Every startup wants to build an audience that supports them by making more purchases, subscribers, signups, etc. Are you also one of them? Those who want to build an empire?
Of course, it’s every business owner’s dream.
Usually, everyone immerses so much into the nitty gritty of business, such as accounting, budgeting, team building, and profit, that they forget about marketing strategy.
According to statistics, around 90% of startups fail during the first year.
So the question arises as a startup, how can you reduce the chances of failure? How can you attract more customers that keep your business thriving?
Simple, all you need to do is be creative and think out of the box.
If you want to skyrocket your business growth within the first year, focus on marketing strategies.
In this blog, you’ll learn the 13 best marketing strategies. But we know that all businesses are different, and there’s no one size fits all approach.
That’s why I’ll also share a guide to help you pick a perfect marketing strategy for your business.
So let’s grow your business with these outstanding startup marketing strategies.
What Is a Startup Marketing Strategy?
Startup marketing refers to strategies, tactics, and activities to increase business growth. It is a plan of action that outlines how a new and emerging company intends to promote its products or services to its target audience and achieve its business objectives.
The motive behind it can vary, such as;
- Attracting customers
- Promoting services
- Establish a strong presence in the market
- Increase brand awareness
But the biggest hurdle in every startup’s success is one thing.
Their LIMITED BUDGET.
According to statistics, startups only spend 11% of their revenue on marketing.
They want to grow quickly, but most techniques require a lot of money. In this situation, what should a startup do?
The best thing you can do in this scenario is to focus on cost-effective marketing strategies, which are specially for startups. You don’t have enough money to run Google ads, big billboards in NYC, or shout-outs from celebrities.
But that’s what startup marketing strategy is for!
In this strategy, you create a comprehensive marketing plan that doesn’t break the bank, yet the return on investment is incredibly high. The goal is to increase awareness of your brand, then eventually build a strong, loyal customer base who are ready to buy anything from you.
In short, it is a strong roadmap for your startup success.
These business strategies are often creative, innovative, and strongly data-driven. If done accurately, you can easily reach your target audience and become their favorite brand.
13 Startup Marketing Strategies
As a startup, you need to utilize all the sources you have smartly. Think about how you can leverage a particular strategy. You can easily achieve business success by mindful thinking and a creative approach.
Now, you know what it means.
It’s time to look at the 13 best startup marketing strategies.
1. High Impact With Emails
Even in 2023, Gmail has around 1.8 billion active users. The number of active users keeps increasing. It’s one of the most cost-effective methods of connecting with your customers and letting them know about your new products and offers.
All you need to do is;
- Get the email address of your prospect or customer.
- Create a compelling email copy about your offer.
- Scroll-stopping subject lines.
- Add a persuasive CTA.
- Hit the send button. If you’re sending emails to hundreds or thousands of people, then using software such as Klaviyo is highly recommended.
It’s that easy!
If the recipient is interested in your offer, they’ll immediately act on CTA.
We all have heard of the famous Airbnb company. Right?
But not many people know that they also used email marketing in their early days and got outstanding results.
The founders of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, recognized the power of personalization and storytelling.
They sent personalized, well-crafted emails to Airbnb hosts and guests. Their focus was to make Airbnb more than just a rental company.
So they used emails to highlight the unique experiences and personal stories of hosts and guests. So the platform feels more like a community than just a booking service.
But how can you leverage email marketing? And you might be wondering what type of content you should add to the email.
These are the questions that most people usually have regarding emails.
I recommend the most effective approach in this regard: diversifying your emails.
- Non-commercial valuable content such as guides, information, latest news, etc.
- Commercial content such as offers, giveaways, new product launches, etc.
If you have a website, adding the “Subscribe To Newsletter” can be a huge game-changer. This way, you can increase your customer base and foster a deeper connection with them.
2. Start A Blog With Search Engine Optimization
Blogging is undoubtedly a powerful strategy to get more exposure. Many startups create a website and then start writing blogs.
But they make tons of blunders. Let me list some of them for you;
- Poor formatting
- Extremely difficult vocabulary
- Not understanding the needs of the target audience
And the list of these blunders is extremely long.
But the biggest blunder is not focusing on SEO.
Did you know there are around 1.13 billion websites in the world?
So how do you plan on competing with these billions of websites? As a startup, you don’t have enough money to spend on Google ads unless you spend it from your pocket.
But don’t worry; there’s a way through which you can win and rank on Google.
It’s by doing proper SEO.
By writing a blog, you position your startup as an expert in a specific field. And from there, SEO will do the magic.
It’ll increase your blog search engine ranking, so the chances of your customers finding you are extremely high.
Remember that high-quality content for your blog is extremely important. It plays a key role in ranking your blog. Here are some questions you should ask yourself;
- Is your blog easy to read?
- Does your content provide value to the reader?
- Is your blog properly conveying the information with a clear CTA?
Make a content strategy for your blog. Many business startups usually use WordPress, but there are plenty of other CMS. Some of them are;
Every CMS has unique features and benefits. So choose one which is most suitable for your startup.
3. Leverage Guest Post Opportunities
If you want to position yourself as an expert in your niche, then guest posting is the most effective way. It’s not only going to give a boost to your brand reputation but also increase traffic to the website.
You might have some concerns about how to find those opportunities. Especially as a startup, it’s not easy. But here’s how to get started with it and get maximum benefits out of it;
- Search on Google about guest posting opportunities. Type keywords like “write for us + your niche” and “guest post + your niche.” If you have a mentor you look up to but are confused about whether they accept guest posts. Then you should check their website. There is usually a page, dedicated to guest posts and submissions, with detailed guidelines.
- While pitching, make sure not to write exaggeratedly. Be unique and try to write in the blog’s tone. Another important thing is to make it 100% original and plagiarism free. Tell how your contribution will be beneficial for their brand reputation. Show them how you can add value.
- As your blog traffic increases, invite guest bloggers to your website. You can reach out to them via digital marketing channels such as LinkedIn, Instagram and create a page for guest post contributions. Share all the details, including contact info, guest post guidelines, and rules.
4. Promote Business Using Offline Tactics
Most startups heavily rely on online promotion, which is a good thing. But as a startup, you have to try every possible source, and offline promotion is one of them.
Around 39% of marketers have reported that offline promotion has been highly helpful in their campaigns.
But how can you leverage it?
After extensive research, trial, and error, I’ve found these top strategies which work well for startups.
- Create well-designed business cards for your business. Add your services to it with a clear CTA and your contact info. Make it simple, sweet, and persuasive.
- Once you are done with this, find networking opportunities where you can hand your business card to your prospective customers. Find trade shows, webinars, seminars, and events that can be amazing for meeting people. Tell them about your services.
5. Increase Influence Through Social Media
The power of social media isn’t hidden from any of us. So missing out on social channels is a huge loss for anyone who wants to grow their business.
As your business page progresses, you’ll see an increase in sales and brand awareness as well. And this is what every startup wants.
It’ll get the word out and increase your reach. So how should you get started?
Many businesses create a page and wait for followers, customers, likes, and comments. But they won’t miraculously appear out of thin air.
So here’s a solution for it.
- Create a page on a social media channel where your audience is most active.
- Start posting relevant and helpful content. Use videos, infographics, images, social proof, and testimonials to engage them and gain their trust.
- Create ads with compelling ad copy and eye-catchy visuals. You can run ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to gain more attention.
Remember making a profile isn’t enough. You’ve to be patient and consistent with your social media strategy.
6. Sponsor Relevant Event
This is one of the most unique startup marketing strategies. In this, you sponsor a local event to tell others about your startup.
All you need to do is pay a small fee to event organizers, and then it’s done. You have grabbed an excellent opportunity to get maximum results from your marketing efforts.
You should use these things to target market in the event;
- Business card
- Promotional material
Be as creative as you want. It’s an arrangement through which both parties get benefits.
But there’s one thing you should remember.
Sponsor events that are relevant to your business niche. So if you’re a healthcare startup, sponsoring a clothing event will not benefit much. So, in that case, you should sponsor events like;
- Mental health awareness
- Healthy physical activities
7. Make An Exciting Challenge
This is a fun interactive activity that I highly recommend. As a marketer, you should always have a customer-centric approach, which means knowing, understanding, and, most importantly, engaging them.
But how can you attract more customers?
Make your offer(product, service) the main point of attention. Let it get all the attention in the marketing campaign and remove all the distractions.
Do you remember the famous “Crash the Super Bowl” contest?
It invited customers to create their own Doritos commercials. The winning ads were aired during the Super Bowl, and the creators received cash prizes and the opportunity to work with Doritos.
It engaged a larger audience with the brand in a very fun manner.
8. Partner With Other Brands
Suppose you are just getting started and have zero ideas on attracting more audience. Then what should you do?
You particularly don’t know about building a loyal fan base. But there’s one thing you can do.
Which is getting help from a larger company!
A company that already has a large fan base can be of huge benefit to a startup.
Music, streaming giant Spotify collaborated with Genius. It is a platform for annotating lyrics to provide users with insights and background information about songs.
This collaboration added value to Spotify’s music library and increased user engagement. Thus leading to potential revenue growth through increased premium subscriptions.
But as a startup, why would a big company collaborate with you?
Remember that you have to make them see the big picture of your business. Tell them how the partnership is mutually beneficial for them.
Use the art of persuasion to convince them and network with people who can help you step up the business ladder.
9. Shower Customers With Free Gifts
We all love free products. Whether it’s free shipping or a gift, we quickly grab it. It’s the best way to encourage customers to make a purchase.
Based on your product, you can offer similar things to your customers. Suppose you are a clothing brand. What free items can you sell?
You don’t have to be extravagant. Do things like;
- Simple thank you note
- Early access to sales
- Free 1-1 15-minute styling consultations
Even big brands are leveraging this strategy.
Domino’s Pizza offers a rewards program called Piece of the Pie Rewards.
The customers earn points for each online order. After accumulating a certain number of points, customers receive a free pizza.
This strategy increased online orders, repetitive customers, and larger orders.
10. Make Your Customers Your Marketers
If you want your customers to be unpaid brand ambassadors and marketers, this is the perfect strategy for you.
Referral marketing is a strategy that relies on word-of-mouth and personal recommendations to promote products or services. In this approach, current customers are encouraged to share the products with others.
But here’s a legit question you might have. Why would your existing customers even do that?
Because in return for these referrals or affiliate marketing, you provide them either;
- Free trials
- Cash discounts
Or any other reward in general. So do you want your customers to spread the word about your business without you lifting a finger?
Start a referral program, and don’t worry. It’s not expensive.
- Decide what you’ll offer referrers and new customers.
- Make benefits easy to understand.
- Decide where to promote the program.
- Use unique links or codes to monitor referrals.
- Consider software for management.
- Make it easy to refer to and redeem.
- Comply with legal and privacy requirements.
The rewards should be something that your audience loves.
11. Collaborate With Influencers
With the rise in social media, influencer marketing is becoming extremely popular. People trust their reviews and buy products they use in the blink of an eye.
You can partner with celebrities and social media influencers who can promote your product or service.
But most mega influencers charge thousands of dollars for brand promotions. In that case, you should contact nano influencers. Their reach might be less, but they have a much greater influence on their audience.
12. Win Against Low Attention Span With Videos
The average human attention span is less than a goldfish. It’s only 8.2 seconds.
Videos emerge as a huge life savior. Because despite their low attention span, people love watching them. It’s much more engaging than any other form of content. So if you’re making a video, make it short, engaging, and relevant. Don’t add too much fluff because the audience will likely get bored and lose interest. And we don’t want that to happen.
You can use social media platforms such as;
13. Make The Best PR
Public Relation is great for early-stage startups who are tight on budget. However, you should carefully consider this marketing tactic.
The components of an effective PR blueprint are:
- Crafting compelling press releases.
- Adept story pitching to media.
- Strategic engagement with industry influencers.
Make clear goals for PR and then create a comprehensive plan. You can write press releases, white papers, pitch stories, etc.
You can also implement other strategies to reach wider audiences. They are,
- Content marketing
- Paid advertising
- Guerrilla marketing
Blueprint To Selecting the Best Startup Marketing Strategy
I’ve told you 13 strategies, but you might find even more online, 20,50, or even more. But none of that will work if you don’t know how to pick the perfect strategy.
Here’s a step-by-step process to help you find the perfect strategy to take your startup to the next level.
- Understand who your customers are, what they like, and what they need. In simple words, understand your ideal target audience.
- Set SMART business goals. Decide what you want to achieve, like more website visitors or sales.
- Do comprehensive market and competitor research. Learn from others in your field. Find their weaknesses and strengths.
- Showcase your testimonials and client success. Make your product special by showing how it helps your ideal customers.
- Pick the right platform to communicate with customers. Use social media, email, ads, and more to reach your customers where they hang out.
- Leverage both offline and online tactics to grow.
- Build a network of strong people and make your dream team.
- Check your progress regularly. Keep an eye on how effective your plan is. Check metrics regularly.
- Be ready to switch things up if they do not work as planned. Especially if the conversion rate is low and also check key performance indicators.
- Spend your marketing budget where it will bring the most back to you. Only take calculated risks.
Now you have all the necessary successful marketing strategies you need. It’s time to take action and promote your startup finally. From how you talk to target customers to your online marketing, plan it all smartly.
At SERP Navigator, we help startups navigating the digital world. So are you ready to 10x the growth of your startup? Contact us now.