As a startup owner, I am sure you are always looking for ways of building a huge audience for your business? But it’s easier said than done, isn’t it?
If you are a SaaS startup, you will be hungry for more signups and subscribers, if you are a digital product development startup you will want more clients that will pay for your services.
Being a startup, you have to push your idea forward into the market, and before you get noticed you need to market yourself in front of everyone. And by marketing, I am talking about displaying your product or service in front of people with money.
To be successful, you need to pay less (of course because of the budget constraint), and still become the apple of everyone’s eyes!
It is indeed true that money can buy an audience, but you have to be creative and bring in the “out-of-the-box” thinking into the play to impress them and make them your users.
For that, you must learn how to rope-in every available channel of your business form promoting it to your audience.
If your marketing strategies are played out well they will give you the intended result i.e., increased net revenue. But, if your marketing plan falters, then, it will be like throwing your money out in the trash.
Being a startup owner, you will have to play multiple roles and while doing so, it is indeed difficult to learn the ropes of these roles. Not everyone has a natural knack of a seasoned sales or marketing professional.
In this section, I will be sharing some crucial sales and marketing tips to help you earn more by spending less.
1. Market the features, sell the benefits
Yes, you are trying to tell how you are different from others in your domain so do it by highlighting what makes you different.
Here are the three major ways of doing so:
- Cost: How do you price the product better than your competition?
- Quality: Showcase the best features, instead of bombarding all the features
- Combine: When you combine the cost with the quality you will show your worth to the audience
As a startup owner, selling your product/service will be way different than how you market the same.
You might tell a prospect that your product or service is cheaper than the competition.
You might even say that it is more effective than your competitors.
But the important point is, how you are going to showcase that your product or service is going to make the customer’s life less complicated.
In simple words, selling is about highlighting your product’s benefit to the prospect and closing the deal on the basis of features.
When you are comparing yourself with the competition, highlight the features but always sell your benefits.
2. Know your audience and listen to them
I am taking an example of Sam Walton here. As many of you know, he is the mind behind Walmart. It is not a hidden fact that Sam started Walmart in rural America. He went against the popular belief that a retailer in an area with a concentrated population will fail.
Mr. Walton always listened to his customers. He knew that the audiences in the rural areas had large families. These families needed to stock their goods beforehand. He even knew that the small businesses in the area purchased their retail supplies in advance to be always stocked.
Working as a team is what makes a product meaningful, avoids misunderstandings, saves time and money, and aligns expectations. The magic always tends to happen when everyone is sitting at one table – when each individual is able to blast out ideas that can make a startup grow quicker. These angles and solutions are much more diverse and interesting than just sticking to the “basics”.
The pandemic has changed the way you choose your target audience physically, but for the online audience, the metric has not changed on a grander scale (until you are an e-commerce site, allowed to deliver only the life-essential goods).
3. Market your product properly
Many startups decide that one their product or service is ready to market, their marketing campaigns will follow suit. It’s a costly mistake that often leads to heavy losses.
Many others dream of cashing-in on the products by selling them post-production. Mind this fact: How will you make a sale if the prospects have never heard about your product or service?
This is simple economics. You start at zero demand and by the time you grab the audience’s attention your losses are compiling at a faster rate.
Start with a simple marketing campaign that is targeted at building your brand’s awareness for attracting potential customers.
Plan a minimal preemptive awareness campaign that will let your potential customers know that a new product is hitting the market soon.
This way you have generated interest in the target audience and many of them will start out as your initial customer’s when you are market-ready!
4. Bring outside-the-box thinking
Back in the good-old-days when there were no search engines or social media platforms, people used traditional ways of marketing.
Today, the marketing landscape is abundant with the use of free, online marketing techniques.
For instance, as a startup owner can use
- online video marketing
- social media
- blog influencers
- content marketing
- thought leadership
Having said that networking events still serve a very crucial role in the business world. List out the events that relate to your domain. This way you will not miss out on connecting with every person of interest.
When you attend these gatherings take your time while introducing yourself and your product. In the light of COVID19 lockdown, although you can’t attend physical gatherings now, you can look for online webinars or meet-ups.
When you introduce your product as a problem solver with great features, you will surely gain the upper hand. When you meet important people face-to-face, the impression you leave is lasting.
To gain better traction for your brand name, you can also co-sponsor such events.
Influencer marketing is also a good option to bring your brand in front of masses.
Managing these influencers can be tricky, but followers checker tools can help improve your decisions. You do not want your brand to get fake followers on social media channels. So, opting for a tool that can give you insights on fake followers and making sure your brand is reaching out and interacting with the real audience is always helpful.
5. Use multiple channels for advertisements
It is always a good decision to bifurcate your marketing channels and measure the outcome.
This way you can easily gauge which ideas are worth keeping and which needs to see the trash. And often it has been observed that there is a combination of ideas that has actually worked wonders for successful advertisements.
The prospect might have seen your ad on TV or heard it over the radio then found you on Google and read some articles that mention you. Such advertisement placements help setting up your brand in front of prospects as a dependable entity.
And you can utilize a CRM designed for advertising agencies to capture and manage all the leads at one place.
Being at the back of the prospect’s mind constantly is really important. They might not need your product or service but when the time comes, they will seek you out.
Do not ignore social media. There have been businesses that have made a mark in the market with excellent social media strategies.
Like every advertisement strategy, social media needs some time as well. Once you start gaining the desired traction in the market you will start finding the desired audience too.
- Keep a check on your Google rankings
- Use targeted keywords and help people discover your content
- Power your social media-based audience acquisition
6. Create KPIs and track your progress
As I have talked earlier, you must have a system that tracks your marketing results. It helps as you have a clear vision of your strategies and actions and know if they are working for your brand or not.
Always use key performance indicators (KPIs) as your measuring factor. Here are some basic KPIs:
- conversion rates
- bounce rates
- the duration of one visit on the website
- the number of RT
- number of likes
As a startup owner, you can use Google Analytics or Search Console for quick and efficient analysis of your marketing KPIs.
7. PR (public relation) is good
In the traditional advertising sense, you are marketing your product for selling it. While using PR, you are endorsing your brand and building an image in front of the customer.
Simply put, a leading magazine or online website mentioned your product or service. It will be like missing out on a golden opportunity if you do not brag about it on your own social media channels or website.
Such mentions not just build your credibility, they act as future marketing tools. A good PR will help you build better credibility and great brand awareness.
8. Feedback is always good for you
Never hesitate to ask for feedback from your customers, and even prospects.
Feedback can be good or bad if you look at them in a generalized manner. But if you accept them with open arms and provide a way to the customers and prospects for doing so, this will make a positive impression on your brand itself.
You have every right to defend your baby, but not at the expense of others! They have paid for your service, listen to what they have to complain about, work on it, and get back to them with the solution. Let them know you are open to criticism and strive at providing the best service to them.
An angry customer is considered PR gold. This is where you can show the particular customer and his peers that you mean serious business and will do anything to please them.
Always remember, the amount you spend on acquiring new customers will always be greater than retaining the old ones. Plus, the positive word-of-mouth and testimonials from your brand advocates will bring in genuine customers who will surely close faster.
Keep working on your product and service, keep taking feedback, get back to the customers and prospects using drip campaigns from inside your CRM for startups, and measure everything seamlessly.
We look forward to seeing you soon. Till then, stay sharp and productive. Happy selling.