Handy guide for the entrepreneur
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If you are in the early stages of developing a startup company, you are probably experiencing the same problems facing majority of startups: where do you get more customers?
Don’t worry. There is no need to panic. In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about how to promote, market, and attract new customers for your startup. You will learn exactly what kind of content you should generate and where you should publicize it.
Basically, there are three important marketing goals for any startup:
• Spreading the word about your product;
• Finding and attracting new customers; and
• Engaging and retaining your old customers.
Let’s take a deeper look into the strategies that will help you achieve these goals.
The foundation of marketing for startups
Every great marketing strategy begins with a solid foundation. Choosing a market is the first step in creating this foundation. There are four fundamentals to this process:
1. Market size — You will need to define what demographic you are trying to hit and the potential number of customers in that market. Are you are targeting men or women, children or adults, etc.?
2. Market competition — How many other competitors are selling similar products? Has the market already been saturated?
3. Value proposition — Does your product bring enough unique value to the market that makes it stand out?
4. Market wealth — It is important to analyze the buying power in your potential market. Can your target market actually afford your product?
Customer feedback can make or break your startup
One important thing to remember when marketing your startup product: at first, feedback is more important than customers. This is because you will need to quickly resolve any customer concern about your new product for your company to survive in the long run.
Did you know that 65% of customers expect a response to an inquiry on Twitter in less than two hours? Some 34% of those people are much more likely to buy a product from a company that respond quickly. In fact, 43% will even recommend your product to friends and family after a timely response.
With an abundance of information available to consumers with only a few clicks of the mouse, it is essential for companies to stay ahead of the game when it comes to customer feedback.
Defining your Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
Running a startup without properly defining your KPIs is a recipe for disaster.
A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that shows how effectively a company is attaining key business objectives .It is vital to select a metric that is directly related to your company’s primary business goals. This must be easily measureable so you can analyze its effectiveness.
For example, a company focusing on sales would use a conversion rate to track how many sales were made compared to how many proposals were sent out. A good method of setting your KPI is by analyzing your competitors so that you can set a reasonable benchmark to measure yourself.
Spreading the word with content
In order to spread the word about your product, you must create content: a lot of it. It is extremely important for any startup company these days to have a blog. You should create unique content that is directly related to your company and products.
In order to have a continue flow of fresh content, it is best to setup a content schedule and stick to it. For example, you may choose to publish 3 new posts on your blog a week.
Social media is another necessary channel for content distribution. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ have become powerhouses for creating communities where your business can flourish.
Social media gives you direct access to your customers so that you can provide value to them as quickly as possible. They are also a completely free way to reach out to potential customers in your market.
Social media is best used for sharing promotions, making announcements, resolving customer issues, and creating brand awareness. Almost every successful business shares some form of content on social media daily. So should you.
Content marketing for the buying funnel
The aim of modern content strategy for startups is targeting users depending on their stage in the buying funnel. Although it is great to create a lot of content, it is not necessary to create the same amount of content for each stage of the funnel.
Let’s take a look at each stage of the funnel and what kind of content you should be creating for each:
1. Awareness: In this stage of the funnel, the consumer hasn’t even begun to consider buying your product. Here it is best to write in-depth articles on your blog about your product’s features and benefits so that the consumer will develop an interest in it.
2. Trigger: This is the stage in the funnel wherein the consumer has discovered your product already and is beginning to consider buying it. Here it is best to share your product on review sites so that potential consumers can read positive reviews from those who already purchased
3. Consideration: The consumer starts to do more in-depth research about your product in this stage. You should create some limited time offers or promotions that will help create a sense of urgency to buy your product now.
4. Transaction: The consumer has decided to buy your product. Ensure that contact information (phone, email, social media, etc.) is readily available in the website for consumers who would wish to avail your product.
5. Loyalty: You would want to ensure that your new clients stay loyal to your company and products in this stage. You can create loyalty programs such as discounts on future purchases. This can be accomplished by setting up an email campaign that will help keep your customers up to date.
Acquiring new customers with PPC ads
Pay-Per-Click or PPC is a type of advertising in which you only pay when a potential customer clicks on your ad. It is the fastest and most efficient way to attract new customers to your website. It is easily measureable and customized so that you can properly target the customers in your market without wasting money.
There are 3 distinct types of PPC advertising.
1. Search Advertising – this appear in Google, Yahoo, and Bind search results. The ads will either be shown at the top of the page, directly above the organic search results, or they will be shown on the right hand side of the same organic results. The ad is only triggered when a user searches specific keywords. This often leads to the best conversion rate.
2. Display Advertising – this places ads directly in other websites rather than in search engines. In general, this is used in individual website targeting, interest targeting, contextual targeting, and demographics targeting.
3. Social Advertising – this type of advertising is similar to display advertising. But instead of websites, the ads appear on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.
Overall, PPC advertisement has proven itself to not only lead to great conversion rates, but it can also be easily monitored and customized in order to lead to the best return of investment possible.
Engaging and Retaining Your Customer Base
Once you have successfully spread the word about your product and attracted new customers, it is time to engage and retain your new customer base. Here are 3 great ways of retaining your customers:
1. Email Marketing – sharing content to your customers via email is a great way to keep them interested in your products and is a easy way to make announcements about your company. You can accomplish this by sending newsletters, downloadable e-books, offers, and promotions.
2. Social Media – as mentioned earlier, it is essential to respond quickly to customer issues in order to attract them to your product. But this is equally true for retaining them and keeping them happy. Read what your customers are saying about you via social media and respond to them appropriately regardless if it is a positive or negative review.
3. Creating Communities – a great way to directly connect with your customers is by creating a community wherein members with similar interests can express and voice their opinions. This one to one approach will create a strong bond between you and your customer base. This can be done in online forums, social media channels, and Google Hangouts.
By following this beginner’s guide, you will be one step closer to taking your simple startup to becoming a successful business in no time at all.