Part of building a new business involves getting the word out about why your solutions are your market’s ideal fit. However, marketing a brand can be a unique challenge for startups with limited budgets and staff. It’s not unusual for smaller companies with fewer resources to have to scramble to be effective.
You want to achieve your marketing goals, but you also have to stay within your means. So, what can a startup do to move the needle and not overextend itself? Below are four tips to market your new business using a smaller pool of resources.
1. Create Content With a Purpose
Setting up a website is an important step toward creating an online presence for your business. Yet, a website won’t get enough people to take notice. Creating content your audience finds relevant, engaging, and shareable is what gets attention for your brand. Information you create and distribute establishes your business as a thought leader.
At the same time, you don’t want to produce blog posts and other shareable content for the sake of it. You want a thoughtful content strategy behind it. A strategy is your plan for how different content will help your startup achieve its goals. From there, you’ll look at several core elements of the content your team will create.
Those elements include the information you share, its context, the format, and the medium or digital channel. While the content should help your startup meet its objectives, consider your audience’s goals. What are their search intents, aspirations, and pain points? And how can your content help satisfy or address those? Creating online content doesn’t take a ton of money, but you need a strategy for it to make an impact.
2. Increase Brand Buzz With PR
Digital content increases awareness, drives conversions, and engages your audience. Digital PR is another type of content that aims to amplify your brand. You might think PR campaigns only involve press releases, but they can be so much more. After all, press releases may get buried in the online media landscape and not hold a lot of value for an audience.
You can increase the chances of press release success with strategies such as perfecting the timing of the release. You can also make them interactive and link what your brand is doing to trending topics. But it’s much more difficult for unknown startups to build awareness with press releases when there isn’t anyone lending authority.
It’s much more effective for startup founders to establish connections with industry thought leaders and news outlets. You can target journalists who work for smaller publications since they won’t be as wooed by big-name companies. Look for online influencers who target a similar audience. Try pitching industry-relevant stories, including case studies about how your startup is breaking ground. It could even be a story about how your business is helping your community.
3. Build a Referral System
People love to share information, whether it’s good or bad. Referral marketing capitalizes on this human trait by incentivizing customers to share their favorite brands with family and friends. For companies, it’s a low-cost way to bring in new business. Your current clients promote your solutions for you, and both sides get something out of the deal.
An impressive 83% of consumers will enthusiastically refer others to a brand if they have a positive experience. If there’s an incentive involved, such as a $25 gift card, consumers’ eagerness is bound to increase. Today’s leading companies in industries involving digital currency and cloud file sharing were once startups, too. These businesses used the power of referral marketing to grow into household names.
The incentives your startup offers may change as you build your client roster. The most important aspect is to ensure your incentive is competitive and appeals to your audience’s needs. Your referral system should also include a means of nurturing relationships. It could be through email, direct mail, and text messages. Just ensure your referral program allows consumers to willingly exchange their information and opt out of messages at any time.
4. Build Anticipation With a Wait List
Offering free trials and freemium versions of your products is a way to attract attention. Everyone enjoys getting something for free if it’s something they value. Although a free product or trial is persuasive, you might feel uncomfortable with the idea. What if your budget doesn’t have the wiggle room to give your products away, even for a short time?
Another way to build anticipation and generate awareness is by starting a waitlist. Announce a launch date for your product, but allow consumers to sign up for a pre-launch preview. Let them join a waitlist of the first customers who will get access to your product. This technique uses the concept of pre-sales to gauge interest while leveraging the fear of missing out.
Also known as FOMO, it can motivate people to get in on the ground floor of something new and exciting. It also appeals to consumers’ need to feel special, as though they’re part of an exclusive or unique community. You can provide those who sign up with product previews and educational content during the waiting period. You can also tie your waitlist into your referral system, providing people with ongoing or one-time incentives.
Marketing a New Business
Your startup is the new kid on the block. To build momentum, you have to attract attention to what you’re selling and establish a loyal fanbase. With limited resources, this undertaking might seem like you’re starting at the bottom of a 14,000-foot mountain. But getting to the summit is easier if you know how to leverage efficient and effective marketing techniques. Content, PR, referral, and low-cost incentive strategies are just a few of the tools at your disposal.
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