Time is one thing that any Startup founder is unlikely to have in droves. The limited time available to allocate to project management, operations, development, sales and marketing means the typical founder is stretched thin. Allocating time intelligently becomes a crucial part of your startup’s success.
Intelligent time allocation means that wasted attempts to market your product must be kept to an absolute minimum. Marketing (alongside development) should take up the majority of your collective time in the early stages of startup growth, if not at all times. So, what can you do to get the most bang for your buck out of your marketing efforts in the early days? Read on to learn.
Put the time in to social media
Social media has grown into the go-to medium for online marketing. Maintaining a social media presence is paramount to the success of any brand. So, what can you do to connect with your audience?
First off, you will need to allocate some of your marketing budget to grow awareness of your product or service. Ads which entice users to follow your page or even better, subscribe to your newsletter, are necessary to help you find early adopters.
Growing a relationship with these followers then comes down to sharing quality content with them and providing them with some sort of ongoing value. Insightful articles, publications, reports, video tutorials are some examples of ways to keep your followers aware of your existence. At the same time, this material helps establish your profile as an authority in your field.
The small things matter. It’s important to respond to individual users’ questions, feedback and complaints – no matter how minor. Your reputation is all you have in the early stages and so being respectful, transparent, helpful and honest is the best way to win over your followers and bring them on as customers.
Hosting free workshops to grow awareness round your product is one of the simplest forms of marketing in early stage startups. Workshops are a great for a number of reasons…
You get to meet your customers in person. Meeting your customers face-to-face allows you to pick their brain on what has drawn them to your product in the first place. Knowing this is critical to bringing on more customers. What problem of theirs are you truly solving?
In addition to meeting your customers, you get to bring them into your marketing system. Having signed up for your workshop, you now have the customers email and can potentially start including them in your email campaigns. Also, you have the ability to reach out to your new customers friends by offering two for one deals and group discounts.
Lastly, your status as an industry leader will be improved with each workshop you host. Customers are always looking for the safest and most trustworthy service provider to hand their money to – and rightly so. By hosting a workshop, you have to opportunity to show your customers that you know your stuff, and will look after them.
Take care of your website and content
Your website is often your first point of contact with potential customers. Even if they find you via social media or they sit in on one of your workshops, it’s highly likely they will research your brand further by checking out your website. It’s even likely that to become a customer, they have to do so by visiting your website and using a signup funnel. So, websites are important.
Maintaining and improving the content on your website is an important marketing task. Content should stay relevant and the quality should remain at a consistently high standard. Your blog will also provide you with ammunition for your awareness campaigns, so it’s clearly a good idea to stay on top of it.
Aside from the content, the aesthetic appearance should not be let down. Customers will judge your brand by the look and feel of your website. So, make sure the design stays sharp, sophisticated and enticing.
Lastly, you will want to make sure your website is personable, and instills a sense of trustworthiness in your customers. You can do this by adding customer reviews, testimonials, case studies and accreditation. Also, a chat widget, photos of the team, and social media posts will help bring your website “alive”.
Build virality into your product
One of the greatest ways to help your product thrive is to build a virality factor into the product itself. Systems which work the best are those where one customer is incentivised to invite another user into the product ecosystem.
A great example of this is PayPal. In the early days, if you wanted to send money to someone else using the PayPal service, you needed to first invite the recipient to setup their own PayPal account. This virality factor gives product growth a significant boost, and ultimately it is a form of free marketing.
Summing it up
Social media is still gaining ground in the modern marketing space, and it can help you grow your customer base exponentially. Free workshops are still an easy and effective way to connect with your customers – new and old. Your website the face of your business, so keep it looking great. And lastly, effectively adding a virality factor to your product is a powerful tool for rapid customer growth.
These tried and tested techniques will help give your startup a kick-start in the increasingly competitive startup space. As always, experiment often, and see which techniques will work best for your business.