We all know that marketing is crucial for any business, and that’s especially true for startups. You can’t sell your products or services if nobody knows about you. When it comes to building a marketing strategy for a startup, there are two key rules you need to follow:

  1. Having a great product is not enough to succeed.
  2. No amount of advertising will make a bad product gain a wide audience.

You need both of these elements to get ahead of your competitors. Caught in this balancing act, many entrepreneurs choose to invest more of their financial resources in developing their products and neglect marketing, which they come to see as superfluous. The irony is that this decision stifles growth and forces them into a more restrictive budget. In this guide, we will look at some of the most effective marketing strategies for startup entrepreneurs

Email Marketing

Email marketing is an often undervalued strategy, but in fact, it’s one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools at your disposal. When we look at ROI (return on investment) alone, you’ll get 40 times more than you’ve put in. This means that for every $1 you allocate towards email marketing, you get $40 back.

The reason why it’s such an efficient marketing tool is that you can personalize your advertisements for specific target groups according to their age, platform from where you got the lead, and past purchasing behavior, which increases the conversion rate. You’ll first need to collect email addresses from potential customers. The easiest way to do that is to create a newsletter signup on your homepage, but there are many other approaches as well.

Blog Marketing

When blogs emerged in the ’90s, they were mostly used as online diaries. Since then, they have evolved to include a broad set of topics from news, politics, business, music, food, and so on. As with many new resources, some visionary entrepreneurs saw their potential and turned them into a successful marketing tool. One report shows that businesses that use blogs for advertisement generate 126% more leads than their competitors.

A blog allows you to show your expertise in your field, reach a wider audience, all while attracting organic search traffic to your website. The best approach is to publish content that your audience wants to read. You can look up the most frequent search engine queries and write blog posts that answer your customer’ questions.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing requires a bit of strategy and creativity, but the best part is you can reach a considerable number of potential customers. Facebook alone has more than 2.5 billion users, Instagram has reached 1 billion, Twitter 330 million, and there’s still LinkedIn and Snapchat.

Since these platforms are so popular among marketers (more than 90% use them to help businesses outsell their competitors), they’ve developed tools to help them increase brand awareness, generate leads, and boost conversion rates. You need to do more than just create a profile. You’ll want to give users a reason to follow your account by posting engaging content and encouraging them to comment so you can respond to their questions.

Video Marketing

Video marketing was considered a luxury only a decade ago. Since then, it has become an affordable and necessary strategy with a significant return on investment. People are very visual, and it’s no surprise that they have a marked preference for receiving their information in video format.

You can work with an experienced video production company to create high-quality, engaging video content that you can add to your website, advertising emails, and social media accounts. This has been found to increase conversion rates by 80% on landing pages and 20% in emails.

Video marketing has had a major impact on how businesses connect to their audience, and the consumer’s behavior and decision process. You can create brand videos to show your company’s vision and values, demo videos to illustrate how your products work, event videos from conferences and fundraisers, expert interviews to establish trust and credibility, and the list goes on. As you can see, it’s a very versatile tool you shouldn’t overlook.  

Paid Search Advertising

Paid search advertising has become a very popular marketing tool for startups since it allows you to buy targeted traffic from search engines like Google and Bing. Both search engines offer paid search options such as Google AdWords and Bing Ads. You can then use their tools to look for the most relevant keywords for your sectors and look at the CPC (cost-per-click) pricing offer. For example, if you sell cybersecurity software, you will advertise for keywords such as “business anti-malware software,” “business cyber-attacks,” and “cybersecurity for businesses.”

The advantage is that you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad. To increase your return on investment, we recommend you look for “money keywords,” meaning keywords that show transactional intent, so your traffic mainly consists of visitors that want to buy your product, and are not just looking for information.

Event Sponsorship

Sponsoring an event is another great way to put your brand on your prospects’ radar. You’ll first need to look for popular events that are preferably linked to your sector and pay the organizers a small feel to be listed as a sponsor. In return, you can negotiate to promote your startup with booths, banners, sign, stationary, and other similar marketing materials.

This is a mutually beneficial agreement that, if done well, can generate leads and increase sales. Keep in mind that sponsoring an event is not a direct form of advertisement. Instead, focus on associating yourself with an event that people care about, which will positively impact your brand’s perception.

Referral Marketing

When it comes to small businesses such as startups, word-of-mouth is the most effective advertisement. People make purchases from companies they trust, and receiving a recommendation from their inner circle will increase their trust in the quality of your products. 

For this to happen, you need to focus on maintaining a good relationship with your existing customers. Encourage them to give you feedback, make sure you offer excellent customer service, and reward their loyalty through special offers. Since they’ll have a good opinion of you, they’ll, in turn, reward you by letting you capitalize on their social network through referrals.


Author's Bio: 

Cynthia Madison