Are you a startup or small business?
And, Looking for the best marketing strategies to be the most effective for success?
It can be hard to even understand where to and how to begin.
Trust me. I’ve been there.
So I have read articles on the Internet, watched YouTube videos, and improvised my websites with that knowledge.
Apart from having a great domain name, Logo, website, social media pages, and team, you will have to go beyond the traditional marketing strategies to succeed in this competitive world. All these fall under branding, if you’re not aware, I suggest you read How to build a memorable brand.
Once you started with the basics of building a great brand then you are good to go with the marketing strategies.
In this article, I’m talking about everything I know about marketing strategies.
Basically, my first suggestion is to Try. If it works, great! If not, learn and try.
Being a blogger and thirst to succeed online, I, myself have tried hundreds of tactics in the past years. Most failed, a few worked great and still I’m trying a few latest ones.
Another FREE advice is, you need to get creative and be like out-of-the-box thinking nature.
Firstly, Click the below link to explore the complete SEO guide. This can help you understand SEO in the right way so that you can work on more creativity in your marketing strategies.
Each and every detail in this is backed by the sources like Neil Patel, Moz, Backlinko, Search Engine Journal, etc.
What is a marketing strategy?
It is not something which should be named as ‘important’ and neglected in an administrative bookshelf. It does not have to be documented, instead, it needs to be applied.
It is defined as “the guide that helps marketers choose, plan and execute a project to turn it into profitable action.”
It is all about making your brand more visible to a wider reach. For decades, it referred to multiple actions, plans, and tactics that are designed to attract new customers.
The modern way of Advertising
First, you have to think about what your consumer is feeling about the current trend. They are bombarded with huge advertisements everywhere starting from their Television programs to the Traffic signal waiting. Everywhere the ads. As a result, most of the consumers are developing a negative feeling about branding and advertising in general. They feel that modern advertising is just another advertising on the road or on their mobile in their daily lives. As a result, the results of traditional marketing and strategies are getting disastrous.
Today, customers have access to more information than ever before. A quick search on Google can tell you everything about the product or service that you’re looking for. Thanks to Intelligence AI, it even displays you the considerations by analyzing your online behavior patterns. 81% and more customers conduct online research before they buy anything. This simultaneously makes traditional marketing weak.
However, here are some mixed creative and inbound marketing strategies that you can give a try.
1. Launch an affiliate program
This is not something that comes to your mind when you think of some effective marketing strategies. Believe me, it has worked well for millions of businesses.
Do you ever think of “Why industries like hosting, themes and software pay 50-200$ for each affiliate?”.
Not because they have a huge margin in it. Because they want to get customers somehow without any hard work. And they get it, every month or day.
This is a simple strategy where you allow customers to help promote your service or product for you. I’ve seen most of the startups or even businesses won’t utilize this sweet option due to lack of knowledge.
How does this work?
Ask your friends or people who live in your street or any unknown from social media to sell your product and get the commission out of it.
Now, this is a straight forward definition.
In general, You can do as mentioned above or you can take the help of any affiliate software providers like GetAmbassador, etc.
This is literally a great viral strategy to sell what you have.
2. Attend Business conferences and trade shows
Few entrepreneurs I see, they are afraid to go into the market and talk about their product. This is completely a rookie mistake that you ever have to do.
You can build a huge customer base by connecting with influencers, decision makers at conferences.
In the business community, there are plenty of events and shows where people meet with each other to explore other business owner’s services and their offerings.
By strengthening the relationships they had already built the customer base and branding. Even though they don’t have the need for your product or service, they will return to you when they get it.
Don’t you think the above kind of networking is essential for your startup or business?
This kind of strategy can be a massive way to grow your startup.
3. Getting featured in major publications
If you want to build your brand online, get featured in a major publication. In fact, this is one of the simplest and cost-effective ways.
When you get featured in publications like Yourstory, Inc42, NettyFeed, etc, your traffic will be increased along with the huge exposure too. Plenty of new users will visit your website or download your app which can help your company grow bigger.
This is the kind of spike you can see after getting published on major platforms.
So, start focusing to build great relationships with big publishers. Comment on their content, engage with their editors and let them know your intentions.
It helps a lot!
4. Reach out to your audience with emotional package
Research on marketing strategies shows that emotional advertisements influence the viewers’ intention to buy.
Personal struggle, love for someone, protecting them from something bad – are some universal, and emotional concepts that were used in some ads.
I’m sure you know the ads from Dairymilk those come frequently. How can one forget, “Kiss me close your eyes”.
Narratives and storytelling engage the user’s subconscious and create an emotional connection with the brand that is telling the story.
Emotional connections happen because we are humans, and we are meant to experience these connections. So, when you design your ad or try to launch an introductory video, remember this strategy and Skyrock your sales.
5. Utilize the power of Quora
Quora is a great place to build your professional brand. You must be thinking now why Quora?
- Quora has billions of monthly users
- Show your expertise in your niche by answering relevant questions
- Get knowledge from other experts as well
- A backlink from Quora is highly authoritative
Now, How to use Quora?
Setup your Quora profile using Gmail, Facebook, Twitter. If you write quality and valuable answers, people will definitely gonna check your profile. So, build your profile clean and professional.
Be sure to include links in your profile to your website or social media accounts.
Once you are ready with profile, search for your related niche and check out the Questions in it.
Something like this!
How to build authority on Quora?
Now, show your expertise in it by answering the questions.
You can add images, videos, links in your answers. But make sure they look relevant and natural. If your answer looks like spammy, Quora is gonna collapse or delete your answer even after a year or 10 years.
Apart from that, you can also add Questions and include your link under the question. If your question started getting more answers, more people will look at your link and clicks it too.
So, what are you waiting for?
Use Quora to promote your professional brand and your business.
6. Offer FREEBIES or Cash to your prospects
If you are a startup or new business, you’re already spending money on Paid Ads to get new customers.
You ever thought of using that money for your users?
That’s what PayPal once did to grow its business. In its initial stages, PayPal offered new customers $10 and existing customers $10 for referrals.
You can offer similar or even much less than $3-$5 considering your budget.
If you’re planning to boost your user base, consider spending your marketing budget in this way.
7. Giving out FREE T-Shirts
It might sound simple, but distributing t-shirts is a great way to increase your brand awareness.
Use companies like Vistaprint or Printvenue to get t-shirts with your Logo and website.
Whom to offer?
You can offer to your early customers, friends, family members who roam outside, or even to your prospects to buy your products.
It is just the best way of FREE marketing for your startup
8. Book a Flash Mob
Flash mob has become a trend with millennials to promote something.
If you’re not familiar with a flash mob, it’s when a group of people in a crowd suddenly start performing a dance.
Because they appear to happen suddenly, the crowd gives clean attention to the mob and it makes sure to go big.
If you have no idea how to get started with a creative flash mob, you can hire an agency to do all the creativity for you. An agency like BookAFlashMob.com can help you with this.
Flash Mob is a great and unexpected way to draw attention for your startup product, and the views it generates for your viral video can get you the huge traffic for your startup website.
9. Develop a content marketing strategy
You check, most of the startups have the least vision for content marketing, as a result, they are not getting results in terms of action, traffic and sales.
Content is not just content on your website or blog post. It’s everything that represents your brand.
If you are not aware of the terms
- TOFU – To of the Funnel
- MOFU – Middle of the Funnel
- BOFU- Bottom of the Funnel
Here is a better way to understand the above cycle:
To move a user through your marketing funnel, you have to give them the content that helps them to understand at each of the three stages.
For example – Let’s say you have excellent content on your home page that makes your users go to the pricing page to buy. Now, what happens if there is no reasonable or pushing factor on your pricing page?
It means, Content is not just the words. It is everything that turns your users into customers.
Plan-Publish-Distribute-Optimize as per the results, this is the key!
Recommended reading – How to build an effective content marketing strategy?
10. Give a try to Podcasting
There are ways of expressing and shouting about your product. It should not be always in the form of content, audible also works great.
Podcasts are “On Demand” and can be listened to on Your schedule. Each Podcast typically has a website or an online channel from where you can listen or download for your future listening.
There are two major tactics you can work on:
- Starting your own Podcast;
- Appear on someone else’s
Both are effective as per your requirements to develop a strong relationship with industry influencers.
Now, How a Podcast can impact your business?
- Website or App Traffic Generation
- Develop an excellent trust and relationship with your customers
- Increased sales and revenue
- Learn from influencers
So what are you waiting for? Read the below article and get started with it.
Recommending reading: The complete guide for Podcasting – EOFIRE
11. SEO is FREE for Lifetime traffic – Don’t forget it
Do you know the beauty of SEO?
“Instead of forcing a marketing message onto people who don’t want to hear what you have to say, You can reverse-engineer the process to discover exactly what people are looking for, create the great content, and appear to them at the time they are looking for it.”
99% of startups or businesses definitely have their websites. If you have a website, I’m sure you need some customers to visit it and buy your products?
How it is gonna happen?
Either from Paid ads or SEO.
Paid ads are effective. But, it requires some great investment to see some results.
So comes SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and this SEO is not going anywhere. Essentially, SEO is nothing but the money you generate.
The better your SEO – The great money you can get.
SEO is not optional anymore. Don’t worry if you don’t know about SEO. Click the below article and bookmark it to understand SEO in your convenient timings.
12. Build your social media
The very first question I want to ask you is “Why Social Media?”
What are your goals? Do you want to be on social media to promote your services? To drive website traffic? Or to be in touch with your customers?
In general, I believe there are five goals you can have before starting a social media marketing strategy:
- To generate leads & revenue
- Drive website traffic
- Increase brand awareness
- Build a community around your business
- Listen to your customers (feedback)
Recommended reading: The complete guide for Twitter marketing
It’s really great to have social media goals so that you can work accordingly and achieve great results.
It’s really important to understand who is your audience so that you can create the content according to it. People don’t want to hear blah blah about your products, they need to see some real information, metrics, sentiment, support from you.
You have to be real and authentic when you approach your customers in order to achieve success in social media strategy. You don’t have to sell all the time, beyond selling, present your personal side of your business.
Here’s a useful guide of social media marketing strategy from LyfeMarketing – Click here
13. Employee marketing
Have you ever looked into your employees as potential business and brand ambassadors?
Or maybe you are treating them as just an employee to get your work done?
According to Weber shandwick, it’s subconsciousness flow for employees to speak positively about their employer if the employer takes great care of its employees. The research tells that more than 33% of employees post company’s messages, images or videos on their social media accounts, without being encouraged to do so. Just imagine what could happen with a small encouragement?
You want to build a stable and engaged relationship with employees who don’t show up for their salary, but who believes in your product and come forward ready to promote the business anywhere possible.
They can spread a word about your product or service to friends, family, and neighbors. You need your workforce to help promote your brand.
Consider the fact that many companies give great discounts to their employees as part of their benefits packages. And, Employees surely buy from their company as long as they are convinced that they will get the best possible deal than the market.
For example, If you are a travel company then you can offer some best honeymoon packages or summer trips to its employees. This way they can use the deal for themselves as well as they talk about the deals with their friends and neighbors – FREE Marketing.
Establish a policy of perks those who talk positively about your company on their personal social media accounts.
Remember, A happy employee will always be your asset.
14. ‘Define’ Concept
Even smart entrepreneurs start their business by assuming that all the people will come and buy my product. Such presumptions mostly result in wrong decision making, confused marketing strategies and eventually leads to shutting down the business.
It is always the right plan to take paper and define a few things that are really essential.
- Your target audience and their purchase behavior
- What price and offers you can set to beat the competitors
- How your product or service is different than others
- Short and long term goals; these are equally important
- What are promises for the customers
If you can define these five questions and have the answer for these, you can easily convince your prospects to be your customers. Give a try!
15. Do Email marketing in the right way
While critics have been saying that email is dead, startups and e-commerce have made billions through this channel, and I’ve been lucky enough to understand this and start my email list in this time.
Email marketing has been one of the ROI-friendly marketing strategies all the time. The reason email marketing has been the most preferred strategy for small and large businesses is that ‘it works’.
But do you plan to do in the right way?
It is not good enough to simply blast an email to hundreds of prospects or some random email ID’s.
Email marketing gets you the customers, no doubt. But this also retains your customers at the later stages with Newsletters and offers email. Sending appreciation or greeting email to your customers is the best retention strategy that you can ever see.
Few tips that might help:
#1. Your Email should be simple and good-looking, which means that
- You should not send Just a plain text email with some backlinks to your web page
- Visuals like images and videos play a great part in an email. Make sure you have those.
- Try attractive buttons in email with urgency text or attractive headlines on each of it. You can use both the button links and text links, try both and see the results for yourself.
#2. Your subject lines should be short and evokes curiosity to open your email.
Does your email making the reader FEEL something? Are you able to surprise, scare or create interest with your subject line?
If you make your reader feel an emotion, they are gonna open it.
10 e-mail metrics you need to focus on:
- Open rate – No. of emails opened to no. of emails delivered
- CTR – No. of clicks on the links divided by no. of emails delivered
- CTOR – No. of clicks with respect to the no. of emails opened
- Bounce rate – No. of emails that are wrong
- Unsubscribe rate – No. of users did unsubscribe with you
- Opens in which device – Laptop, mobile, Tablet or other
- Spam score
- ROI (Return On Investment)
An email has so much place on the Internet when it comes to driving revenue for your business. Experimenting on personalizing the email, creative content, and headlines, timing, consistency, analyzing the analytics will surely help you to reach a profitable stage in your business.
After reading If you are super interested to start an email campaign for your small business, below are two excellent resources for you:
- Best email marketing practices – Shopify
- 5 elements of a successful email campaign – Bluefountainmedia
Hope you find these useful to get started with the great email marketing campaign.
If you are a startup, you need to prefer creative marketing strategies.
Instead of spending money on traditional advertising, give a try to creative and out-of-the-box for greater results.
Finally, don’t be afraid to be experimental in promotional strategies.
Let me know your thoughts on this.