We love working with startup businesses. The enthusiasm and excitement that we see in these clients’ faces is infectious. However, we know that starting a brand new business is an expensive and somewhat scary venture, and many startup business owners are unsure of where to best spend their money. You’ve got all of the legal expenses, possibly getting an office space, and marketing — don’t forget the marketing.
With so many other startup expenses, there may not be adequate funds to build the website you’ve always dreamt of for your business. Or to do a national brand TV campaign that airs during Survivor. Since we’ve helped quite a few startup business jumpstart their marketing, here are 4 tips important tips to steer you in the right direction:
Your branding is quite possibly the most important aspect of your new company’s marketing. Remember, your branding will determine how will people perceive your company and will be a major factor in how your company is positioned in the marketplace. For example, if you business is targeting high end clientele, you don’t want your branding to look like it was designed by your neighbor’s kid. Also keep in mind that as a new business, your branding is likely to shift slightly as your business matures and settles into its own voice.
We had a consultation with a prospective client a few months ago who wasn’t sure that he needed a website for his brand new service-oriented business. He claimed that he already had a Facebook page, and that was all that he needed. We began questioning him about his target audience and determined that they would likely be searching Google to find a reputable company in his industry. And without some kind of website with a search engine presence, his business was likely not to be found.
With all of that said, keep in mind that if you’re starting your business on a shoestring budget, a simple but effective landing page will suffice until your business is ready for a full site. In fact, some of the most successful startup businesses we’ve seen started out with a super-simple 1 page site.
Let’s face it: in today’s world, almost nobody uses the yellow pages to help them find products and services. We’ve definitely become a society that is dependent on search engines to find what we’re looking for. With this in mind, most businesses absolutely need search engine visibility in order to succeed. However, as a startup business, your website is likely going to have a tough time achieving organic visibility. But have no fear, as pay-per-click advertising is a great alternative method to get your business the search engine awareness you need.
We’ve talked a few times about the benefits of PPC marketing, but in general, it allows you to highly target your audience (geographic and some demographics) and reach them at the exact moment that they’re searching for a business just like yours. On top of that, it allows you to easily control your daily budget so that you only spend the amount you’re comfortable with each day. This aspect can be very appealing for a cash-strapped business.
For a startup business, social media is one of the absolute best ways to spread the word about your new venture. Organically, you can utilize your network of family and friends to help get the word out. There’s no better marketing than referral marketing.
Also, consider that if you’re starting your business on a limited budget, you probably have more time than you have money. This makes a great case for focusing your efforts on social media to grow your business.
And if you can’t achieve the reach you desire with your personal social network, many social media platforms offer excellent advertising options that will allow you to pay to have your content reach exactly the demographic that your business is targeting. The demographic targeting options are amazingly sophisticated and will allow your business to reach exactly the type of customer that you desire.
If you need help figuring out where to best spend your startup business’ marketing dollars, contact us and we’ll be happy to provide a free consultation.
About the author:
Partner, Director of Technology
Jeff is one of Torx's founding partners and serves as the agency's Director of Technology. He built his first website back in 1996 and has never looked back. Jeff wears many hats at Torx: front-end designer and developer, server administrator, and resident Apple enthusiast.