As a startup, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is marketing.
It doesn’t matter how good your product is if nobody is aware of it. And with so many other businesses to compete with, some with well-established brands and customer bases, it can be difficult to find your seat at the table.
But it’s not impossible. Now, more than ever, there are loads of ways for startups to market themselves without the budget of their competitors.
This article will outline some marketing tips that new entrepreneurs can use to help spread the word and find customers.
Specifically, we’ll be talking about:
- Goals and outcomes
- Networking events
- Business website
- Social media
- Online directories
- Email marketing
- Traditional marketing
A strong first step to effective marketing is to create branding for your business. A well-crafted brand identity makes you recognisable, trustworthy and familiar to potential customers
Your brand can be whatever you like, but it should be something that reflects your business’ values and is easily recognisable.
These are some key steps to figuring out your brand identity:
- Determine your unique selling point: what can you offer that nobody else can?
- Define your target customers: who will be most interested in your business, and what will they respond to?
- Choose a visual style: what kind of impression do you want to give at first glance? Consider colours, a logo and design styles.
- Decide on a tone of voice: are you friendly, professional, serious, or silly?
Once you’ve figured out your brand identity, the important part is consistency. Make sure everything you do as a business is appropriate for your brand.
Goals and outcomes
Before you start with your marketing strategy, you should define some clear goals and outcomes.
It’s all well and good saying you want to boost sales or increase web traffic. But without an actual target, you can’t measure the success of your marketing campaign.
Having clear outcomes will give you something to work toward and make it easier to know where you’ve gone wrong.
Networking events are great opportunities for businesses of any size. It’s not a customer-facing kind of marketing, but increasing your visibility among other business owners is just as important.
First of all, it’s a great place to make valuable industry connections. Second, you can get advice, insights, and guidance from more experienced business owners.
From a marketing perspective, increasing your professional network could also lead to opportunities to partner with other businesses, giving you exposure or access to their audience too.
A well-made business website will help you appear on search engines like Google. You can improve your search engines rankings by:
- Paying for Google ads.
- Making a Google business profile.
- Making your site SEO (search engine optimisation) friendly.
- Asking your customers to leave Google reviews.
Nowadays, social media represents a huge amount of potential customers. Building a brand on social media takes time, but it’s well worth the effort.
Some golden rules of social media advertising are:
- Always link back to your actual website.
- Post often and regularly.
- Encourage conversation, comments and suggestions from your followers.
- Reply to comments to create discussion.
- Join other groups and pages in your industry.
- Have a consistent tone.
- Drive follower engagement with competitions and giveaways.
For a more detailed guide to social media marketing, check out our other articles on how to successfully market your business on social media.
Google My Business
Google offers a free listing service that anybody can sign up for.
When people look on Google, your profile will appear with reviews, photos, and your location.
For more detailed information about advertising with Google, check out our article, “How to advertise a small business on Google”.
Promote your business locally via Facebook
Facebook provides a similar service where your business page can act as a listing. If you create a page Facebook can automatically send ads to people listed in your local area if you set up advertising.
Unlike Google My Business, you’ll have to pay for Facebook’s online directory service. But it has the added benefit of showing up on relevant people’s actual news feeds instead of them having to search for you.
Email marketing is an efficient and cost-effective form of marketing.
It’s targeted at your existing subscribers and inexpensive, so it’ll give you an impressive return on investment (ROI) compared to other forms of marketing.
The first step is signing people up to your mailing list. After that, you can send newsletters, promotional material, and blog posts.
You can also set up automated emails that will trigger a follow up after a certain amount of time, or in response to certain actions. For example, if someone clicks a link in the email to a product but does not purchase, you can send a follow up with messaging such as ‘Don’t forget about…’ to promote the product again.
Alongside digital marketing, traditional forms of marketing can also be effective.
You should consider:
- Making business cards.
- Printing flyers and brochures.
- Teaming up with other local businesses.
- Encouraging customers, friends, and family to spread the word.
When it comes to marketing, understanding data is crucial. You want to know what’s working and what’s not.
Analytics tools can help you understand how customers find your business, and allows you to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly based on your findings.
For example, maybe you see that a large number of your customers are coming to you via your social media advertising. This could tell you a lot.
Maybe there’s something you’re doing exceptionally well on social media. Once you see what your target customers are responding to best, you can include that in every other part of your marketing strategy.
Manage your startup costs with accounting software
Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re starting a business. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier.
Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are.
You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward!
Find out more here.