You have a stellar product or service and you’re ready to share it with the world. With the dizzying array of marketing options these days, it’s hard to know what direction to go in. You don’t want to waste money, but you know that to get your startup off the ground, you need effective marketing techniques. You need to reach the right audience in a compelling manner. So, how to do that?
Define your market
As much as you may want to target everyone, that’s not an effective way to market your startup’s products or services. As Nathan Resnick puts it, “you don’t see Ferrari ads geared toward 12-year-olds.”
Take some time to decide who the target market is for your product or service. How old are they? Where do they live? How much money do they have to spend?
The more specific you can be with your target market, the more specific you can be with how you reach them. Someone in their sixties, for example, is more likely to be on Facebook than Snapchat.
Define your brand
What makes your product truly unique? Think beyond cost. Focus on how your startup benefits the customer. How does what you have to offer improve your customer’s lives? Your business is about more than just making a profit, after all, and your brand is about more than just a product or service. Clarify what truly sets your brand apart, and utilize this in your marketing efforts.
Reach your market
You’ve clarified who your company is trying to reach. Now it’s time to reach out to your target market so they know who you are and what you do. One of the most powerful (and cost-effective) ways to do that is through content marketing.
Content marketing means providing meaningful, interesting content to your customers in order to build brand awareness. Content marketing is less about the hard sell and more about letting customers know who you are by bringing value into their lives. This strategy is a win for everybody, and it’s driven in large part by search engine optimization, or SEO.
Before you begin your content marketing efforts, you need to have a sense of what people are searching for online. The words or phrases someone would type into Google to find your business are keywords, and using effective keywords can drive people to your business.
Ideally, you want to end up on the first page of Google search results. This can be a challenge, though, depending on the keywords or phrases. As you compile a list of potential keywords, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner to evaluate each one.
Look for words or phrases that have high traffic but low competition. You may need to try a variety of words or phrases until you find the right ones.
Once you’ve determined your keywords, create high quality, readable content and include the keywords naturally.
It’s important to use the social media channels that best fit your brand. Remember, you don’t need to be everywhere. Is your business B2B? In that case, LinkedIn might be a better place to invest your time and energy than Instagram.
Once you’ve decided which social media platforms you’re going to focus on, it’s time to create content. Share your own blog content, pictures or videos of what’s going on with your business or brand to highlight customer experiences. Remember the golden rule of social media marketing, though: the 80/20 rule.
Blogging is a simple but powerful tool to drive people to your website. Effective blog posts should be clear, well written and readable, whether your customer is on a mobile device, tablet or computer.
Stuck on blog topics? Go back to your keyword list and use them as a beginning topic list. Remain consistent, and try to keep to a regular content posting frequency that’s manageable for you.
Another way to gain exposure and credibility for your brand is by publishing guest posts on other blogs. By guest posting, you expand your audience and gain authority in your area.
Public relations, or PR, is getting media attention for your business. When you have someone else cover your business or brand, it helps build credibility. To get startup coverage, reach out to journalists. Let them know what’s interesting, compelling, or unique about your business and its products or services.
Measure your results
As you ramp up your marketing efforts, decide what results you want. Are you looking for traffic to your website? Do you want people to subscribe to your email list?
Decide how you’re going to measure the results of your marketing efforts. Once you’ve decided, check your results on a regular basis and adjust accordingly. Build on what’s bringing you the results you need.
You believe in your startup, and you know you’ve created something exciting. Share that excitement through targeted content marketing. You’ll bring in new customers and keep current customers aware of what your brand is doing. With a little planning and research, you’ll master the techniques you need to succeed.