How to Publicize and Market Your Startup WhenYou are not in Silicon Valley
SiliconValley is still the most famous hub on the planet for tech companies inparticular but the truth is, life goes on and the likes of Berlin, Beijing and Bostonare increasingly popular for startups. What’s more, several lesser known citiesare on the rise with Pittsburgh, Lisbon and even Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam gaininga lot of traction.
Atthe same time, location is no longer as important for publicizing a startup andthese places offer just as many benefits as Silicon Valley. For example, theabove-mentioned Pittsburgh has a lively tech ecosystem and more than forty universities to support theinevitable need for talented graduates. As if that’s not enough, Pittsburgh hasa strong finance sector to support local startups, while the smaller size isoften thought to make the city a lot more accessible and beneficial tostartups.
Onthe other hand, does location even matter anymore?
Afterall, PR and marketing is mostly an online effort these days and there areendless ways to publicize a startup when you are not in Silicon Valley. In thisarticle, we explore some of these methods and point out the basic ways in whicha startup can get ahead, regardless of what goes on in Silicon Valley:
1. Content Marketing
Contentmarketing is possibly the cheapest way to publicize a startup and often ignoredat the expense of advertising or cold-calling. It’s also a lot faster than manyentrepreneurs realize and even two to four months is enough to start rankingyour content high up on search engines.
Forinstance, Hubspot recentlydiscovered that half of companies that experiment with content marketingexperience a significant increase in web traffic within this short space oftime. Whether this relates to blog posts, infographics or video; this contentis also east to create and largely cost=effective.
2. Influencer Marketing
Influencermarketing really exploded a few years ago with Instagram in particular provingan incredibly powerful place to generate leads. In fact, 90% of professionalmarketers report over ten times more return on investment from influencermarketing than any other digital marketing. While it can cost more than othermethods, location is irrelevant when it comes to publicizing your startupthrough influencers.
3. Improving SEO to AssistPR and Marketing
SearchEngine Optimization (SEO) is also mostly discounted by inexperienced marketersbut the truth is, both new and existing content can be optimized to help withPR. For example, certain blog posts or web pages can be changed to includekeywords associated an upcoming product, while new content is always beneficialfor PR as part of a long term strategy.
4. Using Google MyBusiness Listings to Gain Traction
GooglePlaces along with Microsoft Bing and Yahoo is a good place to start promotingyour startup for free. However, Google My Businessis arguably the most powerfulmeans of gaining traction via search listings. Just so you know, Google MyBusiness listings tend to show up at the top of these results and it’scompletely free to sign up for the facility. Also, this is a great place toconvey the most important information about your startup and let customers knowwhere you are and how to reach out to you.
5. Social Media and LiveStreaming
Livestreaming is certainly the most explosive form of social media in recent timesand numbers are always a good thing for PR. As you know, social media is alsofree and the fastest way to reach a target market in any industry. FromFacebook and Instagram to Twitter, Linkedin and Twitch, engaging content onsocial media also has the potential to stand out – something which isincreasing hard to do in Silicon Valley.
6. Embracing the Power of Linkedin
Let’stouch on Linkedin a little more. In recent years, this platform hastransitioned from a job website or resume holder into a professional socialnetwork with excellent interaction. Given the professional nature of Linkedin,this is a great place to connect with potential investors and seek advice or feedbackfrom peers in the same industry.
7. Email Marketing isStill Best for PR
Firstof all, email marketing is not dead and continues to offer an excellent returnon investment for those who know how to use it. For many marketers, this isalso still the most superior method to promote a startup and distribute offers,news and press releases. That being said, the key is still to keep theinformation direct, concise and relevant to the target market.
Anemail marketing campaign is a great way of promotion. It is claimed to be“the gold standard of marketing”. News concerning product updates,special pricing offers and discounts, and corporate news must be sent to yourcustomers. Keep your emails short and avoid being annoying. Choose a proper andrelevant subject line, which will make your recipients open your emails.
8. Self-Publishing Your PressRelease
It’strue, press releases can really grasp the attention of potential customers andprovide a boost in traffic to your website. Also, whether you create this pressrelease to build awareness for a brand name, product or event, you can evenself-publish this document via social media or content marketing.
9. The Importance of Reviewsand Feedback for PR
Wecould write an entire blog post about the importance of reviews. When thisfeedback is good, your reputation receives a boost. On the other hand, badreviews will enable you to spot and address problems to ensure they do notarise in the future. You should also know that “word of mouth” is also the mostpowerful form of PR, for people are much more likely to buy or interact whenthe trust your brand.
10. Quora and Q&AWebsites for Free PR
Questionsand Answer websites have always performed well on search engines but the recentGoogle Medic Update has taken these sites to the next level. For instance, whenyou perform a standard search query on google, more often than not, you willfind a result for Quora on the firstpage. With this in mind, answering relevant questions on these websites is aquick way to demonstrate your expertise and spread the word about who you are,what you do and how you can help the readers.
Now,that’s not to say Silicon Valley is not a haven for startups but as you cansee, location is no longer essential for finding the right connections, capitaland support for your startup. It should also be comforting to know thatexperienced marketers can help you gain just as much traction and help yourstartup stand out in what is most likely an increasingly saturated market.