Starting your own business is an exhilarating, yet daunting, time. Marketing your startup is equally daunting because of the oft-limited resources available, be it money, skillset or time. How do you start to market your fledgling business? What do you focus on? Below are our top tips to marketing your micro business.
1. Determine Who Your Audience Is.
• Segment your audience and focus on niche market
• Create personas of each market and identify the stories, tone of voice and pathways that best resonates with each
• Identify your value proposition (promise of value to be delivered). The customer must believe they will derive this value. You MUST articulate your value proposition clearly and succinctly to as many types of customers as possible.
2. Identify Keywords.
• Research search terms using tools such as Google Trends, Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Microsoft Bing Ads Intelligence and Wordtracker Free Basic Keyword Demand
• Include combination of head- and long-tail keywords
• Consider adding local phrases to your keyword mix
• Check out competitors website – what keyword themes are they targeting
• Create a page plan - writing bespoke and unique content targeting 1-2 keywords per page of your website.
• Get more advice on keyword research
3. Create a Great Website.
• Determine what you want your visitor to do on your website
• Choose catchy domain and select an experienced designer
• Use consistent look and feel of each page
• Write benefit-led content that address your markets needs, and includes a specific call-to-action on each page.
• Leverage white space to avoid cluttered pages
• Keep sentences and paragraphs short.
• Get more tips on writing for web audience
• Include social proof - customers must deem your website to be relevant and often seek validation from peers
• Test different layouts, designs and offers to see which performs best. Read how to improve your website's conversion rate
• Get more advice on how to create a great website.
4. Identify Core Website Metrics.
• Set up Google Analytics to identify who is visiting & when
• Are they new visitors or coming back for more info?
• How long are they staying?
• How did they find me?
• Get more advice on Website Analytics
5. Focus on Customer Service/
• If you build an outstanding service or product, people will use, talk and recommend it
• Stay close to your core user base, engage in learning from their actions and feedback
• Iterate to improve the experience
6. Establish your Brand as Subject-Matter Expert
• Start a blog
• Create content calendar
• Commit to writing blog once/week
• Include SEO best practices for each piece of content
• Amplify your fabulous content on social media
7. Leverage Social Media.
• Choose right social network for your business
• Create engaging & consistent profile pages
• Aim to blog once/week, post on Facebook/Instagram/Linkedin 5-10 times/week, tweet 25-30 times/week
• Start networking
• Make it easy for your customers to find you
• Get 5 Social Media Tips for Newbies
8. Leverage the Local Community.
• Introduce yourself and your business to other local business owners. Join your local LEO, Chamber of Commerce, other local professional networks.
• Speak at local industry events, voluntary organisations
• Write article for the local paper
• Sponsor local kids sports team
• Give an educational class
• Support a local charity
• Exchange business cards with other business owners
• Offer coupons to encourage repeat business
• Get your business name emblazoned on your car & park in public spot
• Read 13 steps to Improve Local Marketing for Small Business
9. Launch Search Engine Marketing Campaign.
• Use Google Adwords to send qualified traffic to your website immediately
• Conduct keyword research to determine what keywords to include in your campaign. Remember to include both head- and long-tail keywords.
• Structure the account around common themes to ensure relevancy
• Include the keyword in your adcopy to improve relevancy
• Ensure the landing page is relevant to both the keyword and copy of your ad
• Ensure tracking tag is placed accurately on your confirmation page
• Launch Remarketing
• Read Search Engine Marketing 101
10. Expand Search Engine Traffic with SEO
• Get up to speed on SEO best practices
• Conduct technical audit to identify any obstacles to search engine crawlers accessing your content. Get in touch if you’ve any questions or need help with this.
• Create user friendly engaging content
• Add your website to all location-based service
• Get listed in relevant, local and trade directories
• Avoid any black hat SEP techniques-there's no quick way to secure a top ranking.
• Read Search Engine Optimisation 101: A Beginner's Guide
11. Test Display Advertising to Expand Reach.
• Test Google Display Network or Facebook Ads to see if you can make any traction with your target market
• Incorporate Retargeting in all campaigns
• Make your creatives tight – get to point quickly.
• Use behavioural targeting so you can advertise to a specific profile
• Buy impressions that are above-the-fold so your ads appear in locations that are visible when the page loads
• Target users, not devices
• Ensure you include creative in every possible size
12. Use Email Marketing.
• Communicate with your audience regularly updating them on company/industry news, exclusive offers and promotions.
• Grow your subscriber list by adding opt-in form on your homepage, landing pages and social media profiles.
• Improve your email open rates by using engaging subject titles and avoiding spam filters.
• Test send days and times to determine when is best time to send email to your subscriber list.
• Read 8 steps for Small Business to get started with Email Marketing
13. PR & Media Exposure
• Know what's newsworthy so consider the angle and think about why someone should or would want to publish or read your article.
• Create a concise, meaningful & value-driven story for your company
• Customise your pitch (avoid press releases) & include other assets (infographics, images etc.)
• Follow journalists on Twitter to build relationships
• Start locally with local newspapers/blogs/websites
14. Tracking & Analytics.
• Tag, track and monitor the performance of each channel and campaign, via Google Analytics, to determine the success of each.
• Review your Google Analytics data regularly to measure traffic volume, identify where your site visitors are coming from, how long they're staying and what pages they're most interested in.
• Interrogate the Traffic Sources data weekly to identify trends and patterns. Has website traffic increased/decreased? Why? Is Search traffic up? Referrals? Or has Social Media traffic declined because you’ve been so busy you haven't gotten around to updating your blog? Utilise this data to put actions in place to improve the performance of each traffic source.
• Determine what metric is most important to your business: sales, leads, cost-per-acquisition, conversion rate, ad revenue, bounce rate, Facebook likes, Twitter followers?
• Get more tips on Website Analytics 101.
Startup marketing is complex. But if you follow the above advice, you should see noticeable growth in the exposure your business is getting in no time. As always get in touch if you've any questions, or need help, with any of the above. Best of luck with growing your startup!
• 8 Digital MArketing Tips for New Business
• 10 Digital Marketing Tips for Cash Strapped Start-ups
• 10 Tips to Market your Start-up on a Shoestring
Get our top tips on how to get started with Email Marketing.