Three Powerful Combinations for Better Startup Marketing

Marketing comes in many flavors, regardless of whether you're a startup marketing a cutting-edge technology or an established company building out your business.

You know all the usual suspects:

  • Event marketing

  • Email marketing

  • Social media marketing

  • Content marketing

  • PPC marketing

...and the list could go on.

But it would be a grave mistake to think only in terms of single verticals - and this is especially true when it comes to startup marketing. That's because, first of all, a startup may not have the staff to cover each area individually. And secondly - you shouldn't!

Here are three secret, yet powerful combinations to remember when laying out your marketing strategy.

1. Event & social media marketing

It is quite correct to assume that social media marketing plays a strong part in developing a startup's brand - and increasing its reach. This is especially true if your founder or co-founder is a well-known personality with a large social media following already.

But DO NOT fall into the trap of thinking of social media simply as a distribution channel. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are not merely a way to send out those blog posts (as good as they may be...) about your product, team or vision.

Because social media is first and foremost about interactions - one of the best ways to build your following and "get known" quickly is to attend event - or better yet - organise one.

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Especially if you put together your own event - whether it is a meet up, a conference presentation or an internal team event - DO NOT miss the opportunity to comment, share and create as big a picture of yourself on social media as possible.

After all, events are something "real"--and customers react positively to "real" content on social media.

2. Email, content & influencer marketing

If your startup is organised (and advanced) enough to use a marketing automation platform, then you are no doubt targeting middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel contacts with regular email drip campaigns using content that you have created to address their potential doubts and concerns.

Congratulate yourself - very smart.

But there are two problems here:

  1. It's easy for your target audience to feel "hunted" with that steady drip of content-rich emails.

  2. Especially in B2B business, it is relatively easy to sniff out content that was thought up in the bubble of a startup marketing department's office.

What to do?

Engage an influencer.

But this does not necessarily mean ponying up big bucks to engage a popular industry figure to speak on your behalf.

The point is to turn to those personalities which your audience already considers an authority or finds interesting and play off of their content.

This could mean:

  • Creating similar content and branding it for yourself

  • Simply adding the influencer's content to your newsletter or drip campaign directly.

In so doing, you will automatically create a "positive image" around your own content - like standing in the halo of a saint - which will soften up your target customers considerably.


3. Event and PPC marketing/advertising

Strange combination, you say? Not at all.

Consider this - which would you be more likely to respond to:

  1. Banner ads advertising a product which is both expensive and complicated

  2. Banner ads advertising free tickets to a one-day workshop about the same product

Chances are you chose the second option.

And that's the secret - driving brand awareness is not only about advertising the product. It isn't about advertising the company even.

It is about connecting with people.

So while you could spend loads of money driving traffic to your website - you could also redirect those funds to draw people to a place where they are more than likely to be forge a more lasting connection with your brand.

Ian Simpson