Startups pop up each day with impressive ideas in the hope of conquering the world of business. Unfortunately, a great idea doesn’t necessarily take you to the top in today’s world. We are saturated with good ideas and burgeoning startups, all amidst constant streams of information and distractions right at our fingertips.
To succeed as a startup then, first you need a great idea but after that, great marketing. If you have the first but not the second you are likely to have a great idea which no one has heard of. Luckily, there are a number of ways that your business can propel themselves out of obscurity and into success, so that your startup can make its great idea a great success.
It’s now a fact of life that to succeed, you have to succeed in the search rankings. But it is possible. Also, you obviously want traffic to come to your website and learn about you. Content marketing is key for ranking well. High-quality content gives readers a reason to continually visit your site. Google values high quality content, so there is no point trying to cheat it. Also, creating valued content will improve your chances of being linked to by other sites. These links will show Google that your site is authoritative and can be trusted when it comes to the topics you are covering. So, next time someone searches a topic specific to you, if you have indeed created valued content around those keywords, Google will recognise that you are the authority and place your page high in the rankings.
Optimising your site for those keywords can be key for this growth. This technique helped Weebly propel to the giant website and e-commerce platform you know today. As many of their competitors were also writing content on topics key to Weebly, like website building and online marketing, they decided to focus on specific key words unique to them, optimising their blog posts and site to let Google know that for certain searches they were the most valuable content on the web. Given that millions of sites use Weebly today, if done properly, SEO really can propel your startup.
We’re too smart for traditional adverts these days. Some celebrity endorsing some product in the ad break hardly has the effect it did in yesteryear, but this doesn’t mean you should abandon harnessing the power of celebs and influencers. Whereas people see a traditional celebrity endorsement a mile off, influencer marketing is slightly more subtle. Having an influencer endorse your product through their social media channels feels so much less forced than traditional endorsements because that’s what today’s influencer and celebrities do. They spend all of their time capturing their lives in some way, so the inclusion of a few products is inevitable. Not only this, but influencers often represent a certain type of lifestyle or feeling that you may want to be associated with your product.
Daniel Wellington, for instance, a small startup selling watches now has millions of followers and hashtags on Instagram through influencer marketing. As opposed to using traditional adverts they had influencers incorporate their watches into images that represented a certain lifestyle. This in turn sent their startup skyrocketing. This is often also a cheaper option, as in some cases you only need to give free products to selected influencers and as a result gain huge advertising opportunities.
Stick to Your Message
As a relatively unknown entity it can be absolutely essential that startups decide what their brand, what they are trying to put across to the world and then stick with it. Without consistency, the public might become confused or unclear about what you are really offering. Also, having one message and then changing direction is likely to alienate previous customers who had bought into that previous message. Of course a quality product or service must come first, but a purposeful story must follow, to captivate your prospective audience.
A great example of how this can help your startup is Airbnb. They had a ‘vision’ that those who used Airbnb could ‘Belong Anywhere’, which is the narrative they rightly stuck with. However, originally this was mocked by many as being over the top, improbable and essentially nonsense. In the face of this, though, they stuck to the statement and their notion of belonging anywhere and, needless to say, it paid off. People today, when using Airbnb, always talk about how satisfying it is to be able to stay in a place that feels like home when they’re away from home. So, belonging anywhere. Put out a message you really believe and stick to it.
Don’t Miss an Opportunity
We now live in a world of constant information, news and stories. Hundreds and thousands of stories do the rounds on social media every day. So, if you keep an eye out there will be opportunities for your startup to exploit. When an Australian real estate developer hit the headlines after saying that the reason millennials could not afford houses was because they wasted their money on expensive avocado and toast, student loan refinancer SoFi were making a step into mortgage lending, and saw their chance to take advantage. Coat-tailing on the news of the day they created an offer in which every new mortgage customer would receive free avocado on toast. This the media picked up on and SoFi received huge coverage for the price of some avocados and bread.
There is clearly a level of luck involved in piggybacking on news stories, there’s no clear route to success. But it should be in the back of your mind as a startup, since it might be a way of achieving huge coverage without spending the thousands it would normally take to get your name out there. In terms of being propelled, some startups have struggled with the influx of new customers they gained after receiving national or international coverage.
Those who use untapped marketing channels early are likely to be the ones who most benefit from it. This is because any area with marketing opportunities soon becomes swamped with marketing and advertising. There are no secrets in marketing, since anything successful soon becomes the done thing for all. This can mean that it’s hard to gain an advantage over your competitors. However, if you manage to find a new platform that is not yet swamped with campaigns, you could see huge benefits. People will not yet associate these platforms with numerous adverts, as they do others. On platforms where people feel bombarded by campaigns, adverts can seem like white noise, whereas on a fresh platform clear of advertising, your campaign could stand out and actually be noticed.
In case you were not convinced by finding early marketing opportunities, or First Mover Advantage and Second Mover Advantage as these techniques are known, Amazon’s insane success is an example of Second Mover Advantage. Jeff Bezos saw that internet use was quickly rising and decided to look for online opportunities, following Book Stacks Unlimited as the second online book store, and later became the richest person on earth.
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