Startups are characterized by many things: exciting business models, creativity, and of course a lot of motivation within the team. Although the differences from startup to startup are extremely different, they all share a common denominator: in the beginning, they need customers.
These customers should be drawn via offline or online marketing, and later via sales. What is missing at first in most cases is the corresponding marketing budget. For startups, it is a matter of making optimal use of every pound that is used for their marketing, making optimal use of the leverage effects of social media and being clever with regard to their content. This is how marketing your business becomes a success for startups.
Before startups can start marketing, their market entry strategy should first be defined.
- Which communication channels do you want to use to reach your target group?
- How do you want to interact on each channel?
- What content do you want to produce?
These are just a few questions that should be asked before choosing the communication channels for your startup.
An important part of the available communication channels are the corresponding social media platforms, these should be carefully selected in advance. Pay particular attention to which target groups are represented on the respective channels, which content has to be produced on the respective platforms and, above all, with what effort should be done.
SELECT THE RIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Choosing the right social media platform for your startup is the first step. As a startup with a small budget, you should not operate without marketing on social media channels. After all, the use of the platforms will not be in vain, there is hardly any better way to establish closer contact with your own target group than social media channels.
When talking about social media for companies, the goal should always be to deliver added value to the target group with their own content. Motivated startups who actively communicate with their target group and respond to their questions and needs can quickly build a loyal community and outperform the big rivals in terms of community.
UP-TO-DATENESS OF YOUR CONTENT
Startups that want to do serious marketing should always be up to date. The marketing channels should always be filled with current and highly relevant content. Startups that only use their social media channels to unload a contribution from time to time will not achieve any success with social media. Rather, it is a matter of startups to cleverly incorporate the current events in the industry into their content strategy.
In addition to that, “real-time” media such as Twitter can be used to exchange information on the relevant topics within your community. Also, search for industry-relevant keywords whose search query is constantly increasing and process these topics in the form of blog posts or even video content and your community will thank you.
FIND POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS
An important question for your startup marketing strategy is: where does your target group gather or exchange information online? Are there social media channels, groups or even forums where you meet your customers particularly often? If the answer to these questions is “YES”, then you should put all your marketing power on these places on the Internet or offline.
Startup marketing is about reaching as many of your potential customers for as little money as possible. If you already know the places where your target customers gather, then you should quickly go to these places and join their ongoing discussions and topics. If you don’t know this place yet, then you should make sure and find out where your target customers are online and offline because it is important to be present there.
BE SURE TO USE ONLINE BUSINESS PLATFORMS
In our opinion, the business platforms XING and LinkedIn are among the most effective social media platforms for startups when it comes to finding potential target customers and addressing them online. Nevertheless, in many cases, they are hardly used.
The two platforms give freshly baked startups the opportunity to connect with potential customers, investors and like-minded people in a simple manner. In contrast to Paid Ads, the whole thing is also free of charge. A lot of coverage can be achieved across the respective groups. However, your contributions should deliver as much added value as possible, otherwise, you will literally go under in the waterfall of the group contributions.
In order to use XING effectively, you need a premium account. However, the costs – especially in the first year – are manageable and, especially compared to other ad products, significantly cheaper.
FIND STRATEGIC PARTNERS
Strategic partnerships can be of immense importance for startups and their marketing. Quite a few startups rose through the right business development activities to the very big ones in their industry. However, there are some rules with “biz dev” that should be taken seriously. The most important rule is that you should deliver as much added value to your partner.
Most biz dev deals fail because one partner would simply bring much, much more into the relationship than the other. Or in reverse: while one partner only gets one finger, the other startup takes his whole arm straight away. Biz dev should therefore also be carefully planned and strategically implemented. Otherwise, you not only burn a lot of time and nerves but also the already low marketing budget of your startup.
USE SEO CLEVERLY AND GENERATE ORGANIC VISITORS
Startup marketing also means using search engines optimally. The sub-discipline of search engine optimization can have a major impact on your marketing success. For this, your startup needs an effective content marketing strategy in addition to a website. It is less about simply working through topics on your blog, but rather, about finding the interface between what you would like to write about as a startup and the search phrases that your potential target group is looking for online.
If your blog posts provide your readers with a lot of added value, this means that Google classifies your content as valuable and displays it in the rankings for the respective keyword. Within a few months, you can attract a relatively large number of people organically to your website with the corresponding rankings.
CHOOSE A PRODUCT ARCHITECTURE THAT FAVORS STARTUP MARKETING
Who knows the Dropbox success story? Once the app with the small box was only a startup that dreamed of big money and a lot of freedom. As of today, the company is worth several billion dollars. In addition to many strategically important decisions, the so-called “growth hacks” were primarily responsible for the meteoric success of the app. If you as a startup manage to implement even some features of the Dropbox story in your own product – for example, the “Invite a friend” function – this can mean the difference between the success and failure of your startup. This startup marketing method differs from others in the sense that its core lies in the software architecture, but that doesn’t make it any less lucrative and promising.
TRUST PROVEN CONCEPTS AND IDEAS
Doing marketing doesn’t mean that you have to constantly reinvent the wheel – not even for startups. All things that work in marketing have already been tested millions of times and successfully carried out. As a startup, it is important to be inspired by these success stories and to cleverly transfer the best parts of past successes to your own company. This is not about simply copying marketing concepts clumsily. However, you should not miss the opportunity to analyze the marketing activities of competing startups in detail.
From this, many conclusions can be drawn about your product and your target group. If you add your “secret formula” or your story to the ideas, campaigns are created that fit your company and your personality.
STRENGTHEN TRUST IN YOUR OWN COMPANY
Startups have a significant disadvantage compared to established companies because their brand is still unknown in the target market.
For new startups on the market, this means that the trust of the potential target group should be gained as quickly as possible. The following are suitable for this:
- Competitions and the awards they receive
- Events and trade fairs where you can introduce yourself to your target group
- Testimonials that show visitors to your site that your product is working properly
You can work out the latter creatively using appropriately prepared “Success Stories” and present it prominently on your page. The more well-known your customer list is, the greater is the trust in your startup.
STARTUP MARKETING STARTS EARLY AND NEVER ENDS
Effective startup marketing begins well before your product launch, immediately after the foundation of your own company. For startups, the aim is to build a community as quickly as possible and to provide potential customers with the most important information about your product, plans and of course the team. This is the only way to build up sufficient anticipation and above all trust before the actual start of sales. And that is exactly what makes your marketing efforts successful!