Each day, various brands vie for consumers’ attention. This can make it extremely difficult to get a startup business to the forefront of peoples’ minds and attention. Choosing marketing efforts to use for your startup is unquestionably difficult. However, there are steps you can use to ensure that your startup has a chance for success. Prior to jumping into the marketing world, you should understand two things fully:
1. The strategies to use for marketing to build on the aspects that make you unique within your niche 2. The goals you want to achieve with the marketing plan you develop Focus Only on Your Target Customer When you begin your marketing efforts for your business, don’t get caught up in the moment and try to reach everyone at one time. You need to maintain focus to reach your defined group of target customers. These people have the highest potential to help you establish and grow your business. You should not focus your efforts on attracting just any customer. Instead, you should concentrate your efforts on the target segment you have identified. When you stay focused, you will have a better chance to reach your target customer more efficiently, and you will be better able to use the limited resources you have. Create Strategic Partnerships When you align yourself with an already established brand, your startup business gains credibility. When choosing a business with which align yourself, you need to find one that you are actually enthusiastic about and that has a complementary service or product to what you are offering. This will enable you to refer business back and forth to one another. You may also want to consider implementing a referral fee on both of the sides of the process, which will provide an appealing monetary incentive. Use Community Outreach One way to reach your local community is to have a feature in the local newspaper to create brand awareness. Call your local radio station or newspaper and let them know about your latest business venture. Work to convince them why coverage of the business is actually worth both their energy and time. Another popular way to market the new startup business is by sponsoring a local competition or event. When you sponsor an event, contact a number of local bloggers and let them know about what you have to offer. Provide these with your referral link to track the return on investment (ROI) you have. Also, ask them to compose a guest blog post to advertise your product further. Offer Incentives for Sharing If you want consumers to talk about your product or service and discuss what you have to offer, there is no better way to do so than providing an incentive. You can offer a discount for tweets or provide some type of other reward for a Facebook “Like.” Another popular way to incentivize a customer is to offer a contest through the easy to use Rafflecopter. With Rafflecopter, embedded code for your contest appears on your business site, drawing more traffic. Create Branded Content While this may actually be a long-term type of strategy, developing your own branded content is a fantastic way to provide effective marketing for your startup. When you produce branded content, you align your business with the themes that have become important and related to your chosen industry. If you happen to have an original, product- or service-specific thought or idea, you may be able to establish yourself as a well-known expert in your industry as well. The most important thing that you should remember about branded content is that it should always maintain a non-promotional attitude. This means you are not going to tout the services or products that you offer. Branded content is customer-focused material, such as a blog, articles, newsletters, a white paper, or promotional video) designed to answers customer questions. Use Social Media There is no question that social media is essential for any startup business. It is also important to remember that there are right and wrong ways of using social media marketing. Do not forget to ensure that you are making posts on a consistent basis and are making effort to engage with each of your customers. There is no way that you can simply make post after post on Facebook or Twitter that are only promotional and gain a following. The information you post must be interesting, valuable, and, most importantly, shareable. Take time to consider which social media platforms make the most sense for your startup business. If your product or service markets best visually, sites such as Pinterest or Instagram will work well. If information for your site is expressed better by the sharing of information, you should work to develop a strong Facebook and/or Twitter presence. When it comes to marketing your business, getting your name out there in a positive manner is achievable in a number of different ways. The best thing to do is try a strategy and track its progress. If it does not provide substantial results, move on and try something else. Not every strategy will work for every business, which means that you should be smart, especially as a startup, and put your marketing dollars where it makes the most sense.