11 Marketing Tips That Actually Work
It’s a tough economic climate, especially if you are launching or growing a start-up without an established customer base. As an entrepreneur who has launched and advised start-ups for decades, I thought it would be useful to share some proven, practical marketing tips that really work!
I often hear many start-up founders complain that marketing doesn’t necessarily deliver-tangible results and that agencies refuse to be accountable – or at least not quickly enough.
So, here are some strategies I have seen accelerate growth for companies first hand, from those dot com boom days I headed up campaigns at Sun Microsystems, to working with innovators like OpenDialog today.
1. Laser Focus On Your Audience
The first thing to remember is, the customer is king! Businesses need to know who exactly they are targeting so that they can focus their marketing efforts and gain better results.
By investing in thorough market research, you can gain the necessary insight to create a detailed customer persona. This will include age, gender, location and interests. The more detail the better as you can understand what makes them tick and how to attract them.
2. Customer Optimised Content
Content marketing is vital in creating a personality for your brand that establishes connections and relationships with your target audience.
It is important for marketers to try and put themselves in the shoes of the consumer to uncover what pain points need addressing. By gaining an understanding of what your audience is searching for and providing them with the right solutions, you are not only sharing valuable content but building loyalty. SEO-optimised content also increases your ranking, boosting the visibility of your brand on search engine results pages, making it easier for potential customers to find you.
3. Create Your Digital Presence Early
According to SproutSocial, 55% of customers learn about new brands through social media, and 68% agree that social media enables them to communicate and interact with brands . These statistics demonstrate just how important having an online presence is for your business, and this stretches beyond being on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, you need to send users to your company website.
Your website should be one of the first things you create and continue to optimise frequently with fresh SEO content if you want to increase your authority on Google, attract users and inform them about your product or service.
4. Raise Your Visibility
If your customers can’t find you, then how are they mean to know that you exist! There is a range of different ways you can increase your businesses visibility, but word-of-mouth is still one of the most powerful tools, with 20-50% purchases coming from referrals – Mckinsey . Creating great experiences for your customers is one of the best ways to encourage referrals as you will stand out in their mind, and people love to share their positive experiences. In addition, you can create referral opportunities through referral schemes with past customers, as well as investing in influencer marketing.
5. Share Short Form Videos
Video marketing has rapidly grown in popularity with the introduction of short form videos on TikTok and reels, so much so that around 73% of consumers say they prefer to watch short form videos to gain information about a business’s products .
Psychologist Robert Cialdini discussed how gamification can influence customer decisions. His studies showed that after completing an action, people were more likely to complete the following action. There are many ways businesses can use gamification to attract and retain customers:
- Loyalty programmes
- Quizzes and tasks
There have been examples of gamification across many industries. For example, Under Amour’s trivia app with Stephen Curry, Starbucks loyalty scheme reward app and Nike’s fitness app that encouraged NikeFuel users to share their fitness achievements by interacting with their product.
The most important thing to remember when applying gamification to your marketing, is to ensure that users are made clear of the attraction and that the rewards provided are sparse and genuine.
Collaborations with other businesses and influential people, are a great way to create awareness for your brand and bring new ideas to the content that you share with your audience; this is especially powerful when you are new business who gets the opportunity to collaborate with a more well-known brand. There are a few ways these collaborations can take place, for example guest posting, co-hosting podcasts, cross-promoting on social media and more!
8. Network And Build Relationships
If you are starting out, it’s important to try and get your brands name out there through networking and engaging with your target audience online. A great way to do this is through building relationships with credible influencers who play a significant part in the lives of your target audience. These influencers can then work closely with your brand, advertising your products and services on their platform.
9. Commit To Email
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 81% of B2B marketers state that email is their most-used content type . It is vital for start-ups to focus on building their audience database early with the relevant people, and to put together a strong email marketing strategy.
There are many different ways you can engage with your email database:
- Introducing new product lines
- Giveaways and competitions
- Gated content
10. The Power Of An Integrated Campaign
To be successful in your marketing efforts you need to know where your target audience is and devise a plan on how you can reach them. This means integrating your marketing across multiple channels and using a range of strategies, such as social media, email, paid search and SEO.
11. Agree KPIs And Measure Results
Measuring the success of your marketing campaign involves setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are specific to your business goals. Recording these metrics will help you understand how your campaign is performing and give you rich insight that can be used for future campaigns as well.
Your detailed marketing strategy will depend on your business, industry, audience, budget and pain points. Most of these tips are straightforward, and you might find yourself gravitating to a few that you can implement immediately.
It is important to remember that the fundamental point of marketing is to think outside of the box, and focus on consistency, valuable content and relevant channels.
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