Creating a startup marketing plan is one of the most important things that you need to do in the very early stages of setting up your own business.
A marketing plan helps you promote your goods and services in an effective manner. It enables you to pinpoint potential customers, know your competitors, and thus, identify and implement marketing techniques that are guaranteed to set your startup on the road to success.
Most small-scale business owners believe that creating a marketing plan is a rather tedious task. As a result, they often end up spending large sums of money on hiring professional marketers who charge a hefty fee.
However, eveloping an effective startup marketing plan shouldn’t cost a lot of time and money. And it surely doesn’t involve any rocket science either.
Here are is a simple and easy way to successfully promote your goods or services when you are just starting out in the corporate world.
Begin with the End in Mind
Not many people realize this, but the term ‘marketing’ includes several other things under the broader definition of promoting a business.
Different business owners pursue marketing with a different end goal in mind. You need to figure out yours as well.
Are you trying to create brand awareness? Or do you wish to increase your startup’s visibility amongst the leading entities in your industry in order to raise more funds?
Will you be satisfied with increased traffic for your website and more followers on your social media pages? Or you want to start generating leads from the first attempt?
Identify the main goal that you hope to accomplish, and set an appropriate time limit for it as well. Do you want to achieve the desired results in two years or two months?
The time duration will determine how aggressive your marketing campaign needs to be.
Identify Your Target Audience
The smart approach to creating an effective marketing plan for your startup is to begin with ‘why’ before you try figuring out ‘how.’
Ask yourself this fundamental question:
Who are you trying to serve, and why?
Knowing the answer to this question will help you structure your marketing campaign in a way that yields fruitful results.
There are two major elements that you need to consider when determining your target audience:
- Their basic demographics – this includes their age, gender, location, and income bracket, etc.
- Their shopping behavior – what are their needs and preferences? How much do they typically spend (or will possibly spend) on the particular product that you are trying to sell?
The buyer’s persona gives you a better understanding of what motivates your prospective customers. When you develop a deeper insight into the problems they might be facing, you can develop a more action-oriented marketing plan that will boost your sales from the get-go.
Select the Right Marketing Channel
It is the era of digitalization, so naturally, you would want to go with online marketing. If you have the money to spare on paid advertisements, you can explore various ad networks and similar platforms for bringing your business into the public eye.
However, if you are on a tight budget, it’s best to stick with social media marketing instead.
Social media marketing is perhaps the most powerful tool in every small business owner’s arsenal. If you can learn how to leverage it in your favor, rest assured that you can kickstart your startup in no time.
The only reason why social media marketing might not yield the desired results for your business is if you fail to use the right channel.
Different social media platforms are designed to serve different audiences with different interests.
Here is a brief overview of the sites that are dominating social media marketing, and when they should be used for promoting your goods and services:
- Facebook –Facebook is undoubtedly the powerhouse of social media. Regardless of the niche you are targeting, you will surely find your prospective buyers on this site. However, its tremendous popularity and widespread use also mean that the competition is very tough on this platform.
- Instagram – If you have the skills to take remarkable photographs (or are willing to hire a professional photographer or an influencer), this platform is a great choice to consider
- Twitter – Twitter can help you gain a large number of followers if you can maintain consistency in providing relevant content
- LinkedIn – This platform is ideal for startup owners trying to increase visibility amongst professionals and other renowned entities in their niche
You can test each channel for a short amount of time to see how well it performs for your business. Make sure to respond to any queries or messages that you get during the test run, or it can affect your brand image later on.
Consistency is the Key
Do not underestimate the importance of being consistent in your marketing efforts. Of course, your main marketing objectives, and the techniques used to achieve them can vary over time. But you must maintain consistency in the messages that you convey.
When creating a startup marketing plan, get ahead of yourself. Think about how your planned strategies will reflect on the brand image once your business has established a prominent place in the industry.
Being consistent in your message is essential for attracting loyal customers as it instills confidence and credibility.
Leverage Referral Marketing
Word-of-mouth advertising can work wonders for your business.
According to research, customers acquired through referrals have a 37% higher retention rate. And one of the best ways to create a referral network is to build trust and credibility with your customers.
Communicate openly with your prospective as well as existing customers. Take their feedback, and ask them to suggest ways in which you could provide a better customer experience.
These are some of the top tips that you need to consider when creating a startup marketing plan. As you might have figured out by now, developing a killer marketing plan doesn’t require a lot of money. All it takes is some time and effort, and lots of creativity to think of the right strategy for through-the-roof growth.