marketing strategy

Marketing Strategy for Tech Startups: Everything You’d Ever Need To Know

The world of tech startups is a highly competitive space. Many entrepreneurs still prefer traditional marketing methods over modern tech startup marketing techniques. However, with more than four billion internet users globally, and over 3.4 billion active social media users, what excuse would you have to not invest in advanced marketing techniques for promoting your tech startup.

 

The biggest problem that tech entrepreneurs face with modern marketing is that it gets too overwhelming for them to handle. To help you start with and ace your marketing skills, we have formulated this mega article which covers all important aspects of tech startup marketing.

 

With the help of this article, not only will you be able to kickstart your marketing strategy but also learn techniques to diversify it amongst various platforms, and even avoid the common mistakes that end up doing more harm than good. Below is an index of all the topics that we will be covering within this article.

 

Topics covered within this post:

 

  • What To Do Before Your Tech Startup Marketing?
  • Digital Marketing And How To Go About It
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing And Its Tools
  • Video Marketing: Benefits & How To Ace It
  • Influencer Marketing: Tips & Tricks
  • Micro Influencer Marketing
  • Role Of AI In Marketing
  • Integrated Marketing: What, Why & How
  • How To Market To Tech-Savvy Customers
  • Inbound Marketing Strategies
  • How To Market On A Budget
  • Marketing Trends To Follow
  • Tech Startup Marketing Mistakes
  • Marketing Lessons To Learn From Successful Startups
  • In The End

  

What To Do Before Your Tech Startup Marketing?

  

The first step to start with marketing is to not start with marketing. This might sound confusing at first, but this is the real trick that takes some startups ahead of others.

 

Even though you need marketing to create awareness about your brand, build an audience and convert them into customers, and so on, it’s not going to be enough. For your marketing efforts to succeed, you would first need to create an impression about why your brand is so unique, how it’s going to solve their problem, how it’s going to add value to their lives, and what they would miss out on if they don’t get involved with you.

 

Here are a few things for you to do, before starting with your marketing techniques:

 

#1 Answer The ‘Why’

 

One of the many questions you’re likely to encounter in any networking or casual event is what do you do? Or what does your business do exactly? It’s a tricky question as the answer would decide whether the other person would even be interested in you and your business.

 

Even when any potential customer comes across your brand, they would be interested to know why you are doing whatever you’re doing. The best way to make a mark is to share your story.

 

Whether your startup is helping a social problem, or is it solving a problem that you or your close ones faced at some point? Just share how you came up with the idea or what’s the real picture behind your business, and find a way to connect with your audience.

 

 

#2 Choose A Market

 

The startup space is packed with innovative, cutting edge new businesses. To make your marketing efforts a success, you need to start by determining your target market, learning about their interests, and try to reap maximum conversions out of it.

 

Consider four factors before choosing a market:

 

  • Market Size – Whether you’re targeting a regional demographic, males or females, or children, you need to determine a number for your potential customers.
  • Market Wealth – You need to find out whether your target audience has the purchasing power to buy your products.
  • Market Competition – Find out about the level of your competition in the market.

 

 

#3 Carve Your Niche

 

You don’t need a big budget to carve out your niche. Be someone on the inside who offers insider information to those on the outside. A blog can be the perfect tool for that and we’ll be elaborating more about blogging below.

 

Speaking at an incubator, expo or a niche event can put you in the limelight or as a teacher who shares new, groundbreaking ideas with an audience that is open to absorbing it. The small business convention you so regularly attend every year could use a few new keynoters – that could be you!

 

Such networking events give the opportunity to share your expertise with your immediate community. A variety of people, from aspiring entrepreneurs, journalists, can help you create a buzz and work wonders for your business marketing.

 

You can also use websites like Quora and Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to offer your expertise. It’ll help you expand your community, establish you as an expert and can also help with getting new leads.

 

#4 Build A Buyer Persona

 

A buyer persona is the semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer after market research and studying your existing customers in detail. You need the buyer persona before you start with your tech startup marketing because otherwise you would also be marketing to an audience which isn’t even interested in your products.

 

That kind of marketing is going to be in vain, and waste all your efforts and money. Build a buyer persona, and target all your marketing activities in the future towards people who fall into your buyer persona, and you’ll see much better results with that.

 

#5 Define Your Keywords

 

Content Marketing is going to be one of the most important aspects of your marketing strategy, and to get the best out of it, you’ll need to ace your SEO techniques. Even though there are a lot of ways to optimize SEO, the most popular method is by using the perfect keywords for your startup.

 

You need to define a set of core keywords that perfectly summarize your startup and your core competency. For instance, ‘Augmented Reality’ can be your primary keyword if you are an AR-based startup.

 

Then expand them to secondary keywords, through which you can elaborate a little. Keywords like ‘Augmented Reality solutions’, ‘Augmented Reality apps’, ‘Augmented Reality iOS’, ‘Mixed Reality’, etc. can be your secondary keywords.

 

In the digital world, keywords are critical for winning at SEO since they eventually drive maximum traffic to your website and posts. In fact, not using the right keywords could be a reason why your startup website fails to appear on SERPs

 

#6 Engage Before Selling

 

As soon as the business is on the floor, every entrepreneur runs to selling first thing. Yes, that’s what you started your business for, but it isn’t something you should start with.

 

If you come across as too promotional, especially in the beginning, people are going to start avoiding you. You need to start engaging with your audience and build a connection, and that will eventually lead to a lot of selling on its own.

 

Social media is one of the best platforms for audience engagement, as it lets you engage with your target consumer without looking like you’re advertising. It helps to spend time building a relationship with your community by re-sharing their content, responding to their blogs/posts.

 

We’ll cover social media, its benefits, and its techniques in detail later in this article.

 

 

#7 Set Core Metrics

 

Whenever you start applying your marketing techniques, you’ll also need to measure them with the help of core metrics. Even though measurement comes after using the techniques, you’ll need to set your core metrics beforehand, so that you will know how well your techniques are working later.

 

Make sure that your core metrics are specific and accurately measurable. Vanity metrics might seem appealing, but if they don’t bring out the real growth of your company, they aren’t of any use to you.

 

Vanity metrics might even mislead you and it could be far too late when you realize your company’s actual position. Ideally, you need to rely on a few highly valuable metrics that are based on actions taken throughout your customer acquisition funnel.

 

Instead of measuring everything, just focus on the key indicators of your success.

  

#8 Estimate A Conversion Rate

 

Based on historical data, estimate your lead conversion rate. Also, estimate the lifetime value of your customer. Once you study how many of your leads converted and the amount of revenue those conversions generated, you can assign values to your goal completions.

 

For example, a goal of 100 newsletter signups could be incredible if your conversion rate is 20% but insignificant if it’s 2%. Set goals like, $2,000 per month from newsletter signups – this is a more definitive goal.

 

#9 Co-sponsor an event within your niche

 

This is a fantastic niche marketing opportunity. Every industry hosts its special events and unless this event is owned and managed by a single organization, most planners are looking for sponsors to help fund the event. Next time you book for an event, check if there are any sponsorship spots that are open. Ask for ways you can get into the spotlight — maybe you could present there? It’ll give you a great opportunity to engage the attendees and talk about your startup.

 

Moreover, aside from giving you a good name, co-sponsoring an event within your niche gives you the opportunity to meet people from your target demographic, network and generate new leads.

 

#10 Make the most of e-coupons

 

Coupons are great! Customers love the appeal of a great coupon and it could be the reason people do business with your company because they were enticed by a coupon. Now you can go old school and send prospective consumers coupons via snail mail. Or you can hit two birds with one stone by giving a coupon to visitors that sign up for your email list.

 

Those who are already impressed with your work will appreciate the ways in which you thank them for their business. People who are new will be interested to join you and see what you have to offer. It’s a win-win.

 

As an entrepreneur, you’re aware of the importance of business marketing when it comes to getting the word out. However, you do not have to burn a hole in your pocket trying to do the big things. There are multiple ways to do good business marketing on a small budget. It’s all about looking for the right opportunities and getting creative.

 

 

#11 Scratch their backs, they’ll scratch yours

 

Introducing your company to the public when you’re starting out can be challenging. A great way to counter this and get the word out is through samples and giveaways. Consider reaching out to some of the eager members of your target audience and offering up your commodity in return for a few shares on the ever-active social media.

 

The participants are excited to receive a cool new item and if the product is great (which it should be), they’ll be excited to share it with their friends. This way they win and it adds a star to your business marketing.

 

#12 Help people discover your content

 

If you’re a tech startup in today’s day and age, you will definitely have some sort of online presence. There is a good chance you have a website, few social pages, and a blog. However, just because you are sharing content on these platforms doesn’t confirm that that content is discoverable by your target audience.

 

It would help to do some keyword research and ensure you include those in every post you publish. That way, your content strategy can effectively improve your Google ranking .

 

#13 Set A Budget

 

Lastly, all things said and done, everything comes down to money. What ultimately matters is how much can you spend on your tech startup marketing.

 

You might want to do a hundred things for your startup marketing, but the question is do you even have that much money to spend. So, you need to define the areas of your startup, prioritize the most important marketing activities, analyze which activities could give you maximum return, and spend your budget accordingly.

 

Digital Marketing And How To Go About It

 

All marketing techniques that can be executed digitally, fall under the category of digital marketing. Tech startups deal with technology products and services, and technology is intertwined with the digital world.

 

To get the best out of your tech startup marketing, you need to maximize your digital marketing efforts and leave no stone unturned. Here are a few tips to help you ace your tech startup’s digital marketing strategy:

 

#1 Understand Your Customer

 

Kickstart your digital marketing campaign by first understanding who your customer is and which social media platform they spend most of their time.

 

You need to catch the pulse of your customer by delving into who they are, what’s their average age, what do they like, what do they talk about, what appeals to their sensibilities, and so on.

 

This study will help you to build a solid digital marketing strategy and enable your best ideas to come forth and take shape.

  

#2 Write to Inform; Not to Gloat

 

Most tech businesses and brands end up writing extensively about their own products and services.

 

And while it’s necessary to talk about your core competency and how you’re solving a key pain point, publishing content only about your own products and gloating about it will alienate people, especially those who aren’t near the buying stage yet.

 

Ideally speaking, you should learn more about your target audience, your industry niche, and the type of content and posts that are doing well. Sprinkle this content strategy with the value your products have to offer, and you’ll have a winning content strategy.

 

#3 Focus on Longevity

 

Although digital marketing is largely undertaken to build a quick lead list, maximize website traffic, and boost sales, for tech startups looking to establish a solid digital footprint, it’s imperative to focus on the long-term plan rather than short-term gains.

 

Employing short-sighted tactics in a bid to generate a buzz around your product or a snazzy new app, won’t do the trick. While you may find a momentary spike in impressions, interactivity, and engagement, it won’t set you up for success in the long-term.

 

In a world where customer experience is of the most importance, tech marketers and entrepreneurs should focus on careful planning and creating a steady path to marketing success by adopting customer-centric campaigns.

 

 

#4 Include SEO Everywhere

 

Search engine optimization is the foundation of successful marketing. Not only is it the basis of organic marketing, but it is also a determinant of long-term marketing success.

 

Most marketers and experts associate SEO only with long-form content or as part of blogging best practices. However, you can use relevant target keywords across your social media posts, for your hashtags, product descriptions, and so on.

 

Incorporating an SEO strategy into your blog posts and overall content curation and marketing strategy is highly recommended. Furthermore, incorporating long-tail keywords into your topic selection and blog content is an effective way to drive long-term traffic.

 

Use SEO tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush to find out which keywords are relevant to your niche, which keywords are ranking high, and what SEO strategy and keywords are being used by industry leaders and your immediate competitors.

 

 

#5 Your Digital Marketing Strategy Should Be Flexible

 

Digital marketing is a dynamic world and it’s always changing. To keep up with the times your tech business should be flexible to ensure that you always remain relevant to your target audience.

 

For instance, if your target audience is gradually switching to newer social media platforms such as Instagram instead of Facebook, focus your efforts towards creating engaging Instagram posts.

 

However, this doesn’t mean you stop being active on other platforms. Study your audience’s social media preferences.

 

#6 Personalize Content and Social Media Posts

 

Did you know that more than 40% of customers switch brands dues to poor or lack of online personalization? Which is why a key digital marketing tip is to offer personalized content.

 

Doing this will help your tech brand differentiate itself from competitors and create a unique brand and customer experience. Personalized emails and personalized social media responses are effective tactics to build strong relations with your customer base.

 

#7 Build Backlinks

 

Organic marketing and SEO are integral components of digital marketing. Towards this, you should actively shift your SEO strategy and make it more topic-centric as opposed to only keyword-centric.

 

Ideally, the more seed keywords and long-tail keywords you target towards a particular topic or niche, the more expertise you’ll demonstrate. However, purely getting aggressive with keywords won’t be enough to build expertise and to drive traffic.

 

You need to optimize your content strategy by building backlinks. As a major ranking factor for Google, gaining backlinks is one of the best ways to build credibility and authenticity for your website.

 

Additionally, be sure to share your content across as all your social media channels. Sharing your content actively will enable it to reach more people and build backlinks.

 

#8 Believe in Data

 

As a tech entrepreneur, you already know the value of data in all your business and technical decisions. Similarly, when it comes to digital marketing, you need to employ analytical tools to study vital information about the performance of your campaigns.

 

Use Google Analytics to track the performance of your organic marketing efforts and Google AdWords to study how your online ads are performing. Based on which ads are working, which content topics are gaining traction, which platform is delivering better results, and so on, make your digital marketing decisions.

 

Besides using the above mentioned tips, every platform that you use for your tech startup’s digital marketing, could have its own tips and tricks. We’ve covered them individually below so that you can identify and implement them effectively for your tech startup.

 

 

Social Media Marketing

  

Social media is no more just a social networking platform but also a powerful marketing tool. Its reach is so huge that many startups have started depending solely on their social media marketing plan to create brand awareness about and/or sell their products.

 

Social media can help you shape your journey from its scratch to success. It may be a bit overwhelming to come up with an effective social media marketing plan, given that there are so many platforms, content styles, and varied strategies.

 

Before covering how to build a killer social media marketing plan for your tech startup, we will cover a few steps that you need to take before you launch your social media marketing strategy.

 

#1 Choose The Right Social Media Platform

 

There are multiple social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Reddit. Each of them has its unique characteristics and you need to identify the ones that match best with your products and services.

 

Another key element to consider here is which social media platform your target audience spends the most amount of time on. 

 

#2 Select The Best Time To Post

 

Understanding your target audience, which platform they are most active on and what time of the day they are active on will help you decide which time is best suited for posting content.

Doing this study will help you derive the best results from your social media campaign. 

 

#3 Rely On Your Keywords List

 

The keyword list you earlier created will be supremely useful here. Use your keywords as hashtags or in captions of your respective social media posts to ensure that users who are interested in similar content come across your posts and engage with them.

 

The key to successful social media marketing is reaching the right audience through relevant keywords and the right hashtags.

 

#4 Collaborate With Social Media Influencers

 

One of the most effective startup marketing strategies on social media is influencer marketing. Partnering with social media influencers who share the same interests as you or who are interested in the kind of products you offer is a great way to promote your startup and product on social media.

 

Influencers already have a strong following of your target audience and hence it makes sense to piggyback on their brand value to appeal to relevant members of your audience.

It’s simple; when influencers promote your products, their followers are likely to buy them too.

 

#5 Set Up A Blog

 

If you follow blogging best practices, you can potentially reach untapped audiences who might not be that active on other social media platforms. Starting a tech blog not helps you improve SEO, it also helps to establish your startup as an authority in your niche.

 

You can set up a blog on WordPress, a free and simple blogging platform, which allows you to post your blogs and even offers many plugins. Design your blog in a way that appeals to your target audience and use the right keywords efficiently to take advantage of SEO. But in the end, make sure that your content is value-driven and well-written.

 

 

Now, that we know what all to do before going ahead with social media marketing, let’s see how to ace it.

 

#1 Be clear about your goals and objectives

 

It is easy to get influenced by what you see around you, especially on social media. You may be tempted to emulate other brands’ but it is essential to focus on building a social media marketing plan that takes into account your startup’s goals and objectives and not someone else’s.

 

This makes it important for you to first chalk out your goals and objectives that need to be achieved through your social media initiative. For instance, if you are running an apparel brand with a sizable Instagram following, the focus could be on enhancing sales as opposed to, say, only creating awareness.

 

Instagram’s visual format allows brands to display their product in a beautiful way to the right target audience. On the other hand, if you are running a B2C tech product startup, you could use Youtube videos to spread awareness about your products.

 

You will probably have to start with the kind of content that users are looking for and make your product relevant through the content. So the first step is to understand where your company stands in its lifecycle, the kind of products or services that it offers, and then write down your objectives.

 

 

#2 Different missions for different platforms

 

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is to miss the context-to-content approach. While it is possible to share similar content across all of your social media channels, sharing the same content is not the best approach.

 

Social media marketing plans need to consider the uniqueness of every platform and develop a separate mission statement for each one of them. Let’s say your company builds AI-powered toy robots that can answer questions and have conversations among other things.

 

Maybe the mission statement for each of your social channels will look like this.

 

  • Youtube – to inform existing and potential users about your products through interesting use-case videos, explainers, and humanize the brand.
  • Instagram – to engage existing and potential users with short videos that make them happy and pictures that make your product aspirational
  • Twitter – to engage with and build a community of tech enthusiasts through participating in AI and the future of IoT conversations. 

 

#3 Work well in advance

 

Another common mistake young and new teams make is to think that they will be able to create a great volume of content on the go. Social media demands consistency in content publishing.

 

If you are new to this, you could think that it is possible to create content all the time. In all probability, you will later realize that perpetual content creation is a bit ambitious.

 

A better way of managing your social media marketing plan is to work well in advance. From planning to content creation, you need to run a few weeks ahead of your schedule to be able to manage your brand’s social channels really well.

 

Working in advance also allows you to take advantage of future events and occasions. For instance, working ahead of time will allow you to plan for fixed events like World Environment Day and others (that are relevant for your brand).

 

Having time to work on these thoughts and ideas mean that you can create good quality content as opposed to something average when you work the last minute.

 

To help you come up with content ideas for the future, there are tool available online such as:

  • Hubspot’s Topic Generator
  • Google Trends
  • Buzzsumo
  • Alltop

 

This blog by Quicksprout lists 7 tools for generating infinite content ideas for your blog. These tools are pretty useful to plan your social media content as well.

 

 

#4 Research and Respond

 

Research plays a big role in the success of any social media marketing plan. You will need to put in the time to understand events, trends, and occasions that need to find space in your social media calendar.

 

Another key aspect of social media marketing lies in the ability to respond to trends. When there is an interesting conversation going on, your team should be capable enough to add something of value to the conversation. 

 

There is some new trending topic every other day and this reiterates the point that it is important to work well in advance. It is essential to ensure that the team is equipped to respond to trends as opposed to having to deal with trending topics and fixed events on the same workday.

 

Another tactical point is to respond with a valuable reply when an audience member comments. This goes a long way in making the audience member want to come back and become an active part of your online community.

 

 

#5 Use Scheduling Tools

 

A good social media marketing plan isn’t just about planning in advance. It is also critical to schedule your content well in advance to ensure that you do not have to deal with that task every day.

Blocking off time to do this earlier also makes you more efficient. Some of the popular scheduling tools include:

  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • Sprout Social
  • Tweetdeck
  • CoSchedule
  • Later

 

These apps help you schedule content in advance. While some of the apps work across platforms, others are focused towards specific ones. These include Tweetdeck which is great for Twitter and Later which works really well with Instagram.

 

#6 Get creative with content formats

 

Gone are the days when digital content only meant text heavy blogs. Not just content platforms, even new content formats get introduced regularly these days.

 

So if you are looking to create an impactful campaign, then your social media marketing plan may want to make space for interesting content formats as well.

 

These include photo-captions, long and short videos, gifs and emojis. In fact, 72% of consumers prefer video to text marketing and animated gifs are said to get 167% more click-through than tweets with static images. These stats tell the story of user preferences. 

 

As a brand cracking these content formats with interesting messages on a consistent basis could mean regular viral success on social media. You can also check out our article on how to build an effective content strategy to help you plan this better.

 

#7 Harness The Power Of User-Generated Content

 

Another interesting strategy to add to your social media marketing plan is working with UGC or User Generated Content. There is some extra effort required to build systems and processes to get UGC going.

 

Once it works, it is a win-win for the brand and its community. Brands get interesting and relevant content without having to create it themselves and followers get featured on the brand’s platform getting them a lot more exposure in return.

 

Here are some ways in which you can make UGC work:

  • Hashtags and handles on Instagram: Get your followers to use your dedicated marketing hashtag or get them to tag your handle on Instagram. You can then choose content that is contextual to the brand and give a shout out to the contributor
  • Instagram takeovers: Some brands, especially startups, even let some of their loyal community members take over their Instagram account. The brief is to keep curating the hashtagged pieces of content as long as they are relevant
  • Twitter takeover: Just like an Instagram takeover, some brands also let their community members take over their Twitter accounts. These takeovers let them share content, reply to other community members and plan content for the period when the takeover is on
  • Contests: This one is a classic UGC tactic. Contests allow the audience to share content with the brand which may help them win the contest prize. In most cases, brands build in terms to get permission to reuse contributed content. 

 

#8 Measurement and review

 

The most important part of the process is to measure and review your campaign’s performance. There are various tools available these days that go beyond likes and comments.

 

Social listening tools provide data like sentiment analysis, influencer activity analysis, etc.

 

Some of the well known social listening tools are:

  • Brand24
  • Youscan
  • Buzzsumo
  • Hootsuite Insights
  • Brandwatch

 

These tools can help you measure the impact of your content and campaign. Analyzing these results on a regular basis will let you refine your social media marketing plan, and enhance the impact of your activities.

 

 

Email Marketing And Its Tools

  

Did you know that email marketing still dominates the world of startup marketing? Content marketing and social media marketing, have their own roles to play.

 

However, the kind of personal connection that you can build with your audience through email marketing, cannot be done through any other media.Yes, this age-old marketing platform is one of the most effective startup marketing channels and its because of this that marketing moguls suggest relying on email newsletter tools to harness the true potential of email marketing

  

What is Email Marketing?

 

Email marketing is the process of sending emails to your audience who are actually your potential customers with the goal of increasing sales. It’s a highly effective strategy as it provides a reliable form of communication between your business and your customers.

 

 

Understanding Startup Email Marketing

 

While true mastery over email marketing remains a result of much practice and a high understanding of consumer behavior, there are several email marketing tools available in the market today that help in making your email marketing efforts shine and more importantly, measurable. 

 

Before we get into an analysis of email marketing tools that could be suitable for your startup, let us set the premise by mentioning that email marketing is successful only when the audience is either expecting an email from you or has willingly subscribed to your content.

 

If your startup marketing strategy aims to generate brand awareness and instant sales via email marketing campaigns, it will most likely fail to deliver the results you want.  

 

It is also important to keep generating interesting and engaging, preferably personalized content through your email marketing campaigns.

 

 

Email Newsletter Tools For Startups

 

 

Email newsletters are an email communication sent to inform your audience about the latest news, and updates about your products, services, or company as a whole.

 

Email newsletters keep your subscribers updated with relevant information, driving more leads. They also give marketers the ability to generate email signups through form submissions.

 

To swiftly grow your email list and get actual results from email marketing, you need powerful email newsletter tools that help you in running result-driven email campaigns effectively.

 

Email newsletter tools play a critical role in making your newsletters effective and compelling elements of your integrated marketing strategy. The tools enable you to design attractive newsletter emails, deliver the emails to your subscribers, apply vital features like A/B testing and also monitor and analyze their performance.

 

However, all email newsletter tools aren’t equivalent when you consider their features, availability, pricing, and the level of the customer journey they can cover.

 

The email marketing tools that we talk about in this article are easy on the pocket (we know startups need to be very careful with their budget). Additionally, they are easy to use and loaded with a set of basic features that startups can use without the need for any expert help. 

 

Not so long ago email marketing tools were not that cheap and required a significant amount of money to be paid upfront.

 

With time, the tools have evolved to be user and pocket-friendly along with customized plans on the basis of the number of email subscribers you wish to reach out to. 

 

Most of the email marketing tools also offer free trials to new users and in special cases, a money-back guarantee.

 

Before you settle with an email marketing tool that suits your needs, you can experiment with a few and explore various options available in the market. 

 

Below, we’ve rounded up some of the top email newsletter tools and outlined their respective strengths so that you can understand them better and choose the one that matches your startup’s goals the best.

 

 

#1 AWeber

 

One of the oldest email marketing tools, AWeber is a complete email marketing package to help you boost your revenue through email marketing.

 

It has a simple and user-friendly interface and allows users to send plain text emails to their subscribers. It allows you to add attractive signup forms to your social accounts and website, and collect email addresses. It’s Smart Designer’ allows you to create impressive templates in about seconds.

 

Its drag and drop editor offers more than 700 mobile-responsive templates and the option of applying tags to trigger automated campaigns. Some of the other features it offers are automation tools, list segmentation, detailed reporting, and more than 6,000 royalty-free stock images for you to include in your emails.

 

The cost for various plans that AWeber offers relies on the number of subscribers, starting with as low as $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers. Features across various pricing slabs are consistent, so it is ideal for startups working on limited marketing budgets. Even though it doesn’t come with a free version, you can try it for free for a period of 30 days.

 

AWeber also boasts of high-reputation email servers which essentially helps with high delivery rates and open rates for email campaigns. AWeber is ideal for startups looking for simple drip marketing campaigns via plain text email but may not be the best tool for building complex automation.

 

#2 ConvertKit

 

ConvertKit is a simple, easy-to-use email marketing tool with a great user interface. The focus of this tool is on conversations and the end-product also looks more like plain text emails. 

 

It offers easy to use options such as adding forms to your site to collect email list, grouping your subscribers as per their interests, activity, and sending the right newsletters at the right time.

 

ConvertKit is better used for personalized one-on-one conversations through written content. 

ConvertKit boasts of the best delivery rate in its segment in the industry, and a higher open ratio for emails. The only downside to this tool is the lack of high customization.

 

ConvertKit offers multiple payment plans depending on the number of subscribers base your startup may have, starting with $29 per month if paid monthly and $25 per month if paid annually for up to 1,000 subscribers.

 

Higher the subscriber base, the higher the cost. You can get more details about ConvertKit pricing plans and features here

 

ConvertKit is one of the few email marketing tools that allow you to send unlimited emails for any given subscribers base your startup may have. 

 

 

#3 ActiveCampaign 

 

ActiveCampaign has highly customized plans depending not only on the number of subscribers your startup has but also upon the kind of features you wish to use in your email marketing tool.

 

The price for a subscriber base of up to 500 starts with as low as $9 per month if paid yearly and $15 per month if paid monthly through its Lite plan, which allows you to send unlimited emails to your subscriber base. Great for startups, we would say!

 

If you wish to use additional features such as sales automation, lead scoring, deep data integrations, and custom branding, you can opt for the Plus plan.

 

The Professional plan offers predictive sending, site messaging, A/B testing and the Enterprise plan is one that can be completely customized including design services, dedicated account representative, et al. 

 

We suggest you opt for the Lite or Plus plan, to begin with, and eventually move on to other plans depending upon the success that you see. ActiveCampaign may seem like a more complex tool to use compared to ConvertKit, but the difference in pricing may well be worth exploring.

 

#4 MailChimp

 

One of the most popular email newsletter tools, MailChimp offers affordable email marketing plans including free plans for beginners. It’s an easy and user-friendly tool that doesn’t require any technical skills to create effective email marketing campaigns.

 

Any list of email marketing tools is incomplete without the mention of MailChimp. It is the largest provider of email marketing services and one of the oldest and most profitable email marketing tools in the market.

 

Their huge template selection and availability of multiple features make creating and running a visually appealing campaign a seamless task. It also has a drag and drop builder that allows you to rework the designs.

 

Its popularity with startups is majorly because it offers a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers, and sends 12,000 free emails every month which no other reputed email marketing tool offers. All you need to do is upload your database of subscribers and start sending emails for free. 

 

Here you need to be careful that the database you upload is one which is verified, and the subscribers have opted to receive emails from you. In case of high spam complaints or bounce rates, MailChimp will immediately ban your account. 

 

The features available with the free plan are very basic but good enough for startups that are testing the waters in the email marketing space.

 

While the free option has a restriction of up to 2,000 subscribers, the essentials plan starts with $9.99 a month for up to 500 and goes on to $259 for up to a 50,000 subscriber base. More details on pricing can be found here

 

MailChimp has remained one of the leading email marketing tools for several years and that is because they have maintained the reputation of their servers consistently by adopting best practices.

 

Therefore, the delivery rates and open rates for your email campaigns are guaranteed to be high. 

 

#5 Drip.com

 

Drip is one of the most aesthetically pleasing (read pretty) email marketing tools available in the market. It is best suited for eCommerce websites and digital marketers and since it’s not for beginners you need to be an experienced email marketer to use it.

 

Their prices start with $49 for up to 2,000 subscribers and features such as email personalization, customer data insights and great 24*7 customer support, which is ideal for startups.

 

It’s ECRM (Electronic Customer Relationship Management) assists in running personalized campaigns that work with the information gathered from contact purchases and check out information, like abandoned cart details.

 

The pricing is a bit higher than the rest on this list, but the benefit of Drip is the high level of customization it makes possible and is one of the most sophisticated email marketing tools in the market. 

 

Drip’s advanced rules and the liquid templating helps you dynamically change content on the email basis subscriber tags. Such features are not commonly found in other email marketing tools on this list, and in this price bracket. 

 

#6 SendinBlue

 

An email newsletter plus SMS marketing software, SendinBlue is a straightforward platform that is suitable for both startups and seasoned tech brands.

 

It has a rich library of templates that can be customized using its drag and drop tools. Its A/B testing options for subject lines can help you in improving your email open rates and conversions.

 

SendinBlue allows you to personalize the design of your newsletters and choose form fields for subscription forms.

 

Its robust automation pipeline lets you send different emails based on the specific actions taken by your contacts. 

 

#7 Benchmark

 

Benchmark offers you the ability to create email newsletters easily via drag and drop options, allowing non-technical marketers to create beautiful newsletters.

 

It also has the ‘Benchmark template library’ which provides a good selection of newsletter templates. If your audience is spread across a host of geographies, this is the perfect tool as it’s available in nine unique languages.

 

Benchmark emphasizes its highly efficient international customer support as a USP, with offices in 15 countries including Japan and China.

 

#8 Mailjet

 

Mailjet is one of the fastest email newsletter tools and is also developer-friendly along with a powerful API solution to allow engineers to build on their email platform.

 

On Mailjet, you can create dynamic content that is personalized for every recipient based on information like name and location. Its collaborative tools make it really easy for teams to build email newsletters together and also review them before sending them.

 

#9 GetResponse

 

Besides basic features, GetResponse also offers professional enterprise features like creating landing pages and webinars. Hosting landing pages on it enables you to capture email subscribers for your email newsletters.

 

It allows you to create well-designed newsletters with its drag and drop email editor, campaign creator, segment contacts tool and A/B testing tool. 

 

#10 Mail Up

 

MailUp offers features similar to the other tools like well-designed templates, drag and drop editor, and an HTML editor. However, what sets it apart is its feature of speed-based dynamic pricing.

 

If your business has a fixed number of contacts and you don’t mind sending your newsletters slower than usual, you can save a significant amount of money by using this tool and get the maximum value out of it.

 

This is best suited for startups on a budget and for those who prefer saving on cost. 

 

#11 Constant Contact

 

Considered to be one of the most user-friendly and powerful email newsletter tools, Constant Contact offers you hundreds of attractive email templates and an easy to use drag and drop editor for designing your email newsletters.

 

You can use their email builder to create specific newsletters matching your brand, and edit them to make sure it fulfills the purpose. While using this tool, you can also view the results of your email marketing in real-time.

 

You can identify the people opening, clicking, and sharing your email, and plan your email marketing strategy accordingly.

 

Email marketing tools may seem daunting and meant only for those deep and nuanced in the world of email marketing, but the truth is that the basic features are pretty easy to understand thanks mostly to simplification of the tools available today. 

 

As a startup, while you may wish to test the waters using free or cheaper options, as your business grows it only makes sense to invest in some advanced features and get a better understanding of customer insights and automation.   

 

All the above-mentioned email newsletters tools have their own pros and cons, and you can consider factors like budget, skills, and feature requirements while deciding.

 

For instance, Constant Contact could be a good choice for a new startup, Drip would be perfect for a seasoned startup looking for automation and increasing conversions, or if you prefer saving cost by sparing time, MailUp could be the one for you.

 

Video Marketing: Benefits & How To Ace It

 

When people think about startup marketing, the first thing to spring to the head is content marketing and from that blog writing. However, there’s a lot more to it than that.

 

One of the most effective forms of marketing is video marketing. It can open the doors of engagement and awareness in a way that were previously unachievable. 

 

You don’t need to alter your startup’s digital marketing strategy and completely eliminate blogging as a marketing practice. However, including video marketing in your marketing strategy could be a great idea along with starting a tech blog or posting on social media.

 

Video marketing offers startups and marketers an advanced level of creative opportunity and flexibility. This enables videos to connect better with prospects and customers in terms of the impact they create as opposed to reading an article.

 

It’s convenient to say that video is one of the most engaging ways for a brand to reach its audience. It is visually appealing, easy to consume, and engages with the audience quickly.

 

No wonder 94% of video marketers believe that using video has helped increase the user’s understanding of their product or service. And if that wasn’t enough, the adoption of video marketing has risen significantly

 

 In fact, 87% of businesses use video marketing as compared to 63% in 2017, and 81% in 2018. For startups, it’s comparatively difficult to be able to explain the company’s purpose and goals through just blog posts.

 

Even tougher for products that involve technology. The best way to make your audience accept your product is to make it look interesting and simplified.

 

And that’s where the power of video comes in. The easiest way to tell your story and to talk about your products is to start a tech YouTube channel.

 

 

Video Marketing Benefits

 

If you’re still not convinced, let’s take you through all the benefits of video marketing one by one. Besides just being another form of content, it can help you widen your reach, increase engagement, and even boost your SEO.

 

Video marketing is a powerful marketing medium for startups to explore. You can use it to build a strong audience, outshine from your competitors and even provide information and knowledge to your users.

 

Besides the direct benefits, video marketing can help you promote and get the best out of your other forms of content. Getting into it could seem tough, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll explore a completely different world of startup marketing.  

 

 

#1 Reach A Larger Audience

 

A large portion of search results on Google show video content, especially from YouTube which also happens to be the second-largest search engine in the world.

 

Since YouTube works seamlessly on multiple device types, a large segment of the global population has access to video content. This makes the scope of video marketing huge, and you can tap a much larger audience base through it.

 

 

#2 Better Brand Recall

 

Videos are inherently more visual and easier to consume. incorporating interesting visuals makes it much easier for people to engage with and pay attention to as compared to text-based content that requires a higher attention span.

 

Scientifically, when the senses of both hearing and sight are used together, the retention is much stronger than just reading or hearing it. This is how video marketing greatly augments the brand recall factor.

 

#3 Viral Factor

 

YouTube videos are not only watched on YouTube but also shared and watched on other social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. allow video uploads directly into their own video supporting interfaces.

 

The purpose of social media is to literally keep users socially active, and hence they share whatever content they like. If you execute video marketing thoughtfully, you can get your audiences on any of these platforms to watch and share your video content. 

 

#4 Boosts SEO

 

If your video is engaging, chances are most of your viewers will check out your site. By driving individuals to your landing pages through video marketing, you can considerably boost SEO.

 

The key lies in writing keyword-rich meta descriptions and video titles that will match with relevant search queries. This will ensure that your video ranks higher on SERPs and will direct traffic to your YouTube channel and indirectly, your website.

 

#5 Higher Entertainment, Engagements, & Conversions

 

Video marketing can help you achieve a lot of different things. You can create a fun video to advertise your product while entertaining your audience. You can create engaging videos and add value to your audience and build brand presence. 

 

You can even educate people about your product, your industry, or anything relevant that could increase your brand value. Once, your audience sticks with your content, converting them isn’t too difficult to achieve.

  

How To Go About Video Marketing?

 

Video marketing is not just about making videos and using them to promote your products or brand. It’s a much deeper area, where you use the videos to engage with your audience, entertain them and educate them at the same time, and give them something valuable to take back.

 

Here are a few ideas that you can use to kickstart your video marketing, and build a huge audience using it.

 

#1 Create ‘How-To’ Videos 

 

Every product solves a problem, and the easiest way to make a video is to show how your product is solving your customers’ problems. You can use How-To videos to showcase how your product is adding value to people’s lives.

 

The reason why How-To videos work so well is because they don’t come across as too promotional. But simultaneously they help you create your brand value and build trust with your audience.

 

Besides, there will always be something that people would like to do on their own, but would be having a tough time in figuring out how to do it. All you need to do is find out what that thing is, and make an interesting How-To video and help them figure it out.

 

Since YouTube is the largest video platform and even acts as an effective search engine, you need to create a channel and start posting these videos there.

 

Choosing What Video To Make

 

Before creating a How-To video series, you need to identify the topics on which you’ll make videos. If you want your videos to give you desirable returns, a well-defined thought process behind could make all the difference.

 

  • Check your blog – If you have an existing, it’s wise to go through all the articles to find out which ones performed the best. You can use online analytics tools like Google Analytics or others, to outline such posts. You might have written How-To blog posts in the past which might have performed really well. Pick out some of your best performing How-To blog posts and use them to create How-To videos. You won’t even have to do any research or preparation. All you would need to do is convert your blog into a video, and publish it.

 

  • Work with your support team – Your support team could help you in identifying the problem areas of your users by looking into the kind of questions they keep getting asked. Since you already know what your users want to learn from you, you can be sure that your videos that address their concerns will work well.

 

  • External Resources – If your How-To videos can help the users who are looking for answers, the job is done. You can use online tools to find out what people are generally searching for online. If any of it involves your expertise, just make a video about it.

 

 

#2 Use Your Videos To Promote Your Content On Social Media

 

Videos are considered to be the most engaging form of content on social media. Since videos can provide information, knowledge, and entertainment all together in an appealing manner, people prefer them over other forms of content.

 

For instance, you can post a short video to give an idea of your blog post, with its link. That way you can use videos to drive traffic to your other content.

 

#3 Live Videos

 

Videos are good, but live videos are great as they satisfy users in a unique way. With the help of live videos, you can provide your customers with product demos, or present webinars, and respond to their queries in real-time.

 

Lots of social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram have the option of hosting live videos. They are easy to produce and give you the benefit of building a relationship of trust with your audience.

 

Since the nature of a live video involves interaction from the audience, it helps in boosting your engagement rate. 

 

#4 Collaborate with Influencers

 

Collaborating with influencers can do wonders for your startup marketing. Influencers are professionals who have influence over people in a particular industry or niche.

 

Social media influencers have tons of followers who tend to follow their lifestyle choices. If you can invest in influencer marketing and collaborate with these influencers, interview them, ask them for a product review, or get them to do an unboxing video for your product, you could reach out to a whole new audience.

 

Sometimes they would do it for free, but to build goodwill, you could also gift them your products in exchange for mentioning your brand name in their videos.

 

#5 Blend Videos with Email Marketing

 

Email marketing is a great channel to include your video content especially if you already have a subscriber list that receives your email newsletters regularly.

 

Whenever you post a new video on your YouTube channel or other social media accounts, you can prepare an email for the same, with ‘video’ mentioned in the subject.

 

Simply paste the link of your video in your email, and it would redirect them to your videos when they click on it.

 

#6 Optimize Your Videos for Mobile

 

It’s not a hidden fact that smartphones have taken over all gadgets in the digital world. Everything that people used to do on different gadgets like PCs, laptops, and even TV, they now prefer to do it on a smartphone.

 

Phones are portable and convenient, and are accessible everywhere, even during commute. If you don’t optimize your videos for mobile, you could lose a whole lot of audience who consume video content primarily on their phones.

 

#7 Feature Your Users

 

Featuring influencers and professionals is one way to do it. But, featuring your real and regular customers gives you a completely different edge over your competitors.

 

When your viewers look at someone like them happy and content with your product, they are able to relate to it. Their chances of being interested in your product are much higher this way rather than watching an ad or promotional video.

 

Customer testimonials help in building trust and confidence in your product thereby increasing customer loyalty towards your startup.      

 

 

Video Marketing Examples from Successful Startups

 

Firstly, June’s intelligent oven speaks for itself. They did a fantastic job of presenting a long list of their product’s amazing functionalities in just over a minute.

 

To show so many things within such a short span of time is tough. In the world of videos, less is usually more.

 

The key was to keep it brief and interesting and showcase their product as a super product. It could be the hardest thing to execute but they did it really well.

 

InVision App

 

The InVision App had a rather non-traditional approach to show who they are. They created a documentary-style video series about design disruptors, featuring multiple influencers and interviewing them.

 

It was a well-thought risk and that’s why it paid off. Rather than focusing on their product, they focused on the experiences of their audience. They also came up with the quote, ‘Design is human’ which built a unique impression about them.

 

Fiscal

 

Fiscal Note’s video is an amazing example of how to condense a complex piece of technology into a simple and easy to follow video. Through their video, they also covered the aspect of why their proprietary technology was the best in the game and gave important details about their company.

 

 

Influencer Marketing: Tips & Tricks

 

Content marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, email marketing etc. can all create great brand awareness for your tech startup, but even that might not be enough sometimes. To expand the range of your audience, you might have to partner with individuals who have a good hold in your niche.

 

As the world of startups keeps enlarging, winning at startup marketing keeps getting increasingly tedious and challenging. This is why it is necessary for startups to create a killer influencer marketing strategy and embrace this new marketing form. 

 

Much like well-planned integrated marketing and social media marketing tactics, influencer marketing helps startups and tech brands to break through the clutter and promote themselves or their products with ease in a cost-effective, scalable way.

 

According to BigCommerce, influencer marketing is when companies partner with influencers in order to increase brand awareness or conversions among a specific target audience. Influencer marketing involves collaborating with leading, niche internet content creators to promote your product or service and spread awareness among your target audience. 

 

Who Is An Influencer?

 

A social media influencer is someone who has created a large and loyal following of people by creating engaging content on major social media platforms. If you pick an influencer belonging to your niche, they will have a similar kind of target audience that is relevant to your startup’s product or services.

 

The key to a good influencer marketing strategy lies in choosing content creators or influencers who already appeal to your preferred target audience. Many startups even turn to micro-influencers to get their message communicated to a desired segment of the audience, which we all also elaborate on below.

 

 

Statistics And Research On Influencer Marketing

 

With as many as 17% of marketers spending half their marketing budget on influencer marketing, it is evident that influencer marketing is gaining popularity among startups and seasoned brands.

 

While the food industry utilizes influencer marketing to the maximum with 80%  of its promotions through influencers, technology is at 42%. 

 

Instagram remains the most essential platform as part of any influencer marketing strategy. The visual sharing platform boasts of over a billion users and rightfully ranks number one for being the most important and impactful social media channel.  

 

While Facebook and YouTube are other popular channels, Snapchat is the least preferred channel for influencer marketing and remains at the bottom of any influencer marketing strategy.

 

TikTok is another platform gaining huge popularity if you are looking to target a much younger demographic. 

 

 

How To Go About Influencer Marketing

 

Influencer marketing is not only about finding the right influencers who can help you promote your startup but also about managing all aspects of your startup’s relationship with the influencer.

 

Here’s a guide on how to create an effective influencer marketing strategy for your startup:

 

#1 Determine Campaign Goals

 

Whether it is creating brand awareness or generating leads, defining your campaign goals clearly will help in measuring the success of your campaign and help in laying out a successful influencer marketing strategy.

 

Creating SMART goals is an efficient way of determining your campaign goals. Reach, relevance and resonance are three factors to keep in mind while developing influencer marketing SMART goals.

 

  • Reach is the potential ability to deliver content to your target audiences through an influencer, helping you improve awareness about your brand or product. For instance, how many views will a post about your brand get after an influencer post’s it? 
  • Relevance is to decipher if the audience you’re trying to reach out via the influencer connects with your brand or product. Being relevant will increase the scope of brand loyalty because the audience will see your product being validated by an influencer that they like. 
  • Resonance is when your target audience is driven to take the desired action (such as buying your product or visiting your e-commerce store) because of the influencer’s content, thus ensuring relevant impact and brand recall. 

 

#2 Define the Target Audience

 

Your choice of influencer relies majorly on who your target audience is. Different influencers have different ways of engaging or reaching out to your target audience, however, your target audience remains the same as those that help you fulfill your business goals. 

 

Defining your target audience or building buyer personas is a critical step to be taken as part of any influencer marketing strategy and we suggest you spend enough time doing this.

 

It will not only help you identify your customers but also determine which influencers and the type of content your potential and existing customers respond positively to. 

 

#3 Set Budgets and Influencer Type

 

Influencers are categorized broadly into five different types:

  • Micro-influencers (followers in thousands or tens of thousands)
  • Celebrity influencers (famous people from various industries with followers in millions)
  • Blog influencers (writes established blogs with thousands or millions of subscribers and readers)
  • Social media influencers (well-recognized on social platforms with thousands or millions of followers)
  • Key opinion leaders (high-level experts on specialized topics)

 

Depending on your business goals and target audience, you should be able to choose what type of influencer is best suited to your needs.

 

A major factor here is also your budget. Startups seldom have the marketing budget to get their branding right or to work with celebrity influencers. Hence, a micro-influencer might be better suited. 

 

  1. Choose a Suitable Influencer

 

Having selected the type of influencer that will help fulfill goals for your influencer marketing strategy, the next step is to identify which influencer you can work with.

There are a few questions you can answer for yourself in arriving at this decision:

  • Does the influencer’s lifestyle fit your brand image?
  • Have they worked with your competitors?
  • Who is the influencer’s current audience?
  • Does your target audience prefer the platform/channel used by this influencer?
  • Do you have the budget to hire this influencer?
  • Is this influencer your customer or used your product before? 

 

#5 Develop Campaign Messaging

 

An essential step of your influencer marketing strategy is to develop your campaign messaging and what kind of content can your chosen influencer publish. It is very important to also layout the messaging that you do NOT want the influencer to convey. 

 

Here is where your brand guidelines can be extremely useful. Even if the influencer is posting about your brand or product one time, they are still representing your brand and for this reason.

 

For this reason, you need to ensure that the content they share is up to your brand’s guidelines and in tune with your startup’s tone of voice and values.

 

#6 Define Expectations 

 

Before you roll out your influencer campaign, be sure to define expectations that you have from the influencer and they have from you.

 

Right from who will be creating content to how many times will they post it or talk about your brand or product. Set expectations in terms of what the costs would be like and whether it will be in cash or kind. 

 

You may want to set these expectations in writing either over email or a written and signed contract. This will help avoid any discrepancies in the future.

 

#7 Measure Your Influencer Marketing Campaign Results

 

Measuring how your influencer marketing campaign performs is a MUST. Your campaign results will determine the success or failure of your influencer marketing strategy.  

 

You should monitor engagement (likes, shares, comments, retweets, mentions, direct messages, reposts) across all channels. Your reach and resonance are something you had contemplated while setting your goals and you can measure the results against the goals you had set. 

 

Additionally, you should measure brand awareness among your audiences either quantitative (direct traffic, social engagement) or qualitative (social listening, awareness surveys).

 

Finally, your Return on Investment (ROI) on your investment to the influencer marketing strategy also helps determine the success or failure of your campaign.

 

Based on the initial monetary investment, check the awareness generated by assigning the industry-standard CPMs (cost per impression), CPC (cost per click), and CPV (cost per view).

 

 

Startups That Effectively Used Influencer Marketing

 

Bumble 

 

Launched by Whitney Wolf Herd as a step towards tackling harassment and abuse on dating apps, social issues remain at the core of their Bumble’s influencer marketing strategy.

 

Bumble has been extremely effective while partnering with brand ambassadors who have a similar stance. During the launch, Bumble worked with ‘hyper-micro-influencers’ which helped in spreading the word, and in creating authentic, genuine relationships with consumers.

 

Be it the consequent launch of Bumble BFF or Bumble Bizz, micro-influencers and real users have always been key. Their campaigns resulted in over 40 million users and almost 100% annual growth rate

 

Glossier

 

Glossier attributes 70% of its growth to owned, earned, peer-to-peer or organic channels. Emily Weiss, Founder of Glossier, has always put consumers at the heart of the brand and has over 500 ambassadors for the brand, each with varying audience sizes. 

 

The team at Glossier goes through all their Instagram mentions and regularly reposts consumers’ images of their products which are packed in ‘instagrammable’ packaging. The favorite posts are even invited to take part in their marketing campaigns.

 

Glossier’s “mission of giving voice through beauty” has resulted in a huge online community, where they value all influencers both large and small. 

 

Final Tips

 

Influencer marketing for startups need not be a very costly affair, and you can choose to work with micro-influencers in your specific area of expertise. What makes an influencer marketing strategy successful is the use of compelling content, uniformity in the message being conveyed, and time-bound messaging. 

 

All successful influencer marketing campaigns have one thing in common – that is the use of right influencers applicable to their messaging and reaching out to influencers in a way that they responded positively to.

 

It is also important to have clear goals for your influencer marketing strategy and measure the effectiveness of your campaign to clearly determine the success or failure of your campaign. 

 

Influencer marketing is a great way to connect with audience members, enhance brand awareness, boost conversions, and increase followership. The key is to identify and reach out to the types of influencers best suited to your brand and developing an influencer marketing strategy. 

 

 

Micro Influencer Marketing

 

‘Influencers’ were the buzzword for most marketers in the decade that just passed us by. But, the new one may well belong to ‘micro-influencers’, or micro-influencer marketing to be more specific.

 

Micro-influencer marketing delivers the referral-at-scale advantage of influencer campaigns for a fraction of the cost. So, what’s there not to like?

 

Micro-influencer marketing means working with influencers who enjoy a loyal base of followers in the range of 1000 to 100,000. Lesser followers mean better engagement rates and more authenticity.

 

Engagement and authenticity: aren’t these the holy grail of every successful marketing campaign? Several statistics indicate that, if done right, micro-influencer marketing can yield bumper results and all brands big or small, across genres can reap its benefits.

 

Take Amazon’s Audible for example. Amazon’s marketing strategy with influencers has seen their podcast app become the favorite of Millenials in no time. Amazon worked with micro-influencers from diverse backgrounds to create awareness for its audio entertainment app.

 

Micro-influencers like Hailey Pham participated in this campaign sharing personal reasons for using the Audible app. The approach has been so successful that the app continues to be the favorite of influencers who keep suggesting it time and again.

 

Another interesting example is HP. Laptops are not considered to be cool or hip. But this is exactly what HP Spectre managed to achieve during its launch in Australia.

 

Scrunch, an influencer solutions company shared the impactful fashion-forward content created by micro-influencers in the case study about HP Australia.

 

Micro-influencer marketing campaigns seem to be the talk of the town. But as it tends to be the case with many ‘in’ trends, only a few seem to have cracked the code. We put together a fool-proof guide on micro-influencer marketing so you can win big at startup marketing in 2020.

  

Why Influencer Marketing

 

#1 Authenticity and Trust

 

Micro-influencers by definition have fewer followers than celebrities or macro-influencers. It is the passion for a particular domain or subject that gets people to genuinely follow and engage with micro-influencers. That’s also the reason why their followers look forward to their recommendations.

 

Markerly’s research tried to answer whether influencer size matters in Instagram marketing. Results indicate that an increase in follower count is inversely proportional to an influencer’s engagement.

 

As celebrities amass followers, their content runs the risk of being less and less relevant to their broad fan base.

 

Micro-influencers are as effective as friends and family when it comes to recommendations. This is because they are respected for their knowledge of a certain topic or niche.

 

For example, a passionate tech Youtuber reviewing gadgets is more likely to influence your smartphone buying decision than let’s say a celebrity endorser would.

 

Authenticity and trust are qualities every brand seeks while working with partners. These qualities are an even bigger bonus when it comes to marketing campaigns.

 

#2 Relevant Audience 

 

Most micro-influencers also tend to be passionate people who build audiences because of their love for a particular subject or genre. The tech space is a great example of this.

 

Many part-time content creators have gone on to become famous influencers. They are called micro-influencers because they are still in the early days of their journey. This is the reason their audiences tend to be more focused.

 

For instance, a tech blogger or Youtuber will have other tech buffs as his community while he/she is still a micro-influencer. As his/her community grows, it is bound to become more broad-based.

 

A large number of followers by then may not be tech buffs themselves. Hence, partnering with micro-influencers also means that you reach out to a more targeted and relevant audience.

 

This is another important tick in favor of micro-influencer marketing.

 

#3 Lower Costs and Higher ROIs

 

Many great marketing ideas die at the altar of the dreaded word called ‘budget’. Despite factors like authenticity, engagement, and relevance, it is the cost-effective nature that helps micro-influencer marketing score a point over other forms of brand promotions.

 

The reason is simple. Numerous studies have shown that working with micro-influencers costs less and the returns are much higher in proportion. Micro-influencer campaigns are as successful as other forms of traditional and digital marketing but, for a fraction of the cost.

 

Micro-influencers generally charge in the range of 250 to 500USD per post while macro-influencers could cost 10x that much. By now, we are hoping we’ve convinced you to run your micro-influencer campaign in the near future. 

 

Like any new approach, micro-influencer marketing comes with its own set of challenges. Getting a micro-influencer campaign right could mean a lot of trial and error.

 

Partnering with many micro-influencers to deliver your messages at scale, is another challenge. Micro-influencer campaigns definitely mean more work, but the results justify the effort.

 

How To Go About Micro-Influencer Marketing: A Quick Guide

 

The following steps serve as a solid base for startups who wish to indulge in micro-influencer marketing:

  • Finalize the campaign goal or objective
  • Identify relevant micro-influencers
  • Content creation and distribution
  • Measurement

 

 

Below is a deep-dive into each of these steps to help you custom build a micro-influencer campaign for your start-up.

 

#1 Campaign Goal or Objective:

 

Micro-influencer marketing campaigns can be designed to deliver different objectives, such as:

  • Build brand/product awareness
  • Educate potential customers/users
  • Conduct promotional activities
  • Augment sales 

 

Each of these objectives needs different kinds of content and partnership approach with micro-influencers.

 

Building brand or product awareness will allow you to give more independence to content creators. Educating users, on the other hand, may need you to work with tight messaging.

 

Promotional campaigns or sales-oriented ones may limit you to work with specific creatives or CTAs with micro-influencers.

 

#2 Identifying Relevant Micro-Influencers

 

This is a very important aspect of your overall digital marketing campaign and will have a huge impact on its effectiveness. It is also the aspect that many startups find the most daunting.

 

Many influencer/micro-influencer campaigns have failed due to a sub-optimal choice of influencers. Many others haven’t even seen the light of day due to this specific aspect.

 

Here are five ways in which you can identify the right kind of influencers for your startup’s campaign.

  • Use platforms like Markerly, Buzzsumo, and others: These platforms help you filter out influencers based on location, niche, following, and other parameters.
  • Scout your brand’s existing followers: The one place that most brands don’t look in is their own community when it comes to finding micro-influencers. Working with an influencer who already follows you and loves your brand is a match made in marketing heaven.
  • A hashtag search on your priority social channels: The other simple way to create a list of potential influencers is to search your brand’s hashtag on Instagram or other hashtags that relevant content creators may be using.
  • Advanced Google search: Another simple yet highly effective method is ‘advanced google search’. Let’s say that you are looking for influencers on Instagram, then you could just type ‘[niche]+[city] site:instagram.com’ in your google search bar.
  • Look within your own network: There is a good chance that you and your team know a dozen micro-influencers within your product niche. Get together with your team, and list out micro-influencers within your own network.

 

Sometimes, the solutions are easier than you think.

 

#3 Content Creation and Distribution

 

Even with content creation, there are multiple approaches that a startup can take:

 

  • Brand content: Where the brand creates the copy and a visual kit and asks the influencers to share it with minor or no tweaks with a CTA.
  • Co-created content: This is when content is created under guidelines by the influencer. But the brand and the influencer work together to finalize the content.
  • Independent content: The influencer has total independence in creating and sharing the content. The brand only provides some broad guidelines and/or the message that needs to be delivered.

 

Needless to say, most influencers prefer the last approach. It allows them to express the content or the brand’s story in their own style. Various studies also showcase that this approach delivers the highest engagement.

 

Even with distribution there are a few different approaches. Cross-posting, where both the influencer and the brand share the same piece of content is quite the norm.

 

However, campaigns can also be conceived where the influencer’s content works as the creative copy and visual. This provides for a more authentic story-telling on your brand’s platforms.

 

#4 Measurement

 

Campaigns can sometimes be deemed successful without getting results that matter. This makes it important to measure even a micro-influencer campaign with the right tools and pre-decided campaign metrics.

 

The simplest way to measure is to look at engagement, mentions, etc. However, there are other tools available as well to measure micro-influencer campaigns.

 

Some of them include:

 

  • Google Analytics can help you track interactions, page visits, page views and other interactions delivered by the campaign back to your brand or company website.
  • Quantcast provides audience insights based on their online behavior. This can also help you measure and understand new audiences that follow/join your brand with the micro-influencer campaign
  • Ahrefs is another tool that helps you check backlinks, explore keywords and other metrics

 

Bonus Points

 

Micro-influencer marketing is a great approach for tech consumer products and solutions startups. The affordable cost of running such campaigns is but one reason. 

 

Micro-influencer marketing, if managed well, is a great way to build a community of early adopters. This community of micro-influencers will go on to multiply their influence for your product well beyond the duration of the campaign.

 

Smart startups can manage long term relationships with micro-influencers. This community can provide feedback, reviews, and product-related advice constantly.

 

So to think of micro-influencer marketing campaigns as only for outreach or visibility is short-selling the potential of this passionate community.

 

If you haven’t given thought to run a micro-influencer campaign, then trust us, it is time to.

 

 

 

Role Of AI In Marketing

 

 

According to Alan Perlis, a leading computer scientist, “A year spent in Artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God”. This is probably why the introduction of artificial intelligence in marketing (or AI in marketing) has been so well-received.

 

While there is growing uncertainty surrounding the true intentions of AI and if it will replace human jobs, the critical role of artificial intelligence in marketing is one that will help industries and businesses alike.

 

To better understand this bittersweet relationship, let’s first start from the basics.

 

What Is AI?

 

AI or Artificial Intelligence is the intelligence demonstrated by machines to mimic intellectual functions such as learning and problem solving like their human counterparts. In layman terms, it is nothing but a machine’s ability to thing and learn. It’s an artificially created intelligence.

 

AI as a concept talks about machines that are capable of interacting with their external surroundings without any human interference whatsoever.

 

 

AI and Marketing

 

Apart from other areas, AI has a huge role to play in startup marketing as well.

 

Artificial Intelligence in Marketing (AI in Marketing) is a technique of leveraging customer data with the help of AI to predict the customer’s spending pattern thereby providing an enhanced customer experience.

 

And all this has been made possible with the click of a few buttons. Big Data and advanced analytic solutions have made handling enormous amounts of data seem like an effortless stroll in the park.

 

Now before you even have to ask, here it goes! Big Data refers to the aggregation and segmentation of large sets of data with minimal human intervention.

 

Equipped with in-depth data insights, marketers are in the position to convert the visitors into customers and improve their performance and ROI.

 

Have you ever paid attention to Netflix suggesting TV shows and movies to you based on your previous watch history? Reading and analyzing past customer behaviors to predict future behaviors is exactly what AI in marketing is all about.

 

Clustering and interpreting consumer data paired with profile information and demographics aids AI-based systems to adapt and predict your likes and dislikes and react with new recommendations.

 

All this and more, and that too all in real-time!

 

 

Benefits Of AI In Marketing

 

Well, to begin with, the role of AI is inbuilt in the very core of marketing.

 

From helping digital marketing experts to make head and tail of the data dump to analyzing the same data to speed up the content creation process to taking advantage of personalized advertising, AI has your back.

 

Let’s go ahead and touch upon all the benefits of AI in influencing marketing efforts based on customer data.

 

 

#1 Determine & Analyze Hidden Data Insights

 

Search engines have gotten people into looking for something or the other all the time. Social media accounts add to the list of searches.

 

Once you are done with your searches, AI and big data solutions come into picture by clustering and analyzing those search patterns. The analysis helps marketers identify key areas of customer focus, pattern, and trends, and helps them understand in what areas their efforts should be focused.

 

#2 Predictive Analytics

 

Clustering and analyzing customer data aids marketers to develop smart account-based solutions. Artificial intelligence solutions dig deep for keyword searches, social profiles, and other online data to make sense of the entire data dump.

 

It then connects the dots to derive a sensible outcome from all that hidden data. AI uses data mining, statistics, and modeling to make predictions about future outcomes through predictive analytics.

 

Predictive analytics is nothing but the usage of past data in tandem with algorithms to predict future outcomes. With predictive analytics, you are a step ahead as you already know how consumers perceive your brand.

 

This means you can save time and sync their search by providing them the content they are searching for. Besides this, AI analyzes vast amounts of data at supersonic speeds and derives meaningful patterns to create a content marketing model based on these insights in real-time.

 

Further, AI even avoids replication of data. So, the consolidated data is accurate and supports multiple applications and users.

 

#3 Personalization

 

AI helps you personalize your marketing efforts by decoding critical customer variables like real-time location, behavior, and values. This helps you identify every customer down to the minutest of details.

 

Collectively analyzed these parameters help create extremely personalized content for every individual customer adding to their experience.

 

  1. Automating Content

 

Artificial Intelligence has reached a stage where it can even help you to create content. Not just create content, it also lets you distribute the curated content saving both time and money.

Artificial intelligence comes with its limitations though. Content creation bots rely on data and structure to create content.

 

Hence, they lack the feel and flow of a content piece created by a human.

However, big names like Fox News and The Washington Post are already using AI to create weather reports and sports stories.

 

The earthquake reports, named ‘Quakebot by LA Times‘ as a perfect example that creates earthquake news.

 

Alerts from the U.S. Geological Survey are analyzed by these bots. Relevant data is then extracted to create the report in the form of a pre-designed template.

 

Affirmative that automated content marketing will get stronger in the coming years.

 

Even today, AI-based tools like DrumUp and Feedly are there to help you discover new content, schedule posts and streamline your social media communication.

 

Buffer and Hootsuite streamline the distribution of your content by automatically scheduling all your social media posts on all your social accounts.

 

 

AI and Humans

 

Now that you have a fair understanding of AI in marketing and their interdependence on each other, the question is will AI be the end of the present marketing strategies and scenario? Honestly, AI will never be completely able to replace existing marketing strategies or the human touch, for that matter.

 

Of course, you will need to adapt and change your current marketing techniques in line with the developments in AI to benefit from the best of both worlds. So yes, AI will put some of the human element out of business. Will AI replace it completely? Well, not in a very long time to come.

 

 

Integrated Marketing: What, Why & How

 

Now that we have talked about so many different forms of tech startup marketing let’s talk about how to get the most out of them. Just like 1+1=11, our goal is to blend the various marketing techniques in such a way that together they give better returns than the combined individual returns of each strategy. It’s basically a way of boosting the results of one technique using the other, and vice-versa.

 

When it comes to crafting a startup marketing strategy, integrated marketing is most often given the least priority. And truth be told, integrated marketing is an essential component of startup marketing.  

 

What Is Integrated Marketing?

 

According to SmartInsights.com Integrated marketing is a strategic approach to integrating communications and interactive experiences targeting defined audiences and individuals which coordinates all aspects of marketing of a brand including paid media, earned media and owned media.

 

The essence of integrated marketing lies in the fact that it involves coordinating messages across different channels and the results arising from this are much better than when taking a comparatively less integrated approach that lacks coordination. 

 

 

Why Integrated Marketing?

 

Let’s say, you come across a new startup brand on Instagram and visit its website. But when you do so, you see that the message or campaign on the website is different from what you saw on their Instagram handle.

 

Not only will you have a hard time understanding the gist of the brand but also question its authenticity. Many startups neglect integrated marketing communications and the result is usually an inconsistent and unorganized message that doesn’t create the right user experience.

 

Integrated marketing helps in eliminating these disparities and differences irrespective of how or when a customer interacts with the brand.

 

To sum things, here’s what makes integrated marketing impactful:

  • Reaching a wider audience than a single marketing channel
  • Greater chance of being visible on multiple channels, keeping your brand top-of-mind and pushing visitors towards conversion
  • Trust building with a consistent message on multiple channels

 

 

How To Build An Integrated Marketing Campaign?

 

Today, consumers encounter brands on various social media platforms and across offline avenues as well. There are also thousands of startups out there, and there are so many similar startups that are trying to solve the same problem with similar products or services.

 

This makes it really important for startups and businesses today to market their brand in a way that it stands out, and results in maximum conversions. To do this, the integrated marketing approach is more needed today than ever before.

 

To help you build an effective integrated marketing campaign, we have formulated a complete guide on how to go about it. The below mentioned tips and strategies will help you in optimizing your integrated marketing approach and make it a success.

 

 

#1 Establish Your Overall Goal

 

Before considering what channels to make a part of your integrated marketing campaign, you need to consider the goal of the entire campaign. Whether you’ve launched a new product or service, you need to know what you want to achieve. 

Your goals should be related to a few Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like Traffic, Engagement, Top (and falling) content, Impact, Sentiment, Lead generation, and Sales.

A multi-channel campaign should consider the bigger picture like how the campaign impacts business revenue and sales opportunities.

 

#2 Setting Goals For Each Marketing Channel

 

Once you have established your overarching goal, you will have a better idea of what channels can help you achieve it.

The various types of marketing channels are:

  • Direct marketing
  • Digital Marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Advertising
  • PR
  • Sales promotions
  • Personal selling
  • Packaging
  • Events and sponsorships
  • Social media

To reach a wider audience and effectively spread your campaign message, your integrated marketing campaign should include a diverse collection of marketing channels. You can keep experimenting with them and decide for yourself what’s working for you and what’s not.

 

#3 Define Your Buyer Personas By Channel

 

Every marketing channel is targeted towards its own specific buyer persona. You should avoid defining a broad persona for your campaign and must define your audience by channel.

The aim is to understand exactly who you’re communicating with on each medium and how to tailor those specific assets to be successful.

 

#4 Assign Channel Managers

 

Depending on how big your marketing team is, you can assign different groups of people or individual specialists to lead every different channel. While running a multi-channel marketing campaign, you need to determine who will specifically be in charge of ensuring their channel is aligned with the overall campaign.

 

This method is successful for two reasons; firstly, every marketing individual has his or her own set of skills and specialization and that way you can make sure every channel is being handled by an expert in that very marketing function. Secondly, burdening one person in charge of all channels might have a negative impact and cause the campaign to suffer.

 

#5 Create Adaptable Marketing Assets & Messaging

 

By now, you have a campaign goal, target audience(s), and a bunch of marketing channels. Now it’s time to make your campaign active with content.

 

The best way to do this is to create adaptable content which can be edited and repurposed to fit into different marketing channels at the same time. Integrated marketing is mainly about a consistent brand experience.

 

So you need to make sure that your campaign assets reflect that, irrespective of what channel your audience is visiting.

 

#6 Collect Leads

 

Even if you don’t intend for your campaign to collect leads, you should be prepared to receive them. Even if you’re campaigning just to raise awareness of your brand, it’s possible that your visitors convert into leads, and ultimately into customers.

 

Analyze the ways in which you could collect leads. Newsletters, providing information to download a content offer, creating their account on your website, are some effective ways. 

 

Then decide the next step of nurturing them once they convert. Automated workflow, connecting them with the sales team are few such steps. Be sure to utilize the opportunity and make the most of it.

 

#7 Launch, Measure, and Iterate

 

Great job if you’ve successfully launched your campaign. But it’s not the be-all and the end-all of it. Once you’ve done that you’ve just moved into the next phase.

 

Use those KPIs and start tracking the subsequent metrics every week, month, and quarter. Whatever you learn, you can apply in your future campaigns and fill the gaps.

 

 

Integrated Marketing Best Practices

 

Now that we have covered the steps in which you can plan your integrated marketing campaign, let’s also look at a few best practices that should help you outshine.

 

#1 Perfect Strategy Alignment

 

To successfully implement your integrated marketing approach, you need to make sure that all of your marketing managers are on the same page. Efficient communication between them will ensure that all your integrated marketing assets give a consistent message and look unified.

 

#2 Smooth Channel Transition

 

Most of the time, your visitor gets redirected from one channel to another, because of their inquisitiveness and curiosity about learning more about your brand or its campaign.

In this case, if the transition isn’t smooth and the visitor doesn’t get what they expected from it, they might just drop off immediately. Make sure that every channel is complementing another and helping each other convert.

 

#3 Curb Overlaps 

 

While working on so many marketing channels, it’s possible to start focusing on them individually and lose sight of the whole perspective.

 

However, the essence of the integrated marketing campaign is having a unified and synergetic marketing plan, where the different channels not only co-exist but also co-complement.

 

 Here are some examples of small overlaps:

  • Adding links of your website, social media handles or YouTube channel to your email signature
  • Adding links of your blog posts, offers or website to your social media bios and posts
  • Incorporating social sharing buttons to your blogs and websites
  • Optimizing your standalone landing pages for long-tail keywords and SEO

 

 

How To Market To Tech-Savvy Customers

 

There are two kinds of customers and audiences of your tech startup that you can divide into. One where the audience is slightly technologically challenged, and the other one where the audience is highly tech-savvy.

 

The number of tech-savvy customers has increased significantly over the past decade. This demographic will continue to grow and be a central focus for online businesses as more and more digital natives gain buying power.

 

Businesses need to be cutting edge and modern to impress them. Tech-savvy customers research their choices online before they buy and, for tech-related businesses, in particular, it’s important to think of them when working on your online marketing efforts.

 

 

1. Focus On The User Experience

 

Most customers know when something “feels wrong”, but with many tech-savvy customers understanding the basics of UX and UI design, they will know exactly what’s wrong. Even if they don’t, they are likely to expect that your business will have a marketing website with a modern look and intuitive navigation.

 

Among consumers in general, 75% judge the credibility of a business by the design of its website – according to research by Stanford University. And not only should your site be easy to use, but it also needs to be trendy too.

 

General consumers won’t always notice if something is a little dated. But tech-savvy customers, on the other hand, will. So it’s time to get rid of the flashing graphics off your website if you haven’t done so already.

 

It should also go without saying that your website needs to be mobile responsive. A clean, streamlined mobile design is critical, as the amount of time people spend browsing the web on mobile devices continues to surpass desktop use.

 

In addition to your website being displayed properly, mobile designs should also take advantage of the unique features of a mobile operating system. Make use of GPS enabled store-finders, easy sharing options for mobile apps and the ability to swipe, pinch or double-tap.

 

2. Educate The Whole Team

 

There’s one thing all knowledgeable tech-savvy customers hate – when employees don’t understand their own company’s product. If your social media manager or a member of your sales team doesn’t know all about your product’s features and its amazing capabilities, you’ve gone wrong.

 

To sell your wares to the tech-savvy customer, everyone in sales, support, and marketing should know your product spec inside out. Your staff should understand the value the product can bring to customers so they can inspire confidence in your business and what you do.

 

In fact, you should consider sharing stats, data, product roadmaps, and updates as part of your marketing strategy, as this information can benefit your customers.

 

If your audience is largely made up of professionals or enterprise customers, also consider creating white papers or lengthy podcasts to offer more detailed information than a blog post could provide.

 

3. Position Yourself As A Thought Leader

 

Consumers with expertise spend a lot of time educating themselves on the latest news and current trends within the tech industry. Invest some time in putting together great resources that can educate and inform them.

 

Create valuable content and position yourself as a thought leader to build brand trust and awareness. Use blog content and social media to show that you understand the ins and outs of the industry.

 

Be as specific as possible in the knowledge you share and provide actionable advice to your customers. When people seek you out for information, they’ll begin to trust your company and your products.

 

Another effective way to position your business as a thought leader is to adopt a relevant domain extension like .tech that defines the nature of your business.

 

With get.tech domains, you can position yourself as a tech business right from the beginning.

Companies such as Wix, Buffer, and Instagram use this approach and focus on sharing detailed and specific information that their customer base needs.

 

4. Build Brand Trust

 

LinkedIn helps young people who aren’t in school or working to build their skill sets. It shows that the company is about more than just making money and this builds trust and loyalty for the brand. Through social media, you can also build brand trust with your audience.

 

According to social media tool ShortStack, nearly 40% of people who make purchases on social media consider themselves to be tech-savvy, so it’s particularly important for tech marketers to be on-point across their social platforms.

 

Some great ways to build trust on social media include encouraging user-generated content and participating in meaningful engagement. Make sure your social accounts look professional and are consistent with your branding and website design.

 

Another effective way to build trust is to use branded links in your posts. Because they feature a brand name along with a keyword in the slashtag, people will trust the links you share.

 

Followers know you wouldn’t associate your brand with spam or phishing sites and this increased trust can boost your CTR by up to 39%.

 

Tech companies have the added benefit of being able to share branded links with a .tech TLD. This will catch the attention of tech-savvy customers as they’ll know exactly what your company is about and that you specialize in tech.

 

It’s a great way of marketing to this audience and standing out in their newsfeeds.

 

5. Don’t Be Too Promotional

 

Customers are now wary of overly promotional businesses. It’s all about engagement; it is often more valuable to have a brief conversation with a customer through social media than to spam them with a million email advertisements.

 

Often customers are looking for cold, hard facts. Make your content interesting and engaging, but leave the superlatives and fluffy filler out of your marketing copy to create a relationship of trust. This will help position your company as a thought leader too.

 

Where possible, personalize your marketing to show that you care, and give your audience a host of avenues to contact you – email, phone, chatbots, etc.

 

Tech-savvy customers will know the difference between a generic message that is shared with every person that comes to your website and a personalized one that focuses on helping them.

 

Re-targeted adverts or chatbot messages triggered by customer actions or preferences is an excellent way to engage your audience while also paying attention to their interests and anticipating their needs.

 

6. Pay Attention To Your Reputation

 

73% of 1,000 consumers surveyed last year said positive customer reviews improve their trust in a business. Reputation management is a necessity as modern consumers can easily look up all the information they want on a company – and they often do. If you have negative reviews or ratings, they’ll find out.

 

A bad review causes a negative impression, but your response to it can be just as important. If you respond professionally and courteously to customer complaints, you can validate your organization even though the initial complaint is still there.

 

If you address a problem and are open about what went wrong, customers will feel safer about doing business with your company.

 

The chances are that if you have a good product, it will sell itself without the need for your marketing team to exaggerate its benefits. As a marketer, your job is to build trust and establish a reliable reputation.

 

This will mean there are no barriers to stop the tech-savvy signing up once they’ve done their research. Through educational content marketing, a great user experience, positive reviews, and social engagement, this can come easy.

 

 

Inbound Marketing Strategies

 

Above, we discussed various kinds of marketing techniques that you can use to grow your tech startup. However, the important part is how you plan those marketing techniques to ensure maximum returns.

 

After all, what’s the point of developing a path-breaking product or service if nobody knows about it? For startup marketing though, it’s critical to invest in inbound marketing strategies to ensure that every person you market too, is actually interested in your products or services.

 

Every startup invests huge sums of money into designing marketing strategies that aim to drive a lot of growth. But do they always give the desired return on the money spent? Not necessarily.

 

While traditional marketing methods attempt to persuade unfamiliar audiences, inbound marketing strategies focus on the value they can provide to people who are actively looking for similar products or solutions. 

 

Inbound marketing strategies are all about targeting people who are looking for your products or services or ones that are similar. Inbound marketing focuses on people finding you instead of you aggressively pursuing leads.

 

For instance, who do you think would be more likely to purchase a house? A. The person who received a text saying “Buy this house!” or B. The person who searched for and found the perfect house? Our money is on the latter.

 

That is inbound marketing, and it makes use of several marketing channels in the likes of content marketing, pull marketing, blogging, social media marketing, SEO and more. The idea is to create brand awareness and attract business.

 

Let’s have a look at how startups can plan and execute inbound marketing strategies. Here’s a list of 7 such inbound marketing strategies that every startup should invest in:

 

 

#1 SEO

 

If you’re a startup, people probably don’t know about you. And unless they find you, you aren’t going to get any business. People these days look up their buying needs on Google first.

 

With the help of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), you can optimize your site’s content to organically show up on search engine results. 

 

A great way to start with SEO is to identify and use the most relevant keywords for your business and start using it on your website, content and social media. Also, ensure that there are no broken links anywhere on your website. 

 

Gradually you can move to your website structure, code, link-building, etc. Also, make sure that you avoid some common SEO mistakes which might pull you back instead of pushing you forward.

 

#2 Content Marketing

 

Let’s say you pulled in visitors with the help of SEO. How are you going to make sure they stay on your site? To engage them and educate them more about your brand, you need to expose them to high-quality content.

 

Your content should be relevant and useful to them. Even if the content is not specifically about your product, you can educate your visitors about your industry or add value to their lives in context to what your product offers or what your startup represents.

 

Any relevant and informative content is enough for you to get in the good books of your audience. How-to’s, tips and tricks, expert interviews, etc. are great ways to churn out meaningful and SEO rich content.

 

If you can engage your audience with your content, you can probably get them to subscribe to your newsletter, and build an even more inclusive audience. The most effective form of content is blogging. Besides that, you can create guides, e-books, e-learning, case studies as well. 

 

Here are two ways to amplify the impact of content marketing:

 

  1. A) Write Compelling Headlines

 

You might have a huge audience and you might already be creating content for them. But to amplify the results from it you need a strong headline.

Just like you get attracted to a news piece with an attractive headline while reading the newspaper, readers get attracted to your content pieces with the best headlines.

Try including relevant keywords in your headlines as this will help to build SEO juice and to organically catch the attention of the reader. 

 

  1. B) Guest Blogging

 

Guest blogging is a symbiotic arrangement with publishers, where you can create quality content for their audience, and in return, that helps you to attract a new set of audience for your brand.

Since, guest blogging helps to build backlinks, relationships with key influencers, and authority in the space, it’s considered to be an effective content marketing hack that also serves as one of the best inbound marketing strategies.

 

#3 Landing Pages

 

Call-to-action (CTA) is an important aspect of inbound marketing strategies that leads prospects to a landing page. It could be in the form of a product page, fillable form, subscription page, etc.

 

Keep in mind the following while making your landing page:

  • ­Relevance – Your landing page needs to be relevant to the CTA
  • Focus – Determine the goal of your landing page, and keep the purpose singular
  • Design – Use images, videos or other design elements to improve your conversion rate. You can even run A/B tests to decide on the best designs.

 

#4 Influencer Marketing

 

Influencers are individuals on social media who enjoy a large following of people similar to your target audience. These individuals literally influence people in a particular industry.

 

Like we discussed above, Influencer Marketing is of utmost importance in tech startup marketing, as their recommendation matters to the audience. However, they play an even bigger role in Inbound Marketing, because if the influencers who belong to your industry, will have a following that also belongs to your industry, and hence be interested in your products or services.

 

Since they are experts, leaders, movers, and shakers, and hold a good reputation over the audience in a niche, their word is usually considered to be valuable and influential. With the advancement of social media, the level of influencer marketing through social media influencers has risen to great heights.

 

You simply need to partner with influencers in your industry, and get them to promote, review, or just talk about your products. In the tech startup space, influencers like MKBHD and unbox Therapy among many others, enjoy a barrage of genuine and dedicated followers who tend to take their advice when it comes to trying out new products. 

 

#5 Social Media

 

Social media has evolved from being a mere networking platform to becoming a marketer’s paradise. Since social media is coming together of businesses and people from across the globe, it’s one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies.

 

With the help of creative and entertaining social media posts, you can attract a completely untapped set of audiences who probably weren’t even aware of your startup. Social Media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter even allow you to use hashtags and SEO to reach the feeds of a vast audience.

 

The best part about social media is that you don’t need to promote your products or services at all. You can simply create quality content in the form of photos, videos, infographics, etc. that could engage with your audience, and educate and/or entertain them. 

 

If people like what they see on your social media platforms, they will start following you. Once people start following your accounts, they could soon turn into your permanent lead base provided you are satisfying them with your content and products.

 

#6 Email Newsletters

 

Many marketers debate that email marketing is a form of outbound strategy. However, that is completely dependent on how you are using it.

 

If you’re using your email newsletters to provide value to your already existing subscribers by increasing their loyalty and retention, and not for advertising your products, it can be listed amongst the other inbound marketing strategies.

 

Besides, since you might be using other inbound marketing strategies to get your audience to subscribe to your newsletters, this strategy is also complimenting and fulfilling the end-goal of other inbound marketing strategies.

 

You can also use an email newsletter tool to carry out email marketing effectively.

 

#7 Free Learning

 

If you can provide someone with any form of learning free of cost, don’t you think people are going to take it? It’s that simple. Provide free webinars or training sessions in exchange for their names and email ids.

 

You can also offer a free email course that doesn’t require a lot of research and is easy to execute. Besides creating a new email course, you could also use something that you had already created in the past.

 

For instance, an e-book on “SEO mistakes”, which didn’t work well, could be broken down into sections and delivered to your audience in different emails as a complete email course.

 

The idea is to add value and knowledge to your leads and customers. Because they will definitely appreciate it and take an interest in your startup and what it has to offer. Besides, you also have their email ids to make it a part of your email marketing.

 

Final Thoughts

 

The magic of these inbound marketing strategies is not how they work on an individual level, but how they synergize together to give an overall boost to your brand value and awareness. All these strategies complement each other and enhance the results that can be derived from each one.

 

 

How To Market On A Budget

 

We’ve covered various marketing techniques above which you can use to promote your tech startup. However, every activity requires funds.

 

For instance, even if you don’t go for paid ads, you might still have to spend money for content creation for social media. Similarly, you’ll need to hire a content writer for your tech startup blog, pay influencers for recommending your brand, spend on tools for your email marketing etc.

 

To save money, you can start by doing it yourself, and when your spending capacity increases, you can start hiring professionals for the same. You can also prioritize your techniques according to its spending requirements.

 

By hiring a professional you might be able to increase the quality, boost its returns but you will be required to spend for it. Hence, under this section we will be covering how to approach marketing when you are on a budget.

 

The startup world today is a highly competitive space. The only way your startup can break the mold and blossom into a formidable brand is to rely on effective startup marketing techniques.

 

Towards this, there are several low budget marketing strategies that you can adopt instead of burning a hole in your startup funds. Let’s look at 10 such ways to approach tech startup marketing on a budget:

 

#1 Content Marketing

 

Content Marketing is one of the most effective low budget marketing strategies, as it can be executed without any significant investment. Starting a tech blog is one of the simplest forms of content marketing. 

 

With the help of blogs, you can engage a lot of readers on the web, and inform them about your products or your industry. Besides that, you can use infographics, podcasts, photos, and videos to inform and entertain your audience.

 

However, once your budget increases slightly, hiring professional content writers for the same. With professional content, you will be able to attract a bigger audience, and eventually generate more revenue.

 

High-quality content not only helps spread brand awareness but also builds your brand’s reputation, drives traffic to your website, and enhances the effectiveness of your social media marketing strategies.

 

Content Creation

 

To leverage the power of social media marketing, you need to create high-quality content

 

  1. A) Create A Topic List

 

A great way to start creating content is to first create a list of topics based on your keywords. Typically, you should search for topics that are relevant and trending. 

 

Next, identify unique but relevant secondary keywords around your core keywords. You can think of topic ideas that revolve around each of your core keywords, even use them in the titles if necessary.

 

  1. B) Types of Content

 

Besides blog content, there are four other types of content that can help you reach and engage with your target audience.

  • eBook/Guides – Offer free eBooks in exchange for a name and email address. With their contact information, you can market your products to them
  • Webinar – A Webinar is one of the most interactive ways to generate leads, as it helps you capitalize on the advantages of live engagement with your audience.
  • Newsletter – Even today people go through their emails daily, and if your newsletters are informative, they could generate the lead that you need for your brand.
  • Video – There’s always a category of people who would always prefer watching a video than reading. So, make sure you create engaging videos to inform such people about your products and offers

 

  1. C) Guest Blogging

 

Guest blogging plays a great role in startup marketing. Guest posting on a popular blog could help you to build your reputation as a brand. You can also have an influential blogger to guest blog on your startup’s blog to drive some traffic.

  

#2 Referral Marketing

 

Referral marketing is a simple strategy where you get your customers to promote your products or services simply through word of mouth. Despite tech publication reviews or ads, a majority of people still trust personal recommendations over anything else when trying out new products.

 

By creating reward schemes for your existing customers or offering them a discount for their future purchases, you can encourage them to spread the word about your products or services and help you get new customers.

 

The best part about referral marketing is that it doesn’t cost much, and whatever little money you spend on it, you can easily get that back through new customers.

 

#3 Press Releases and News Features

 

People read the news daily, and if you have something newsworthy, most of the news outlets will happily report it for you. Press releases can be an inexpensive way to get your brand published in major publications if you can do the hard work of hunting down and emailing journalists.

 

Besides, if you want PR professionals to get your brand featured, you can find a lot of them for nominal prices as well. With proper planning, it can turn out to be one of the most effective low budget marketing strategies.

 

#4 Social Media

 

Social Media is not just a networking platform but a great avenue to promote your tech startup as well. LinkedIn is a business networking platform, but apart from that, you can also create your brand’s social media handle on other platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

You can create posts with pictures and videos about your products or services. You can even create entertaining posts related to your business or industry that can attract an audience.

An effective way to connect with relevant members of your audience is to start a tech YouTube channel.

 

Social Media Marketing is one of those low budget marketing strategies that can build an audience, create brand awareness, generate sales, and even help your business grow.

An audience that is interested in your content, could also be interested in your products and eventually turn into your customer base.

 

#5 SEO

 

If you’re a startup, you’ll need to ensure that your website and brand name show up in search results on search engines whenever someone searches about a product or service similar to yours. Only then will you be able to achieve the required level of brand awareness for your business. For that, you need to make your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) game strong.

 

By searching for and using the right keywords, you can get your website and your blogs to rank on SERPs (search engine results pages).  Ideally, you should identify a seed keyword and relevant long-tail keywords for better organic optimization. 

 

Not only can you use keywords in your blogs, but also in your social media posts, as social media in itself is a mini search engine. People look for products or services on their social media platforms, and even if they’re looking for content relevant to your business, using the right SEO techniques could show you up in their searches.

 

Just be sure to avoid making common SEO mistakes that most startups make as it could reduce the effect of your efforts.

 

#6 Email Marketing

 

Email Marketing is the process of sending emails to your potential customers to increase your sales. People spend at least a couple of hours reading their emails daily, regardless of where they are.

 

Using email for marketing is considered highly effective because it creates a reliable communication channel between your business and your customers. Email marketing is one of the most efficient low budget marketing strategies since there are multiple email newsletter tools available for free or minimal prices online.

  

#7 Influencer Marketing

 

Social media influencers have a large number of followers who tend to follow them. You can collaborate with relevant influencers to promote your product or service on their social media handles.

 

While most collaborations can be expensive, there are several low budget marketing strategies that can be implemented to make influencer marketing successful. You can gift your products to influencers in exchange for a post, offer discounts or codes or giveaways for your products to their followers.

 

Sometimes a positive review or even one supporting word from them is enough to attract an untapped customer base.

 

#8 PPC Ads

 

PPC or Pay Per Click ads are usually considered to be expensive as targeting high traffic keywords is costly. However, some platforms and niches are budget-friendly and affordable for startups.

 

For instance, Facebook and Instagram allow you to post certain ads for as little as $1. PPC ads can be clubbed along with other low budget marketing strategies to give great results.

 

#9 Personal Branding

 

Personal branding is similar to corporate branding, with the exception that it applies to you as an individual.

If you are the frontrunner of your startup, you can promote yourself and your expertise across your social media platforms and even on your blogs, to earn new followers and a separate source of traffic.

 

Since people tend to trust people more than corporations, you can use this powerful method to attract new leads or syndicate your content, without paying a dime.

 

#10 Forums and Groups

 

Social media groups and public forums offer a great opportunity for marketing. You can use your expertise to answer someone’s question on Quora or any other social media group specific to your business or industry.

 

You can also catch wind of any local event and use it to promote your business. Get involved with your communities, local neighborhood, and the broader industry, to turn it in your favor. 

 

Important Tip

 

When it comes to marketing, you might find yourself in a tough spot if your startup is new and if you are on a tight budget. But don’t cut down on marketing to save money.

 

Instead, use these creative and low budget marketing strategies which can not only grow your business but also create the required customer base for you to generate revenue from. 

 

  

Marketing Trends To Follow

 

We covered various tech startup marketing techniques, ways to approach them, how to blend them with each other, even how to execute marketing on a budget. Now, to make sure that every technique is well in place, we need to follow a few marketing trends.

 

There are a lot of startup challenges that every new company has to face. Having said that, there are important startup marketing trends that need to be considered.

 

Don’t feel overwhelmed by the complexities of marketing, as it may help to know you’re not alone. Life goes on and businesses must focus on developing better growth strategies that will help increase profitability and create balance.

 

We are here to help you with that. As such, we talked to a few startup owners and isolated a few startup marketing trends that can be helpful in this new and confusing year.

 

 

#1 Track KPIs

 

Each startup has its own Key Performance Indicators, but whatever they are, you must have them clearly defined. For instance, if you own or manage a tech startup with products available online (apps, sites, platforms, and so on) you should track the number of active users on a monthly and yearly basis.

 

On the other hand, a brick and mortar business needs to monitor the number of customers. However, customers and/or users don’t just show up at your doorstep – they need to be wooed via clever marketing strategies.

 

As such, you must find a way to keep track of the Customer Acquisition Cost, to make sure your marketing costs don’t overcome the results.

 

Rameez Ghayas Usmani from PureVPN told us “Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is the most crucial metric in the early stages of growing business. Customers are everything in business in order to make money, but you will need to invest resources into marketing to acquire them.”

 

#2 Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence Integration

 

Due to Artificial Intelligence algorithms and Business Intelligence platforms, marketers now have access to unprecedented amounts of data. However, with new regulations in place (to protect user sensitive information) it can be tricky to understand which data are safe to use and why.

 

This can be increasingly difficult for a startup looking to stand out from the crowd. Luckily, they can use various machine learning strategies to sort through viable data and gain insight into the market, their competitors, current performances, and the efficiency of their resource allocation.

 

According to a survey performed by Microsoft, businesses that decided to give AI a chance in 2019 already registered an improvement in productivity and performance.

 

AI and ML can be used to speed up routine and tedious tasks such as replying to emails or creating an automated newsletter system based on customers’ preferences and features. Of course, this is just an example as there are many aspects of business life that can be improved by new technologies.

 

#3 Niche Down

 

Denis Lunev, the Founder at DepositFix talked to us about niching down: “Niching down allows us to focus on narrowing down our focus, our product features, and our outreach, as well as creating content that is targeting a specific niche.”

 

Everyone involved in the business process knows the importance of niching down. In short, this means finding a niche you know and love, and building your business around it.

 

For instance, people who have experience in working with new technologies in the jewelry industry can build a consulting business focused on such customers.

 

The main advantage of choosing a niche and sticking to it is that it sets the startup apart and increases the chances of finding customers with specific needs.

 

#4 Quality Content Creation

 

Quality content is still the best way to put your startup on the map without investing a ton of money in paid ads from the start. In fact, when done right and geared towards the right audience, content creation can be the best strategy to boost sales.

 

Tonya Davis, the Marketing Manager at thoughtlab.com thinks that “the best strategy a startup can take towards marketing would be content creation. Given that startups generally don’t have the money to invest in paid advertising, they need to focus their resources on things that will yield the highest long-term gain. Content creation is a great way to help establish your business as an authority, not only within your industry but on Google as well.”

 

#5 Leverage More Channels

 

When we asked about startup marketing trends in 2020, Kelly J. Waffle, Head of Digital Strategy at Hinge told us to “explore considering new technology, leveraging more channels (video, webinars, chatbots, etc.), and diving deeper into metrics and analytics. Picture the impact that answering this question has on prospects and customers. It can dramatically change the way a website is designed and written. The answer can revamp the way and order that messages (emails, ebooks, white papers, videos, guides, etc.) are presented.”

 

And she is right. We live in an era where both businesses and individuals have access to a wide range of platforms. Whether you do it in writing, via videos, using images, or as a podcast, you can express your thoughts, ideas, preferences, and more.

 

The secret to success is to find the right combination of channels that will increase your audience and their commitment towards your content. This is one of the most promising marketing trends for startups this year.

 

#6 Incorporate Voice and Video

 

Does your site support video content or voice commands? According to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls, a modern mobile page, in 2020, should be prepared to accommodate new requirements from users.

 

She told us: “I started a global branding and marketing firm 18 years ago and the key strategy to incorporate into your plans is around video and voice. Mobile UX determines your ranking so with more people watching videos than TV now, adding video to your site and using the right keywords for video descriptions and headlines will ensure you do better in searches too. Also, websites must be optimized for voice search now. Voice user interface allows users to interact with websites through voice commands so it adds usability and functionality to your site making it accessible to all users including those with limitations and disabilities.”

 

 

So, if you truly want to stand out, it’s best to start with your web presence. By polishing your website, landing pages, or apps, you show openness towards innovation and care towards your customers’ needs.

 

Overall, this is a low-investment strategy that is set to break the marketing trends in 2020 and can bring lots of benefits for small and mid-sized companies.

 

Final Thoughts 

 

Startups are a clear depiction of the fact that a good idea is not enough to be successful. You also need to know how to implement it and how to find the people who will be interested in paying for it.

 

This is why every company (regardless of size) should have marketing specialists and strategies. It takes time, patience, and lots of practice to understand your product/service, the market (or niche), and build an audience.

 

Luckily, due to new technologies and the huge amount of data pouring in databases every day, startups and entrepreneurs now have a strong foundation in terms of building marketing strategies.

 

Still, there is no easy way to a highly-productive business. Even the marketing trends mentioned in this article must be adapted to your specific needs before they can undergo a test trial.

 

Some may provide amazing results, while others may not be a good fit for your startup. And, of course, there are other marketing trends to research and keep in mind.

 

Overall, a startup must be always ready to adapt and change based on the reaction received from the market or its audience. Luckily, due to the involvement of AI and ML in the business world, we now have real-time results, which can reduce costs and minimize the risk of failure.

 

 

Tech Startup Marketing Mistakes

 

What’s more important than correct marketing? Not executing incorrect marketing.

 

In the process of performing a lot of marketing strategies, most entrepreneurs end up making some common mistakes and end up doing more harm than good to their startups. And the interesting part is that, these mistakes are never too complex, but so basic, that you don’t even realize when you’re making them sometimes.

 

When it comes to online marketing mistakes, one could easily write a dozen books. This is especially true for tech startups and businesses who, despite having some brilliant products and solutions, fail to win at digital marketing.

 

The focus of this article is to highlight the most common online marketing mistakes that most tech businesses make and how to avoid them. Here are 5 online marketing mistakes you should avoid making:

 

 

1. Not Marketing Your Website

 

A critical mistake that most tech businesses make is to not market their website. The chances of people stumbling upon your website are bleak, given the fact that there are over a billion websites in cyberspace.

 

For your business to grow, you need new visitors, new leads, and new conversions.

To do this, you first need to actively promote your website to drive traffic to it. Otherwise, how will people know who you are or what you do?

 

Without traffic, your business website is dead weight in the digital world. Regardless of your business goals, proper marketing for your website is the key to success.

 

Solution: Start by understanding that your website’s marketing is essential to business success. Then, invest in an SEO strategy and actively publish new content on your website whilst actively engaging in social media.

 

2. Not Having A Clear Goal

 

A major part of online marketing involves setting clear and achievable goals. Simply knowing what to do or what to post or setting up various social media accounts won’t cut the mustard.

 

You need to have a clear goal in mind. You can’t simply wing it and hope for the best. Typically, your online marketing goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

 

If they aren’t, perhaps you should begin here. For your tech business, be realistic and set specific goals that you can achieve within 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year.

 

Setting meaningful online marketing goals primarily involves creating a plan for how you are going to achieve the desired results. This plan does not have to be too detailed, an outline of the steps involved to achieve them should suffice.

 

Solution: Define your goals and objectives beforehand and stick to them. Don’t set lofty goals or forget about the goals you set to achieve when you first started your online marketing campaign.

 

3. Not Having A Blog For Your Website

 

Your website needs a blog. Why? Because having a blog increases website traffic. In fact, business websites with blogs have 97% more inbound links. Not only does this help to increase traffic, but it also helps to build credibility and authority in your niche.

 

Not having a blog is one of the most common online marketing mistakes that tech businesses make. It’s surprising because blogging is a smart way to win at SEO and rank higher on search engines.

 

Simply search for relevant keywords and topics that resonate with what you do and what your audience is looking to consume. Setting up a blog is supremely easy and churning out new value-driven content is a great way to boost organic marketing for your business.

 

Solution: Start a simple blog on your website and post new content regularly. You don’t need to write long articles or publish every day. Your content can be simple and short 500-word articles will also do.

 

4. Not Measuring ROI

 

If you are actively indulging in online marketing, you should track how much money you are spending on your online marketing strategies.

 

What returns are you getting? Online marketing mistakes are filled with startups who blindly throw money they don’t have at digital marketing strategies without measuring the ROI.

 

In simple words, if you don’t measure the ROI, you won’t know if your previous strategy was successful or not and worse, you won’t know what will work in the future.

 

As a young tech business, an unsuccessful campaign will burn a serious hole in funds if you don’t measure the performance of your online marketing strategies and keep repeating mistakes.

 

Here’s what you need to measure and track:

  • Traffic
  • Leads
  • Click-through rates
  • Conversions

 

Solution: Calculate your ROI based on your online marketing goals by taking the financial gain from your marketing investment and subtracting it from the initial investment. Divide that number by the total investment you made.

 

5. Not Having An SEO Strategy

 

Most startup founders choose not to adopt SEO as part of their online marketing strategy. They tend to rely heavily on paid marketing and ads for success. However, ignoring SEO can be detrimental.

 

While paid ads are successful in the short term and do enough to build momentary traction, you need a solid SEO strategy in place in order to sustain in the long run. Consistently publishing rich content is the key to build a strong SEO strategy and rank higher on search engines.

 

Use tools such as SEMrush and Google Keyword Planner to search for relevant keywords. Search for topics that your customers are looking to learn about. Publish value-driven articles and invest in a mix of inbound marketing strategies.

 

Solution: Don’t rely only on paid avenues to promote your business online. Although SEO takes time, it is worth investing time in developing a content marketing strategy that will help you rank higher on search engines.

 

Final Thoughts

There are so many more online marketing mistakes that startups end up making, however, the ones listed in this article are critical and should be avoided at all costs. These online marketing mistakes can severely derail your branding endeavors and marketing aspirations.

 

Marketing Lessons To Learn From Successful Startups

 

Since we’ve already guided you about all techniques and even mistakes, you should be able to kickstart your tech startup marketing. On top of that, it would be even better to learn from some of the successful campaigns that startups have successfully executed.

 

The world of tech startups is a highly competitive space. To rise above the noise, your tech startup needs to invest in effective startup marketing techniques. Having said that, it’s wise to learn marketing lessons from big brands.

 

After all, brands that have spent vast sums of money on marketing have a lot of insight into how startups can go about building a brand and promoting themselves in a cost-effective manner.

 

This way, you have the privilege of learning from their mistakes and maximizing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Here are 10 marketing lessons from big brands that can help every startup hit the bull’s eye.

 

#1 Streamline Content Marketing 

 

Content creation is vital for marketing, and it demands a lot of time and energy. Good content can enhance your brand’s visibility, increase your audience and boost your sales and conversions.

 

People like to learn about your brand and your products through your content and one of the most important marketing lessons is to streamline your content creation.

 

Startups usually handle content creation themselves because of a lack of resources. This often leads to the creation of low-quality content, which doesn’t give them the desired results. By doing a haphazard job at content creation, startups fail to benefit from one of the most effective marketing strategies – content marketing.

 

Unless your business is about content creation, delegate this area of your business to content professionals, just like the big brands do. By streamlining such a major section of marketing, you can concentrate on expanding your businesses.

 

#2 Video Marketing

 

Starting a tech blog is one of the most important aspects of content marketing. However, there’s a completely different category of audience, that prefers watching a video over reading and you don’t want to miss out on such a large chunk of potential customers.

 

Many startups fail to take advantage of the fact that starting a tech YouTube channel and creating engaging videos can visually immerse their consumers, educate them about their products, and encourage them to buy from them. 

 

YouTube offers a lucrative opportunity for video marketing, and social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook also allow brands to build an audience through their videos. In fact, nearly 50% of consumers look for product related-videos before buying.

 

#3 Hashtag Campaign

 

Today, social media is highly influenced by hashtags and big brands craft custom hashtags like #ShotOniPhone to segregate their content and build a brand identity.

 

Your startup needs to do the same by coming up with a strong hashtag campaign. Hashtags can bring people together for a common cause, unite them around your brand, and increase your brand awareness.

 

#LikeAGirl hashtag campaign by Always, a hygiene brand made quite a mark. “Like a girl” as a phrase has been used in the past to portray girls as weak.

 

With this campaign, By turning the phrase into a hashtag of strength, Always appealed to young girls who weren’t influenced by society’s gender-based expectations. The hashtag went viral and boosted the brand value by engaging a large number of people.

 

#4 Community Marketing

 

There could be multiple reasons for a person to buy a product. But most of all, people buy something because they are just habituated to doing so. By creating a community, you can create a habit around your product.

 

Fitbit is a tech company that sells smart fitness watches that can measure pulse rate, calorie-burn, and other vital parameters of people who wear them while walking, running or climbing, etc.

 

While it looks like they only sell fitness watches, they’re actually building a digital community of fitness-loving people. They share health tips on their blogs as well.

 

Their app is like a small social media site where people can message or even challenge each other. They have been able to build a community that does a lot more than just buying their watches.

 

#5 Creativity

 

There are multiple marketing strategies that any startup can use by the book. But the question is whether that will give the desired results? One of the best marketing lessons is to deploy creative marketing techniques. 

 

To launch their latest Ultra HD TV, LG came up with this creative prank video which not only amazed the viewers but also showcased their product at its best.

 

Nestle set up musical benches in the Philippines to promote KitKat with the theme of taking a break and making friends.

 

#6 Giveaways

 

The goal of marketing is to sell more products and not give them away for free. But if you can find a way to sell a lot by just giving a little, isn’t that awesome?

 

Many marketers find giveaways to be a bad idea, but big brands like Google feel otherwise.

When Android KitKat was being launched, people could win a Google Nexus 7 tablet by completing a challenge by Kitkat. This campaign blew up and led to heavy promotion and awareness of the product.

 

#7 Contests

 

Contests are a great way of promoting your products, and it’s one of the most critical marketing lessons you can learn from big brands. With the development of technology, the availability of online tools, and the abundance of social media, hosting contests has become rather easy to execute.

 

By giving the right incentive, you can reach a huge audience, engage with them, and get them to promote your brand through contests.

 

For example, to promote Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel launched its own 10-year sweepstakes contest where fans could win trips to Disneyland or the Captain Marvel Set or tickets to the premiere and so on. It built a huge hype for the film and Marvel as a studio both.

 

#8 Influencer Marketing

 

Social media influencers have a massive fan following who are relevant to your brand. Not only does influencer marketing help in tapping a completely new audience but the conversion rate is also much higher in this case. That’s why it’s considered to be one of the most effective marketing lessons.

 

Tech brands tie up with influencers all the time. Popular tech influencers like MKBHD and Unbox Therapy make for influential promoters. Their reviews have a significant impact on purchase decisions.

 

#9 Use Content To Increase Visibility

 

It’s a known fact that your social media visibility is directly proportionate to the amount of content you post. Gary Vaynerchuk, an entrepreneurial expert, has built his audience by posting valuable and meaningful content every couple of hours.

 

He documented his journey, his conversations with other people, his conference speeches, and posted them. He posted content on YouTube and his other social media channels and built a huge audience for himself.

 

#10 Tell Your Product Story

 

Storytelling is a great way to build an emotional connection with your prospects and customers. Every great product or brand tells a story, and it is one of the main requirements of effective marketing.

 

For example, TOMS, a charitable merchandise brand, came up with their “one for one” slogan, where they donated a pair of shoes for every pair bought. Their story creates the impression that they are generous, and anyone who buys from them is also generous.

 

Storytelling is less popular amongst startups but is considered to be one of the very effective marketing lessons to be learned from big brands.

 

Final Thoughts

 

While some of these marketing lessons might come across as obvious, they are not given much attention. These marketing lessons come from business leaders and seasoned brands who have shaped their business to reach the top. By implementing these marketing lessons, you could be on your way to paving a path of success. Good luck!

 

 

In The End

 

By following the steps mentioned above, you surely create a strong startup brand and get your startup marketing strategy in motion.

 

But don’t expect to be completely successful at the first go. There’s always room for improvement. That’s where testing comes into play.

 

Test and Iterate

 

#1 Set Up Analytics Tool

 

An analytics tool gives you insights about your website and social media handles. There are various analytics tools out there, but it’s wise to start with the basic, Google Analytics.

 

#2 Measure Against Benchmarks

 

Use the metrics that you recorded earlier as a benchmark to measure your current performance. Compare your weekly and monthly performances to check if you are on track to meet the goals you’ve set.

 

Whenever you see significant growth or decline, look into it closely and try to find out what exactly is giving you such outputs, and then act on it.

 

#3 Brainstorm Creative New Ideas

 

Doing what you’ve already been doing is great. But what’s better is to come up with fresh ideas that might give you results that you haven’t achieved yet.

 

Many new ideas could likely fail, but the few innovative ones that would succeed will be the ones that make a real impact.

 

Best Practices

 

Apart from testing and analyzing your startup marketing techniques, there are a few tried and tested best practices that you must definitely follow.

 

Three best practices of startup marketing are:

 

#1 Sell The Solution

 

The best way to kickstart your startup marketing endeavors is to identify a problem, and how your product or service could provide a solution. That’s what will eventually matter to your potential customers.

 

Even though there could be a host of available products that could solve the problem, you need to promote the USP of your product and what makes your solution the perfect choice.

 

#2 Tell A Compelling Story

 

The journey of every idea is different, and if your potential customers can relate to your journey, that’s half the job done. Share your story of how you came up with the idea, your struggles, and your journey.

 

Startup marketing has a lot to do with building an authentic relationship with your customers.

 

#3 Use All Your Resources

 

Your team can serve as a great marketing tool too. Ask them to share your startup’s story with everyone they meet. Writing blog posts or making videos about them and creating a dedicated campaign about them. 

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

From crafting an integrated marketing campaign to making SEO mistakes to figuring out how to market to tech-savvy customers, your startup marketing journey is going to be riddled with interesting turns and twists.

 

Sometimes, even the best ideas fail due to a lack of customer awareness and media attention. However, if executed with diligence and focus, a well-prepared startup marketing strategy could make all the difference.

 

The strategy that worked for one startup might not work for you, and vice versa. Based on the nature of your business, your target audience, your campaign budgets, and your team’s ability, you need to find a sweet spot between what can be done and what should be done. 

 

                                    

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