Startup Marketing Tips and Tricks – The Ultimate List

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Many first time entrepreneurs believe that marketing their startup is as easy as setting up Twitter and Facebook accounts and announcing your product to the world. If only it was so easy. Just because there’s a market for your product doesn’t mean people will flock to buy it. You need to differentiate yourself and rise above the noise.

The good news is that you don’t need a huge marketing budget to reach potential customers. In fact, it is typically best to spend as little as possible when starting up to ensure that your product or service really has legs before backing it with larger sums of money.

What follows are some startup marketing tips that have worked for entrepreneurs around the world and can work for you as well.

Tip 1: Create a Great Product

When a product doesn’t sell, many Entrepreneurs blame it on poor marketing. “If we could only get an article on Tech Crunch we would sell 1 million units!” But the best marketer in the world can’t sell a product that no one wants. The most important thing you need to do is validate that there’s actually a market for your product/service before building it. There are a number of ways to do this but the most straightforward way is to simply approach potential customers with your idea and ask if they’d be willing to pay for your product or service. If you’re starting a business without fully validating your idea, you’re taking a big risk and setting yourself up for failure. If you’re interested in learning more about validation, Noah Kagan the Founder of App Sumo goes into great detail about it in this presentation.

Tip 2: Clearly Define your Target Market


Do you really know who your potential customers is? If you haven’t already, create a customer persona by listing their primary characteristics. Make sure you’re very specific. Start by narrowing down your immediate target audience to those who you think will respond to your product. Then list the basic demographics of your customer – age, sex, location, profession etc. Finally, ask yourself specific questions about this person. What does this person look like? (you can even make a rough sketch) What websites does this person visit on a daily basis? Why does this person need your solution in the first place? What pain points is this person experiencing?

After going through this process you should have a good idea of what your customer looks like. Keep in mind that this process takes time to get right, it’s not a 5 minute exercise. Take a day to really map out the customer persona, it’s well worth the time. Only after you fully understand your customer can you effectively market to them.

Tip 3: Leverage Zero Dollar Partnerships


Partnering with established businesses is an inexpensive way to get your product in front prospects that have already shown a willingness to spend money. It also helps lend credibility to your startup. As a startup you have little to no reputation (good or bad) which makes it more difficult to make sales. When a successful company, with a strong customer base, vouches for your product your credibility instantly goes up.

Partnership arrangements can vary widely but the key is finding complementary solutions to yours. At Video Rascal we’ve partnered with Voice Bunny to offer our users access to professional voiceover artists. For us this was a no-brainer. Our customers now have access to voiceovers for their videos and in exchange Voice Bunny makes money when our customers use their service. Partnerships like this one can go a long way in driving sales.

But before approaching potential partners always ask yourself what’s in it for the partner? Why would they partner with me? Once you answer these questions you can more effectively pitch the company on the partnership.

Tip 4: Choose the Proper Social Media Networks

Your target audience will generally prefer certain social media networks over others. You’ll want to start with the social networks that have the greatest percentage of your target audience so that you can maximize your success.  For example, don’t randomly open a Twitter account for your business because you and your friends have one. First, search for relevant keywords to see if people are tweeting about topics that are relevant to your business and industry. You can also search for your competitor names. What are people saying about your competitors? Are customers bringing up issues with their service that your product could potentially solve? How do your competitors interact with their followers?

Marketing on social networks can be a time suck and the return on your time spent can often be minimal. This makes it all the more important that you focus on what really matters, generating SALES! Don’t get caught up on how many Likes or Followers you have. No one cares about that and in the scheme of things all that matters is how many sales you’ve driven through the channel.

Tip 5: Provide Great Content

As the saying goes, ‘Content is King’. Good content helps sell your products and your brand, whether through news articles, blog posts or videos. By providing valuable content you’ll be able to create relationships and gain credibility with potential customers. Once you’ve built up credibility and gained the trust of readers you can slowly begin to sell them on your product. This is why it’s essential that you have a blog on your site. A blog will help drive traffic to your site via search engines and social channels. Keep in mind that it takes time to build credibility with search engines so the earlier you setup a blog the better off you’ll be.

Tip 6: Leverage the Power of YouTube

There is little doubt that YouTube has become an internet marketing force. Two reasons for this are that people prefer watching video over reading text and Google has come to love video. In fact, a recent Forrester Research study stated that your site is 53 times more likely to appear on page 1 of Google’s search results if you have video on your website.

Creating video is much easier than you may think. Software like Video Rascal enables you to create animated videos for a reasonable price compared to the several thousand dollars it would have taken only a few years ago.  And while in the past you were limited to buying expensive commercial time on local TV outlets. Today, you can post your video on YouTube for the world to see for free.

In Conclusion

There’s never been a better time to launch a startup. The size of your marketing budget has no bearing on whether you succeed or fail. The free and low cost marketing tools available today level the playing field and make it possible for anyone to have success marketing their startup.  Hopefully these tips help guide you as you build your startup marketing plan. Remember that there are few overnight successes, and good marketing takes time and perseverance. Good luck and happy marketing!

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