Implementing a Marketing Strategy for Your Startup
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We recently published a piece about creating a marketing strategy for your startup, but this is just as important: implementing it. Plans are nothing without action, which is why we’re giving you an inside look at our process so you can take the marketing plan you’ve created and make it happen. Even better? Many of these practical tips can be implemented this week and require very little financial backing.
Enhance Your Messaging with Creative Content
Without content, your messaging will remain on your whiteboard, not on your website or social media accounts. One of the best things about launching a company today is the low barrier to entry for design, photo, and video. While this doesn’t replace hiring a designer, photographer, and videographer at times, these tools can help you create engaging and unique content quickly at a low cost.
- Canva (design)
- Legend (turn photos into videos)
- Boomerang (mini videos)
- WordSwag (text over photo)
- Adobe Spark (graphics, web pages, and videos)
If you’ve developed a product, we highly recommend purchasing a white box for high quality product photos without the photo studio. This model from Amazon includes the lights, and you can shoot from the side or above, perfect for product shots and lifestyle flat lays, respectively.
Because these photos and Boomerangs don’t take long, it’s possible to get a month’s worth of content in one session. Don’t let the lack of a camera stop you, either! An iPhone 8 or X has a quality camera that takes photos you can easily use for social media.
Don’t forget Instagram Stories, either. Set a goal of at least one story every day and categorize them using Highlights. They can be fun behind-the-scenes content at the office, product spotlights, tips and tricks, or lifestyle and pop culture-related photos or videos.
Make sure you’re using the location and hashtag features to help maximize the number of people Seeing your Stories, too.
Create a Content Mix Based on Your Priorities
Once you’ve set your priorities, whether it’s building a lifestyle brand on Instagram or an informational push on your website, it’s time to determine your content mix. If you’re focused on social media, you’ll want to invest in visuals. This means creating a color palette based on product packaging and brand identity and using this palette to create a cohesive Instagram presence.
If you’re focusing on informational and long-form content, build out a blogging strategy based on your niche. Focus on a piece of pillar content, then create supporting pieces of content that provide additional value for your customers. Then, link to the piece of pillar content in each supporting piece. This hub and spoke model (very briefly explained) can help increase your organic search results while educating the consumer.
Email marketing provides an additional support, and automation maximizes not only the results, but also your time. Create a sequence with a welcome email, then three to four follow up emails over the course of the next two months that keep providing value.
This can include sales, coupons, your brand story, and a “personal” note. Whatever you choose to include, ensure it’s something the customer wants to receive. (You can determine this through open rates, click rates, and unsubscribe rates.)
You can take this further by creating a custom audience on Facebook with your email list. This retargeting helps reach them on another platform to keep your product top of mind.
Use Customer-Generated Content
If you’ve already launched your product, use customer-generated content on your own social media profiles. This is particularly helpful for consumer-packaged goods startups, because it’s a physical product that customers can hold and photograph.
Some photos won’t be high-quality, but some will be a great addition for your daily Instagram Story. Always ask if you can share, then tag them. This does more than fill your social media quota for the day, though. It engages with your followers and builds a connection, which can create a longtime customer.
User-generated content can also be used in blog posts and emails, so it’s a helpful piece of your content strategy, regardless of priority.
Marketing your startup doesn’t need to be complicated, and small budgets don’t need to be a determining factor. Focus on your priorities, create content to back it up, and build connections with your customers. Once you do this, your team will be just about unstoppable.
Ready to invest in a marketing strategy but still not sure if you know the best content mix for your startup? Give us a call at (415) 640-8009 to talk through your needs.
By Marc Apple
Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.
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