When running a startup tech business there are always a million things to be done with limited resource. So deciding what to do when can be crucial to determining business success. What’s more, when it comes to startups, every penny spent needs to generate results. The upshot: making the decision about how and what to do when it comes to marketing can be rather challenging.
To help make this process a little easier, we’ve broken down our experience from delivering comms and marketing for tech startups into three key areas: ‘Do it now’, ‘Think about it early on’ and ‘Only when you’re ready’
Do it now
Build your community – Think of your initial community as your business’s version of friends and family. It’s essential to cultivate this community from day one as this is where your first customers / clients, partners and supporters will come from. In the early stages, this will likely be your personal network(s). Then, as you grow, this should begin to include people you meet, your first customers, businesses you’re working with, people in your local area, and more. Ultimately this will become your database. When implementing strategy and marketing for tech startups this is always our first call. Make sure to get into good habits early here:
- Get a CRM (customer relationship management system) in place so that all the details are in one place, there are several that are free or have free versions (Zoho, HubSpot etc.)
- Engage with your community regularly via social, email, in-person and more
Refine your messaging – Messaging is often overlooked by small firms, yet this is crucial to marketing for tech startups. Getting your messaging right (perhaps with a messaging workshop) will support all future marketing efforts, and will also go a long way to shaping the culture of your business and the product you build. In a nutshell, be looking at one sentence answers for the following:
- What is your mission? – What are you trying to do?
- What is your vision? – What is your aspiration? This is longer-term and more ambitious than your mission
- What does your product do? – This is the killer line that will turn potential customers into actual customers. Position this as a benefit
Think about it early on
PR and comms – PR and Comms can be a very cost effective channel to get your name out there. PR also makes it possible to get coverage and promotion without paying for the advertising. Tactical PR for tech startsups can really help with building those initial key relationships and getting your first customers and partners involved
Begin content marketing – Writing good content has a whole host of benefits. This can help with traffic to site via SEO, begin building your brand as a thought leader (thereby establishing legitimacy), offer you material for your social channels, give you a way to engage with your community, and much more. It’s good to get into the habit early of producing one or two pieces of content per month
Grow social channels – Social media offers a route into a potentially huge audience. Early on, get your accounts in place and start engaging with your community. Think about following the right types of people. Also look at commenting on industry developments as well as providing bite-sized snippets of the content you’re producing on site
When you’re ready
This is essentially about paid media activity – where you are paying for your advertising. Digital channels (below) offer a great way to test and learn with comparatively little spend. That being said, before committing to considerable spend across any of these channels, ask yourself:
- Is your product ready?
- Is your messaging ready?
- Are your budgets ready? – This is particularly important for non-digital channels, where it’s less easy to turn things on and off
Paid digital channels – digital marketing makes it possible to engage a huge audience on a cost per click / view / impression / sales basis (or dozens of other performance metrics) . Digital also makes it possible to do this tactically – instantly scaling up or down spend – and offers a wealth of data on performance. Channels to consider:
- Paid search – advertising across search terms
- Paid social – paid support allowing you to reach a much broader audience with your social activity
- Display – Banner promotion across millions of sites
Out of home / radio / TV – due to scale, budget, skillset required and creative needs, unless you have specific skills in-house, it’s worth engaging an agency at this stage. Look specifically for a media agency that has experience in your vertical as well as delivering marketing for tech startups.
That’s not all folks
The above is very much a quick overview. Each of these channels can be broken down into a lot more detail. What’s more, there are a number of channels that we haven’t even discussed here in a desire to keep this article concise. However, when it it comes to marketing for tech startups, considering the above should give you a good starter for ten.
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YOURS SINCERELY is a comms and marketing agency combining a wealth of experience delivering marketing, comms and sales strategies for a whole range of brands.
We specialise in working with small to medium sized tech firms, and offer clients a number of ideas and an outline strategy up-front with no cost or commitment. We’d love to say hello – you can get in touch with us here.