One of the key differentiators between a successful startup and a failure is marketing. You may have the most amazing, ingenious product ever invented. You may have even created an entirely new market. But if you don’t have an effective marketing strategy, nobody will hear about it, you won’t make any sales, and your business will go under.
So, what are some of the best marketing techniques for your new startup? Let’s take a look …
This is one of my favorite techniques, as it’s tried-and-true and will likely continue to be effective for years to come. Often we see flash-in-the-pan marketing “tricks” that are made obsolete by a Google algorithm update, or for some other reason. Content marketing is not one of these 🙂
Here’s the basics of how it works:
- Write a blog post targeting a specific keyword that applies to your product or service, and that your potential customers are likely to be searching for.
- Promote the post on social media, through your own social channels as well as paid advertising.
- Promote the post to your email list (assuming you have one).
- Do outreach to key stakeholders in your industry.
- Measure the results of your promotions (ie views, clicks, conversions).
- Learn from the results gathered and make adjustments to your future campaigns.
Now if you don’t have the time to write the content yourself, you can choose one of these amazing copy writing services and they’ll do it for you.
Affiliates / Referrals
Considering that people are much more likely to buy a product if they hear about if from a friend, this technique probably has the highest return-on-investment.
You could either develop your own affiliate program, or use one of the many platforms available, like Commission Junction, AvantLink, or Impact Radius. If your website is running software like WordPress or Shopify, there are paid and free plugins available to help get your affiliate program up and running.
Some ideas as incentives for your customers to use the program:
- % discount on their subscription (say 10%)
- Flat $ payment per referral (say $5)
- A free product
Have fun with it! If your customers truly love what your startup is doing, it should be very easy to get them to help spread the word.
Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and its sub-strategy Search Engine Optimization (SEO) have been around since Google became popular as a search engine. SEO involves optimizing your website to get better organic rankings in search engines, whereas SEM includes SEO but also other strategies, like Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising.
Without a doubt, if you are able to rank well in Google for a high-traffic keyword, your chances of success increase significantly. Plus the hordes of visitors that’ll be coming to your website will be 100% free (excluding of course the initial work you had to do to increase your rankings). It’s pretty hard to beat free traffic!
A word of caution, though. Be wary of what SEM techniques you use, or which companies you hire to do the work, as if you do anything that violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, you risk being penalized, or even worse … having your domain completely indexed.
SEO For Growth is one of my favorite search engine marketing companies.
Press Releases (PR’s) are the final technique we’re going to cover. They’re fairly inexpensive to write and distribute, and if you’re lucky and get picked up by a major publication, are a powerful way to get a ton of visitors to your website.
Some quick tips to keep in mind when writing your PR:
- Highlight the best aspects of your product or service
- Write it as if a reporter was reporting on your startup
- Include some interesting quotes (typically from the founders or customers)
As far as distribution goes, you can either personally contact the news outlets you want to, or hire someone to do it using a service on Fiverr or PR Newswire.
I hope you find these techniques helpful! Do you have any others that we didn’t cover? Please share in the comments below 🙂