As a startup business, exploring all avenues of increasing exposure is highly recommended. That being said, properly testing each channel on their effectiveness is necessary as sometimes it just may not be right for your business. A good example of this is the use of social media. While it is highly touted as a great way to generate sales, the reality is a large number of businesses are not using it properly. Some businesses by their very nature require a social media presence but for the majority of us, it doesn’t really work or at least doesn’t warrant the amount of time necessary when it could be better spent on other channels. We are not saying to totally ignore it since a basic social media presence is advisable for all businesses, but as a startup, channeling the limited budget you have to appropriate channels would be better use of resources. What exactly are these other options you ask? Read on for a few that should make a difference.
Before there was social media, there was direct marketing. One of the oldest methods of effective marketing, done properly, it still continues to bring in sales. Social media has taken the same strategy and just applied it to the current marketing landscape. As a startup, purchasing mailing lists and sending mail, flyers or other forms of direct response marketing materials is a way a startup can generate interest in their product or service. Of course, using the current customer base will lead to higher conversions using this method. Either way, reaching out to your potential or current audience with an appropriate offer is a good use of time.
Here is a novel idea. Actually create a great product or service that does what it’s supposed to do and provide excellent customer service. This should be the goal of any business and the pinnacle to be reached for any startup. Normally, when this is done properly, people will naturally refer others to you. This is the basis of referral marketing and another tried and true tactic of every good marketer. Social media in this case actually works in tandem with this strategy. So one can take advantage of social media, while not actively pursuing it. Now that is certainly smart. Even better is when a startup creates incentives revolving around this strategy. It will just leverage your efforts even more.
While the allure of social media marketing makes it seem free, the reality is lots of time is needed to make it work effectively. Paid advertising on the other hand can be implemented in less than an hour on some platforms, with results happening just as fast. This is the beauty of paid advertising. Exploring all available channels where a startup would do best is how best to take advantage of this. One should not be limited to just online resources either, since for example a local business can have great success using local papers, radio ads and billboard advertising. Testing each one where budget allows will be how to isolate what is working best and then scale the winners into amazing results.
Where social media cannot compete is face to face marketing. While social media can extend your reach, it still is not the same as seeing and feeling something in person. Rent a space at the appropriate industry trade show and demonstrate your product or service. By connecting with your customers and building relationships with them as well as other business owners, the exposure at these events is priceless.
While all the methods already discussed are great, they would be for naught without the development of a fast loading and intuitive website. Why waste all that effort marketing when your website doesn’t convert the visitors that come by? This is when concentrating on how your visitors interact with your website and improving wherever possible is highly important. Develop content that is intriguing and interesting enough to share. This will bring them back for more and eventually lead to sales.
As one can see, there are many ways to grow a startup business. By constantly testing as many channels as possible and leveraging the best ones, you will surely succeed.