A well-designed marketing promotion strategy with well-evaluated techniques is an obligatory element for starting any business. A well-designed strategy grants 50% of the success of the entire marketing campaign. It is like building a house: a marketing strategy is a foundation, and building walls without it is futile.
More than a quarter of young business endeavors fail because of poorly prepared marketing campaigns or the absence thereof. To avoid copying their mistakes, learn from their experience and do some strategic planning first.
The key differences between startups and big companies’ marketing schemes are as follows:
- Small businesses and startups usually have smaller budgets.
- They also have little time to make themselves visible. Thus, there is no time to spare for testing hypotheses.
- Their products are not for a wide audience (eco- or vegan food, apps for students, etc.).
Yet, before diving into advertising and PR campaigns, consider these mistakes in planning:
- Disregarding the specifics of the market.
- Because of a poorly designed product, its visual aspect may not reflect the content.
- Underestimating the role of SEO and content quality.
- Incorrect timeframes for the strategy implementation (e.g. arranging offline presentations during lockdowns).
Even for startups, a marketing strategy should be stated in an editable document. It can change at all stages, but it should be a document. This file will be a map showing the path at different stages of development.
Such document should present and describe:
- a clear description of the product and its unique characteristics;
- company goals;
- target audience and its segments.
Only after working through these basics, a startup owner can choose channels to use and budgets to spend on a marketing campaign.
1. Help a journalist create a story
Journalists are looking for inspiration everywhere – news or quotes on Twitter. They place requests on specialized platforms. For instance, Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a popular site for this purpose.
Giving a short interview is a great way to raise the project’s reputation and declare the expertise of the founders and the team. Also, journalists will mention the brand and may place a backlink to the site.
For example, founders of Essay Hub can answer questions related to term papers, personal information safety, and writing, while a recruiter can reveal the nuances of hiring and interviewing.
Monitor journalism platforms for issues that are directly or indirectly related to your startup or industry. Both you and the team can comment. So, a young endeavor will get a free mention of its brand in the media.
2. Consider co-marketing
Joint marketing is a method when several projects work on their promotion together. Their marketing tactics are intertwined in a comprehensive mutual PR strategy.
By collaborating with other projects, one can spend fewer resources and get better results. This way, a startup can attract the attention of the most targeted and loyal audiences.
To turn this idea into reality, find a few projects that are not your direct competitors. Yet, they should be focused on attracting the same audience as you. Once there is a list of potential PR partners, study their marketing methods and consider fitting your brand into their strategy. Come up with a scheme that will benefit both parties.
For example, if the potential partners run courses and webinars, a representative from your company might be the speaker or give some lectures. Or, it can be a review service that will write an honest post about your product – the Essay Hub review is a perfect example of it. You can also ask for a backlink like in the review above and increase your SEO ranking.
3. Become a podcast guest
Statistics show that the popularity of audio podcasts has grown over the last two years.
Well, of course, every startup has resources for posting content. But for PR purposes, participate in a few popular podcasts relevant to your industry and experience that gather your potential audience.
For example, a project founder can discuss the topic of creating a business, a startup ecosystem, or talk about the product itself.
4. Generate valuable content
People are satiated with content that focuses on promoting stuff. Thus, avoid posting creative but zero-use ideas on the company’s blog or social media.
To benefit the project through content marketing, cover topics within the circle of the company’s expertise. Mention the brand or project or give a link to it inside the text or video. When posting information on a guest resource, mention authorship and add a link to your site. This strategy will attract extra targeted traffic and increase SEO reputation.
5. Do not neglect offline marketing
Local expositions and presentations, gift-giving, and merch help move the company up the popularity scale.
During expos and meetups with experts in the same field, startups may find new investors and potential clients. A startup will build friendships with industry influencers and expand its reach by interacting with experts. Besides, it is a great idea for creating interesting content for social media.
Regardless of the strategy and technique you choose, remember that implementation comes after thorough analysis. Considering the startups’ specifics mentioned earlier, the startup owner and marketing manager need to check every step carefully.
Look at the startups like yours that failed, not the ones that succeeded. Sometimes, success is an outcome of lucky coincidence, while failure can reveal weak spots to overcome.