In recent years, the startup ecosystem has truly blossomed. This rise has been driven by factors like ready availability of funds, evolution of technology, fledging domestic markets and reinforcement of different business ideas.
The year 2015 saw extreme highs and considerable lows across startup hubs around the world. While there was a surge in the US market, startups also saw a rise in new markets like UK and South east Asia. Moreover, the Indian startup market is buzzing and revolutionizing the startup market globally.
The industrial challenges
Yes, according to the markets trends, it is a great time to invest on your startup business especially in the growing economies. However, there are greater challenges in this industry and the trick is to anticipate them beforehand and take steps accordingly.
Advertising and marketing has always been an integral part of business success. The sector of advertising technology is an exciting industry that has a lot to offer for startups.
With potential success in this industry, comes a set of hovering challenges that startups need to overcome. Apart from arranging the finances and implementation of the idea, one big challenge is to establish the product in the market.
In the startup industry the biggest challenge is the competition. With an estimated 50 million startups opening every day, there exists a fierce pressure for existence in this sector. No matter how unique your product is, to stand out in this market, it is necessary to have a well-chalked out marketing plan.
The low-cost ways of marketing
So, when you design a marketing plan for your business, it’s important to focus on efficient
low-cost ways to do it. With paid marketing only, sustaining in the market can be quite a
challenge. Moreover, for startups that are already in a money-crunch position, building a foundation by leveraging non-paid marketing strategies can be highly advantageous.
In the startup cycle, one of he hardest things to do is to get early user transaction, especially without the help of a PR agency or paid advertising means. However, there are tried and efficient ways of promoting a start up without paid means.
Your start up is likely to have a website already, if not read “5 Must Know Reasons Why Your Start-Up Needs A Website Now” and get it done. A website is an absolute must for any start up and is the most effective way of promotion.
Apart from your website, here are 5 easy ways of promoting a startup.
#1. Listing in Startup Business Directories
Proper branding and discovery is a very important process for any startup. If this process is done properly, it will help you discover the customer pool and create a buzz around your product.
One of the most effective ways of promotion is to get featured or listed in a number of listing directories for startups. There are a number of benefits of listing your start up in such directories:
- Increased page rank
- Better SERP placement
- Increase in relevant traffic to the website
- Greater awareness for a newly launched website
- Ability to submit blogs and post reviews for a newly launched website
As discussed there are more than seventy platforms or startup directories where you can list your startup website to get traffic, acquire feedback and build new customers. To get more product validation and engage more of your target customers, its advised to list your startup in as many review sites as possible.
Some of the top platforms to promote your startup are Hacker News, Product Hunt, Betalist, Index.co, Reddit-Side Projects, Reddit-Entrepreneur, Angellist, Designer News, Erli Bird and SignUpFirst among others.
#2. Online forums
Forums again are a great marketing tool that help to promote a startup within a niche group. They can generate great traffic, but then again many simply do not use them effectively and often are on the border line of being spam. Therefore, an effective link for promoting a startup should focus on quality, generate interest and provide valuable information.
For anyone who operates over the internet, forums are a very important source of information on a galaxy of topics. Most importantly, through forums you can exchange views and participate in discussions that can help you in promoting your product and acquire new knowledge.
Importance of forum are –
- Spreads Awareness of a website
- Helps to boost web traffic
- Promotion of services and product
Some forums that you can participate in are Young Entrepreneur, Retire At 21, Business Advice Forum among others. There are also mobile apps that you can install like Small Business Forum App, OPEN Forum
and others, through which business owners can discuss their unique challenges with their peers and look for effective solutions.
#3. Cross Promotion
The concept of cross promotion involves the act of promoting your business or service through a related service or product. Such promotion happens every time a customer searches or buys a product or service similar or related to yours.
Such promotion may happen in a variety of ways like joint marketing arrangements, joint endorsement for an event or newsletter, suggestion during buying process, discounted offers, and referral arrangements among other ways. The image below shows the different cross promotion strategies used in internet marketing.
#4. Press Release
In the world of start ups, feeling invisible is not very tough. However, creating a buzz in the right places by pitching your story can be a good way of giving your business the right kind of push. One of the effective ways is to send or publish your company’s press release on websites that specialize in start up companies or products
Make sure that your press releases are well-researched pieces with enough references and images to attract the audience. Moreover, it’s important to publish these pieces in websites that are authentic and have a high number of visitors. Example of some good websites for publicity of a start up are –
#5. Social Media Promotion
Most of you are well aware of the nuances of social media but often the trick lies in using it to the fullest and most effectively. To get instant success it’s important for you and your team to implement an extremely attractive, creative and effective marketing strategy for active promotion of your product in the market.
The benefits of social media promotions are many. It helps in brand awareness, legitimates the brand, gives audience insights, improves brand loyalty and most importantly contributes to a better sales figure.
To harness the power of social media to the fullest and have an effective marketing strategy, here are the steps that a startup should follow –
- Select the right social media network – Developing an effective social media campaign can be time-consuming, but it’s important to identify the appropriate media that suits your company the best, to maximize the efforts.
- Video marketing – Video embedded to your profile attracts more followers and is a tried and tested way of promotion through social media.
- Vertical marketing – Blogs in the form of informative posts on social media, is as an excellent way of attracting prospective buyers to a website.
#6. Content Marketing
For good promotion of your business, it’s important to establish your brand as an expert in the matter. Therefore, it’s important to identify platforms where customers interested in the information you are providing, are available. By offering relevant information on these platforms through added content on your business niche, you can promote your brand.
Good relevant content on the subject aromatically enhances the authenticity of the brand. Moreover, by publishing well-researched, good content in relevance to your business on good publishing platforms, you can give better exposure to your start up.
A well planned content marketing strategy is an integral part in the promotion of a startup.
Let the experts do the endorsement
Promoting a start up over the internet is one of the toughest jobs at hand. Every day the ratio of new startups operating is equal to the number closing down their operations. Therefore, to continue in this race and build a position in the online market, work out a distinct online marketing plan for your business.
Try to understand the needs for your business, visualize the way you want to reach your target audience and research the above given ways of marketing. Hope the above ideas help optimize your marketing strategies.