Building a startup success is never as easy as saying “abracadabra!” But how else can you go from a great idea to thousands of loyal customers? Through hard work, determination and… savvy marketing.
People are bombarded with thousands of messages every day, meaning businesses of all sizes are faced with an increasingly overwhelming task to cut through the clutter and convert that attention into profit. As a startup, the task is bigger still. After all, your unknown business is battling against brands that people already know and maybe even love.
So how can you get your business off to the right start
1. Have a clear vision
Marketing is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. You need a clear vision and strategy. Without this the task of marketing is not only overwhelming and exhausting; it is a big waste of your time and money. Outline goals for the first three, six and twelve months with the tools you’ll use to achieve them. Engage others in this process and be sure to review the plan on a regular basis.
2. Combine tactical marketing and branding
When we talk about our startup heroes, Boost Juice is almost always at the top of the list. But what’s their marketing secret? Actually, it’s no secret – they use a combination of clever tactical and branding activity. In other words, campaigns that drive people into the Boost Bars, and campaigns that ensure people always know the Boost name and what it stands for. Which leads us to another related point: they are always unique in how they communicate. It’s little wonder Boost achieved a 94% brand awareness rate in just five years.
3. Don’t bite off more than you can chew
When it comes to marketing, there’s nothing to be gained by dabbling in a little bit of everything. Instead, select a few marketing channels – those you know your target audience is using – and focus your energy and budget on using them well. The channels you choose should also complement each other. For example, if you’re running an online promotion – coordinate letterbox advertising and an email campaign to run at the same time. Both should link to your website landing page, using a QR code on the letterbox drop and a click-through on the email.
4. Get social
Twenty-six per cent of SMEs have been using social media channels as marketing tools, according to the latest report by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Facebook tops the list (88%), followed by Twitter (24%), LinkedIn (21%) and YouTube (10%). Why? Because social media is an extremely cost-effective way to reach your target market. In fact, unless you advertise, it’s completely free. But social media marketing is not to be undertaken lightly. As with all your marketing, you need a clear vision and strategy. Don’t set up a Facebook profile unless you know what you want to achieve, how you’ll recruit followers and how you’ll engage them on a continuous basis.
5. Take it offline
With all the technology in our lives, it’s tempting to think that all your marketing should be online these days. You couldn’t be more wrong. While online has its place, you'll be surprised what you can do offline to create a buzz – even if you’re an online business. When Boost Juice was starting out, they went along to the big media outlets with samples of their juices. Or if your target audience is the local community, a simple yet brilliant way to get word out fast without blowing your budget out of the water is letterbox advertising. Promoting your business with letterbox drops is not only targeted, but also very affordable.
6. Like-like partnerships
Somewhere out there, there’s another business that thinks like you. It sells products or services that are complementary to yours, and targets the same people. Better yet, it’s already established in the marketplace and has a thriving community of loyal customers. Your mission is to get out there and find this business. When you do, call them (don’t email) and convince them to partner with you on some irresistible marketing – whether it’s a simple letterbox drop or a promotional campaign with all the bells and whistles. You will not only benefit from a broader customer base, but you can also swap ideas and tips to help your business grow.
7. Measure and review
It’s no secret that the fastest way to build your business is to focus on what works. But how can you know what works if you don’t measure and monitor your marketing campaigns? Only by reviewing the results can you work out what works and what doesn’t.
Need more ideas and inspiration to jump start your marketing? Take a look at our other industry specific ideas and examples. Don't forget to sign up to our email newsletter to stay updated with our latest fresh ideas and hot offers!
By Ryan Christie – Marketing Manager – Local Direct Network (LDN)
Ryan heads up all things marketing at LDN. Driven by the power marketing can bring to small business; Ryan’s key objective is to provide SME’s with the latest relevant information & tools to ensure their letterbox advertising is successful and helps grow their business. Now and again you can find Ryan on Google+ and LinkedIn.