How to Publicize and Market Your Startup When You are not in Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is still the most famous hub on the planet for tech companies in particular but the truth is, life goes on and the likes of Berlin, Beijing and Boston are increasingly popular for startups. What’s more, several lesser known cities are on the rise with Pittsburgh, Lisbon and even Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam gaining a lot of traction.
At the same time, location is no longer as important for publicizing a startup and these places offer just as many benefits as Silicon Valley. For example, the above-mentioned Pittsburgh has a lively tech ecosystem and more than forty universities to support the inevitable need for talented graduates. As if that’s not enough, Pittsburgh has a strong finance sector to support local startups, while the smaller size is often thought to make the city a lot more accessible and beneficial to startups.
On the other hand, does location even matter anymore?
After all, PR and marketing is mostly an online effort these days and there are endless ways to publicize a startup when you are not in Silicon Valley. In this article, we explore some of these methods and point out the basic ways in which a startup can get ahead, regardless of what goes on in Silicon Valley:
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is possibly the cheapest way to publicize a startup and often ignored at the expense of advertising or cold-calling. It’s also a lot faster than many entrepreneurs realize and even two to four months is enough to start ranking your content high up on search engines.
For instance, Hubspot recently discovered that half of companies that experiment with content marketing experience a significant increase in web traffic within this short space of time. Whether this relates to blog posts, infographics or video; this content is also east to create and largely cost=effective.
2. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing really exploded a few years ago with Instagram in particular proving an incredibly powerful place to generate leads. In fact, 90% of professional marketers report over ten times more return on investment from influencer marketing than any other digital marketing. While it can cost more than other methods, location is irrelevant when it comes to publicizing your startup through influencers.
3. Improving SEO to Assist PR and Marketing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is also mostly discounted by inexperienced marketers but the truth is, both new and existing content can be optimized to help with PR. For example, certain blog posts or web pages can be changed to include keywords associated an upcoming product, while new content is always beneficial for PR as part of a long term strategy.
4. Using Google My Business Listings to Gain Traction
Google Places along with Microsoft Bing and Yahoo is a good place to start promoting your startup for free. However, Google My Businessis arguably the most powerful means of gaining traction via search listings. Just so you know, Google My Business listings tend to show up at the top of these results and it’s completely free to sign up for the facility. Also, this is a great place to convey the most important information about your startup and let customers know where you are and how to reach out to you.
5. Social Media and Live Streaming
Live streaming is certainly the most explosive form of social media in recent times and numbers are always a good thing for PR. As you know, social media is also free and the fastest way to reach a target market in any industry. From Facebook and Instagram to Twitter, Linkedin and Twitch, engaging content on social media also has the potential to stand out – something which is increasing hard to do in Silicon Valley.
6. Embracing the Power of Linkedin
Let’s touch on Linkedin a little more. In recent years, this platform has transitioned from a job website or resume holder into a professional social network with excellent interaction. Given the professional nature of Linkedin, this is a great place to connect with potential investors and seek advice or feedback from peers in the same industry.
7. Email Marketing is Still Best for PR
First of all, email marketing is not dead and continues to offer an excellent return on investment for those who know how to use it. For many marketers, this is also 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 the information direct, concise and relevant to the target market.
An email 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 your customers. Keep your emails short and avoid being annoying. Choose a proper and relevant subject line, which will make your recipients open your emails.
8. Self-Publishing Your Press Release
It’s true, press releases can really grasp the attention of potential customers and provide a boost in traffic to your website. Also, whether you create this press release to build awareness for a brand name, product or event, you can even self-publish this document via social media or content marketing.
9. The Importance of Reviews and Feedback for PR
We could write an entire blog post about the importance of reviews. When this feedback is good, your reputation receives a boost. On the other hand, bad reviews will enable you to spot and address problems to ensure they do not arise in the future. You should also know that “word of mouth” is also the most powerful form of PR, for people are much more likely to buy or interact when the trust your brand.
10. Quora and Q&A Websites for Free PR
Questions and Answer websites have always performed well on search engines but the recent Google Medic Update has taken these sites to the next level. For instance, when you perform a standard search query on google, more often than not, you will find a result for Quora on the first page. With this in mind, answering relevant questions on these websites is a quick 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 can see, location is no longer essential for finding the right connections, capital and support for your startup. It should also be comforting to know that experienced marketers can help you gain just as much traction and help your startup stand out in what is most likely an increasingly saturated market.