Start-up companies are seemingly everywhere now, thanks to the proliferation of the internet and the ingenuity of entrepreneurs across the country, especially those who have been stuck inside for the last several months. Although there are many wonderful intentions by most who start up a new business, these attempts are not always successful.
The key to a successful business, including a start-up business, is mastering the art and process of great marketing. If you’ve just started a business or plan to in the future, follow these tips and techniques to perfect your marketing and get a leg up on the competition.
- Commit to enhancing your brand and helping your customers
- Know what budget you have and set milestones
- Utilize local PR to get your businesses’ name into local minds
Your Brand Is Essential
Branding is simply the way your customers and the larger public perceives your company or business. Many hear the word “branding” and scoff, but it’s critically important to maintain a brand which connects to customers’ needs and is seen as knowledgeable and trustworthy. These three points combine to create a brand which customers can trust and turn to for their needs.
Your company will have many “touch points” with customers at different parts of the communication process, and you must make these positive and memorable to build a truly authentic brand. In addition, you should start a blog and establish other resource to build credibility for your company and its reputation.
Focus On Customers
Many start-up businesses make the mistake of focusing so intently on their products or services that they ignore their customers entirely. While a company should split attention between its offerings and its customer base, the former is easier ignored than the latter. Customers are the lifeblood of a business; they’re critically important at all times and they’re needs should be met in a timely and efficient manner which allows for feedback and input.
Your business should know its customer base backwards, sideways, and forwards, catering to their needs and developing your brand to meet their expectations and standards. Above all, your company’s focus must remain on your customers and what they need to do business with you.
Build A Budget And Commit
Your marketing strategy, no matter how small or modest, will not be free. You must have funds to build a proper marketing plan and strategy and commit those funds to the long-term goals of the marketing plan. Marketing costs both time and resources, so be sure you can commit both of these to your plan, while being self-sufficient and taking care of components yourself that fall into your personal wheelhouse.
In other words, use the skills you have to do things for yourself in terms of your resource allocation. This self-sufficient approach will be tougher, but it will also save you time and money in the long run. Don’t’ let short-term success or failure cloud the overall picture of where you want to take your brand over the course of a few years. Make a plan and stick to it.
Set Some Core Metrics
In terms of sticking to a plan, there are some essential metrics you should set to ensure your brand is trending in the right direction and at the right pace. Choose metrics that chart true growth and can be improved and acted upon. Measure new clients and additional revenue against what you’re spending, and always be brainstorming to improve these metrics while keeping your cost basis manageable and fully under your control.
Keep these measurements specific as well; if you’re forecasting an increasing in customers who will be using your service, make the number of customers specific, and give yourself a timetable to add them. Always be tracking your success metrics and thinking about how to improve the efficiency of your company. Measure everything you can but also keep your eye on the big picture, looking toward future success and variables.
Establish A Marketing Plan
Great content associated with your brand is one of the most important components in a successful marketing strategy today. Blogs and other forms of written communication help you establish your brand as knowledgeable, and also help to build trust between you and your customer base. Blogs especially are a powerful tool now, as customers are always looking to connect to their favorite brands and use blogs as a tool for that connection.
Publishing a top tier blog will both inform your customers and build intimacy between you and them, establishing trust and making communication easier and more impactful. Blogs should be concise and touch on topics your customers have an interest in or need answers on.
Never Doubt The Power Of PR
Your content and strategy are not the only things which will define your business in the eyes of your customers and the outer general public. Professional PR can provide massive benefits to your business. Building up successful and symbiotic relationships with the press will help your company garner favorable media attention and increase your visibility.
Even small news pieces are great for attracting eyes to your company and helping the public notice and accept your brand. Local media are your friends in this way; they’re always looking for an intriguing story, and your success may be just the angle they’re looking for.