It is common to see businesses struggle to get the word out about their incredible startup ideas. This is where startup marketing comes in. With these effective 2021 startup marketing strategies, you can easily grow your business without breaking the bank.
1. Referral Programs
From Gmail invites to Uber Codes, referrals have proven to be a crucial component of every startup marketing. Rather than spend more on advertising to new customers, you can encourage existing customers to get the word out for you. Research has shown that people are 4x more likely to go for a product or service if the recommendation is coming from someone they know. This shows that people rate personal recommendations over digital and traditional ads.
It is cheaper to run a referral program, and you may not spend a dime in some cases. It is an inbuilt feature in most e-commerce solutions. But you must create a referral program that suits your target audience, ensuring the catch is something irresistible and valuable.
2. Email Marketing
Email marketing, implemented on a small scale, can be an effective and cost-effective startup marketing strategy. You can get up to 400% or higher returns on investment from a well-structured and implemented email marketing system.
Start with creating good quality, not necessarily a large list. Send out a consistent stream of outgoing emails providing value t your customers. There are specialized tools like Hive and Mailchimp that work with e-commerce solutions to ensure smooth synchronization. With these tools, you can automate emails, track and analyze performance, and minimize costs.
3. News Features and Press Releases
The local media can come in really handy for startups. You can minimize costs and maximize reach by sending emails and press releases and tweeting at journalists you engage with. These can get you a mention in a major publication and fetch you some quality inbound links.
If you are not hiring a startup marketing expert for this, you can take the DIY route and email journalists or send out press releases. This helps to create an excellent startup marketing foundation. But it is important to work with the right publications with the right audience. You should also offer value rather than just advertising.
4. Content Marketing
There are various forms of content marketing, but they all require that you invest time to get results. Content marketing comes in at different stages of startup marketing. For instance, in the early stages, it comes in the form of managing an on-site blog, creating and adding fresh content multiple times a week. Such content must inform and entertain readers in a unique way.
You can take it a step further by going live on LinkedIn and Instagram to answer questions from the audience, do product demonstrations, or engage your audience in some other ways. Whatever you are doing, ensure you are offering value and telling your audience about your brand offers.
Content marketing requires a high level of consistency. Decide on a posting frequency that works best for you and stick to it, even if it is just once a week. Consistency helps endear your audience to your brand and prepares them to take the bold step of patronizing you when it’s time.
Writing blog posts or articles for your content marketing is good, but it gets even better when you invest in optimizing such content for the search engines. This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO is effective when properly implemented. If you are new to SEO, start by understanding the basics and adapting these to your content to improve your content marketing strategy. It is all about looking for the relevant low competition keywords that bring traffic to your site and introduce them into your content.
There are tools like Moz’s Keyword Explorer, Ubersuggest, and Rankmath developed to help with this. They also help to identify low-quality content, structural changes, and possible backlinks to your domain.
If you are consistent over time, you will start seeing an increase in your website traffic. While this can be time-consuming, the excellent results make up for this.
6. Social Media
Your startup marketing plan is incomplete without social media. Your business should have official profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms. These are avenues to share valuable content with your audience.
You require consistency to get the best out of social media for your content marketing. Regular and consistent posts, accurate and prompt answers to questions, and quality non-sales engagement will portray you as a serious brand dedicated to your potential customers’ satisfaction.
7. Community Building
Community building entails leveraging online forums or social media like Quora and Reddit to engage your audience. This works best for niche products.
Look out for threads that relate to your product or niche and participate. Provide answers to questions or offer discounts or deals to customers who may need your products. This comes with a double advantage – you are positioning yourself as an expert in your industry and building a reputation while knowing more about your audience.
If you maintain this, you could raise a large audience without spending money and building your niche exposure.
8. Personal Branding
Personal branding is a vital aspect of startup marketing. You should promote yourself and your expertise on social media platforms. For instance, having a dedicated personal blog or a LinkedIn profile can help build awareness and reputation about your personal brand. The followers you get here are a different source of interest and traffic for your business.
It is important to note that this is about you. However, customers are often attracted and convinced by the people behind the brand, so they want to know you. If done well, personal branding can help build trust and create an excellent outlet for content or avenue to attract new leads, all for free.