Friday, September 9, 2011

Startup Marketing and What It Can Do For Your Small Business

Startup companies, more likely than not, launch without being “known”.  Nobody knows who you are, what your new company does, what problem you tend to solve and who your company will cater toward.  The only way that the masses can answer any of these questions is through effective startup marketing.  But many new companies are not utilizing startup marketing strategies to their advantage.  We have laid out the top 5 ways that startups can market their products or services effectively so that clients and customers will come to them and leave happy:

1.      Establish your credibility

First and foremost, an effective startup marketing strategy needs to incorporate the brand’s overall credibility.  When clients and customers view your business as a resource rather than just another startup, they will value your product or service on an even higher level.  The best way to establish credibility through marketing is by sharing content that displays your knowledge, sharpening your copywriting skills, sending out newsletters, sending out tips on social networks and sharing testimonials on your website. 

2.     Create your own unique messaging

Before marketing your startup company, it is important to find the brand’s voice.  Are you going to portray yourself as an edgy, high-tech company?  Are you going to stick to a professional, corporate voice?  Are you going to utilize a laid-back voice with slang and abbreviations?  It is important that startup companies give off their own unique messaging so that the company can develop a personality.  Find your brand’s personality through the voice that you think best fits the company’s image, product and target market.   

3.     Develop a cost-conscious strategy

Most startups don’t have a whole lot of wiggle room when it comes to marketing budgets.  In this situation, social media marketing becomes a highly-effective resource.  Social media marketing through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogger, Foursquare, Flickr, YouTube (and more!) provides startup companies with the ability to market their brand online absolutely free. 
Bonus: Check out The Social Media Bible by Lon Safko and find out how Think Big Kansas City effectively marketed its one-day conference with an awesome Twitter strategy.
4.     Mix it up

Some startups can get away with relying solely on social media for their first few months of marketing.  But it is more healthy and beneficial for a startup to mix their marketing avenues so that they hit all potential customers.  Use marketing avenues that will reach your target market—take out a newspaper ad, create a television commercial, broadcast on the radio, get in a magazine, even post up flyers around town.  By creating a healthy balance of social media and traditional marketing strategies, your brand will get noticed by the right people in the right way.
5.     Tell people who you are and what you do

When most established businesses can market their companies without defining who they are or what they do, startup companies must advertise and give the masses information about the business.  When you are marketing a startup company, be sure to broadcast who you are, what you do and why you’re doing it.  Potential clients and customers need to know exactly what you do in order for them to realize that your product or service is exactly what they’ve been looking for.
Startup marketing can be a complicated and tedious process.  But if you incorporate the right effective marketing strategy for your new company, customers and clients will be able to find you easily.

Written by Allison Way

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