Marketing and sales are a huge part of a startup’s success for the short and long term. Founders start businesses to sell something and selling that product requires a dedication to sales and marketing.
Marketing is a lot like a startup itself. It’s all about the long term game and making consistent plays. Certainly, quick wins and rapid growth are great. But if you’re not thinking about the long-term, then most probably your business won’t last too long.
Marketing is all about creating a clear campaign focused on selling something. Marketing involves a combo of owned, earned and paid media, and there’s a difference between focusing on a specific idea with campaign marketing vs always-on marketing. Across all of the channels, you’ve got to communicate clearly about what you offer. Founders need to not only attract the right potential customers, but they need to communicate with those customers so well that they will part with their money and become a part of your community. Here’s the whole reason why we all get into business in the first place. To make money in exchange for something that makes a difference to a person’s life – and ideally, this is done in a smooth, clear, and simple way.
It can be hard to figure out what to do with your marketing. Talking about what you sell can be hard. So, we got some tips you should know about marketing to make all your sales and marketing operations grow.
Find what works for you.
Be open to testing and learning. Constantly.
Make the most of your partners.
Answer FAQs and talk about your users.
Understand your metrics.
1. Find what works for you
Different marketing approaches work for different people depending on your preferences. When you’re first starting out as a founder or if you want to support your marketing team, really lean into the marketing ideas, channels, and content that come easiest to you. Get started with a good old brainstorm of what you know about your industry and why you got started.
There are many digital and in-real-life marketing channels and tactics. Find what you enjoy doing and find a way to strengthen that channel or tactic.
Do you like writing? Write blogs to show your expertise and offer guests articles on external websites for wider reach. Enjoy 1:1 conversations? Try pitching for podcast interviews and provide value to other communities. Or start a podcast yourself. Enjoy connecting with community members? Build your community and run an event. Like sharing knowledge? Create a way to educate.
Start small and focus on batching tasks. So most of your planning, writing, or designing in one session at a time.
2. Be open to testing and learning. Constantly.
There’s no perfect way to do marketing. Ideally, we’re all making data-driven decisions when it comes to marketing – but sometimes you’ve got to do something out of the ordinary to get extraordinary results.
Marketing requires lots of strategy sessions, creative ideas, soft launches, and a willingness to adapt. It’s also important to acknowledge when marketing activity isn’t working, isn’t getting results. Run tests to understand what channels are best for your startup and your community engagement. What you should do is set a time limit, run the test, evaluate your results, and adjust accordingly. This last part could mean slightly changing, completely updating or removing messages, assets, channels or entire campaign types.
What is important here is to know better what works for you. What you do now might be completely different to what you do in six months. Reevaluating and adapting to try new things is the key to growth.
3. Make the most of your partners
The more partners you have on your side sharing what you’re doing and sharing their audience with you, then the more likely you’ll have success.
Take time to map out your ecosystem and supporters. Outline your customers, suppliers, member groups, social media groups, key events, newsletters, industry groups, and other complementary services you should be aware of and potentially partner with.
Then, when you’re launching something new or need community support, you know you’ve got a list of supporters you can call on to share the message. And make it easy for them. Share a social post, imagery and tags that you want them to share when you’re making those asks.
The startup journey is going to be a lot about who you know, who you can connect with, and who you can connect within your community. You’re in it for the long term and should build strong relationships to support your success. Always cherish those relationships, show your appreciation, and give back.
4. Answer FAQs and talk about your users
Usually when you start a business, you’re committing to doing something really well. So lean into that feeling of being the expert, specialist, or passionately committed to solving a problem.
You need to be able to demonstrate that you’re an expert in your area. You need to be able to answer any question your customers might have about the quality of what you’re offering.
Showcase on your website, FAQs, blog, case studies and testimonials that your community is a good one to be a part of. Show your customers that you’ve got their back, that you understand them, and that if they spend money with you, it will be well spent.
FAQs content is great to share on all your channels – website, social media, email. Consistently.
Answering FAQs is great for SEO as well. With the rise of voice search, virtual assistants and chatbots, answering FAQs is a huge part of the future of marketing.
What does your industry expect? Are you B2B or B2C? These customers prefer different content types. B2B customers are usually looking for proof that they will get ROI on their purchase. B2C customers are looking for good deals and quality products that align with their values.
People want to see themselves in your marketing. Share user generated content and quotes from your audience to show why they love you.
5. Understand your metrics
You start a business to make money. So it’s important to work backwards from how you earn money. How do people buy from you? Is it after booking a demo? Or after they visit a sales page? How do your customers get to those conversion points? What content leads them there? How do you attract people to that content? Then start measuring the different touch points.
How are you attracting people to the point of conversion? Track that and then try to improve those metrics over time.
If you’re not tracking where your sales are coming from, how will you know where to put your marketing energy, money or time?
Start small, be consistent and always be learning!
Marketing can seem like a never-ending challenge. But when you start small, focus on what you know then test and learn, you’re likely to see results quickly.