Congratulations! You’ve gotten through the beginning processes of creating a startup: getting over your fear of failure, finding your niche, designing a business model, and creating a functional website.
Unfortunately, the work doesn’t end there, in fact, it’s just beginning.
You now have to figure out how to market your startup company to drive traffic to your site, create loyal customers, and show a profit. Luckily, we have 5 powerful ways that you can do just that!
Continue reading to learn about the tools and methods you need to implement in order to ensure your business’ success!
Initiate Contact Via Email
Throughout your business career, you’ve likely made contact with hundreds, if not thousands of potential buyers. If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you have these contacts saved to a spreadsheet for easy reference and mass emails.
However, if you really want to make an impact (and not have your email sent to the trash), consider personalizing it with each potential customer’s name.
You might be thinking, ‘but that will take too much time!’
It won’t. Not if you choose to send a mail merge through GMass. The gist of this is to merge your existing spreadsheet to a usable Google Sheet and then be able to create personalized emails from existing information in the merged document.
You’ll be able to get customers’ attention by having their name in the subject or opening lines, but the key here is to be able to send emails that are applicable to that specific customer. Consider breaking your contact list into segmented parts and marketing specifically to those groups of people with similar buying or browsing patterns.
Take every chance possible to engage with a customer. Ask for their opinions about their purchase, their experience on your website, or what they’d like to see in the future. Engaging a customer makes them feel important and like their voices are heard.
Creative Digital Marketing
Some entrepreneurs become uneasy when they hear the words digital marketing and it’s for a good reason! There are multiple agencies that try to sell you on products and services you don’t need or that don’t work.
The good news is that digital marketing can be far easier than they make it out to be. With just a little bit of research and effort, you can find a campaign that works for you, creating extraordinary results at a relatively low cost.
When you begin to plan your digital marketing strategy, you probably already know that you’ll need an SEO-friendly blog and maybe utilize pay per click ads. However, these are only the first steps you’ll need to take.
In order to really make an impact with your audience, you will need social media engagement. This might be in the form of videos, shared blog posts, or images, but they all have one thing in common: the content gets people talking.
Instagram offers the ability to have a “shoppable post.” This allows you to share a visually stunning post but also tag all of your products shown with a link to purchase the items. Every person that sees the post has the ability to see and buy anything that catches their eye without having to search your entire website.
This helps your customers feel as though your business cares about them, their needs and wants, as well as creates an unforgettable buying experience. When this happens, they’re more likely to share their positive experience with others – essentially giving you free advertising!
A Quick Note on Social Media Automation
Social media automation tools are a great thing! They can help you keep your company on track with the frequency, consistency, and timing of your posts, allowing you the exposure you need when your users are most active. They also can keep track of the best hashtags for your business and a running list of what you’ve used previously.
You should keep in mind that they’re not necessarily the ultimate solution for your social media marketing, but instead should be used as a tool to help keep your social media consistently filled with new content.
These tools aren’t designed to create your posts for you. You must spend time crafting each post with the end-user in mind. A beautiful photo or funny meme is a great start but your caption must be equally engaging, prompting users to like, share, and comment.
Utilizing user-generated content is an extremely low-cost (or free) way of marketing your business. This may be in the form of a buyer posting about their shopping experience, an exciting review, or an entire blog post dedicated to your product.
Of course, this isn’t a stand-alone marketing tactic; you’ll have to pair it with at least one other marketing strategy. However, you can encourage your consumers to create, comment, like, share, or otherwise engage with your brand simply by having a strong online presence.
Think about it: how many unpaid or non-sponsored Instagram posts do you see that tag a company or use their hashtag? Yep, that’s user-generated content! It shows the lifestyle of your average customer and people love seeing it!
You can make a call for this type of content by asking for buyers to share their purchases, reviews, or tagging you in their posts that feature your product. From there, (with their permission, of course) you can repost the content as almost a testimonial.
Although quite different, another form of user-generated content includes knowledge bases. A knowledgebase is basically a part of your website that users can go to search common questions about a product and find the answers they need without having to reach out to one of your support members.
This knowledgebase can serve multiple purposes, including helping with SEO rankings, cutting down the need for customer representatives and customer wait times. It can also help you identify if there is a common issue that is occurring often and can be repaired.
Customer Service & Marketing
Building on the idea of knowledge bases and allowing customers to find answers for themselves, there are also cognitive chatbots. While the idea of a ‘cognitive’ chatbot helping solve problems may not seem appealing, it could be a great way to help market your company.
This might not be considered ‘marketing’ in the traditional sense, but allowing customers to ask questions and receive answers without waiting for a response will leave them feeling much happier. Of course, this isn’t to say you should get rid of live chats with actual humans or completely remove the ability to call your company – most people just don’t want to.
Users want a fast answer to their questions. If they can’t find it through a knowledge base, a chatbot offering cognitive responses may be your next step in escalation. Ideally, your consumer can find the answer they need through one of these two options, making them feel like no (or very little) time has been wasted.
Other Marketing Tools to be Aware of
This list is by no means an exhaustive list of all the possible tools you can use to market your new startup. In fact, there are so many online small business tools, it would be almost impossible to list them all!
Remember that marketing is often a trial and error experience; what works well for one business might not work for yours and the ideas that others advise against may be exactly what you need!