Marketing plays a central role for any business, let alone fledgling startups. And what’s worse is that startups usually have a limited marketing budget to start with, unless they’re backed by venture capital or angel investors. That’s why they can’t afford to waste money on methods that won’t work and have to get it right from the very beginning. Here are a few proven marketing methods that startups can use to build brand awareness and kick start customer acquisition.
Email marketing is not only one of the most cost-effective ways to build your brand and raise awareness about your services and products, but it’s also one of the most powerful. Email marketing allows you to blast messages to thousands of potential customers in seconds. It’s also a great way to establish yourself as a resource in your niche, provided you don’t use your mailing list only for selling. You should have a healthy mix of how-to guides, infographics, studies, videos, and any type of informational content that could truly benefit your audience. You should spend more time trying to give value than trying to aggressively sell yourself.
As you build your client base, you should also start segmenting your list to send tailor-made messages that will encourage them to take the next step in your sales funnel. Most autoresponder services will have tools made for this, but you could also use a CRM that will allow you to qualify leads, do better follow up, and build laser targeted campaigns for each segment of your mailing list depending on where they are in the sales process.
Use Promotional Products
Good old promotional products are always a winner and a great way to build awareness. You could hand them out at conferences and trade shows or as part of a thank you gift package.
Good promotional items like custom made lapel pins, for instance, can make for a great gift, especially as part of a swag bag at an expo. Or you could have your reps put them on people that come to your booth and make it part of the experience. They’re incredibly cheap, can be customized whichever way you want, and can work wonders to increase visibility for your brand.
Leverage Other Brand’s Audiences
Building an audience is one of the best ways to create a well of leads. But as a startup whose primary operations does not include audience building and content production, it may be hard to build a audience. The next best option is to leverage the audience of others.
There are several ways to get in front of qualified buyers without building your own audience. Finding influencers on social media is one of the best ways. Find people and brands that have a following and good engagement on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and reach out to them. Find a way to partner with them or publish a sponsored post on their accounts.
You can also reach out to bloggers and request a review of your product or a guest post. Using influencers of all kinds quickly gets your product in front of people. This method also helps establish trust as the influencer is already a trusted source in the eyes of their audience.
Build a Blog Designed to Convert
Blogging can be long and arduous. It can also be a great source of leads and sales. It all really depends on the type of blog you build and how you go about blogging. In order to use blogging as a marketing tool, you must design and operate your blog with the goal of converting readers into sales.
This starts by building a large blog that holds a wealth of information. The blogs that convert the best usually contain well over 100 well-written articles that boosts their content marketing strategy as well as capture emails leads. Learn the keys to making a blog functional and attractive. Then begin to create content that is useful to your readers. From there, market your content on social media. Once you begin to gain some traction, use your blog to convert.
Use Paid and Organic Social Media Reach
Speaking of social media, if you don’t have an effective social media strategy in 2019, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Social media is one of the best ways to directly interact with your audience and find great opportunities for partnership.
In the years ago, you could set up a social media profile and grow sales organically once you’ve found your audience. Things have changed since the early days. Although you can still organically build and audience from scratch, these days, using a mix of paid and organic methods will produce much faster results.
The reason why this is so crucial is due to the fact that social media reach has been on the decline over the past 5 years. However, social media users continue to increase. This means that your customers are still there, but it will continue to be difficult to reach them as competition for their attention increases.
To add to the importance of paid and organic reach via social media, 46% of social media users are already using social platforms while thinking about making a purchase. This means that many of the people that you can potentially reach, are already primed for purchasing from you!