You may have already heard that 9 out of 10 start-ups will fail. “Only about 10% of start-ups will exist post the 5-year mark – over 17,000 of these companies will be non-existent by the year 2022” – Entrepreneur magazine. This a statistic that no one likes to hear when they are in the early stages of their business, so here are the 5 best marketing strategies which you can utilise right now.
I’ve written this to motivate you to make sure you land in the 10% of start-ups that succeed.
Starting a business can be costly. This can result in pushing advertising and marketing to the bottom of the priorities list.
But here’s the thing, successful start-ups know that having a marketing strategy in place is essential to be successful.
With this in mind, here are what I consider to be 5 of the best marketing strategies for start-up companies.
1. ENGAGE IN SOCIAL MEDIA.
One of the great things about social media is it’s free to set up and can drive more revenue if executed well.
“When companies engage and respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers spend 20% to 40% more with the company”- Entrepreneur magazine.
You should also create content on social media to promote your business. Your content should be a mixture of entertaining and informative. I would also consider creating some video content as this does particularly well on social media.
“43% of people want to see more video content from marketers… 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI…” – Lindsay Kolowich, Hubspot
- Start by researching where your target customer spends their time on social media.
- Create regular content your audience will like.
- Respond to comments and requests.
- Focus more on entertaining or educational content instead of ads initially.
2. OFFER INCENTIVES TO CUSTOMERS THAT REFER YOU.
A lot of start-ups succeed and often build revenue through referrals. This can be a great way to get your name out there and market yourself for little cost.
“Referred customers are also more loyal and have a 16% higher lifetime value – meaning they spend more long-term – according to researchers at Wharton and Goethe University.”- Marcia Layton Turner, contributor, Forbes magazine
Providing excellent customer service is a great place to start and doesn’t cost you anything.
Ask existing customers for testimonials. This will help build your social proof and get people to trust you and your business.
- Offer your potential customers an incentive if they refer you to a new client. E.g. a discount.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews.
3. ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE IN FORUMS.
Engaging on forums is a great way to build an online presence when starting a business.
It’s also brilliant for researching your customer’s pain points, as this will give you great ideas for creating content online. For example, if you see a particular problem discussed on a variety of forums, that’s a sure fire sign that it will be worth making a blog or a video that solves this problem.
You can also directly respond to questions your target customers have. This will again build your social proof and show that you are an expert in your business field.
- Research the forums where your target customer spends their time.
- Engage in conversations by answering questions and offering free advice.
- Use the forums to look out for events where you can promote your business.
- Make content based around solving audience pain points.
4. BUILD A NICHE (ONE OF THE BEST MARKETING STRATEGIES).
Here’s a question that can really set you apart from your competition, what is it about your business that is different to your competitors?
If you can find a niche in your area then it can also really help you hone in on your target customer.
“The key is you want to focus on one specific market that you can serve, over and over again, rather than spreading yourself too thin by trying to operate in multiple niche markets.”- The balance
A great way to market your niche is by creating free content that offers advice. This could be in the form of a blog, video or podcast.
By providing expert advice in your field means you will find more people will trust you and come to your business down the line.
- Connect with influencers in your chosen niche and suggest writing a guest blog for them.
- Create a blog for your own website.
- Regularly post free advice blogs on Facebook using audience targeting to deliver your content to potential customers.
5. MAKE USE OF KEYWORDS.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a great technique for increasing visibility of your website in search results.
This is achieved by identifying relevant long tail keywords and then sprinkling these through your blog posts and website. It will likely increase traffic to your site.
Also, work on getting high-quality back-links to your website. This can be done by guest posting on relevant forums and including a link back to your website.
- Gather a list of phrases and keywords that are relevant to your brand. Google Keyword Tool is a great site for helping achieve this.
- Use these keywords to create blogs and other content.
The success of your business is influenced by many different factors. If you can get the marketing side right, your business will much more likely succeed.
These 5 best marketing strategies are not only cost effective but achievable. It just requires a bit of planning, creativity and consistency.
For more actionable marketing tips why not read “8 marketing strategies for small businesses in 2017“.