So, you have registered your company, purchased a domain, built a website and created social media accounts. Now that the key operational components are set up, the next step is to build awareness and a customer base for your services, brand and/or products. This inevitably involves the creation of an integrated marketing strategy which involves a few key steps to get started!
Let’s have a look at 4 important marketing strategies to jump-start your start-up!
Creating valuable content for your target audience
Content is vital to bringing in new customers. It is your chance to show your expertise and product benefits. A huge part of creating awareness for your product and brand is creating trust and credibility in your company.
So, do not go straight into selling, give the customer information that convince them the purchase is right for them. The best ways to do this is to post interesting content on your social media pages and to make a blog. If you can produce regular and unique content that customers find useful, it will be a strong selling point to grow loyalty.
This will help generate leads for your sales because customers learn about your product and when they are ready to buy, they come to you first.
A clear brand and market niche
All marketing teams and business entrepreneurs should start with this. Without a clear brand and market positioning, how do you know your target market/audience? It is only after you have a clear idea of who or what your brand’s target market is can you design your advertising. Some people call this market segmentation, and others call it target marketing, but in essence both terms mean the same thing – narrowing down your brand/product/service’s market niche!
Market segmentation is a strategy that is used because no one product appeals to all. As the old saying goes – different strokes for different folks! For example, Coca Cola has its customer base which is often quite different to competitors like Pepsi or draft colas for various different reasons like age, personality, and even budget!
The market niche comes from identifying the exact demographic and customer profile of your customer. If you are starting from zero sales, you need to involve your product designers, customer service personnel, salespeople and even focus groups to narrow down your target audience. Once you have that, the rest of your marketing falls into place and becomes easier.
Emails are still one of the most effective marketing tools for communicating promotions, products, brand messages, and instigating sales or actions from your target audience. Research in email marketing shows the average open rate for retail brands is 14% and click-through rates are 2.6%. Using these figures, your marketing teams can forecast potential sales from the size of the email database – that is as long as the email list was created using ethical marketing practices!
With the opt-in regulations throughout Europe and most other countries now, to add an email to your list they must have shown an interest and actively opted in to your marketing emails. Therefore, the list of customers should be happy to receive emails from your brand about the product and related information. Use this as a way to provide longer-form content, promotions and also video which works well in emails to get more opens and clicks.
A word on email marketing software; many providers now like Mailchimp, GetResponse and Sendinblue integrate with your website or shopping cart to capture customer addresses and some can link to your PPC accounts too like LinkedIn or Google Ads. This gives you a seamless capture of email addresses and workflow to communicate with those leads.
Paid lead generation
Paid ads is another term for getting traffic and leads through a pay-per-click or pay-per-lead platform. That could be AdWords, Facebook Ads, or Affiliate leads. Paid leads are a quicker, more expensive way of driving awareness for your new product.
Start-ups make the mistake of focusing solely on PPC or SEM but it should always be partnered with your organic SEO work. Because the effects of PPC can be instant but are not lasting, think of it as steroid injections to increase traffic and leads.
The advantages of PPC are the ability to target the exact customer types you identified in Point 1 and the ability to get clicks straightaway. Once search engines see the interest and traffic in your brand and landing pages, they will start awarding SEO points and that is why it is so effective when used alongside SEO marketing. Lastly, PPC allows for another more effective level of targeting: retargeting.
This is targeting leads who have already shown interest in your product, so they should be much warmer leads. They may have visited your website, clicked on an ad or followed your social media page, but the retargeting algorithm can track that and then display more relevant ads to them to get them over the line for a sale.
Starting any business can be a chance to find financial and lifestyle freedom but 60% of start-ups fail within 3 years. Why? Because they go too broad with their marketing and don’t appeal to a niche target. Driving traffic and engagement is important but what is vital for survival is that the traffic is targeted and ultimately converts to a paying customer.