What You Need To Know About Marketing Your First Startup
We hear all the time about how often startups fail. Maybe it’s because the product wasn’t developed enough, or they ran out of cash. But one reason a lot of startups don’t make the cut is that they didn’t market themselves properly, and thus, didn’t get the customers they needed. As a core component of your company’s success, being able to market yourself is imperative, which is why we’re running through a few helpful tips on how to get your name out there properly. Check it out below:
Start With Your Brand
While there are a lot of different directions you could take with your marketing, the ideal route is to start with your brand. This is the core identity of your belief system to why you’re in business in the first place, which should resonate throughout your entire identity. Furthermore, your brand is the most likely first-perception someone will have of your company, which is important for compiling a group of followers; according to Brand Buddha, 80 percent of consumers say that authenticity is the most influential factor for following a brand. Which, if you’re trying to master, then the first thing you should consider is what exactly does your brand stand for, as well as what does it represent.
A good way to think about your brand is by envisioning it out in the real world. For example, if you saw your logo on a bus stop or sticker somewhere, what would you think that company did? What type of personality would say it would have? Is it something that you, yourself, would be attracted to. A big part of finding that bus stop/sticker level identity you’d resonate with stems from your core belief system, which is the basic idea of how your startup would like to change the world. While that might seem high-minded, it’s also the biggest driving force to your identity, because if there’s one thing that’s clear, your brand is going to be everywhere your company is, which means it needs to be worth the space it takes up.
Work On Messaging Your Market Fit
With a brand established, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to message this image and mission concisely. While you might think that this is relaying your elevator pitch, that isn’t always the most reliable message to every single customer. This is an exercise that’s more about trying to reach the average Joe rather than an investor, which is a crucial element to have; because as noted by CB Insights, with 42 percent of startups failing because they couldn’t find a market need, this an aspect that you need to address from the jump. However, a big part of that comes with first being able to distinguish between who you are and what you do, as well as how those two concepts work together.
Starting from your mission, work back into the origin of why you first decided there was a need for your product. In other words, what exactly is it about your product or service that makes it a “can’t live without” type solution? Furthermore, how do you impact your industry or customer base? As you start to hone in on your messaging, remember that this isn’t set in stone and something that you should adjust and refine as your company continues to learn more about its customers.
Learn How To Be Social
A big part of marketing your startup will require being active on social media, but you may not know how to grow your brand with Instagram. But don’t stress, as there are some social media marketing techniques that you can utilize to make your brand prosper; for example, as noted by Sprout Social, Instagram posts with at least one hashtag receive 12.6 percent more engagement. However, before we dive too deep into specific talking points, let’s take a step back and first ask: where should I be social?
With social media, the most important aspect of being successful is first knowing where your audience is as well as how they engage on that platform. A startup that sells a consumer good would fair much better showcasing their items on Instagram and Twitter, while another startup that offers nonprofit management software might fair better on LinkedIn and Twitter. Chances are, you probably have a decent understanding of where your industry is, it’s just a matter of being a part of the conversation on a regular basis, which can be much more difficult than you might imagine.
Keep Consistent With Your Marketing
Finally, if there’s one key piece of advice a lot of startups need to hear, it’s that in order to succeed with your marketing, you need to keep going on marketing. While that might sound simple, it’s the honest truth, with a lot of companies giving up too quickly or changing directions too often. This can stunt your growth, leaving you with not enough time to develop an audience, as well as not a clear enough message to get behind. And if this is something you’re trying to avoid, then coming correct with a consistent marketing plan is key.
Not only will consistent marketing give you a better chance of building an audience, but potential profits as well. According to Inc, brands that have consistent visibility see an average boost of 23 percent in their revenues, which while that doesn’t necessarily mean if you send a ton of social media posts or email blasts that you’ll see more money, it does mean you should create a marketing schedule and stick to it. Come up with a calendar of campaigns that includes the different mediums you’re trying to execute on and get feedback to steadily improve. Through time, you’ll find this to become second nature, giving you the best shot of growing and developing your brand long-term.
What are some skills you’ve found worthwhile in marketing your startup? Comment with your answers below!
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