Marketing as a startup company can be intimidating and intense - but the right strategy and plan can help you breathe easier as you move forward in 2022.
Working at a startup can be thrilling. The greatest parts of being a startup company are the fast pace, the flexibility, and the lack of bureaucracy and rules. While startups embrace the chaos, we believe that every successful startup implements a startup marketing strategy that makes sense for their business model.
As a startup company, you’re likely restricted in time and money (and maybe restricted in your expertise in marketing too). But, that’s no reason not to establish a plan that makes sense for you and your business.
Remember that you get to make the rules, and for that reason, you can go the non-traditional route with your marketing plan. Find the strategies that work for your startup business and double down.
Here are some of the best startup marketing practices that you can try in 2022.
Define your target audience
First and foremost, it’s time to take a closer look at your target audience. This is the foundation that you’re laying to build all your marketing strategies on top of. Without this solid foundation, the entire marketing strategy will fall apart.
- Who is your target customer?
- What do they do for work and hobbies?
- How old are they?
- Why do they want your product or service?
- What are your customer’s values and beliefs?
- What voice and tone do your customers want to see?
- What kind of content does this audience consume?
- Where does my audience spend the most time (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok)?
- Where is your market located (regional, national, global)?
- What makes your product more valuable than your competitors’ products?
Take these questions seriously and write down all your answers. This will become your guidebook for your startup marketing strategy. Put together a strong customer persona so that you can envision a real human being at the other end of your marketing communications. This is the ultimate goal before embarking on your strategy development because you will be able to home in on exactly who you want to speak to!
Develop outstanding branding (company name, logo, and aesthetic)
If developing a customer persona and target audience was your foundation, then branding is the first level of your building. Branding encompasses all pieces of the overall aesthetic and presentation of your company. Here are some critical pieces that you should consider when developing your startup’s brand.
- Company Name: Decide on a strong and modern company name that will speak directly to your target audience.
- Logo: Design a high-resolution, simple, modern logo that illustrates your brand simply and beautifully.
- Branding Aesthetic: Select an overall aesthetic for your brand based on the product and audience that you’re speaking to. For example, this could be stylistic inspirations such as “boho”, “minimalist”, or “retro”. Your aesthetic will guide the following principles below as well.
- Color Palette: Select a color palette that aligns with your overall branding aesthetic. If you’re not sure how to select a palette that works well together, use a software program.
- Typography: Select fonts that match your aesthetic and keep in mind the simplicity and accessibility of the font itself for your reader.
- Product Packaging (if applicable): Utilize your branding aesthetic, logo, color palette, and typography to create packaging that will speak to your customer. Consider using reusable or eco-conscious packaging if it makes sense for your product and target audience.
- Slogan: Create a catchy sentence or phrase that illustrates what your company is setting out to do.
- Brand Story: Illustrate your brand with an engaging brand story that tells your customer where you came from and where you’re headed.
- Mission and Values: Put pen to paper here and make sure that you write down your company’s mission statement and its overarching values that drive your work.
Branding can seem like a massive undertaking, but it’s just an aesthetic reflection of your startup company and its product. Take it seriously… but not too seriously! Branding should be the fun part where your creativity can shine. Don’t get too concerned about being perfect because future rebranding is part of evolving a startup over time.
Get your startup company set up on the right channels
Now that you’ve put together your target audience and your branding, it’s time to turn your focus to the platforms that you need to be visible on. Consider where your target audience is spending their time and select the areas that make sense for you. Here are some places to consider publishing your startup’s content marketing pieces.
- A company website (almost always necessary)
- Social media platforms that make sense for your audience (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc.)
- Video platforms (Vimeo, TikTok, YouTube)
- Podcast platforms (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher)
- Third-party media platforms (ex. Huffpost articles submitted as a contributor)
- Paid advertising platforms (Facebook, Linkedin, Google Ads)
- Other media platforms (radio, television, print)
Budget and Content Marketing Selection
The key to an effective content marketing strategy for a startup is to target the places that make the most impact on your audience. Just because other companies have every social media account possible, it does not mean that your startup needs to spend time developing content for all of those platforms. It will likely be less effective than picking one or two of the most impactful and giving it your all.
Budget (both time and money) should also factor into your plan here as well. If you’re able to outsource your content marketing strategy to a professional agency, then you can have more of an ask because it’s not your time being spent on the initiatives.
If you’re unable to outsource your startup marketing strategy, then develop metrics and measurements to monitor what’s working and what’s not with your content marketing strategy. If you’re not hitting your targets on one initiative, but you’re crushing it at another, don’t be afraid to retool your strategy and double down on what’s working for you. Your content marketing strategy should be fluid but also measurable so that you can keep track of your progress!
Do you still have questions about the best startup marketing practices in 2022? We’re here to answer anytime - reach out today to learn more.