10 Marketing Tips for Startups - Presence Builds Preference

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Marketing continues to be a major challenge that all startups face. What often separates the successful startup from the not-so-successful startup is strategic marketing. If you can figure out a way to acquire customers more efficiently than your competition, chances are, you’ll win. But with limited financial resources, you must spend wisely to get the “bang for the buck." Here are some tips to consider in your early-stage marketing plan.

  1. Set Goals.
    It is essential to set clear goals and objectives on what you would want to achieve out of the marketing activity. Do you want to drive traffic to your website, increase sales, sign up new customers or just create brand awareness? You can achieve all of them through proper planning, but, with limited financial resources, you would need to prioritize and focus. Setting goals from the onset will help you determine what and how much you need to do.

  2. Boot Strap.
    For companies just getting started, it’s important to balance the desire to have a professional web presence with the costs associated with bringing it up. Startups can use low cost tools, like Wordpress, to create those professional looking websites and blogs.

  3. Gather Data.
    Install web analytics software and start watching your traffic. Where is it coming from? How is it growing? What keywords are people using to find you? What content are they looking at? Google Analytics, is a free service and is very powerful in this regard.

  4. Generate Leads.
    Make sure that all of your website pages have call-to-action forms, so that your customers can connect to you and you can capture the lead information.

  5. Add Personal Touch.
    Connect with your audience through various channels available. In the initial days, you would not have much to talk abut your customers or products, so tell your own story. Don’t be afraid to build your company around you and your people.

  6. Share News.
    Write informative articles and press releases. A well developed article and press release could get you valuable free publicity in your target media. There are also numerous websites that you can submit your press release and articles to, and some of them are free too. This will boost your company’s reputation and could even generate sales leads.

  7. Build Online Relationships.
    Social media has changed the entire game of connecting with the audience. A strong content strategy (white papers, blogging) is a good start. Make optimum use of online portals like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Slideshare, and You tube to create your company's presence. Participate in discussions on LinkedIn and various company blogs, and make sure to leave your company URL. Build relationships and conversations with online influencers.

  8. Show Your Expertise.
    We all know more about something than someone else does, so promote your self as an expert in that! Write an article about what you know, and post it on your website, blog, and other websites, everywhere! Well-written case studies are also ideal ways to position your people as experts in solving certain types of problems, and are a perfect idea to promote your product and company.

  9. Keep In Touch.
    As your marketing database begins to build, use a newsletter to stay in touch, and keep it as informative and crisp as possible.

  10. Remain Enthusiastic.
    Last but not the least, never lose your enthusiasm. Keep your focus and keep moving. Businesses that do something regularly tend to perform better than those that do something brilliant for once.

Most startups fail not because of lack of quality or skills, but because of lack of adequate marketing. Be visible to your target audience; build a market presence, because presence is what builds preference.

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