Startup marketing is a distinct subset of marketing that presents a unique set of challenges, mainly because the new company will probably lack resources compared to an established company. This lack of resources will define the startup’s approach to marketing in many ways - but not to worry, there are plenty of powerful marketing tactics still available for use, which will be revealed in this article.
A startup company needs to hit the ground running. Like the launching of a rocketship, countless hours of hard work and planning precede the launch, then when the time comes, blast off!
Here is a general outline of a marketing strategy for a small business that can be initiated for free from day one:
Planning & Research - Identify the Market
First, the startup needs to identify its market, considering four main factors.
Market Size - How general or specific is your market? Are you targeting women? Children? Or are you targeting married men over 40?
The market size must be identified, and approximately how many potential customers constitute the target market needs to be calculated.
Market Wealth - Can this market afford the product?
Market Competition - How saturated is the market? Is there a lot of competition?
Value Proposition - Is the value proposition distinctive enough to set the startup apart from the competition? Does the brand offer something newer, cheaper, or better?
Gather Keyword List
Once the target market has been clearly identified, the startup can begin gathering a list of keywords that will play a crucial role in Digital Marketing. SEO Keywords are terms that people enter into Google that is relevant to a particular brand, and the objective is to appear on the search results when people enter these words and phrases. Every brand needs a set of core keywords - also known as short-tail keywords - that specifically reflect the business's value proposition.
For example, a laptop repair shop would have the core keyword: ‘Laptop Repair.’
Short-tail keywords are the most competitive because more people search for them.
These core keywords then need to be expanded to form what is known as long-tail keywords, which could be something like: ‘How to get my laptop repaired.’
Long-tail keywords are searched less but are less competitive and, therefore, more achievable - when several long-tail keywords are achieved, the search volume can match that of the short-tail keywords, gaining the website a lot of traffic.
Startups can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, but there are many options. Two useful websites that provide user-friendly solutions to keyword research are Kw Finder and Keyword.io - the former is good for getting keyword ideas and the latter for analysing search volume.
The true importance of these keywords will be understood by the end of the article.
Next, the startup needs to set some clearly defined goals because a target needs to be set for a target to be achieved. Maybe the goal is to double their social media following, or increase conversions, or boost website traffic - whatever the objective, it needs to be clearly defined, or the journey to achieving it will be complex and unsystematic.
The startup also needs a way of measuring its success and measuring the advancement towards the goal. This requires keeping track of a metric, so if the goal is to increase social media followers, the metric would be the number of social media followers.
Social media is a fantastic tool for startups because they are free to use and can be highly effective in a marketing context. Not only this but particularly when a brand is starting out, social media can be used to sow the seeds of a loyal customer base or group of ‘fans.’ Some brands can succeed in creating and maintaining devoted fan bases, such as Harley-Davidson, Inc. Early businesses aren’t going to be able to amass the kind of fan base that Harley-Davidson has.
Still, if social media is leveraged effectively enough and the content posted is genuinely engaging, then a loyal base of fans could feasibly be accumulated. A brand needs to consider which platform is most suitable to their identity and purpose; B2B firms tend to prefer platforms such as LinkedIn, whereas Instagram users prefer visual content as it is well suited to e-commerce businesses.
The startup needs to set a budget and remain within the confinements of the budget for the entire marketing strategy to be on track. Although much of what is revealed in the article is free to implement, it does require human resources, which isn’t necessarily free. The budget also needs to be divided sensibly and logically between different aspects of the strategy, such as spending more on things that have a high return on investment.
On-Page SEO - Blog & Website
At this stage, the list of keywords that have been compiled can be put into action. The blog section of a website will be the main driving force in terms of on-page SEO.
It provides an opportunity to respond to the primary and secondary keywords directly, and in turn, present the optimized web page to the search engine user because it answers their query. A good trick is to mark the most extensive piece of content that responds to the most desirable and achievable keyword as ‘cornerstone content.’
If your website is built using WordPress and you have the Yoast SEO plugin installed, this is done by going into WordPress, selecting ‘edit post,’ and choosing ‘mark as cornerstone content.’
Another good tip is to use the primary keyword as the blog category, so Google will know that the website offers a plethora of information relating to this search term. The design of the blog should also be visually appealing and make for a good user experience, and this will require a professional designer who understands the psychology of colour and things of that nature.
Marketing needs to start from day one. Otherwise, the brand risks fading into irrelevance because consumers won’t even be aware of its existence. Utilizing the information in this article will ensure the brand stands a good chance of succeeding. These methods can be implemented with relatively few resources and can result in tremendous benefits.