By Melanie Saunders
You may have the best business idea the world has ever seen. But unless other people know about your ingenious product or service, your start-up will be over before it’s even begun.
Startup owners face lots of competing demands as they get a new company off the ground. One demand that shouldn’t be ignored is that of marketing. Here are seven marketing strategies for startups–all affordable and easy to implement:
When your website is optimized for SEO, Google will bring customers to you. This kind of organic acquisition creates higher quality leads – potential customers already have a strong interest in your brand or your products when they arrive to your website. Work with a web developer to make sure your website is optimized for keywords relevant to your business.
Social media is a great place to reach out to customers, old and new. There are lots of platforms out there. Pick just a few and then commit to regularly posting quality content. Trying to do too much is a bad idea. As well as posting relevant content you should use social media to talk with your customers. Respond to their queries and encourage engagement to really make the most of your social media presence.
Email marketing has a good success rate, particularly if you segment your mailing list. Rather than sending out the same emails to all customers, try to personalize the experience. That means sending different emails to prospective customers, to past customers and to regular buyers who haven’t bought from you recently. The more data you are able to collect on your customers, the more you can segment your list and the more effective your emails become.
Don’t underestimate the marketing potential of reviews. Online recommendations can make a real difference to customers. Whether you’re a cleaning business, a software provider or a hairdresser, when you’re new on the block potential customers will be unsure as to your trustworthiness and level of service. That’s where positive reviews can really seal a deal. Get your business registered on review sites and ask any customers to leave feedback.
Even in a digital age, there’s still nothing as effective as word-of-mouth marketing. Getting recommendations from past customers is invaluable. Encourage your customers to spread the word by offering future discounts or prizes when they refer a friend.
Build Local Links
Other local businesses can help you to spread the word about yours. Find companies with a related (but not competitive) service or product. You can then try to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. You can promote their brand and they can promote yours with all of the customers you come across.
Learn About Your Customers
The most important marketing strategy you need to adopt as a start-up is committing fully to learning about your customers. Whilst you may find yourself spread pretty thin in those early days, with lots of different priorities, really getting to know your customer base will help you exponentially in the long run.
Get to know who your customers are. Work out the problems they face and what your product can do to solve them. Try to discern where they hang out online. This fundamental knowledge will make all of your marketing much more effective. You’ll know where to reach your customer base and what ideas to pitch to them.
Tell the world about your business. Harness the power of your website, social media, marketing emails and past customers. Spending barely a penny, these marketing strategies will help you form a great marketing foundation for your start-up.
Melanie Saunders is a blogger and content manager at 1300 Rubbish – experts in the field of rubbish and junk removal. Personally, a huge fan of sustainability and green living.