Young companies should have only one thing on their mind: growth. Growth is almost always achieved by getting new customers, and new customers are almost always achieved by reasonable, effective marketing. That’s why marketing is such an essential thing for startups to nail. When looking for funding at any stage, a strong customer base will make the whole process infinitely easier. Here are some strategies your company needs to be considering getting customers at that early stage.
PR can be much cheaper than advertising and is perfect for establishing credibility and getting new potential customers to hear from you. Good PR needs to be creative and involve exploiting the brand niche that you occupy (if you haven’t identified your niche and done solid branding work do so before you do any marketing at all, it’s essential). Take the case of Patrick Finnegan. He was a 17-year-old who wanted to do venture capitalism in New York City, so he went to the PR and marketing company Big Machine Agency. They realized that they could position him as the business face of GEN Z, somebody who was young enough to know about all the youth trends that many consumer companies want to hop on. After spinning this, they paired him up with a celebrity photographer to build a story for him that caught attention in lifestyle and finance blogs.
This is at the other end of the spectrum to an exciting PR campaign, but email marketing is still essential because it’s still so effective. It allows you to boost customer loyalty and attract customers to your startup for almost no money at all, especially if you’re a good writer. You can gather email addresses from people who visit your website by offering incentives or by directly asking potential customers you meet for their emails. It’s essential to offer more than just free advertising – offer free guides, infographics, content – whatever you think will bring potential or existing customers value. You should also make it easy to unsubscribe, as that way, only those who are genuinely interested in your niche will attend to the emails, becoming more loyal customers, and focusing your marketing efforts.
Start a blog. If you are dealing with customers and 99% of businesses (unless you’re sure they won’t find you online), you need to start a blog or offer some form of content regularly. Bill Gates said it in the 90s – content is king. It’s the reason that most people use the internet if not to look for a solution to a problem. Make sure that those interested in your niche have access to both by making your site as valuable as possible to them. Regularly posting fresh, engaging, and original content is essential for modern SEO, too, as Google is changing its algorithms frequently with the end-goal of delivering valuable content to customers. That means relying on keywords and SEO ‘tricks won’t last you very long and will have an opportunity cost as instead of bothering with those, you could be attracting real readers with good content.