How to promote your startup: first steps
How do you think, when does the most interesting and challenging stage begin? That’s right, after a successful startup launching, at the stage of its promotion. It would be a shame after a startup was launched, after investments were received, to abandon the qualitative consistent startup promotion.
How will your prospective customers know about you if you don’t tell about yourself? This article will be useful to those of you who have decided to promote your own project but do not know where to start.
You have a project, but only you are aware of it
Start by building a team that will help you promote your startup because surely you will not cope with all the tasks by yourself. Of course, you can try, at least, to understand at what stage it will come to collapse.
The team should consist of people, each of whom will be responsible for their own work area.
Directions of the project promotion
- Email marketing
- Content Marketing
- Targeted Advertising
And here is the first surprise: as a rule, promotion is paid. You will have to pay for the work of employees, moreover – you will have to pay for advertisement.
Before proceeding directly to the promotion, define your long-term and short-term goals, develop a strategy to achieve those goals and create an action plan. In other words, you will need to understand what you are moving to, what will be your way, who will perform the tasks to achieve established goals and how you will implement the whole strategy of your startup as a company. You will also need to set deadlines for each goal and for each task and assign responsible staff.
Describe your goals at least in Excel, indicating the following information:
- task criterion (this is the criterion by which you can evaluate whether the task is completed or not, what will be the result of the task performed),
- who is responsible for the task,
After that, you will completely understand what channel/direction to use to perform a task.
Key tools for the initial promotion of your project
This marketing tool will work correctly and will be effective for you provided that you will use it correctly.
You can act on the most convenient for you way:
- collect email addresses of each registered on your website user,
- add a pop-up to the website with a form newsletter subscription, or just a form with a field for email, so that users can request additional information about your service or product;
- you can also collect email addresses at the conference, exhibition, workshop, for example, if this is your personal event;
- if an event is organized by someone else you can collect email addresses by distributing questionnaires or collecting feedback.
It is important: you can start to make a full email campaign after the user confirms his agreement to receive letters from you. This is called double opt-in subscription: the user adds his email to any of your forms for collecting email addresses, then you send the first email asking him to confirm the subscription. In case, you receive confirmation start sending a regular newsletter or a triggering newsletter.
This is a place with an increased concentration of useful information. Find out how well-known today European startups started, what kind of mistakes they made, how they coped with them, and where they got the money to launch the project. Just follow the link.
- Alert about new articles in the blog, about important changes in the work of a company or a website.
- Promotions, discounts, coupons.
- News related to the new functionality, collections, collaborations with other projects.
- Letters that a user receives after his certain action on the website.
- It can be a finished or unfinished purchase, after not visiting the website for a long time, etc.
This concept means a lot of work to promote the project in social networks.
First, you need to understand exactly which social network your target audience is focused on. It does not make sense to promote the product everywhere.
SMM means filling the account with relevant for the readers information, which will allow them to maintain their involvement and attract new brand newcomers.
Show backstage, show your expertise sharing your experts’ opinions – you need to inform your prospective customers that you are real people, and how you work. Take note that the most shared, commented and viral posts in social networks contain photos of real people.
This is an indispensable tool for increasing project awareness and attracting customers. You can do it both on Facebook and Instagram. This format of advertising allows you to target the audience and increases the chances that interested people will see your offer. For example, you can set clear criteria for age, interests, geography, other details of the audience. Use Facebook Ads Manager for that.
We hope it is not necessary to say twice that your project needs a website or at least a full-fledged, well-designed landing page. What for? In order not to complicate the process of user interaction with your product, and to convert page visitors into customers. Of course, you should not invest a huge amount of money on expensive website development in the very beginning.
At first, you need to understand your customer’s preferences, whether they like what you offer. Let’s get started with a small investment.
It involves spreading information about your startup. These may be such content formats:
- Articles on thematically similar websites: guest post, interview, statements of opinion leaders, expert comment, review – all these things will be written by you or by the authors of third-party sources;
- What do opinion leaders think: they write about your product on their websites, in their social media accounts;
- Collaboration with YouTube bloggers: pre-roll, review on your product, video completely dedicated to you.
Every startup’s founder who we interviewed for our blog said about the importance of event-activities in the case of project promoting. You should be in sight of potential customers and partners, so take part in professional exhibitions, hand the leaflets there out, unite with other startups and create strong collaborations.
Your own blog
This is not about a blog in social networks, but it refers to a full-fledged blog on your website.
A few ideas you can write in the technological blog about:
- Write what your customers care about and let them solve their problems;
- Help customers understand your product better, teach them how to use it;
- Give them a simple explanation of complex technological issues;
- Share your expertise;
- Tell readers what difficulties you faced and how you solved them;
- Be honest about your mistakes;
- Ask customers for feedback and interviews.
If your product is new in the market and it is incomprehensible to users, create educational material, educate the target audience – this is much more effective than just advertising. You need to give people a favor so you will be remembered from the best side.
And once again: your project should be developed by the team, there should be appointed the responsible persons and the deadlines for the tasks. This is the only way to avoid chaos and gradually move from goal to goal.