Denis Grankin Head of Sales Department

Marketing channels you can use for startup now, guide (Part 1)

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marketing for startups

75% won’t even believe you. The marketing reality is that only 25% of your potential clients ready to believe the ads you convey without backing up your claims with real data. Customers - us as well - are exposed to 1000 - 5000 ads daily. And with this saturated environment, it makes striving for trust highly competitive. Thus, when deciding your marketing, it’s better to question your product and the value it gives to customers. Is it really as great as you want to claim in the first place? And not only poor quality but merely promotion of a wrong value with a great product may kill a business.

Read also: Roadmap to small business

Once you’re sure of core values and hold no biases, it’s time to choose channels to run digital marketing. I will add basic reference points to outcomes, ease of adoption, and spends. Also, I’ll provide some unobvious use tips for each channel that our marketing department has curated. Let us know in the comments whether you knew them or not.

Keep in mind that hiring niche-experts always brings better pay-off, though some things can be handled without professional assistance.

Social media adverts

First results: you’ll have traffic growth right away after starting a campaign

Difficulty: medium, basic campaigns can be set independently

Spends: adverts budget and time to tune your campaign details

Facebook. On its path to conquering the world, Facebook hit whopping 1.59 billion monthly active users in 2015. So running a Facebook campaign seems an arguably effective way to reach out to your market. However, it requires much of experimentation to achieve tangible success here. Facebook gives a quite robust set of tools to target your audience. Your ads can be displayed either in the right-hand side column or straight in news feeds. News feed ads are quite close to native advertising which is more pricey. The side column is cheaper but it remains in a blind spot as most people are used to see ads there.

facebook numbers of importance

Quick tip: Even if your Facebook advertising appears not as good as anticipated, you still can learn much about your target audience. The thing is that FB has almost unlimited segmentation capacities. By tracking your conversion, you can retrieve extremely useful data on psychographics and demographics of your real customers. With the FB adverts, you’ll eventually find out surprisingly specific things about the groups of people you sell to.

LinkedIn. The LinkedIn audience isn’t that astonishingly big compared to FB - 414 million members - yet there’s nothing as fit for the B2B marketing. Its merit is targeting by professional characteristics like skills, job title, role, or even employer, besides generic age, region, etc. And these data is likely kept up-to-date as people here are concerned about setting promising business connections within the LinkedIn community. When did you update your Facebook profile last time? Here you can also pinpoint needed talents for your team. And there’s a pitfall. Just like the right column in FB, LinkedIn banners are placed in blind spots. The way to bypass it is using sponsored posts in news feeds. This native type approach requires you to have a story or an interview to showcase. You basically post it as a regular story and make it sponsored by targeting it to your market.

Linkedin numbers of importance

Quick tip: Besides actual networking, LinkedIn is a platform to elicit relevant messages from peers. So while pitching another sponsored update try sharing insightful experience rather than just promoting. Make people forget about that gray “sponsored” tag. Telling a sponsored story about leveraging LinkedIn adverts, why not?

Reddit. Reddit is populated by 36 million users who have accounts. According to our experience with this platform, it’s probably one of the best places to receive valuable feedback from people. They may appear frank and ruthless, yet you’ll know what’s wrong with your product or content. Perhaps, it’s due to the spirit of integrity that the Reddit community cultivates. And they are also prone to try new things compared to more crowded social media, which is great for startups promoting products in their infancy and exploring. Posting an ad here is simple and really cheap. You find subreddits on a topic related to your product, make sure that they have a decent number of subscribers and scores. Then you advertise a post at the top of the chosen subreddits. And there are also display banner ads on the right-hand side.

Reddit numders of importance

Quick tip: And the tip is quite following to what’s been said. Never use humdrum clickbaits, they are bad everywhere but here they’ll be even worse received. Try casual-style messages written the way you’d address your friends. Just tell people what you want from them and ask for opinions. Be open and humorous in comments, think of yourself not as a company representative but another redditor.

Twitter. Twitter collects probably the most controversial opinions. It has a decent number of users and uniques, 320 million and 120 million respectively. The Twitter targeting tools are arguably robust and flexible: interests, behaviors, age, location, keywords/hashtags and a handful of other criteria. Perhaps the most widespread complaint is that the Twitter advertising is far less affordable than anywhere else. Not the greatest launching point for startupers with tight budgets. Though anybody today can run a campaign in Twitter, some tend to associate it with big market players that basically support 40% of the Twitter ad revenue. Once you decide to opt for Twitter, you can promote your account, you can drive traffic to a website by creating a link-tweet, and you may generate leads by using embedded cards. Twitter also has a remarketing tool to make people come back to your site by promoting it after a visit.

Twitter numbers of importance

Quick tip: Think of it. 80% of Twitter traffic is mobile. So before considering your advertising campaign on Twitter, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Not only it has to be well rendered on mobiles, it must be highly optimized and tested with regard to mobile user experience. Well, you can turn off mobile targeting entirely, but is it worth even trying?

Social media presence

First results: after about 3 month

Difficulty: easy, you can work independently

Spends: time to develop your accounts and respond to feedback

Don’t get confused with easy in the difficulty paragraph. It’s rather that you can start off building social media presence quite easily with setting accounts and posting your company’s agenda. But there’s much beyond these initial steps. In order to drive more prospects to your site, build a community around your brand, and maintain connections with replying to the feedback you have to allocate much effort. And eventually, you’ll face a necessity to hire somebody to do this for you.

“The most common pitfall companies tend to be caught by is dull posting."

Your agenda, events, seminars, and meetings you’ve visited are great to talk about. But these never fuel discussions. Spend 4 to 6 hours researching social media to see what really catalyzes comments threads to explode and you’ll know what you want to talk about next.

All in all, social media presence is an intermediate channel leading your potential customers to the content you want to show them and, more precisely, the content people want to digest. Hence, content marketing and social media presence go in pair. Within social media you can reach out to precious feedback, learn, and respond, effectively building trust for your brand, whereas being content-centric makes it all possible.

Quick tip: With a modest startup budget you won’t be able to generate a continuous flow of valuable and engaging content to feed your subscribers. So don’t hesitate to retweet, share, or like the posts you really consider relevant to your audience. Carefully curate them. But don’t fall into a trap of making your account a news aggregator. Add your comments and clues on why another story seems interesting to you.

We’ll keep on talking about marketing channels for startups here.

Don’t hesitate to share your experiences and concerns in the comments section and stay tuned for the second part.

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