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Startup Marketing Strategy: 9 Essential Tips for Growth

Marketing7 mins
Brendan Connaughton|Updated Aug 15, 2019
startup team planning their marketing strategy

Marketing is a big challenge for every new rising brand. Being a startup, there are limitations on both budget and resources, and owners don’t always have the facilities to conduct full-scale marketing campaigns.

And then there’s keeping up with the competition. Other startups might have already matured their marketing strategy, while established businesses might have already built an audience with strong intent. These factors can easily cloud your appearance and decrease your chances of success, even with the most unique services and products.

However, the situation doesn’t have to be this way. There are some simple strategies that can help shape your marketing foundations with minimal investment. These methods are flexible, efficient, and are friendly on your budget.

Here are 9 simple ways to start marketing your startup:

1. Leverage Newsletters

Advertising your product with TV ads, newspaper ads, postcards, and brochures is the standard practice for business promotion. These practices are useful, but they are costly and are generally limited in reach. This is where newsletters can help you.

They can present your potential consumers with the value and the target of your business without any special work. They travel over email, present a flexible way to share content, and don't require any expensive software or hardware. All you need is a quality newsletter design that can represent your business and standard management tool; even an open-source will do the job.

2. Use Multi-Platform Social Media Marketing

If you are going to promote your products, social media is the ideal way to reach more people. Emails allow you to reach your existing leads and customers, but social media is a great way to reach new customers and test out different targeting methods with different segments.

Depending on your products and segments, Instagram allow you you geo-tag, share live videos and stories, and tag accounts. Try out some of these Instagram marketing tricks to offer an instant boost for your small business and generate highly targeted traffic for your business.

Facebook on the other hand can help you to create online stores, interact with existing businesses, and a lot more. There are also other platforms like Snapchat, YouTube, and Twitter, that can enhance your appearance in the market.

Before doubling down on one social media platform, try a few variations to see which offers the best reach for your ideal audience.

3. Conduct Competitive Analysis

Knowing your competition is an essential aspect of every business. It gives you an idea of the market, the strategies other companies are using, and the major challengers out there.

This competitive analysis will also give you an idea of the vulnerable parts of the other companies. You can use this knowledge to gain leverage over your competitors and even surpass them. If your main competitor is an established business, you can also use this initiative to find the strategies they are using. Then you can implement the same tricks in your business and earn profit from them.

4. Listen To Your Customers

Customers are the most crucial part of your business, and your marketing strategy largely depends on whether your products and services are relevant to them. You can test social media, stats and other data to better understand the demand, but the best idea of finding clear answers is chatting to them directly.

If you have a website, create a section where consumers can share their views. Social media chats, surveys, and live video are also an excellent idea for it. Once you know what they expect from you, you can mold your business techniques accordingly. There are no overall expenses for this process, but you might need to install some tools to manage and create proposals from the collected data.

5. Focus On Word Of Mouth

Consumer trust other consumers more than a business or brand. It means that you’re increasing your chances of getting traffic if your promotion comes from a fellow consumer.

Building social proof using testimonials is the simplest way to get this started. Once you’ve found validation in this, you can also try other ways like affiliate marketing, referral marketing, and more. Using an influencer like a celebrity, athletes, or any other famous personalities is also an excellent idea, depending on your product or service, as their fans already have affinity towards them.

6. Focus On Website Speed

Consumers never want to wait for a website to load. They need a site that can load all the content in minimal time, usually a few seconds. Site speed is also an essential factor for SEO ranking. It often implicates how well a site’s ranking, if it provides highly targeted information.

Make sure that your site has optimizations for every page. Try installing some quality SEO Tools to analyze the website and conduct regular speed test for it.

7. User-Generated Content

As a startup, creating quality posts for social media can be a bit challenging, especially if you have a limited budget for cameras and lights. The best rescue in this scenario will be to use user-generated content.

This content comes from the user’s end, so there’s no investment, no complicated editing procedure, or any other hassle. You can create a platform to collect the data, select adequate posts, and use them.

Even the most established businesses like Amazon, eBay, and more are using this trick.

8. Consider Free Gifts

The most successful medium for promoting a business is its existing consumers. The consumer connected to your site will know about your product and will also have some known who can buy them.

So, all they need is a motive to promote your business. And offering discount coupons for successful referrals, a small gift for a purchase or a cashback on next purchase is great way to nurture them.

For example, gifting t-shirts is a pretty popular tactic used by marketing teams to build brand affinity with their customers. There are a lot of businesses that can print on demand T-shirts at a reasonable price.

9. Create Explainer Videos

Written content, graphics, and animation are good for promoting a product, but videos offer you more than that. They create a way to convey direct messages to consumers. They enable you to share your brand value, installation process, benefits of using them, and a lot more.

Over the last two years, video has seen much higher rates of engagement over other content forms, and they don’t require a studio set up to get started! You can make them with any decent quality phone and in natural lighting. As long as everything is visible and audible, there is no need for any professional equipment.

10. Scaling with an Effective Tech Stack

Staying ahead of the technological curve is critical for startups aiming to outpace their incumbents. By using tried and tested tech, like marketing proposals, as well as some of the newer emerging tools for marketing and sales teams, you can get a competitive edge in your go-to-market.

For detailed guidance on selecting the right tools, explore our comprehensive guides on the best sales tools, best AI sales tools, and best customer engagement tools, which provide valuable insights for making informed tech choices for your startup.

The Final Words

Apart from these marketing tricks, there’s one more element that you’ll need for promoting your business—a way to measure your impact. In the business world, it’s known that the marketing that you cannot measure can never be successful.

Interact with your team, form a system that can compare the investment to return and show you the success rates of each marketing strategy. You can also create data flow diagrams to analyze your ROI. The analysis comes in handy for forming future marketing strategies.

About the author

Brendan Connaughton, Head of Growth Marketing

Brendan Connaughton|Head of Growth Marketing

Brendan heads up growth marketing and demand generation at Qwilr, overseeing performance marketing, SEO, and lifecycle initiatives. Brendan has been instrumental in developing go-to-market functions for a number of high-growth startups and challenger brands.