How Startups Should Market Themselves

Marketing is essential for any business, but it is even more important to startups. If people do not know what your startup can offer, most likely they will not buy your products or services. Marketing startup business is critical for its growth and survival in a competitive market. Startup success rates are pretty pessimistic: Forbes reports that up to 90% of startups fail. The economic environment also favours large business: large companies are using their financial clout to push small companies out of the way. To survive, startups need the right marketing strategy to improve their brand’s visibility and attract more customers. Here are some practical tips:

1. Create a content marketing strategy. You need to come up with a plan for attracting traffic to your site. Content marketing is one of the best solutions: creating high-quality content which answers in-demand questions can lead to purchases. First of all, focus on blogs: they are good for increasing your website’s traffic and brand awareness. To drive traffic to your website, blogs should be optimized for long-tail keywords. Blog content also generates leads and demonstrates your expertise.       

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2. Use social media. Over 2.4 billion people use social media, which means that startups should include this channel in their marketing strategy. The more presence you establish on social media, the more people will recognize it. It is also worth paying for traffic and exposure on social media. Social media marketing will not succeed with just an attractive profile. You need to post engaging and relevant content, which would make users follow your account. Once you have attracted followers, you need to encourage them to stay. So make sure to respond to all their questions and comments.   

3. Conduct market research. To market your business successfully, you need to well understand who your customers are, and what opinion they have about your company. To answer these questions, you need to conduct thorough market research. The data you get can help you find out what product or service is in demand. This information can help increase the competitiveness of your business. Market research should not just focus on customer feedback. For example, you can conduct a SWOT analysis, which will help you find out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business. This analysis will help you estimate the competitiveness of your business.  

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4. Focus on analytics. Startups should analyze the data they collect from various brand touchpoints such as their websites or social media accounts. This analysis is essential for making informed business decisions. Start using Google Analytics, a free tool for tracking your site data. It tracks where web traffic is coming from, how much time people spent on your website and popular web pages. To better understand your customers’ needs and preferences, use Google Forms to collect user feedback and SurveyMonkey to get the opinion of your target users. 

5. Do not underestimate offline promotion. Although many startups mostly focus on online marketing, there is still a lot of value in offline promotion. For example, you should go where your customers are. When you have just started your business, you should focus on networking so that you can develop relationships and boost your business. Look out for face-to-face interactions with people who might be interested in your offering. Go to trade shows, conferences and meet-ups for local entrepreneurs or do some research to find out who could help you boost your business and try to meet them in person.

References:  Arya Bina, | | Bob Dearsley, | | |