Startup Marketing Basics
By now, we know that marketing is just as important as other areas in business. More so if you’re a startup. You need to learn the basics of startup marketing to get a leg up in a competitive market.
When it comes to marketing, startups are one of a kind. Whether it’s FinTech or a SaaS, they are always resolute in their pursuit for unprecedented growth.
If you’re operating a startup, there’s no going around marketing. It’s the best way to attract customers, stay on top of the competition, and grow your business. You may offer the best products or services, but your startup can fail without a well-planned startup marketing strategy in place.
In today’s guide, we’ll discuss the steps to effectively promote your startup. From crafting and implementing a marketing plan to engaging with your audience, you’ll increase your chances of building brand awareness and sales lead for your business.
6 Startup Marketing Strategies
Conduct Market Research
To promote your startup successfully, you need an in-depth understanding of your customers—who they are, their needs, and their buying journey. Market research brings all these data front and center.
Additionally, businesses use them as a tool to:
- Pinpoint how existing and potential customers think about your brand
- Identify any gaps in customer expectations
- Build a better product
- Enhance user experience
- Increase conversion rate
Without market research, you won’t have any valuable insights into your customers. Of course, you might already have an idea about them. However, you need to thoroughly know them to earn their trust and loyalty.
There are different ways to conduct market research activities. Four of the most common are surveys, face-to-face interviews, focus groups, and customer observation sessions.
Set Marketing Goals
Startup growth doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s a result of hard work and commitment to reaching your marketing goals. Just as you wouldn’t run a 40 KM marathon without a training plan, launching a startup works only when you have strategic goals.
To create your startup marketing goals, ask yourself these questions:
- What goals do I want to achieve in the first year?
- What is my vision for the company in the future?
Depending on how you define success, your goals may be different from others. For most young startups, their goals may be to increase brand awareness and get more customers. Whatever your goals are, make sure that it makes the most sense to you and one that you can live with.
More importantly, having goals allows for some clarity and direction for your marketing plan. You understand why you do the things you do and open doors to infinite possibilities in business.
Create a website
Nowadays, people can find businesses through search engines. This is why your startup needs to have a digital presence. First, create a website to help potential customers find your business. It will take some time to learn it, especially if it’s your first time. But, it’s all going to be worthwhile. It will be the main platform where your customers can connect with your brand.
Once your website is up and running, it’s time to focus on content marketing. It’s a marketing strategy that involves creating and sharing online content such as blogs, articles, podcasts, and videos. Uploading informative content is not meant to explicitly sell a product. In contrast, it’s intended to create interest in the products after consuming the content.
On your website, include a blog menu where it houses all your informative content. For example, if you have a vape shop, you can create articles about the vaping culture or recommend the best vaping products (E-cigarettes, E-hookah, vape pens, etc.). Don’t forget to include a call-to-action inside the content. If the readers find the content useful, you can lead them to a link that points back to your site or landing page.
Optimize digital presence
When it comes to spreading the word out, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) proves to be a cost-effective startup marketing technique. It’s a process of increasing your site’s traffic through organic search results.
So, the main goal of SEO marketing is to boost your company’s online presence on search engines like Google. The idea here is to optimize your web pages and content with keywords. These are search terms that people use to search for products or services.
As a startup, the basic SEO elements you should focus on are:
- High-quality content
- Meta Descriptions
- Title tags
- Links (on and off-page)
Now, here’s the kicker. Unlike paid search ads, SEO takes a long time to see some good results. This doesn’t mean SEO tactics don’t work. They do, but it’s an ongoing process.
Hence, it may not generate leads right away, but it strengthens the foundation for your online visibility in the years to come. The more you optimize your website, the more chances of finding and acquiring leads in the long run.
Promote through Social Media
Statistics reveal that over 3.6 million people are using social media globally. In 2025, this will continue to increase to roughly 4.41 million. It’s an impressive number that you shouldn’t ignore.
Additionally, these social media networks are a great tool to follow consumer activities and listen to current trends. Marketers are better informed on people’s likes and interests on social media. In this way, you can devise a better marketing plan that attracts potential customers to your platform.
With social media marketing, startup owners can pay for exposure and traffic. For example, Pinterest allows businesses to advertise on their platform through Promoted Pins. You can tweak this ad based on location, demographics, and devices to target customers. You can also set the ad duration and daily budget, depending on your ad goals.
To win at social media marketing, you need more than just setting up a profile. Give them a reason to stay and follow you by regularly posting relevant and engaging posts to your audience.
Incorporate a Referral Program
In the past few years, referral marketing has been all the rage. Referral-based marketing is a tactic to grow a business through recommendations or word-of-mouth from existing customers to their network.
Since people are social beings by default, it’s only natural for us to trust our family members, friends, and colleagues; even more than that of an independent reviewer or the SEO results.
It can take different forms, but the gist is to gather your loudest fans to spread the word about your business. In essence, referral marketing doesn’t treat them as fans but rather as brand ambassadors.
The goal behind a referral program is to leverage those who already use and love your products. Then, ask them to advocate for you through different means. This includes testimonials, case studies, or reviews. To do this, you can offer them free trials, discounts or test the product prototype to a select group of customers.
A good example would be to invite food bloggers to sample your new dishes for free. They will then write a review about these dishes and publish the review to their blog sites. Don’t forget to feature these reviews on your website or social media profiles. This helps to boost authenticity and trust among your patrons.
Moreover, create a community around your company. It’s a place where brand advocates can identify the values you stand for. That said, it’s easier for them to share your story with others, even without a referral program. With the right tools and messaging, you can use it as part of your overall startup marketing strategy.
Startup Marketing: From Ideas to Implementation
Now that you know the different startup marketing strategies, it’s time to take action. As you can see, there are various paths to take to achieve your goals. The key here is to target what works. The strategies you choose should be cost-effective and bring a positive impact on your startup.
Along with that, make sure to track your performance to evaluate which of these steps need more resources. Whatever you do, your efforts will largely depend on your marketing plan and goals.
If you need a little reinforcement to move your marketing strategy to the next level, our team at Full Scale is here for you. We are an offshore software outsourcing venture in Kansas City.
We aim to help our startup clients skyrocket their business growth. Our team of marketing experts, graphic designers, software developers, and project managers are on standby, ready to work on your software project.
Message us to get your FREE consultation today.