Startup business owners have a lot on their plate, from the products themselves to building a website to getting their name out there, you are going to be busy. If you haven’t considered it already, startup marketing is a great way to broaden your reach to a bigger audience to really get your name out there, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money!
You might wonder if spending the time and money for marketing is even necessary when you have so much else going on, but the simple answer is YES. Solar Art is also a small business, so we can talk about a few reasons why you should consider startup marketing and how it has helped us get to where we are today!
Developing a marketing strategy for your startup business is crucial for getting it to thrive. The very first step for a successful strategy is simply to have one. Once you have a strategy, stick to it. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and use resources available online to ID them. If you don’t have the time or money to be on all the social media platforms, choose one you think will work best for your business industry and do it well. Regularly assess if your strategy is working for your business by focusing on what’s going well, while eliminating what isn’t. Next, let’s move onto some specific areas of marketing strategy that you can focus on for your business!
In our content-saturated world, standing out from your competitors should be the first step in a successful marketing strategy. How do you want people to perceive your business? Examine your competition and find a unique voice of your own that catches people’s attention. Take stock of your audience and what they want to hear. What tone is expected from your clients? Maybe your customers enjoy a good laugh, or expect startups to be sources of authority or professionalism. The best way into your customers’ heart is to make them feel comfortable.
Next, identify unique aspects of your product or service. If you described your product or service to a stranger, how would you set it apart? Why should people choose you over others? Figure that out and then infuse that uniqueness into every marketing outlet you use.
Now for practical considerations. Sending out emails on a regular basis keeps you in touch with your customer base. If you have a website, encourage people to sign up for the mailing list, maybe with deals or industry news. Use simple, informative headers and content that’s right to the point, and don’t forget that call-to-action button!
Sending emails is one of the most convenient activities for anyone to do, and companies know that. While you can send emails from your personal email account, website platforms (we’ll talk more about that in a minute) also allow you to send emails through them. Customizing emails with photos and more has never been so easy. Sending an email is too quick and straightforward to pass up.
If you have a website, take advantage of that space with blogs. If you can write the blogs, that’s awesome! You can also ask your employees to contribute to get even more content from different points of view. You can hire a freelancer to write content in your voice, which will save time and let you devote your energy toward building other parts of your business. Blog articles turn up in search engines (more on that later), give customers a chance to get to know your business and hear who you are as people, and also creates shareable content on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
You might be wondering if the extra work will be worth it, so see for yourself. Statistically, businesses that have blogs pull in 126% more leads than businesses without blogs. Customers are 70% more likely to hear about your business through blogs than they are through advertising. Furthermore, running a blog gives potential customers the opportunity to form an opinion and 80% of customers see (well-written) blogs as important avenues to learn more about your product. Want to hear something else? Blogging every day can generate 400% more traffic for your website and 80% of hits on your blog are from new customers who maybe don’t know anything about your product or why they should buy it from you. Crazy right?
Blogging has been around for a long time, with the earliest blogs popping up in the early 90's. Software today is more advanced and streamlined than ever before. You don’t need any special skills to start your own blog. All you have to do is sign up for a service you like and start writing. Wordpress, Blogger, Medium, Squarespace, and Wix, are all popular blogging platforms. Squarespace and Hupspot especially are solid website/blog combo services. Some of the blogs, like Wordpress, automatically connect you to the entire network of blogs that they host, which gives you free exposure. Each platform has pros and cons that, with a little time, easily lets you decide which format best suits your business.
Social media is great because it gets people to connect on a common platform, and you are able to format your images so your posts always look shareable and accessible. Focus on the platforms with the largest user base for what your business advertises. Facebook and Instagram are great for visual-advertising and LinkedIn is for more verbal advertising. Post regularly and maybe use themes, such as “Flashback Friday,” or take advantage of holidays or important events. Posting regularly increases your exposure on all your followers’ feeds and dramatically gives you more likes and shares. Hashtags also expose your business on unique channels. With attractive content that speaks both your voice and what your customers’ are looking for, you’ll get the likes and comments your business needs.
Also, when you DO get comments… interact with them! When you take the time to communicate with your customers, your business stands out as open, accessible, and friendly. Responding to comments can also work well on some platforms like Facebook where a popular post can show up more frequently in feeds--and comments are one indication of popularity!
Since timing is important, also consider when your customers are surfing on their social media apps. At the very least, post during normal waking hours. Know your social media posts' typical lifespan and post accordingly. Facebook posts have about five hours, while tweets have less than half an hour. For example, you might tweet a couple times a day but post on Facebook a few times a week.
Finally, sponsored posts are common ways to gin up traffic for your startup’s page, by putting them in potential customers’ feeds. Let the post get a bit of natural exposure first before you pay to promote it, or boost your most popular posts!
Finally, if you have a website (and you should), SEO is key to a successful marketing strategy. Search engine optimization ensures you’re using every bit of your marketing canvas to promote your business with search engines. People run searches every day and search engine ranking is serious business, so much so that businesses pay to be at the top of the page because of the psychology of searching. Hire a marketer or team of marketers who know how to promote your business organically through searches and raise your website’s ranking so you turn up #1 on customer queries!
To get high returns on your SEO, use websites like ahrefs or SEMrush to find appropriate keywords in your content and titles. It's also important to pay attention to how your web pages are structured for engine crawlers to understand. You can use websites like Pexels or Unsplash which provide you with beautiful photos for free that you can use for your site with catchy blurbs.
Your SEO strategy for search engines will be different from your marketing strategy for social media, and each social media platform has its own optimization strategies. Get familiar with how each works to tighten your web presence. A dedicated marketing team will have the time needed to promote your startup every day and in new ways.
Startups live and die on strategy, from internal to product to marketing. Know your business first, and then work on promoting it to the world. A well-planned marketing strategy is the foundation of social media presence and search engine ranking… and thus new customers. Solar Art is a small business that has incorporated all of these things in our marketing strategy, so if we can help you at all, please let us know!
Corporate Location: 23042 Mill Creek Drive, Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Copyright 2019 - Solar Art | All Rights Reserved | Contractor's License #1054307