Marketing as a startup company can be intimidating and intense, but the right strategy and plan can help you breathe easier in 2022.
Working for a startup can be exhilarating. The benefits of working for a startup company include the fast pace, flexibility, and lack of bureaucracy and rules. While startups embrace chaos, we believe that every successful startup uses a startup marketing strategy that is appropriate for their business model.
As a startup, you’re probably limited in terms of time and money (and maybe restricted in your expertise in marketing too). But that’s no reason not to devise a strategy that works for you and your company.
Remember that you get to make the rules, so you can take a non-traditional approach to your marketing strategy. Find the strategies that work best for your startup company and double down on them.
Here are some of the best startup marketing strategies to try in 2022.
Define your intended audience.
First and foremost, it’s time to examine your target audience more closely. This is the foundation upon which you will build all of your marketing strategies. Without a strong foundation, the entire marketing strategy will crumble.
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What do they do for a living and for fun?
- What are their ages?
- Why are they interested in your product or service?
- What are the values and beliefs of your customers?
- What tone and voice do your customers prefer?
- What kind of content does this audience like to read?
- Where does my target audience spend the majority of their time (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok)?
- What is the size of your market (regional, national, or global)?
- What distinguishes your product from those of your competitors?
Take these questions seriously and jot down all of your responses. This will serve as your strategy guide for your startup’s marketing. Create a strong customer persona so that you can imagine a real person on the other end of your marketing communications. This is the ultimate goal before you begin developing your strategy because you will be able to zero in on exactly who you want to speak with!
Create outstanding branding (company name, logo, and aesthetic)
If creating a customer persona and target audience was your foundation, branding would be the first level of your structure. Branding encompasses all aspects of your company’s overall aesthetic and presentation. Here are some key elements to consider when developing your startup’s brand.
- Company Name:Choose a strong and modern company name that will speak directly to your target audience.
- Logo: Create a high-resolution, simple, modern logo that depicts your brand simply and elegantly.
- Aesthetics of Branding: Choose an overall aesthetic for your brand based on the product and audience you’re speaking to. This could include stylistic influences such as “boho,” “minimalist,” or “retro.” The following principles will be guided by your aesthetic as well.
- Color Scheme: Choose a color scheme that complements your overall branding aesthetic. If you’re not sure how to choose a palette that complements each other, use a software program.
- Typography: Choose fonts that complement your aesthetic while keeping the simplicity and accessibility of the font itself in mind for your reader.
- Product Packaging (if applicable): Make use of your branding aesthetic, logo, color palette, and typography to create packaging that speaks to your customer. If it makes sense for your product and target audience, consider using reusable or eco-friendly packaging.
- Slogan: Create a catchy sentence or phrase that exemplifies what your company intends to do.
- Brand Story: Use an engaging brand story to tell your customers where you’ve come from and where you’re going.
- Mission and Values: Put pen to paper and write down your company’s mission statement as well as the overarching values that drive your work.
Branding may appear to be a monumental task, but it is simply an aesthetic reflection of your startup company and its product. Take it seriously… but not overly so! Branding should be a fun part where you can let your creativity shine. Don’t worry about being perfect because future rebranding is part of the process of growing a startup over time.
Set up your startup company on the appropriate channels.
Now that you’ve identified your target audience and created your branding, it’s time to focus on the platforms where you need to be visible. Consider where your target audience spends their time and choose the areas that make the most sense for you. Here are some potential locations for your startup’s content marketing pieces.
- A business website (always necessary)
- Platforms for social media that are appropriate for your target audience (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc.)
- Platforms for video (Vimeo, TikTok, YouTube)
- Podcast distribution platforms (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher)
- Platforms for third-party media (ex. Huffpost articles submitted as a contributor)
- Platforms for paid advertising (Facebook, Linkedin, Google Ads)
- Other forms of media (radio, television, print)
- Budget and Marketing Content Selection
The key to developing an effective content marketing strategy for a startup is to focus on the areas that have the greatest impact on your target audience. Because other companies have every social media account imaginable, it does not follow that your startup must devote time to developing content for each of those platforms. It will almost certainly be less effective than focusing on one or two of the most important and giving it your all.
Budget (both time and money) should also be considered in this plan. If you’re able to outsource your content marketing strategy to a professional agency, you can make a higher ask because the initiatives aren’t taking up your time.
If you can’t outsource your startup marketing strategy, create metrics and measurements to track what works and what doesn’t with your content marketing strategy. If you’re not meeting your goals on one initiative but crushing it on another, don’t be afraid to retool your strategy and double down on what’s working. Your content marketing strategy should be fluid, but also measurable, so you can monitor your progress!