Business Startups – start with sound strategy
People are inundated by brands fighting for their attention; how can you make your startup cut through all the clutter? Marketing your startup in today’s competitive business economy isn’t easy, but there are some steps you can take to make more successful. Before you jump right to execution, make sure of two key things. First, all of your marketing strategies should identify and build upon what makes your business unique — keep them in mind as you develop tactics. Second, identify your goals: do you want to gain social followers, convert prospective customers into purchasing customers, or increase brand awareness? Knowing your goals will lead you to choose the best tactics.
Focus on Your Target Customer When you start marketing your business, it’s common to want to reach out to everyone at once. But, stay focused on reaching your target customers – those who are most likely to help establish and grow your business. Instead of trying to attract any potential customer, zero in on a target that will help you reach your short-term goals – it could be early adopters, who will buy your products quickly — and an audience you know how to reach. Staying focused will help you reach your target customer more efficiently, and better use your limited resources.
Business Startups – tactics
Only once you have defined your strategy – you can effectively start on the tactics. Lets look a logical order to tactics:
- Naming – maybe this is already done. Hopefully, you gave strong consideration to brand implications, and remember you will want your domain to be as close to business name.com as possible, so you might want to look at availability as you select your name.
- Logo design – time to create the face of your brand, invest some time and money – this is a big deal.
- Get a Domain – many new business owners rush to Go Daddy and grab a domain. If you’re going to choose a web hosting service – they offer the same domain registration (sometimes free for first year) and you manage from same account.
- Web Hosting – first figure out what sort of website platform is best for your business – some site builders include hosting, some web designers offer hosting as part of package, if you choose WordPress as your platform (there are hosting services that specialize).
- Website Platform – decide what will best serve your business today and well into future. There are diy site builders, WordPress – you can hire a web designer for entire project or just to help. There’s a lot to consider here – so do your homework and look for a solution that can grow with your business.
- Business Cards – once you have your logo, website URL, and email address (probably with hosting), and phone numbers – you’re ready to get these designed and printed.
- Website Design – once you have decided your platform (and how your going to handle the design) you can get your content up and ready for launch. Remember your website can be continually updated and refined frequently (especially if you use a content management system – CMS like WordPress), unlike printed materials.
- Social Media – if you plan to be active in the different social media – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and others you want to create your professional profile pages to reflect brand identity and share relevant information about your business.
Note: the order isn’t set in stone, some can happen concurrently, especially if you choose to work with one designer.
Develop Branded Social Content
More of a long-term strategy, but developing branded content is a great way to market your startup. Maybe it’s just you – or you’re working with a very small team and you just don’t have the time to create custom content, then wait a a couple months until you are more established. Branded content is a great way to align your company with your industry, and if you have something valuable to add to the dialogue you can immediately establish yourself as an expert. Remember that branded content should be non-promotional — don’t just tell people how great your company’s services are; instead, reflect on issues that your industry is facing with thoughtful commentary and analysis.
Hopefully this process will be exciting for you and lead to long term success for your business.