Guest Post by Josephine Hardy
Starting a new business is scary, expensive and time consuming. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business every decision you make can dramatically change your chances for success. Many startups shy away from investing in marketing because immediate success isn’t guaranteed. Instead thousands of dollars are wasted in advertising to a wide, and an uninterested audience.
The #1 Biggest Reason For Startup Marketing
According to CB Insights, 29% of startup failures were caused by running out of cash, and 14% of failures were directly caused by poor marketing. With statistics like these every startup business needs to make marketing an integral part of their business. But as I’ve noted earlier, it’s difficult to ask a startup to spend a significant portion of their funds on a marketing employee, or paid marketing initiatives.
Here are 3 free ways you can start marketing your startup:
1. Build Brand Awareness
Most startups are invisible to the world. The founders of the startup keenly ask their connections to like their Facebook page, and review their app, but to ensure that their product is a success, a startup needs to become visible. Social media gives startups the ability to start building their brand name for free.
B2C Startups should create a profile for their business on these social networks:
– Facebook Page
B2B Startups should create a profile for their business on these social networks:
– Facebook Page
* You can go beyond these social networks, or use a mix of both lists to build your brand’s social profile, but every account you make needs to be kept active. Pick the networks that your target customer is likely to be using too, and slowly build upon your social media suite as your business grows.
2. Become a Trustworthy Brand
People are inherently suspicious of brands they have never heard of before and some might research your business before purchasing your product. Having an active social media presence boosts your brand’s credibility. Posting regularly shows that your brand has not failed, and that you care about having an open communication channel between your customers and business.
If someone asks you a question, answer it professionally and in a timely manner. Remember that anything you publish is public forever, and some social networks don’t allow you to delete or edit what you say. It is also likely that other customers have the same questions, so when you answer imagine that you are responding to your entire customer base. Many of them will read the answer in the future. How you respond expresses what kind of company you are: open to criticism, or obstinate.
3. Create & Publish Content
Having a company blog on your website is a great way to create content about your product that you can then share on your social media networks. But if you have yet to start a blog you can still use your social media accounts to publish and share great content.
Content can come in many forms:
– How-To Articles
– Company Updates
Don’t be scared to publish content from other businesses and people. Identify influential people in your industry, engage with them and share their content with your followers and fans. Be sure to give them credit whenever you are publishing content that you didn’t create. If you’re lucky they might share your content with their followers in return.
About the Author
Josephine Hardy is the Marketing Manager at DataRank, a social media monitoring company, based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She’s an Australian-Italian who immigrated to the United States, and enjoys content writing, engaging on social media and running 5Ks.