You’ve just launched your startup, your concept is great, your website is beautifully optimized, and your team is ready to begin processing sales. However, all this hard work can only pay off if you have done the marketing to back it up.
Of course, this is no secret, and the chances are that you are already up to speed on many of the typical marketing techniques that underpin any successful business venture. Optimizing your on-site SEO, building a portfolio of high-quality, shareable content, and drafting in friends and family to help spread the word are all great starting points.
However, while each of these tactics should form part of your ongoing marketing strategy, there is still plenty more you can do to give your startup an extra boost and help it stand out from the ever-increasing profusion of online competitors. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
1. Niche Marketing
This is fairly elementary, yet it is a powerful tactic that many promising businesses overlook in their early days. Finding your niche allows you to refine your brand’s message, and target a more specialist audience. One advantage of this is that you will have fewer direct competitors, and can benefit from building your rank for long-tail keywords.
More importantly, having a clearly defined niche is particularly valuable to your customers. This is because, while your target market may be smaller, they are already searching for a very specific product, and this is the thing that has led them to you. As a result, they are more likely to be ready to make a purchase.
Niche marketing holds great value to startups marketing on a budget, as it enables you to secure positive outcomes without spending a fortune to compete with more established industry competitors. Countless startups, including YouTube, Facebook, and Tinder, have used niche marketing as part of their execution strategies.
Furthermore, it is a valuable contributor to your brand’s identity, as it differentiates you from similar businesses, while simultaneously offering something to your customers that they want or need.
Instead of devoting all your energy to securing new leads, why not take some time to re-engage with those who have previously shown an interest in your business? Whether they are a former customer who has not returned, or a lead lost on the verge of conversion, reaching out with a relevant, tailored communication may be enough to bring them back to your brand.
Facebook Pixel is a piece of code you can add to your website to measure, optimize and build audiences for your retargeting campaigns. It allows you to create dynamic adverts that are shown to people who have already viewed products on your website. You can find step-by-step instructions for adding Facebook Pixel to your website here.
Source: Facebook pixel
One of the main advantages of retargeting is that you already have enough data on the individual to fine-tune your approach to suit their preferences. In addition, you have the knowledge that they have previously been willing to engage with your brand, so there is a fair chance that they can be encouraged to do so again.
In this Facebook ads case study, Ezra Firestone talks about how he generated a 10x return on investment with just two ad campaigns – possible even if you’re advertising on a budget.
3. Influencer Marketing
As a large number of online consumers use ad blockers, it can be hard to reach them with traditional marketing methods. In contrast, influencer marketing is becoming steadily more popular and influential.
While securing the support of a high profile influencer may be a challenge in the early days of your business, there is still a lot to be gained from capitalizing on this rapidly growing marketing trend.
Investigate social media influencers across platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Figure out which of these figures is most in touch with your target audience, and determine whether the product or service you offer could be relevant to them. You can also try influencer marketing platforms such as FameBit, BrandBacker, and Exposely.
The key to a successful influencer partnership is to reach an arrangement that benefits you both. After all, they have an audience to keep engaged, so it is important that whatever they are promoting on your behalf brings some value to their channel.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to potential influencers, and create tailored marketing communications focused on winning them to your cause. While this may seem like a lot of work to convert just one person, if targeted correctly, the potential returns should far outstrip your investment.
Another great platform to take a look at is TRIBE – an influencer marketing marketplace that connects brands with micro-influencers. Tiers range from ‘small business’ for low budget campaigns from £500, up to ‘agency’ for high budget campaigns up to £30k.
Take a look at these 10 Influencer Marketing Case Studies With Insane Results.
4. Conversion Rate Optimization
Funneling leads onto your website is one thing, but getting them to respond to your CTA can be quite another. If you are using a CMS or online store builder, you should already have access to a range of helpful analytics. If not, there are a number of widely available business tools that can help you with this.
CRO software aims to identify why your CTAs are failing, and at what point on the customer’s journey. Once you have highlighted the problem areas, you can begin to refine your approach through a process of split-testing, surveys, and customer journey analysis.
Over time, this can drive meaningful change, strengthening your brand’s presence, and helping you to increase conversions across all aspects of your marketing strategy.
5. Offer Incentives
Whether it’s a time-sensitive e-voucher, a personalized discount, or an exclusive free sample, offers and incentives are a fantastic way to get people’s attention. Of course, these offers should not outstrip your returns, so it is important to weigh up the benefits against the overall costs before launching a campaign of this nature.
The best way to maximize your gains is often to make rewards an incentive to be earnt by fulfilling a particular requirement. This could be anything from signing up to your mailing list, to referring a certain number of friends to your website.
Whatever the case, a well-worded, attractive offer can be enough to draw new visitors to your website, simply to learn more. Referral schemes and sharing incentives have the added bonus of generating social proof and securing new leads with minimal effort on your part.
6. Growth Hacking
You may have heard that some marketers have found a way to game the system. Growth hacking operates on the principle that your product or service can market itself. Capitalizing on consumer curiosity, viral loops, and buyer psychology, many growth hacks tie in with incentive-based and influencer marketing. These strategies hinge on encouraging users to attract new leads for your brand, in exchange for something else that they want.
A classic example was the early adoption of Google’s Gmail service. By limiting invitations, new users were given a feeling of exclusivity that made them more likely to sign up, and thereafter have the power to distribute their own batch of invitations. While this may seem like a trivial incentive today, it is the perceived value to the customer that makes growth hacks so effective.
7. Community Outreach
Remember that not all of your marketing efforts need to be online, although you can certainly share their success there if you choose. However, for many startups, early business comes largely from friends, family, and people from your local area. This is, even more, the case if you offer a face-to-face service, or you are marketing for a brick and mortar store.
Find out whether there is anything you can do within your local area that fits in with your brand’s identity, but also provides something of value to the community. This could be anything from sponsoring a community event to providing equipment to a local school.
Outreach in local communities is an effective way to boost your local brand presence online, as well as off. It’s always worth remembering that local Google searches lead half of the mobile users to visit a store the same day. Midas, an auto repair franchise, used community outreach with great success when it launched ‘Drive Out Hunger’ in support of hunger relief across North America.
Check out these 22 Charitable Companies That Actually Give Back for more inspiration.
With all that said and done, you might think you had come to the end of your marketing journey, but of course, that is far from the case. Nevertheless, effective marketing is its own reward, and over time, the returns on your investment will spur your business on to new heights.
Your efforts directly fuel the success of your business, and only by continuing to develop and refine your marketing approach can you truly give your startup the firm footing it deserves to thrive within the world of online business.