Summary: What should startups know about developing scalable marketing strategies—strategies that can actually grow with them? Start by investing in SEO, PPC, and social media ads. Augment these efforts with content marketing and email marketing, both of which can help foster relationships with your clients. Video marketing can be a powerful tool, and even press releases have their place. Pull all of it together in the form of an integrative marketing plan, which helps you harmonize these disparate parts.
One of the big hurdles that startups face is scaling their marketing efforts to match their growth. Here are 10 tips and suggestions from our startup marketing experts— a road map for entrepreneurs looking to nurture growth through strategic branding.
10 Tips to Guide Your Startup Marketing
- Focus on SEO, but go beyond mere rankings. You may not rank for highly competitive keywords, but there are a ton of related long tail keywords you can rank for and generate plenty of relevant traffic. Also make sure you keep up to date with the best SEO practices, ensuring you can scale your SEO investment as the company grows.
- Do content marketing. Content marketing is sometimes shorthanded as “selling without selling.” The whole idea is that you earn consumer trust and establish your brand’s authority, all by offering value-adding information without a hard sell. Think of it in terms of relationship-building.
- Be active on social media. It’s simply the best way to understand your audience, to listen to them, to foster relationships, and to stay in the loop about what people are saying about your brand. Make sure you pinpoint the social platforms on which your target audience is active.
- Have a strategic approach to PPC ads. Bid on your own branded keywords as well as your competitors’ branded keywords, whenever possible. Look for disruptive opportunities, don’t go after highly expensive keywords but instead get creative to generate leads.
- Augment your PPC with social media ads. Facebook and Instagram are especially valuable. These ads tend to be cheaper in terms of CPC and CPA, and because they are more visual, they enable you to tell a better story. Don’t miss out on the possibilities that social media ads offer you.
- Use native ads, too. Here we’re talking about display ads on Outbrain, etc. These are valuable because they promote your brand to major publishers—people like CNN and Fox News. The exposure can be invaluable to your brand.
- Build and grow your email list. It’s not as flashy as Snapchat or Instagram, but email is still the single most effective tool for connecting with your audience. Maintain your email list, and regularly send out engaging content to your audience. Don’t forget to segment, ensuring the content is tailored to the interests of the recipient. And, make it easy for new customers to subscribe to your email list.
- Get active in video marketing. Video marketing, and especially YouTube, has really taken off, and is arguably the most important marketing medium out there today. The reason for this is simple: Visual content is more appealing and more easily digested. Creating videos is easier than you might think, and the only equipment you really need is a smartphone. Don’t feel like you need to rent a big Hollywood studio. Simple, engaging, and humanizing video content is what counts.
- Send press releases. Press releases used to be significant SEO tools—and while those days have somewhat faded, press release strategies still have their place. Specifically, a press release can help you announce developments at your company, establish some roots within the local community, and potentially gain the attraction of the local media.
- Engage influencers. Traditionally, marketing has all about winning over the end consumer. Influencer marketing is all about winning over people who have a lot of sway on social media, hoping that they, in turn, can help you engage the end user. You don’t have to have big celebrities to make this work. Micro-influencers, like bloggers or small-scale Instagram stars, can help you extend the reach of your brand quite considerably.
On top of all those, we’ll throw in a bonus tip: Think beyond your website. What do we mean by this? Simply that online marketing isn’t all about promoting your home page. Also promote your social pages, Web profiles, even articles from other websites that mention you and your brand, even if they don’t link to your website. Anything you can do to build buzz and increase name recognition is ultimately a positive thing.
Bringing it All Together
Our checklist here covers a lot of ground—but it’s important that you bring all these things together, aligning them to your company’s overall marketing goals. To that end, we recommend sitting down and putting together an integrative marketing strategy. This ensures that you’re using these different avenues and marketing tools harmoniously.
Sefati & Co can help you put such a plan in action. We’re seasoned marketing professionals who know well how to integrate SEO, social media, PPC, content marketing, and beyond. We love working with startups and providing them with reasonable marketing plans that they can scale as they grow. Learn more by contacting Sefati & Co today.