Creating a stellar marketing plan for startups is not easy. Startups need an innovative ROI-focused marketing approach to get started.
According to a Firstsite guide report, the US has over 71,153 startups (most worldwide) running their business operations nationwide. Therefore, the competition is intense. If your Startup marketing plan is not intriguing and customer-centric, it’s impossible to make your standout appearance.
Every startup has different USPs (Unique Selling Propositions). They only need to emphasize the same to promote their products and services. It is equally essential for startups to follow the latest market trends while launching their promotional drives.
For example, take the case of Stripe, an international payment processing platform. It was launched as a startup in 2010 with Patrick and John Collison as its co-founders. Stripe branded itself as the leading alternative to PayPal in those days, focussing primarily on the pain points of the online payment processing system.
– John Collison
It promised to make the entire process swift and simple. Interestingly, Stripe allowed customers to view the complete transaction process before checking out from the merchant’s site (e-commerce portal).
Soon, it got a tremendous boost through word-of-mouth publicity from customers and e-commerce portals. It also regularly participated in community events and startup seminars, which made the brand even more popular.
Today, Stripe is a $94 billion business entity, carrying out over a billion transactions annually. It continues to add innovative features to its site and app, making it one of the best international payment gateways in the world.
Thus, marketing for a startup needs to have a solid purpose and goal. You shouldn’t forget that today’s startup might be a business of repute in a few years! Just what you saw in the case of Stripe.
You should consider some essential factors while creating a startup marketing plan.
Set Up Your Marketing Budget
If you’re a startup, you may not have enough money or financial resources to spend recklessly on the startup branding and promotion. It’s essential first to determine the amount of money you can truly dedicate to startup marketing without affecting your firm’s other needs.
However, you need not spend the entire startup marketing budget at once. Instead, you should allocate your funds to multiple marketing campaigns across various platforms.
Know Your Purpose
Setting up a marketing budget for promoting your startup and not knowing your end goals can be risky. It’s almost like driving a car without knowing where you want to reach.
You should have a clear-cut idea of numbers and figures that you wish to achieve through marketing campaigns. For example, if you’re running a Facebook ad campaign, you should know what you want to derive from it.
You might have a predetermined objective of getting a certain number of followers through such a campaign or driving traffic to your website.
Setting up startup marketing goals can help you gauge the figures or results obtained against set objectives.
For example, if you’ve run a startup marketing campaign on Twitter for one month with a set objective of getting 1000 followers. But after one month, you found only 400 new Twitter followers; it means your marketing campaign hasn’t been successful! Now, you need to introspect about what went wrong.
Setting a realistic goal and keeping in line with your current performance is the key to comparing your objectives with actual results after a campaign.
Identify Your Target Market
As a startup, you should know to who you are pitching your products or services to. Your promotional campaigns won’t yield optimum results if you don’t know your target market. No matter how great, elaborate, or interesting your startup marketing campaigns are—they won’t work—if they don’t resonate with the target market.
However, you can determine your target market using the following steps. Here’s what you need to know:
Based on behaviour economics, determine your target customer.
Know the exact demographics of your target audience, including age, geographic location, and gender.
Figure out their shopping behaviors and trends.
Do some market research studies to identify their needs and requirements, besides pain points.
Create a brilliant brand message to reach out to them.
For example, if you’re a SaaS startup and wish to target younger demographics, Facebook can be a good platform for your marketing needs.
According to a Mayple report, more than 69.5% of startups use Facebook for marketing and advertising purposes. It is also the second most popular communication platform after email that helps startups initiate a conversation with their target audience.
Create a Business Website
Every startup should get a business website created. It’s essential. Without a robust online presence, a startup may find it difficult to reach its target audience through online brand promotion activities.
Still, you won’t believe that 36% of startups don’t have any business website. It makes their startup journey difficult and limits their fund-raising potential and ability to generate new leads.
However, creating a website for the sake of it may not help. Your business website needs to speak volumes about your startup, what you sell, the USPs of your products, and what you intend to do in the future. You should get your web pages optimized with relevant information to make your site more attractive.
Irrespective of whether your target market is local or international, you need a company website to showcase your products and services.
Startups need to keep their website up-to-date with industry-related information and other interesting articles and blogs. Over 92% of firm owners still feel that a dedicated business website is essential to digital marketing. Without a dedicated business website, startups may fail to achieve their objectives.
Try Offline Marketing
Even in the current age of digital marketing, offline marketing isn’t completely dead. According to a report published by MycodelessWebsite, 39% of marketers felt offline brand campaigns were essential for their marketing needs.
Startups are not an exception. The target market of startups is scattered. In such a case, making the best use of billboards, print media, event marketing, and TV advertisements is highly recommended alongside regular Startup digital marketing campaigns.
In the United States, there are approximately 300,000 billboards available for offline branding purposes. It offers an excellent opportunity for startups to promote their products and services. Offline marketing is highly suitable for startups that cater to the target audience that is not much active on social media and the internet.
Despite the mass popularity of digital marketing and online brand promotion, according to Winterberrygroup, offline media still garnered over $196 billion in the US in 2021, when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak. It shows the kind of confidence that millions of entrepreneurs have in offline advertising.
Marketing for startups involves plenty of strategies and marketing exercises. As a startup owner, you might not have an idea about which strategies will work for you, and which don’t.
You need to execute various marketing campaigns for your startup one by one and figure out which one is yielding the best ROI-driven result. Once you get an idea, it’ll become simpler for you to determine the best marketing strategy for your startup.
Startup Steroid is an absolute Startup ecosystem built to support Startups. If Startup digital marketing is becoming a hassle for you, then get in touch with our expert team.
Share your Startup Marketing needs here and we will get back to you.
I’m the co-founder of Startup Steroid. Being a founder/ co-founder (of multiple businesses) and investor (in multiple startups) myself, I experienced the challenges that an investor and a founder face. So, we built a network of 2,000+ Investors, Startup Founders, and Ecosystem Partners since its foundation and still growing. We empower innovative ideas by providing direct access to smart money and meaningful networks.
I am also the CEO of SPV Hub.