Getting your marketing efforts off the ground can be a huge headache for entrepreneurs – where do you start? Digital and display ads, content marketing, social, Google Ads, brand campaigns – there are so many options to be tested against your ideal customer profile. Taking your marketing from zero to one is a big job – so while you’re working out where to double down, you’ll need some shortcuts to get there faster. Here are five proven tactics we’ve tried at Juro that helped us to jump-start our marketing.
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Be honest with yourselves. As a new B2B startup, nobody cares what you think. Almost nobody has heard of you; nobody knows what you do, nobody trusts you, and it’s vanishingly unlikely that you are considered to be ‘experts’ in anything. If you’re writing content and expecting people to follow your advice, they won’t – you don’t have any authority.
It takes a long time and a lot of work to build up authority, and you’ll get there eventually; but in the short term, if you don’t have it, borrow it. Make friends with the experts, thought leaders and influencers in your sector, and get them to front your blogs, eBooks, podcasts and so on. You’ll catch some of their reflected glory and become more authoritative, and most of the time, people are flattered to be asked and happy to contribute, if the time commitment is reasonable.
Most importantly, leveraging their authority rather than yours will result in more traffic, clicks and downloads pretty much 100% of the time. As long as that traffic is passing through your gated landing page, does it matter which name is at the top?
2. Guest-post like crazy
Almost every tech startup has a blog, and the majority of them don’t have enough regular content to make it a consistent channel. If you know of a site that has decent domain authority, that will improve your search rankings through backlinks, then offer them a guest post. Most of the time, they’ll be happy for you to include a link back to your site from an anchor phrase that helps your SEO strategy.
This might not feel scalable, but in some cases you only need a few high-powered backlinks to get on page one of Google for your target search term, opening up a new organic growth channel in the process. And of course, guest posts increase your exposure and brand awareness in the wider market.
3. Call in all your favours
Calling in favours is nothing new for entrepreneurs – you’re used to hustling sales introductions from your board and investors, or convincing a friend to lend you office space while you get off the ground. But marketing favours can give you an unfair advantage too, and a rapid step-up in the early days.
For example, ask your suppliers to feature you in case studies – conditional on some favourable social posts and backlinks. Ask your highest-profile customers to become columnists on your blog. Ask your old university to feature you in an alumni magazine. If you studied at postgraduate level, do the same with them. If you share investors with any companies with relevant audiences and large newsletters, see if they’ll feature your marketing content in their mailshots. Treat every half-remembered conversation from a networking event as a marketing opportunity waiting to be exploited.
4. Throw everything you have at your biggest channel
Finding the marketing channel that works for you is a never-ending exercise in experimentation. Your prospects might live on LinkedIn and respond well to retargeting there; they might be all about referral traffic, navigating through review sites to your landing pages; Google Ads might be where the smart money goes; until you try them all, you won’t know, and it’ll be almost impossible to guess.
So if you find a channel that works, don’t waste time – double down and max it out. At Juro, we found that legal tech in particular and legal operations, in general, is a real mixed bag when it comes to sponsored outlets or paid email blasts that deliver against their promised metrics – so when we found one that delivered consistently, we more than doubled our spend there and used it to drive thousands of new marketing requests.
5. Use free tools creatively
So you don’t have thousands in budget to spend on agencies, software, designers and collateral. Don’t despair – you can create engaging marketing assets with free tools pretty quickly. In the early days at Juro, we used WhatsApp’s video functionality to create high-quality gifs of our product in action. It’s easy enough to convert video to gif online for free too, and compress and re-crop to optimise for social platforms. If you need digital assets for product marketing, you can use Gifox to record directly from your computer screen. If you ever want to grow social as an acquisition channel, you’ll need moving images. If you need to take it further, use platforms like Canva to take your design to the next level.
Try these five tactics to drive short-term impact in your marketing numbers – you don’t need a huge team and an expensive agency to get real results, fast.