Stand Out From The Silicon Valley Startup Crowd
The Bay Area startup world is hyper-competitive; it’s so intense that HBO created a satirical show based on the industry (“Silicon Valley,” which is totally worth watching). For startups to get noticed, it goes beyond having a great product. Publicity, marketing, and buzz are all integral for a successful startup. Besides generating sales, this helps influence investors and the long-term projection of your startup.
So how can you stand apart when Silicon Valley is filled with wall-to-wall startups, each with the claim of “The Next Big Thing”? Let’s look at three different paths to marketing and publicity — and how they’ll help you.
Startup Marketing Strategy
Strategy may seem like a fairly all-encompassing word, but it’s also the foundation of your marketing. Without a strategy, there’s no true path forward. For Bay Area startups, it’s even more critical because of limited resources. If you’re a startup with a handful of heads, all wearing multiple hats, your resources need to focus their efforts and minimize wasted time. A startup marketing strategy, from inbound to social media, ensures that everyone is working towards the same goal with the same ideas and messages.
How It Helps: Gets everyone on the same page, defines goals and values, provides a plan ahead with milestones and budgets.
Content marketing is a subset of inbound marketing, which basically uses the philosophy of releasing value-added content to get people to find you. Content marketing is particularly effective for the startup industry because of several things:
- It builds a customer base by establishing you as a subject matter expert.
- It only costs time; Google will naturally index content from trusted providers. All you have to do is target appropriate keywords.
- It propagates forward by providing fodder for social media, press releases, and other distribution paths.
To build relationships and generate buzz, content marketing is one of the most valuable resources a startup could use. Traditional advertising methods may work well for real estate and brick-and-mortar, but startups need buzz more than wide exposure, and that’s the true value of content marketing.
How It Helps: Gains traction with a wide audience through a minimal-risk marketing method.
Nearly every business has a social media platform these days, but this is particularly key to startup marketing in Silicon Valley. Social media allows your business to make contacts, recruit beta testers and talent, engage audiences, and build buzz. Social media creates immediate engagement that builds and builds over the long haul. In order to properly execute that, you’ll need to know which platform is preferred by your target audience, along with understanding how to best connect with them. Content, frequency, and calls to action are all dependent on your audience and your strategy. However you approach it, the goal is the same: engage, engage, engage, and encourage them to spread the word from the ground up.
How It Helps: Create grassroots buzz and generate long-term relationships/loyalty through engagement.
Bringing It All Together
These items are the foundation of a sound marketing strategy, but they need to be used together thoughtfully — they won’t be successful with a piecemeal attempt. Remember, Silicon Valley startups are battling both the practical marketplace and each other for exposure and publicity. Get a head start on your competitors by thinking about a smart path forward that utilizes planning, execution, and technology together.
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