On average, it takes 3 to 4 years for startups to be profitable; that is, if that even happens. The truth is, only 40% actually turn a profit, so it can be a real challenge to see your business be worth all the time and effort you’ve put into it.
While some startups get their products and/or target audiences wrong, others fail to market themselves correctly. So if yours isn’t doing so well, then who knows, maybe a change in marketing direction is what you need.
To give you some inspiration, here are 7 innovative marketing strategies you can use.
1. Create Educational Content
Most consumers start with online searches when they want products and services, so it’s very likely that they’ll land on your website. Of course, you’ll want to fill it with information about your brand so they know who you are and what you provide, but you want to take it further than that.
You want to position yourself as an industry leader who truly cares about your customers. And you can achieve this through educational content.
For instance, if you’re a startup that sells a project collaboration tool, then have articles, infographics, blog articles, and more on topics such as how to work effectively as a team, how to find out your leadership style, etc.
Not only will people be impressed by your knowledge, but they’ll also be pleased that you’re providing relevant content.
2. Use Video Marketing
Text is all well and good, but truthfully, video’s even better. In fact, as many as 91% of consumers say they want to see more online video content from brands. After all, we’re visual creatures, and there’s no better way to capture and hold people’s attention.
You can use videos to show people what your brand’s all about. In addition, they can explain complicated subjects much better than plain text or images. This can help consumers grasp what you offer, and draw them to you too.
Just make sure that your videos aren’t too long. Today’s audiences don’t have long attention spans, so you want to get straight to the point and not draw things out.
3. Be Active on Social Media
If you’re looking for low-cost ways to market your startup, then social media is ideal for you. Whether you make posts yourself or have your social media manager do it, these platforms are a cost-effective method for you to spread awareness about your startup.
You can also take out paid ads if you’ve got room in your budget. This allows you to hone your marketing strategy by serving ads to your target demographic.
Social media is also great for sharing your content, whether it’s blog articles, pictures, or videos. When users comment on them, always reply to keep engagement rates up.
To boost your follower count, consider working with influencers. They can pitch your product/service to their existing followers, and you’ll likely get a decent amount of interested consumers to check out your startup.
4. Have a Referral Program
Word of mouth is one of the oldest but best startup marketing strategies. It’s basic, but you can always put your own twist on it.
For example, you can incentivize things by giving a free gift or hefty discount if 5 people sign up or purchase based on one person’s referrals. Not only do you get more customers, but you drive repeat business too.
The beauty of referral programs is there’s lots of flexibility. It’s up to you what incentives to choose, and the programs can be online, offline, or both.
5. Hold Contests
Everybody loves a bit of friendly competition, and they love to get creative too. This makes contests one of the easiest growth strategies for startups, as consumers will do it for you.
For instance, if you have a fitness app, hold a competition to see how many pull-ups they can do, or how many minutes they can run. Require that they track their progress on your app and that they upload proof on social media with your branded hashtags. Before you know it, your startup will go viral!
This is also another cost-effective way to market your brand since you won’t have to pay people to make content. The overhead’s minimal since all you’ll need to do is offer them a discount or free product as a reward.
6. Attend Events
You should get a good mix of online and offline marketing; to do the latter, attend events, such as trade shows.
These are fantastic opportunities to not only attract potential customers, but to also network and find future partners and vendors. If your business address is your home because you’ve only just started out, then get a virtual mailbox so you have a professional address to give out.
Make sure you attend local events too. This has another benefit besides networking: you’ll show that you care about being involved and active in the community, so you’ll build trust there.
7. Give Out Custom Brand Stickers
This sounds unbelievably simple, yet it’s innovative at the same time. People can’t say “no” to stickers, as they’re small and fun. It’s easy for you to bring along, and it’s easy for consumers to take home as well.
There are ample opportunities for you to give these out too. Pass out the stickers at trade shows or send a few in each package you send out.
When people put these stickers on their belongings, your startup will stay top of mind. Plus, they’ll market your brand for free when they bring their stickered laptop out to work at a cafe (for example).
Give These Innovative Marketing Strategies a Try
If you’ve been frustrated because your startup isn’t as lucrative as you thought it’d be, then these innovative marketing strategies should give you a quick boost.
Just remember that the key to attracting consumers is relevance and the ability to adapt to a constantly changing world. If you can keep up with these things and also have excellent products/services, then it’ll be easy for your brand to succeed.
Have these creative marketing strategies inspired you to take the plunge and create a startup? Then get professional help by signing up with Business Anywhere today.