Launching your first startup can be one of the most exhilarating ventures into entrepreneurship there is. Not only do you get to work in the field you’ve always wanted, but do so on something that could possibly change your industry (if not the world). And if marketing your startup is something you’re eager to hop into, there are a few key practices that you should familiarize yourself with in getting started. Check them out below:
Establish A Budget
It goes without saying that if you’re going to be marketing a startup, then one of the first things you have to establish is your budget. This can be difficult when starting from scratch, especially if you don’t have any investment or revenue coming in yet. And while LegalZoom notes that the average marketing budget is 9 to 12 percent of annual sales, gauging what that means for your business can be tough (but well worth the effort).
First and foremost, a big part of your marketing will be based on what type of industry you’re trying to break into, as well as what customers are necessary for that to be successful. For example, if your startup is a b2b service, then going after extensive social media campaigns on Instagram wouldn’t produce the same result as say writing thought-provoking pieces on LinkedIn. Furthermore, it’s better to overestimate your total costs than underestimate, as it gives you a concrete stopping point before you get carried away. However, the trick is to use the least amount of costly resources as you can, working towards maximizing on your ROI to get the best results.
Create An Amazing Brand
If you haven’t already put forth the investment, then I highly suggest looking into some branding solutions to make your startup takeoff. In fact, according to CrowdSpring, 82 percent of investors believe that brand strength and recognition are becoming more important in guiding investment decisions. Which while that might sound superficial to some, can make sense, as a solid brand proves to consumers legitimacy, as well as a shared ethos. And if this is something you feel isn’t reflective of your business quite yet, then it might be time for a rebrand.
Start out by looking at your current branding assets and asking yourself what type of feeling does it portray, as well as why you feel others will gravitate towards it. This includes everything from your color scheme to logo design, which you should list out to see which assets need the most improvement to you (as well as any peers you share it with). As branding is an encompassing field describing an overall image and feeling others will resonate with, this can be a tough task and one that many startups overlook when trying to bootstrap their project. However, it’s also an effort that if you put in the foundation now, can be well worth the investment late down the road, as an amazing brand could stick with you for life.
Form Solid Partnerships
As the new player in your field, who you make friends with is an incredibly useful step to strive and be successful. This not only gives you visibility but additionally provides a sense of authority to your general audience. Which, landing that can be huge to boost your reputation because as noted by Vision Critical, in a survey by Boston Consulting Group, authenticity was found to be the top quality sought after in a brand. And if you want to capitalize on this, then finding top-notch partners out of the gate is a must.
If you’ve started to compile some great partners, then perhaps showcasing them on your website might be a good point to begin. However, if you’re lacking in this department, then it might be good to start reaching out to potential prospects that could serve a mutual benefit for your brand. For example, if you’re a social platform for wedding planners, then having a partner for bridesmaid dresses could be helpful, while they receive the benefit new customers. All-in-all, be patient with your approach in this because although it can be a big win, it also needs to be the best-fit long-term.
Engage With Your Audience As Much As You Can
Finally, as you start to do outreach for your startup, your main goal in any channel should be what you can do with engagement. According to Invespcro, 64 percent of marketers stated that increasing engagement was their top priority, which it’s easy to see why. Engagement is how you’ll learn not only to interact with your audience but garner useful feedback to grow from. Use this as a tool to get the most out of your business, as that will be what serves you success for years to come.
What are you most excited about in marketing your startup? Comment with your answers below!