Setting up a business is not easy. During the initial stages, you are basically doing everything from sales to marketing, to accounting, to customer service. You are too tight a budget to even hire a marketer. The purpose of marketing is to connect the value of your business to the right target audience. This is a straightforward concept but can assume different approaches. You need to determine which marketing strategies are effective and which ones are a waste of time. The success of a startup largely depends on the marketing strategy used which hold the key to your future growth.
This type of marketing strategy allows your existing customer to bring new ones to your company. Satisfied customers refer others to your business and are rewarded for their efforts. This is one of the cheapest marketing tools as your startup only pays out when new customers come your way. Likewise, set up costs are not required unlike other marketing strategies like advertising. It is important that you create an effective incentive plan to reward your customers for referrals.
Trust and credibility – Most people feel comfortable when a product is recommended to them by someone they are familiar with and trust.
New customers are less price-sensitive – Most referred customers can buy products at full price because they have been pre-sold by your existing client’s trust.
Decreased sales costs – referral marketing reduces your sales costs and cycle
2) Brand marketing
Brand marketing involves building trust for a particular brand. It is about taking out a brand into the world and communicating why it is worthwhile. Through brand marketing, you are able to influence the decision of potential customers. It is the most appropriate ways of establishing repeat business since the customer’s perceptions of your brand is influenced by their previous experience with the brand.
The most strategic form of brand marketing is through carrying out PR campaigns that are geared towards storytelling. Public image is about the story you tell and how people who read your story relate to you. Luckily for you, if you are reading this and want your company to do successful PR campaigns you can engage our PR services where we do all the work for you so that you can get some mentions in the press.
We specialize in creating quality content which is sure to get your brand noticed both by the media and among your target audience. All you need to do is sign up for one of our affordable packages. Once you’ve done that, we’ll craft a winning press release, write a few compelling guest posts and design a creative media kit, all of which will help you make a good impression with your brand.
Beyond creating this content, we have a distribution strategy which is sure to get your story in front of the right eyes. By distributing your content to respected media outlets, we can boost your online visibility by helping your brand to be featured in relevant search results across different search engines. In addition, we submit your business details to high-ranking startup directories and professional networks, thus establishing your brand as a trusted authority in your niche. In order to help you connect with the best journalists in your niche, our account executive will also design personalized media lists for you. This way, you have a ready-to-go list of media contacts to reach out to long after we’re done working on your campaign at Pressfarm.
Getting media coverage is a good way to approach brand marketing in order to build your brand image. Additionally, the more you get published by the media, the higher your credibility grows. When your potential customers see that credibility they are more willing to sign up for your products or services.
Product awareness – Brand marketing makes the customer be aware of a company’s product and service.
Premium prices – this marketing strategy helps startups to charge premium prices for their products because a strong brand can charge high prices thereby fetching increased profits.
Improved credibility – the more you build your brand image, the more credible you become. It helps you earn the trust of your customers.
3) Content marketing
This is a long-term marketing strategy that focuses on establishing a stable relationship with potential customers by consistently providing them with quality content that is relevant to them. Today, customers want to feel like you care about them. When customers make purchase decisions, their loyalty lies with you. They will choose your product over the competitors. Content marketing ensures that you care about your customers’ needs.
Reach potential customers who dislike ads – Content marketing helps you to reach the audience who may avoid brick and mortar advertising
Brand awareness, trust, and loyalty – With a well-researched and informative content, your startup will be seen as trustworthy. As the audience relies on you for information, they are more likely to buy products from you.
Resources to produce content – Content marketing requires more input to produce content that customers will want to read, watch and use
Time and commitment – Being a long-term marketing strategy, it requires you to put time and effort to build trust and a following
4) Social media marketing
Social media outreach is one of the most powerful tools for startups to reach potential customers. Today, customers are interacting with brands through social media, and if your startup is not directly communicating with the target audience through online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. you are missing out. Effective social media marketing helps to drive leads, traffic, and sales leading to success in your business.
It is good to note that algorithms on social networks are continuously affecting how your posts are viewed by your followers.
Budget-friendly – Most of the social media platforms are free to use. This allows you to leverage the channel to market your goods and services.
Larger audience – Almost everyone has access to social media. You can use this platform to communicate content to your fans thereby exposing your brand to a larger audience.
5) Email marketing
This is a marketing strategy where you send emails to potential customers. This is the most direct and meaningful way of connecting with your leads, growing them and converting them into loyal and raving followers. An effective email marketing will convert prospects into customers and one-time buyers into loyal customers. Email marketing helps you to keep customers informed as well as tailor marketing content to your customers.
Drives conversion rate – Most marketers are focused on driving conversions and there isn’t a more powerful tool than email marketing.
Message delivery – Email marketing delivers your content to the recipient’s inbox.
6) Product marketing
Product marketing involves taking the products to their target market. Companies must have an effective product marketing strategy to get their products to consumers.
“If you want to go viral, it must be blended into your product. There must be a reason to share it and the means to do so.” Ryan Holiday
It provides you with a clear and systematic way of promoting your products. This strategy is extremely important when entering or expanding into new markets. It aids to unlock the full potential of your products, customers, and employees.
Enhances reputation – You can develop a better reputation for providing quality products in the market
Core focus – Product marketing helps you to focus on what you do best
7) Public relations (PR)
Entrepreneurs want to have their companies on the cover pages of major publications. Public relations can be used to create breakthrough moments. PR is a vital tool for building successful businesses in today’s business environment. While big companies can afford to pay exorbitant prices to big PR agencies to handle their PR matters, bootstrapped startups may not have those capabilities.
Securing strong PR is not easy, it requires dedicated efforts. PR incorporates various programs designed to improve a company’s image and the product it offers. You can use this tool to tell stories about your business. We always encourage startups to figure out story angles for a strong PR strategy.
According to Lee Haney, a bodybuilder and former Mr Olympia “PR is an essential tool and being able to use it in the right way means everything. You have to market your success.”
A PR strategy plays an important role in your new company’s promotional strategy. It is one of the most appropriate methods to communicate and interact with the market.
“Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” – Richard Branson, Founder at Virgin Group
It is cheap – In most cases, public relations campaigns can be achieved at low costs compared to other promotional methods.
Wide exposure – An effective public relations strategy can result in the target audience acquiring detailed information than they receive from other promotional methods.
8) Inbound marketing
Inbound marketing is a powerful marketing strategy tool when you want to build useful and long-lasting relationships with potential customers while spending less. Inbound marketing is used to attract leads to your startup. Rather than running an ad on the television or employing a pay per click (PPC) campaign, you may decide to create an email list, publish free content, build a strong presence on social media platforms and ask for the audience’s permission before contacting them. While using these tools you are sure to entertain and inform your audience with relevant content they are seeking.
You can build long-term relationships with prospective customers – Since it is based on continuous delivery of information and a two-way nature of communication, it allows you to establish trust with potential customers until they are ready to make the leap and buy your goods.
It is inexpensive – Inbound marketing is cost-effective because it is cheap to set up a website and adding a blog to an existing website is also free.
9) Outbound marketing
Outbound marketing employs traditional methods of marketing to promote goods and services. Startups can use outbound marketing to reach prospective customers through TV commercials, radio advertisements, brochures, catalogues, face to face contact etc. Through each outbound method, your company can generate increased sales lead.
Familiarity – The main advantage of outbound marketing is that the target audience is familiar with the different methods.
10) Growth hacking
Today, growth hacking is experiencing a revival especially due to the advancement of online marketing. Growth hacking involves ditching the use of traditional methods of marketing and instead of replacing them with strategies that can be tested, tracked and scaled. Their marketing tools include emails, PPC, and platform API. This marketing strategy helps startups to generate huge growth in the short-run. Every product requires a different growth hack. (Read: 15 Best Real-Life Examples of Growth Hacking Executions)
One way that you can growth hack your business to success is to employ several marketing strategies concurrently. You are guaranteed to get large volumes of data in the short-run and you can draw conclusions from the data that serve as a reference to your future efforts.
Ryan Holiday notes that “Growth hacking does not make our instincts better, rather it reduces the costs of being wrong while giving you the freedom to experiment and try new things.”
“Growth hacking is not anti-marketing, it is the evolution of marketing, it is pro-growth.” – Sean Ellis
Inexpensive – Growth hacking makes use of low budget to generate massive company leads.
11) Newsletter marketing
Traditional methods of marketing have become a blunt approach to promote goods and services. Currently, new businesses are trying to establish a strong relationship with their customers and are now turning to new marketing methods to engage and maintain their customers. One of the most powerful strategies includes the use of newsletter marketing. This type of marketing strategy allows companies to communicate about themselves and their products in a softer manner that respects the target audience thereby improving loyalty and repeat customers. You can use either the electronic or print methods.
It is cheap – With tools such as MailChimp, you can set up your own newsletter and distribute your content to a larger target audience
Easy to manage – E-newsletter allows you to see who reads your newsletter and clicks on it. At the same time, you can see who is opening your newsletter which helps you to target your market accordingly
Larger audience – With print media, you can reach an audience that is not always online
12) Direct marketing
Meeting with a prospective customer face to face and discussing the importance of your product and service plays a significant role in his/her opinions. Direct marketing may take forms such as direct email, direct mail, telephone calls, door to door demonstrations, etc. Information conveyed is usually broad and meant for the general audience. Also, this type of marketing campaign is most suitable for products that have a wide appeal.
Personal approach – Face to face meetings creates a better and stronger relationships because you can reach your audience with a personal approach.
Targets the right audience – It is possible to send specific content to the target audience based on demographics and buying patterns.
Informative – Direct marketing allows you to deliver detailed information about your products and prices.
13) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When you develop content, you want it to appear in the search engines. When using SEO, you are assured of a high return on investment. Startups need to think of SEO as a mechanism to drive content into the top listings of the search engine pages. By developing unique, informative and data-driven content you can generate backlinks and also makes your content appealing to the search engines. In addition, optimize your images, meta tags, and on-page elements so that your audience can find content through long-tail keywords.
“If you are trying to grow your qualified search traffic, you have to combine your content marketing with your SEO efforts.” – Neil Patel
Huge traffic – SEO generates huge traffic that is more likely to convert to your products.
Business growth – SEO helps your business to grow. Startups with a strong online presence have a chance to grow and succeed.
Free and targeted traffic – With millions of searches being made in a day, SEO provides your business with exposure to people seeking a solution.
14) Digital advertising (PPC)
This is one of the fastest ways to attract potential customers to your site. With PPC marketing you can use the search engine to direct clicks to your company’s website. Tools such as Yahoo Search Marketing, Google Adwords, Bing Ads etc. can be used by startups to display ads and pay a certain fee each time a visitor clicks the ad to their website.
Searchers are always researching for specific products and services as well as information at any given time. In this way, entrepreneurs must have the capability to show an ad at the exact moment the user is searching. PPC campaigns allow you to increase leads and prospects when they are researching and looking for products and services to buy making it a highly effective tool to bring visitors to your website.
Quick results – It is easy to set up a PPC campaign through Google Adwords and similar platforms. Upon displaying your ad on the search engine, you don’t have to wait for long to see results.
You can track ads in real-time – PPC enables you to ensure that your ads are reaching the right audience and is effectively drawing traffic to your website in real-time.
Maximum control – PPC allows you to have a say on what page you want the users to visit.
15) Point of purchase (POP) marketing
This tool seeks to advertise to customers who are in the stores and are ready to make a purchase. This is a last-minute approach for companies to influence the decision of the potential customer. Most retail stores such as Walmart, Costco, and the like use physical displays to create a room for customers to wind down when they checkout. They usually put small items on the display that cost less.
“I was reading all these reports that were down on retail brick and mortar, saying it’s all about online… I think brick and mortar is an amazing opportunity to use our stores and our store staff as a vehicle to truly engage with the community in a way no other retailers are doing.” – Jim Brett, President, West Elm
POP placement – Point of purchase advertising can be situated anywhere e.g. at the checkout lanes, in stores, or even next to the merchandise
Target audience – It must be well located to draw the target customer at the time of purchase
Highly influential – You have the opportunity to influence potential customers in a competitive environment
16) Affiliate marketing
If you want to drive more potential customers your way, consider employing an affiliate marketing method. This is the most appropriate marketing method to engage consumers with compelling products. Affiliate marketing is composed of a relationship between the affiliate website, affiliate network, advertiser, and the consumer. An affiliate earns a commission for every sale that they bring for your business. Usually, the affiliate is provided with a unique link to your product website. When you register a sale from the link, the affiliate earns his/her commission. This marketing strategy is effective to attract new customers and increase sale.
No skills are required – You do not need to be a marketing expert to become an affiliate. As an entrepreneur, you can learn about affiliate marketing along the way
Minimal effort – Once your website is up and running, you may require using less time to update the site while some do not even need to be updated and still bring in a lot of sales.
17) Channel marketing
This marketing tool focuses on selling goods and services through distributors or resellers. It is an effective campaign, especially in a B2B environment. When selling your products through a network of partners, it is important to note that you are making two-part sales. First, you must persuade the channel partner to work with you. And the second sale is the consumer. A good channel marketing must address the needs of the key stakeholders otherwise you risk making declining sales.
Low marketing and distribution costs – In most cases, the channel partners usually have an established presence and is known by the customers. This allows you to reach new customers at low costs as well as enter new markets in a cost-effective manner.
18) Drip marketing
Drip marketing involves sending pre-written messages to prospective customers over a period of time. The well-thought-out emails provide drops of content at specific intervals to keep your brand at the top of your customer’s mind until he/she is ready to contact you. This is a great marketing tool for building trust with your customers and prospects. The pre-written messages and relevant interactions involved helps build this trust.
Helps to build trust – Well thought-out content helps you to build customers’ trust and puts you and your business as the leader in the industry you operate in.
Helps increase conversion rates – Drip marketing will help increase your conversion rate because you are constantly staying in touch with your audience
Generate more sales – For startups, using drip marketing blended with lead nurturing will help generate massive leads without needing more time
19) Viral marketing
If you are online, there is the possibility that you would like your products and business to go viral. Viral marketing helps you to improve credibility without the need of contacting each of your potential customers.
“The first lesson in constructing viral content is having the strength, courage, and self-confidence to get in touch with your own feelings, thinking about what profoundly affects you.” ― Ken Poirot, Go Viral!: The Social Media Secret to Get Your Name Posted and Shared All Over the World!
Attract new markets – Viral marketing allows you to reach out to potential prospects who may not hear your message. This helps you to enter new markets and draw a high number of prospects.
Enhanced marketing list – There is a good chance that viral marketing will help you build an enhanced marketing list even if the campaign does not result in a sale.
Real-time credibility – Viral marketing largely relies on word of mouth endorsements which helps you acquire instant credibility on a personalized level
Massive traffic – This tool helps you to get huge traffic in a short period of time
20) Target marketing
When you start a business you begin by identifying your target market. You need to know your target market in order to start offering your products and services to people that are interested in them. Target marketing is used identify consumer groups that are interested in your goods and services. In this way, you will be able to focus on the target market and promote your products better. Even if you start with a small market segment, it does not really necessarily mean that it will remain like that.
New markets – Target marketing helps you to identify underserved markets
Business focus – Target marketing encourages business focus because serving too many markets or even offering too many products makes your business to lose the ability to differentiate itself
Reduced costs – This marketing strategy limits your number of customers and helps to direct your budget into specific marketing channels that reach out directly to the target market
21) Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing relies on key brand advocates to drive your content to a larger audience. Most businesses use people with large social media followings who have the power to influence the target audience. Instead of marketing directly to a large market, you can pay key influencers to get the word out for you. Sounds like a great idea!
“Influencers are personally invested in their crafts and are trusted sources of recommendations for followers.” – Sidney Pierucci, Founder ESPLMedia
In most cases, you pay the influencer for the service. At the same time, you can also provide them with free products or create other arrangements depending on the influencer’s terms.
Access to a larger audience – When a celebrity endorses your brand, you are sure to get thousands of their followers
Brand awareness – The audience becomes aware of your products and eventually starts to recognize it through the influencer
Better results – A good review from a trusted and known celebrity can boost your productivity. In most cases, influencers who are involved in endorsing your products are seen to be more believable when recommending a brand.
22) Podcast marketing
Podcasts have become a new blogging tool. Users and brands are embracing audio to connect intimately with the audience and generate content around a certain topic. Delivering meaningful and informational podcasts helps to set up your business as an expert source in a particular industry which can be beneficial to growing brand awareness.
Easy to create – Podcasts are easy to create. All required is a microphone and an audio editing software
Less expensive – The upfront costs to create podcasts are low. Creating social media content for podcasts can also be less expensive to writing blog articles.
Building your startup can be a lonely affair. However, marketing does not have to be. Co-marketing involves two or more companies sharing audiences and resources between complementary products to start a campaign. Co-marketing helps you to leverage relationships with other brands. This is a great tool to deliver better results in terms of sales, reach and visibility that could not have been achieved without the support of another company.
Shared costs – Co-marketing allows you to share marketing costs.
Markets share – Co-marketing helps to grow visibility and market share of the companies involved
24) Contest and giveaway marketing
Everyone loves to participate in contests and giveaways. Contests and giveaways are marketing tools through which startups can appeal to new customers and engage with existing customers while at the same time building brand awareness. This type of marketing particularly fares well on social media platforms. Contests and giveaways help to drive traffic to your company website and increase the conversion rate. Contests can devised to your own taste provided it relates to your audience and products.
More customers – Contests and giveaways are suitable marketing tools to attract more customers to your goods and services.
Turn your audience into product promoters – Social media contests that offer quality products for free, you are sure to have entries trickling in.
25) Word-of-mouth marketing
Word of mouth marketing is one of the most affordable and powerful marketing methods. Word of mouth is particularly important if you are operating a local business. You get word 0f mouth marketing when customers speak highly of your products trigger by their experiences to their family, friends, and colleagues. The goal of word of mouth is to develop an exponential referral network that drives an increased sale, leads, and traffic for a product. This is an effective tool that shows no sign of slowing down.
Cost-effective – Word of mouth marketing conducted at no cost.
Enhances trust – Since people trust their family and friends than they might trust companies, word of mouth is an effective tool to get new customers to try goods and services
26) Networking events marketing
Not every marketing takes place on the online platform. You can get the best results when interacting with people in the real world outside the office premises. Networking during events offers a suitable environment for reaching people who might interested in your brand and products. It is, however, important to look for and attend events that relate to your industry. You can also consider pitching a booth to allow you to talk to different people about your products as well as provide demonstrations of your expertise.
Brand awareness – When you are at networking events, your company gets to be heard and noticed by a larger audience.
Exchanging ideas – Networking is all about developing a mutually beneficial friendship. This provides to share knowledge, make referrals by word of mouth, explore and discover new ideas and potential for your business growth and success.
No immediate results – The relationship created during networking can take time to be cemented.
There is the possibility that your business may benefit from inbound marketing, or social media marketing, or influencer marketing, or through making referrals among many others. You can test and even augment the different marketing strategies to determine which one resonates with your audience better. In this way, you assured to grow your startup with minimal effort.