startups that you’re probably familiar with already: CMSs, apps for graphic design, and social media accounts, to name a few.
So, to develop campaigns that are in line with your company’s goals, all you require is to understand how to make proper use of these tools. Perhaps you’ve seen other startups’ flourishing marketing approaches and now wonder how to design the most successful method yourself.
To help you with that, we’ve covered here five essential strategies you can use to create an effective marketing plan for a startup and lay the groundwork for future triumphs.
Table of Contents
Use SMART goals
SMART stands for Specific, Inspiring, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Good examples of SMART goals are:
- Increase new customer reviews by 40% over the next year
- Plan 5 customer education webinars by Q4
SMART goals’ primary purpose is to set companies on the right path to success. They offer a sense of direction and assist in organizing efforts.
While goals with SMART objectives are essential to any company, they’re especially valuable for new business ventures and startups.
In many start-ups, staff must be involved in several different chores (often because of budget limitations or the lack of resources). For example, the founder could be in charge of the strategy, direct product development, and even public relations, while, at the same time, the chief technology officer (CTO) may be responsible for website design, marketing, and social media relations. That’s just too much!
Naturally, in all new businesses, product development remains a primary focus until the “release” phase). But what about other elements that maintain the company’s expansion?
This is where SMART goals come into play and appear to be extremely helpful. As opposed to trying to tackle all factors at once, concentrate on the top business-relevant goals, make everything you’ve got to work towards them, and then just do necessary things in a planned manner. For example, instead of dispersing your efforts across multiple projects (some of which might not be crucial at current), focus on a few areas that can provide a high-quality basis for your efforts or assist with your current initiatives.
When establishing a brand new product, you should focus on the process of advancement but also set some goals, such as:
- Launch business website till the end of the X month
- Announce and promote the product within X days by publishing Y articles
- Use digital PR to secure Y placements in online media by X date
These are some basic suggestions, but they could certainly help increase your company’s visibility and establish an online presence without requiring considerable financial investments. The only actual cost is time. So, do not spread your resources across a variety of initiatives; instead, consider choosing and concentrating on those that help you with current ventures and tasks at hand.
The secret to continuous growth is focus and consistency, and SMART goals allow you to achieve them.
Define your target buyer
SMART goals will guide your marketing efforts in a clear direction, yes, but who do you sell to?
In order for your startup’s marketing efforts to yield tangible results, they must be targeted at the ideal audience you plan to reach.
At this point, you’ll likely be able to identify preferable business partners. However, have you communicated this to the rest of your team, or, at minimum, make a paper outlining your buyers’ personas?
Buyer personas are half-fictional depictions of your ideal client. They’re based on market investigation, data about existing customers, as well as making several educated presumptions or guesses. Buyer personas assist you in understanding the business approaches, challenges, and demands of the people you wish to reach out to.
It is equally important to recognize that buyer personas aren’t actual people but archetypes of them.
After we’ve defined the buyer personas, you might be thinking, “Fine, but what is it that makes them so beneficial for my startup?” In brief, they let you fine-tune your marketing strategy and divide your audience into sections.
You seek and require immediate wins during the product development and release phases, then why spend time (and cash) trying to cover the widest audience when you could concentrate on the people most likely to purchase your products?
Buyer personas will give you an accurate understanding of who these individuals are. Utilize this knowledge to create public relations and marketing campaigns that are targeted at the right audience at the right place and time of their consumer’s journey.
Have a precise, captivating message
In the era of crafty, expensive advertising campaigns, it’s your responsibility to ensure your messages are brief and straightforward.
People do not like or need clichés and over-the-top terminology. They want to know what your product can do and how it will help them work out their business problems. Moreover – and this is a harsh reality – it’s actually not even about your company but about how you can help your prospective customers.
In this regard, the message your company creates (and it is a rule of thumb for every business regardless of size) should be developed with the image of an end customer in mind. It must be clear, engaging, informative, and entertaining. This approach will allow you to convert the traffic on your website into leads.
Generate leads by creating an effective content marketing strategy
When it comes to traffic, you’ll need to have a plan for attracting potential customers to your website. Content marketing is about creating high-quality content that answers your visitors’ or customers’ inquiries and encourages them to buy your product.
Blogs, for instance, are suitable for organically increasing your website’s traffic and brand recognition. Every blog must be designed and optimized for a long-tail keywords phrase, which can help guide specific traffic (people who are most certainly interested in the content you’ve got to share) to your site. It’s a simple method to establish the digital presence of your startup, get it noticed, and build its reputation.
Your content assists in creating leads and showcasing your expertise. You can make any valuable products and lock them behind your website’s landing pages. Your customers can then download your products for free in exchange for their personal information.
By doing this, you can ensure that the people who make downloads will be eager to hear back from you. Your products/content will be especially beneficial for attracting “early adopters,” the people who want to stay at the forefront of new opportunities.
Gradually, as more products/content is produced, your site evolves into an information hub. And assuming your website is correctly optimized for the right terms, the right people will keep discovering it again and again.
Run advertisements for short-term results
Content marketing is a profound, long-term endeavor. Although it can be highly profitable over time, you probably will not get immediate outcomes. Creating your content platform will require a method to generate leads and increase your return on investment (ROI) in the short term, and the most effective way to accomplish this is to use advertisements.
Advertisements can be described not even as “pay to win” but as “pay to play,” which means they’re not as expandable and flexible as content marketing. However, the advantage is they will get displayed to the users right after you start the campaign.
What ads should you select first? It will depend on the strategy you choose, but a reasonable general rule is:
- Google Search Ads – Most profitable when the audience is already familiar with the product or service you provide and searches Google in order to locate the appropriate vendor or provider.
- Social Ads – Since people don’t use social media solely to purchase things, they are ideal when the audience has no idea about your product/content/service, so you are able to grab their attention in a compelling or entertaining manner. Additionally, great for finding niche audiences.
- Display Ads – Suitable and rewarding for brand recognition and re-targeting.
Conclusion: the soundest marketing strategies involve a combination of ideas and tactics
To achieve the most effective outcomes in marketing, it is essential to concentrate on the things that work.
Although there are myriads of varying ways to accomplish your goals, you should constantly determine and employ only the most one that is impactful and cost-effective options.
The most beneficial strategy will always be a hybrid of the elements and approaches we’ve discussed above, so be sure to evaluate the results these strategies produce and then determine which of their aspects
demand more (or less) attention or financial investment. Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that your marketing efforts can only be as effective as the objectives you set and your targeting skills. Best of luck!