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Startup Marketing Strategy

Once you have decided to start your own business, there seems to be no end to the marketing you will need to do in order to grow your business.

The good news is that today’s your lucky day because we have put together the most comprehensive startup marketing strategy “to-do list” to assist you in scaling up and growing your online business effectively and efficiently.

Here are some awesome startup marketing strategies that you need to pay special attention to, regardless of what kind of business you are starting. The good news is that you don’t have to do it all alone since you can always outsource it to a Fiverr seller for help.

 

Strategies for Pre-Launch Startups

In order for any serious startup to succeed, the first step they need to take is to determine whether their idea is feasible. You will need to do the following.

  1. Create a concept or idea – It’s likely that you’ve got a lot of ideas for your new business. But is it possible to make them work? It is recommended that you attend career and business meetups in your city to get advice from real-world experts who have been where you are and can help you articulate and formulate your idea.
  2. Create a mind map for your business idea – Prepare a list of your own skills, experience, and expertise, as well as who your potential customers might be and what you can offer them. While doing this, you may come up with new ideas or opportunities to bridge gaps in the market. A mind-mapping tool such as mindmeister.com can help you organize your thoughts.
  3. Take suggestions from those closest to you – No one knows your strengths (or weaknesses) better than those close to you. Do they struggle with anything in particular? Would they be able to help you develop a unique angle for your business that you would be able to excel at? You can only find out if you ask them!
  4. Make use of free local resources – You can find free resources at sba.gov and your local Small Business Administration, such as information on managing your business, getting contracts, and applying for business loans.
  5. Determine if your idea has market potential – You should always check if your idea has merit, regardless of whether you will be selling locally or not. As an example, how different or distinctive is the product or service you are offering in comparison to what is already available on the market?
  6. Research keywords – Performing keyword research is a good way to test your idea’s potential for online markets. Does it have a high search volume? What words or phrases do they use? Will it satisfy a market need? Does geography affect the words and phrases used? It is possible to answer these questions, as well as many others, with solid keyword research.
  7. Take a look at your competitors – There is competition for every great business out there. Don’t be fooled by hopes and dreams of “zero competition” unless you’re inventing something truly novel and unique. If there is no competition, there is no interest, so be aware of your competitors’ successes and failures as a guide to what you should do (and what not to do). It is essential that you conduct the keyword research that has been mentioned above in order to better understand your competitive chances (or not) and to make sure you stay one step ahead of your competitors.
  8. Identify your target audience – The next step is to define your audience once you’ve determined that your idea has potential and that people are searching for it. A detailed description of who your target customer is essential. As well as demographics such as gender, age range, and education, you can use “psychographics” such as the things they care about, what they support, and what causes they believe in.
  9. What keeps your target audience up at night? – The next step after defining your target audience is to determine what their problems are (related to your product or service). If you’re interested in finding out what they think, you can ask them directly through a poll or survey, or you can browse forums and Q&A sites about the topic you’re researching.
  10. Can you help your audience achieve their goals?  – Once you understand who they are and what they are going through, how can you help? List the benefits your product or service will provide to them, and the reasons they should care about it.
  11. Evaluate the viability of your idea – This is not quite the same thing as #5 on the list because, at this point, we want to see how feasible the idea is from a practical standpoint. Consider your idea from all angles: in order to make your idea a reality, which tools or services will you need? What is the cost-effectiveness of these services? Can you fund your business yourself or will you need a loan? Should you do everything yourself just because you can?
  12. Create an MVP for testing – MVP in this case stands for Minimum Viable Product. You could create a “lite” or trial version of your full product. Prior to investing a lot of money into further development, you will be able to determine whether customers will really want it and are willing to purchase it.
  13. Profitability of a product/service – Making a product people want doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to make money off of it. Make a comprehensive analysis of youths involved and determine your break-even point – to put it another way, when you consider your product’s costs, how many units would you need to sell to break even?
  14. Make a business plan – The product is good, the audience is there, the profit margin is solid, and the product is highly anticipated. Developing a solid business plan is the next step. You can get help from the SBA and your local library has tons of books on how to write a well-constructed, realistic business plan.
  15. Develop a customer acquisition plan – In spite of knowing that your product is in demand, how will you reach out to customers about it? What is your strategy for attracting and, perhaps more importantly, retaining them? Various ways can be used to do this, such as giveaways, contests, special offers, coupons, and so on.
  16. Set goals and milestones – The fuel you put into your new business determines its success. Specifically, in this case, the fuel comes in the form of a set of goals. Think about the resources that you have at your disposal and set smart, attainable milestones and goals that you can achieve. Do not get overwhelmed; instead, take one step at a time.
  17. Defining your message – You may call it a key message, a universal selling proposition, or simply what makes your product or service stand out from the crowd. It is your key message that will allow you to differentiate yourself from your competitors. You should identify what makes your company different and then make sure that it is clear, easy to understand, and effective
  18. Make a mock press release Press releases can be invaluable sources of exposure, so it’s crucial that they’re written correctly. As a starting point, there’s no better way to do that than to write a mock press release for practice as a way to get used to the process. Make sure you know what the guidelines and what the reporters are looking for when writing a press release so that your actual release does not end up in the circular file.
  19. Develop a marketing framework – What are your plans for marketing your product or service in order to make it successful? Which marketing channels and services will you use? In order to create a framework, you must first map out a plan of action for every social media and marketing network you intend to use – not rely on following the crowd.
  20. Establish your future business structure – Furthermore, speaking of the future, it is a good idea to start planning out your business structure for the future as soon as possible. Is it your intention to do it alone as a sole proprietor? A partnership? A company or an LLC? Even though it may seem far-fetched, making a decision now can save you a lot of headaches (and a lot of restructuring).
  21. Cash flow needs for the next few months – While it may seem premature to start thinking about your cash flow needs before your business takes off, putting together a preliminary budget for your plans will help you avoid an early-stage cash flow crisis. It will be helpful to estimate your cash flow incomes and expenditures for your first quarter so that you can figure out what needs to be purchased and what is merely “nice to have” but not mission critical.
  22. Defining your sales process – During the defining stage, it is also imperative to define your sales process for your business. How do your sales funnel look? What will you do to establish credibility and trust with your audience? Are you aware of the product lifecycle? Before you launch, it is important to think about this since it will affect everything you do in terms of marketing and sales.
  23. Develop a strategy plan – Strategic planning is a smart investment for the future of your company – not only the first year but also three to five years after that. In order to avoid encountering a lot of problems when your startup finally takes off, take the time to map out a detailed plan that includes how objectives are handled, priorities assigned, and problems resolved.
  24. Planning your operations – After you’ve established a strategic plan, you’ll need to develop a plan for managing your business day-to-day. Choose the tasks that need to be prioritized, determine who will be responsible for them, and determine their costs.
  25. Plan your pricing – During the business startup process, pricing is an all-important stage that is often overlooked. What will you charge for your product or service? What can you do to deliver value to your customers? What will your pricing strategy look like in order to remain competitive?
  26. Locate funding sources – Your own pocket is not the only source of funding. You may be able to raise venture capital, obtain a business loan, or receive a grant in some instances. If you are looking to grow your business startup cash, your local Small Business Association can provide you with more information on funding sources. Additionally, crowdfunding is a great way to raise money for your project.
  27. Prepare a detailed launch plan – As we approach the launch, make sure you have a detailed plan for what will happen before, during, and after. In this way, you are able to avoid any potential pitfalls that could derail your plans and also develop a more cohesive plan of action after you launch, which is when your real work begins.
  28. Pick a great business name – What are the reasons that business names are so far down on the list of priorities? People spend a lot of time trying to think of a clever name, but not nearly as much time planning or devising strategies. Even though a great name is crucial, all of these other tasks are equally crucial! Bring your friends, family, and associates into the brainstorming process. A simple spelling, pronounceable, and the typeable name is paramount.
  29. Logo design – It doesn’t matter if you’re not much of an artist; there are plenty of talented designers online who can create a logo that looks great both online and in print. As with your business name, your logo should be easily recognizable and brandable. Are you able to imagine it on t-shirts, letterhead, or the side of a building? Don’t limit yourself!
  30. Get your domain name – As “.com” names become harder and harder to find, many businesses, especially startups, are turning to other domain extensions, such as .me, .io, and .ly, to create interesting, brandable names. Although exact match domains may still give you an edge, it’s a good idea to read Google’s EMD update before moving forward.
  31. Make an opt-in and call-to-action landing page – You can generate excitement about your new product by creating a landing page with a call-to-action and an opt-in form. There are many DIY landing page platforms available, or you can hire a freelancer to make something tailored to your needs.
  32. Utilize every social media site for your business – It is important to reserve your business name on each social media site where you plan to use it. Having a competitor use your name or masquerade as your company is the last thing you want.
  33. Build a social media following – Once your name has been reserved, you should begin building your fan base. Make sure you reach out to potential fans, bloggers, and writers on social media and encourage them to follow, friend, and fan you.
  34. Build relationships with niche market influencers/bloggers – You can get a lot of traffic from bloggers in your industry. Feel free to contact them and tell them that you are a regular reader and have something valuable to share. Avoid spamming.
  35. Use AdWords to drive traffic – Your landing page will become more important as your social media exposure grows. By creating ads and choosing the right keywords, you can drive paid traffic to the page with Google AdWords. It is also possible to hire a professional to help you set up your AdWords account.
  36. Connect with journalists on LinkedIn and HARO – The news is always of interest to journalists, and businesses are no different. Connect with journalists covering your industry through sites such as LinkedIn and HARO (helpareporter.com), where journalists are looking for industry experts to interview.
  37. Gather feedback – Even if your product isn’t ready yet, feedback from your site, social media, or other avenues can be invaluable. It is possible to view your landing page from the point of view of a potential customer when using sites such as Usertesting.com, and you can get valuable feedback on what needs to be improved by doing so.
  38. Set actionable landing page goals – Creating a list from your landing page is only the first step. Additionally, you can also use it as a way to build your social media profile, encourage users to sign up for a free webinar, and so on.
  39. Track your goals with analytics – In the absence of analytics, you will never be able to know how well your page is performing on the web. It is easy and free to set up Google Analytics. This tool can help you to find out where your traffic is coming from, whether or not your visitors are staying on your pages, and much more.
  40. Boost social media engagement – It is no longer enough to simply have a presence on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. It is possible to generate excitement about your product while increasing its exposure to potential customers by running contests, general polls, and other initiatives.
  41. Pre-orders! – The moment you’ve started generating a buzz on social media and paid advertising, you can take advantage of that excitement by offering a preorder service. It is not uncommon for companies to give customers a little extra if they preorder.
  42. Create a website design plan – There is a big difference between your website and your landing page. As a matter of fact, it is much more thorough and involved. Prior to hiring a designer, you will want to determine how many pages you will need, their general content, etc.
  43. Create a website architecture – What is the number of pages your website will have? Which way will they go? Making sure your site’s architecture is well thought out will help you create a site flow that makes it easy for users to navigate. It will be clear to them where to go if they have questions, or what to do to make purchases.
  44. Create your own content – You know your products or services best, so even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, take the time to write the content for your website. There is always the possibility of working with a professional copywriter in the future if you would like to refine your message.
  45. Plan your content marketing – A content marketing strategy is different from your social media strategy in that it involves taking your content and using it to market for you. Most of the time, the most common way you can do this is to share articles, infographics, or videos, but you’ll soon find out which content types are best for your business based on what you need.
  46. Come up with a marketing campaign idea – The launch date is getting closer and closer, so you might want to think of some ideas you can use as a starting point for your very first AdWords marketing campaign. What is the campaign’s goal? What format will you use for your ads? How effective are your headlines? How about your landing page? Your call to action? You have a lot to think about, but if you get this information right, your ads will receive a higher quality score, meaning you’ll pay less but get more exposure.
  47. Make sure your hosting platform is reliable – You should choose a highly-reviewed, reliable web hosting platform for your website because this is where your site files are stored. It would be a nightmare if the servers went down when you were about to launch! It is important to do thorough research on web hosts before choosing one that fits both your budget and your needs. In case you need some help with the migration process, Fiverr offers you some great solutions that will help you.
  48. Build the website and make it mobile-friendly – It is important that when you build your website, you ensure that it is “responsive” — that is, it can be viewed on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and mobile phones just as well as on your desktop computer. It is extremely important for your developer to understand how important this task is as Google is penalizing sites that are not mobile-friendly in its search engine results.
  49. Block your website from search engines that use robots.txt – You can set up a robots.txt file on your server that will block the search engine robots from crawling your website. The reason for this is that your site might not be ready yet, and you wouldn’t want anyone to see it while it’s under construction.
  50. Ensure a great customer support system – It is important to remember that a company is only as great as its customers, which is why it is so important for you to set up an excellent customer service system. Fortunately, there are a number of customer service software programs available on the market today. The following chart will assist you in choosing the software program that is best for you.
  51. Make your website SEO-friendly – Despite the fact that your website can’t be found by search engines (yet), it’s a good idea to optimize it to the fullest extent to ensure that when the site is ready, your content will be as search engine friendly as possible.
  52. Google Search Console and Google Analytics synchronization – It is possible to integrate your search console data into your Google Analytics reports so that you can see how your site performs in organic search results. Here is how.
  53. Google AdWords and Google Analytics Accounts synchronization – You can easily link your Google Analytics account to your AdWords account in order to collect data on customer activity on your website following a click on an ad. Here is how to do that.
  54. Have your website proofread – The smallest of grammatical or spelling errors can have a significant effect on the appearance of your beautifully-designed website. Take the time to get it proofread professionally so that when you launch, everything looks and reads as it should.
  55. Credit card processing websites should be PCI compliant – If your business processes credit cards, you must also make sure your website is PCI compliant, which means that your site is using the latest in transactional security for credit card transactions. You can learn more about the PCI security standards and how you can ensure compliance by clicking here.
  56. Customize your 404 error page – The 404 page is the page that shows when something cannot be found on your website. Why should this traffic go to waste? A custom 404 page can guide users (and search engines) in the right direction, help attract more visitors to your site, and also help increase the number of pages indexed by search engines.

Marketing Strategies for Startups

Now that you have launched your new business, you’ll want to make sure that everything is running as smoothly as possible so that you won’t get stomped on by your competitors from the outset. Here’s what you’ll want to do to ensure as smooth a launch as possible.

  • Communicate with journalists and bloggers – A unique angle is something that bloggers and journalists love even more than any other type of content. If they’re covering your industry, your message could have just the right angle, so make sure they know what makes your business so special – and why they should pay attention to it.
  • Maintain suspense– While we are very close to the launch of our new website, there are still a few things you can do to keep the suspense as long as possible. Keep your prospects guessing about what’s behind the digital curtain – make it a game on social media!
  • Make it “an event” – Don’t just launch quietly. Turn it into an event that everyone will remember. You can offer prizes or giveaways, anything to get people’s attention. As long as you’re doing what you need to do – generating excitement – you’re going to succeed.
  • Make an event video – It is important that you take pictures or videos of the event (or the participants) in order for you to be able to look back in a year or so and see how much your business has grown.
  • Create a brand story – Creating an event that is memorable will allow you to weave the beginnings of a story about your brand. What is your brand? What is its mission? What are you committed to?
  •  Important influencers should have access to the product – If you choose the right influencer, you will gain access to their thousands of followers. Don’t be afraid to ask them for feedback on your product or service as well.
  • Engage partners – As you may know, influencers get pitched to all types of products and services all the time, which is why it is important to form strategic partnerships with companies or owners that aren’t directly competing with you, but rather lend themselves well to your product or service and make your own efforts more effective.
  • online downloads, free trials, product videos, and demos – When it comes to getting people to act, the key is to let them experience what the product or service is like, even if it is just a “lite” version or a demo version. Once they have seen and experienced it for themselves, they are that much more likely to recommend it to others.
  • Create a landing page for AdWords campaign – As we discussed in #46, now is the time to put in place that landing page so that everyone who clicks on your ad will go there. As you go here, you’ll find out more about how the experience you provide consumers here will affect your ad rank, cost per click, and position.
  • Make a thank you page for the campaign – Thank your subscribers for entering their information, downloading your file, or purchasing your product. This will avoid confusion and ensure that they know you appreciate their support!
  • Track campaign goals in analytics – It will be very helpful if you can determine how effective your campaigns are and how wide-ranging the exposure you’re getting. To do this, make sure to set up campaign goals in your analytics dashboard, and here’s how to do it with Google Analytics.
  • Channels with paid distribution – If you are thinking of advertising on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or AdWords, then these are good places to start, however don’t forget to think about retargeting networks like AdRoll (www.adroll.com) as you can set up campaigns to reach those customers who saw your ad first but did not react to it immediately.
  • Discounts and bonuses for a limited time – It is often said that nothing encourages people to act more than bonuses and discounts. They can be just enough to convince them to make a purchase – especially if they are first-time customers.
  • Support your product’s value with a survey – Consider interviewing or polling your customers if you are able to do so, and consider how that information can be used to improve and further enhance your product’s value. There are many free, easy-to-use online polling services which make it simple to set up and begin.
  • Releases continue – Despite the fact that launch day is over, you can still maintain momentum in your business by following up with your customers, asking how they are doing, offering help or guides, and above all…
  • Customer satisfaction follow-up emails – Is the customer happy with the service? Have they encountered any bugs or issues? Would they recommend the service to a friend? Please check back in regularly to find out how they are feeling!
  • Get feedback from your first customers and make changes – A launch is not a once-and-done thing. You are going to have to go through a number of variations before you have found that “sweet spot” where your product will appeal to customers. Don’t be afraid to refine and tweak your product in response to their feedback.

Marketing Strategies for Startup Growth

Having launched your business is a major achievement, one that many would-be entrepreneurs only dream of, but once you’ve achieved it, you’ll need to make sure to keep the momentum going strong by following these steps.

  • Analyze your top competitors – If you want to be successful in business, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Take a look at what your competitors are doing and see if you can reverse engineer or build upon their efforts. What do they succeed at doing that you can leverage to make this happen for yourself (without copying them directly)? You can see these kinds of details by using an online tool such as SEMrush. You can also find out about link-building opportunities and content ideas by reverse engineering a competitor’s website.
  • Look for broken link opportunities – What are the chances of a broken link being an opportunity, you ask? You can exploit the fact that a page returns an error message indicating that it couldn’t be found (404 error) by creating a similar piece of content addressing the same topic. It is time to contact the source that’s linking to the not found page and let them know that the link has broken, but that you have an updated piece covering the same topic, which they can use as a replacement. There is a very high possibility that they will link to you instead, so make the most of it!
  • Leverage your SEO efforts by becoming a guest author – In addition to gaining exposure, guest blogging can also help you gain backlinks. Besides establishing your name and reputation as an authority in your field, it will also help boost your business’s brand. The majority of sites welcome guest authors, and some even pay a modest fee.
  • Offer continuous support – It’s important for customers to feel taken care of, and ongoing support is one of the best ways to do that. By providing clients with ongoing support options, you can add to your existing revenue stream, regardless of whether it’s an extension of the default support that comes with your product or service or an ongoing subscription.
  • Surprise your customers or demo users with a bonus – Sending an unannounced bonus or gift is another great sales tactic (and relationship builder) with customers. Aside from being valuable (it doesn’t have to be something big), customers will appreciate the gesture and you’ll continue to earn their loyalty.
  • Defining goals – Make sure you are thinking about the future as well as the present when it comes to growing your business! In one year, what are your business goals? Five years? Ten years? Take a closer look at the strategic plan that you developed in step 23. Can you tell me how close you are to achieving your goal?
  • Analyze your buyers’ buying path – What are some of the most common reasons why sales did not occur? – Think of all the possible reasons why you didn’t get a sale. Check the path to sales to see if there are any frictions in your funnel or obstacles that might deter customers from purchasing.
  • Reevaluate your conversion funnel – On the same note, you should take a closer look at your conversion funnel as well. Possibly, customers are feeling too pressured to purchase a product or they are not receiving enough information to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to make a purchase. What can you do to fix that?
  • Make retention a priority – In your industry, there will come a point when you have plenty of customers and brand recognition. Your focus should shift to customer retention when this happens. Is there anything you can do to keep your customers and encourage them to upgrade or come back? Keep in mind that retaining customers is much cheaper than finding new ones. Loyalty is key!
  • Participate in groups and forums – Connecting with customers and supporters alike through user groups and forums will help your business flourish. You should not spam or blast your sales pitch here, but rather get to know people, their problems, and how your product or service might help. It is a good idea to encourage them to come to you – naturally.
  • Plan your blog strategy (guidelines, topics, editorial planner) – The creation of a blog is another great way to reach more potential customers and to increase the number of visitors to your website. In order to blog successfully, you’ll need a strategy that includes guidelines, topics, and an editorial calendar. Get in touch with potential influencers and fans to contribute guest posts as well!
  • Analyze your competitors’ most shared content – Check out what your competitors are sharing most to come up with blog ideas. In terms of clicks or likes, what kind of content does the best?
  • Make a blog – The process of setting up a blog takes only a few minutes. There is a vast majority of sites that uses WordPress as their blogging platform. Moreover, your blog can also be customized to match the design of your current website.
  • Create an email opt-in form – There is a difference between this opt-in form and the one you set up on your original landing page. By offering a free newsletter in exchange for their email address, your customers will be able to stay up-to-date on new products or services you offer.
  • Make two calls to action – Calls to action are the actions you want users to take once they land on your site. A few examples include ordering, subscribing, telling a friend, or leaving a review. What is the point of creating two? With analytics, you can see which one your customers tend to use more and test to see which one they like best.
  • Blog 2-3 times a month – By using an editorial calendar, you will be able to schedule and post 2-3 blog posts per month (or more if you wish), so that your customers and users will always be kept up-to-date on the latest, most valuable information in your industry.
  • Utilize Buffer to syndicate your blog – You can easily share your blog content on social media using Buffer, a social media sharing tool. You can create an account for free in just a few minutes.
  • Campaigns for re-engagement – Remember all those users who visited your site but didn’t make a purchase? In order for you to re-engage with them and remind them about your product or service, now is the perfect time to use your email marketing service to do so. Could it be that they just forgot or were distracted with other things at the time? The goal of a re-engagement campaign is to remind them in a way that doesn’t disrupt their daily lives.
  • Make a squeeze page – The purpose of a squeeze page is to give something away in exchange for an email address. Despite not being quite as complex as a landing page, it’s an effective way to build your prospecting list.
  • Monitoring and adjusting performance– As you learn where your highest volume orders and most valuable traffic comes from, you should keep checking your web analytics and making course corrections.
  • Social media accounts optimization – Don’t ignore your social media accounts! It is a good time to optimize your accounts, update your profile photo and cover photo and start discussions with the people who follow you on social media.
  • Attend events and conferences in your industry – There is no doubt that attending networking and local events and conferences will be a great way to get your product or service noticed even more than doing business solely online. Find out what industry conferences and workshops are taking place near you and attend them!
  • Deliver lectures and presentations If your industry is truly unique or specialized, consider offering a lecture or presentation at the event. You’ll be appreciated for your insider knowledge and expertise!
  • Create a YouTube channel – Another area to focus on is YouTube, particularly if you can demonstrate how your product is built or designed, as well as your quality and effort. It’s important to keep in mind that YouTube channels can be optimized for search engines too, and since Google owns YouTube, your videos may also appear in searches.
  • Get links and social shares by using expert roundups – Wouldn’t it be interesting to interview one of the true experts in your field or ask them a question about a particular issue in your field? There is a possibility that you can create an “expert roundup” on your chosen topic if enough people respond, and then use that to build backlinks and share it on social media in order to increase your authority.
  • Marketing affiliates to increase sales – Another great source of recurring income that both parties can benefit from is affiliate marketing. In spite of the fact that affiliate marketing isn’t going to be a huge sales generator, it will nevertheless drive incremental sales when used correctly. Affiliate marketers are particularly interested in digital products.
  • Expand into new markets in new geographic locations – Consider expanding your business into new geographical locations or new markets entirely – ones where your existing skills and products/services can be used to better serve customers.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that growing a business is no easy task as you can see. Nevertheless, if you take a look over this list, you’ll learn all the tips and tricks you’ll need to prepare for a stellar launch and maintain momentum even in the face of fierce competition, plus you can always seek out help on Fiverr’s marketplace when you need it.

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