Entrepreneurs can attest how challenging it can be to market a new business. There are so many unknowns when it comes to startups that marketing a new venture to a target audience is like throwing a ball into a twirling basin. You simply do not know where it will land or if it would land at all. However, with so many opportunities and means to market a new business, there really is no reason why anyone should not even try. After all, fortune favors the brave. To get you started, we spoke to Rory Boyle from Promotions Warehouse to get 5 unique approaches to marketing your startup online:
Knowing your target market is critical to ensuring that you are marketing to the right crowd. If your product is designed to techie teens, for example, you need a marketing approach that sells to that demographic and not waste time on the over 20s demographic. This helps weed out unwanted and unnecessary attention your strategy will likely waste time and effort on and ensure that you get better results from the target market you actually want to sell to.
How: Find out where your target demographic likes to congregate. Is Facebook a favorite hangout? Or maybe Pinterest? How about Instagram, Tiktok, or Reddit? Knowing which platform your target market uses to communicate or obtain information will help narrow down the types of options you can use.
Get Your Target Market to Solve a Problem
Or a puzzle. You want to drum up interest in your target market and get them excited about your new business. As a startup, you do not have a brand or name recognition yet, but you can capitalize on something else and that is the “mystic” of an unknown product. A great example of success using this method is Codecademy. Back in 2012, Codecademy put out a challenge for people to learn how to code as part of their New Year’s resolution. The company offered a platform that made coding easy, so people truly did enjoy the activity, and many signed up for the training.
How: Make a list of problems or issues that your product or service can solve. Design a challenge or a puzzle around this issue and advertise it to your target market. Make it fun, interesting, and challenging.
Give Something Out for Free, But…
People will always appreciate something they can get for free. You could offer this but make sure that you work out a marketing campaign that encourages people to buy/use your product, so they receive something at no additional cost. It works even better if your new business could tie up with an agency to promote a good cause.
Note that if you opt for this method, you likely will have to shell out some cash or at least, spend for something, unless you work out a deal with a participating company or entity at a lower cost.
How: Offer something that people would want to use when they buy or use your product. For example, if you are selling a new beverage, get codes printed in a limited number of cans or bottles (say, 500 or 1,000). When customers scan these codes, they get a free service, such as a bus, train ride, or a free hour at the local gym.
Work with an Influencer
Although influencers have received some bad raps in the last few years, there are some who actually mean business and could help give your new business a boost. Influencers with a robust number of followers can effectively sell your product to this segment of the market on your behalf. You will have to work out a deal, of course, but if you do your research well enough to determine if the move is feasible, you might want to explore this avenue to help boost your marketing efforts.
How: Look for influencers whose work you actually like and whose platform is compatible with the brand you want to build. In some cases, you do not even have to pay to get them on your side. Influencers often post concerns about products or services. If you can offer a solution to their specific concerns, get in touch with them directly and provide the solution. Very often, they will gladly mention your product or service without requiring compensation.
Create Instructional Vids
The reason why instructional videos remain popular is because people want clear, concise information about ways to solve a problem. If your product or service is that type of solution, consider creating a video that lays out the instructions to creating a product or fixing an issue. There really is no need to spend too much on producing the video, since there is video editing software that can be used for the job and some of these are even free. The key is to take some time to plan out the video, use relevant instructional materials, and shoot with the audience’s needs in mind.
How: Write down the number of ways wherein your product or service can be used as a solution. Then choose the top 5 best issues and create a script, preferably with a storyboard. From here on, you can choose to have a how-to or step-by-step instructional through a demonstration or a presentation. Simple graphics and animations work as well, so try to explore your options.