Start-ups have it tough – they’re unknown and they don’t have a huge marketing budget. That doesn’t mean they’re destined to die in obscurity. A good marketing strategy doesn’t have to be an expensive one. There are more affordable marketing strategies that start-ups can consider. Here are a few ways you can make a name for your brand.
According to Moz, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results”. Ranking high on search engines is important for any business, let alone start-ups that have yet to make a name for themselves. Blogging is a good way to improve your search rankings organically. Google’s algorithm favours sites that are updated regularly with new content. Maintaining a blog introduces new content on a regular basis. This helps with the ranking of your site in general.
Blogging is also a good way to establish your expertise in the field. If you’re a fashion brand, for example, blogging about fashion trends showcase your brand’s knowledge in the field. It helps boost credibility and if your blog gets popular, it could be an additional source of revenue.
2. Focus on Customer Experience
As the new kid on the block, you’re going to need to find a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors as well as gain the favour of consumers.
Every consumer appreciates good customer service but not every brand provides that. Be the brand that does and you’ll find success soon enough.
Take a look at Haidilao. Essentially a hot pot restaurant, the brand’s unique selling point is its dining experience. From the moment you interact with the brand to the moment you leave its restaurant, Haidilao takes care of your every need. Waiting in line? Get a free manicure. Don’t want your hair in your face while you eat? Grab a hair tie. Don’t want to get food onto your mobile screen? Put it in the plastic bag provided (you can still use your phone through it). With all these services, Haidilao became more than just a restaurant, it became an experience. Haidilao now has restaurants all over the world and its founder just became Singapore’s richest person. This goes to show that premium customer service can take your brand very far.
Customers equate the brand with the experiences they have with it. If they have a good experience with your brand, they’ll naturally form a favourable impression of you. This means they’re more likely to return to buy from you again.
They are also more likely to tell others about your brand. Word-of-mouth marketing is not to be underestimated. According to a study, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. A positive review from a trusted friend is worth more than a giant billboard advertisement. The best part: word-of-mouth marketing also incurs no additional cost on your part. That is the power of happy customers.
3. Work with Influencers
The benefit of working with influencers is two-fold. One, influencers already have an existing pool of followers for you to tap into. Cosmetic brands, for example, can work with beauty bloggers to reach out to people interested in beauty products. This is a more targeted approach as opposed to, say, plastering ads at bus stops. You know you are reaching out to people who are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
The second benefit is that influencers are well-versed in producing content that resonates with their (your) audience. This means you can leave the creative side of the job in their capable hands.
Just remember to do your homework before you work with an influencer. You want to make sure that the influencer’s persona and field of interest match your brand. After all, they’re acting as your spokesperson in the online sphere.
There you have it – three ways start-ups can get their names out there. Got any more useful tips for start-ups out there? Share them in the comments below!