Marketing for Startups: 7 Do’s and Don’ts

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First impressions matter. And your start-up’s is no exception!

Marketing for startups is a bit more nuanced than marketing for an established brand or company. In a startup setting, your marketing budget is often limited. You’re brand new. As fantastic as your idea is, no one knows who you are, what you do, or — let alone — why they should care. Whether you started your own contracting company, opened a restaurant, launched a product, or any number of other ventures, these insights absolutely apply to you.

The need to introduce your brand, product, or service to the public is more imperative now than at ANY other time in your business’s life cycle. Knowing how to promote a startup is one of the most crucial ways to ensure early success that turns into sustained growth.

Here are the 4 types of marketing for startups that are indispensable — and 3 startup marketing ideas you should skip!

Startup Marketing Ideas Evaluated

Because of the thin margin for error, startup marketing ideas need to pay dividends on your investment of both time and money.  Choose correctly, and your aggressive yet careful tactics can cement your business in the marketplace. Choose incorrectly, and you may just find yourself looking back and wondering what went wrong. Explore the insider perspectives from a company who has done it before for our partners:

4 Essential Startup Marketing Ideas

 1. Build a Solid Website 
Professional Website for Marketing Startup Company

What to know: In the 21st century, a website is the cornerstone of practically any business’s marketing. Not only is a brand’s site the foundation from which to launch your digital marketing, but it is also one of the strongest lead generation tools in your arsenal.

Why it matters: Without a user-friendly website, you can lose even the most iron-clad leads to a competitor just because they were more convenient.  Like any other business essential, a custom website is an investment. While essentially-free websites are available, they do FAR more harm than good by being difficult to use and unattractive to search engines. Marketing for startups starts with a great sitesee some of ours.

 2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Result Page for Start Up Businesses

What to know:  One of the most impactful long-lasting components of a digital marketing strategy for startups and veteran businesses alike, SEO allows your website to organically appear on search engines, like Google, for relevant terms.

Why it matters: Google is THE default place to find a service or solution they need — you need to make sure you’re right there as an option. Furthermore, when it comes to stretching a budget, SEO is a fantastic method to jump-start your marketing. If you work with a skilled SEO partner, you can organically earn a ton of relevant impressions and leads— at a bargain compared to buying them with Pay Per Click.

Learn more about how bad SEO tactics can sabotage your site.

 3. Begin Compiling Reviews 
Generating online reviews for small businesses

What to know: This is an early hurdle that most green businesses face. In your first months of operation, your reputation is a blank slate, and that needs to change. There are several tactics that you can use to fairly incentivize satisfied customers to share their opinion of and experience with you. At WebTek, we have numerous proven methods for generating those crucial reviews, and we consider this one of the most imperative startup marketing ideas.

Why it matters: Reviews are an important touchstone for credibility, and as a brand-new business, you need that. In addition to building a sense of trust, Google reviews also contribute to boosting your search engine rankings, letting you dip from the same well twice.

 4. Social Media
Social media icons on smart phones

What to know:  Since social media serves as a way to stay connected with customers and to earn new ones, a complete digital marketing strategy for startups almost always includes social media. While effective marketing for startups includes the precise use of social media, taking the reins yourself can be a challenge. That’s the reason many companies trust a proven integrated marketing agency who specializes in social media advertising.

Why it matters: For bargain-priced lead generation and to build your company personality, we always recommend social media. Buying paid ads on social media, particularly on Facebook, allows you to share a message or offer to ideal customers in a geo-targeted area. The targeting available for paid ads incorporates income, age, interests — everything you’d want when finding your ideal customer.


3 Startup Marketing Pitfalls to Avoid

When investigating how to promote your startup company, you’ll be bombarded with ideas and pitches — some good and some bad. Here are the pitfalls we’ve seen that trip up new businesses.

 1. Buying Expensive Traditional Advertising 
marketing industry news and updated

The phonebook, network TV ads, radio, and billboards — these are known as traditional advertising. While once-upon-a-time they were the only way to connect to your audience, that’s not the case anymore. Since all of these traditional advertising tactics tend to be FAR more costly than digital options, as a startup you’ll empty your marketing budget quicker than you’d like. In addition, traditional advertising isn’t trackable in the same way as digital methods.

 2. Picking up Pricey Promotions 
Sports promotional advertising

The prospect of having your logo on the ice or the outfield wall at your favorite local stadium feels like a dream come true, but is it the best marketing idea for a startup? Probably not. Paid public placements can be effective at generating buzz for well-known local brands, but consider no one will remember, or care about, a logo that they haven’t seen before. Plus, these promotional opportunities never come cheap. Simply put, unless you have a mammoth budget this isn’t the right stage on which to introduce yourself.

 3. Getting a Cheap Website   
Cheap website destroying business traffic

Finding cost-effective opportunities is very different from cutting corners. A lot of new businesses try to spend as little as possible on their websites — and that decision comes back to bite them. Working with a freelancer will certainly be less expensive than a website design company, but there is no guarantee of quality or timeline. Your new site may not work on mobile devices, not be secure, frustrate your customers, crash suddenly, or wind up on page 59 (or worse) of Google. Building a stylish, effective, and secure website is the first big leap to take when launching your startup business.


WebTek: Marketing for Startups & Established Companies

Brand new companies or established industry leaders – no matter your company’s status, we’d love to have a conversation with you. While WebTek does partner with many large companies, we also have experience marketing for startups in many industries. In fact, many of the big companies we work with today started small with us — we’d love to help you grow into the industry giant you want to be!

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As a full-service marketing and web design agency, we can build you a fantastic website, help you dominate Google rankings, earn highly-qualified leads on social media, and more! Partner with us to discuss your goals and how a partnership with WebTek can help you reach them.