The biggest concern for a startup is to scale and to scale fast. But with the increasing competition, dynamic market conditions and overwhelming need to balance work and family often hampers the vision of the entrepreneur in ways more than one.
According to a StartupGenom survey, 74% of businesses crash and burn while scaling because they don’t get their basics right. 29% of startups run out of cash even before they are fully established. 72% of small businesses say their main focus is increasing revenue.
If you run a startup, you will agree that setting proper goals is necessary for anyone who is serious about scaling his business. I also run a digital startup, so I understand that expansion is no joke and takes ample time and efforts.
Luckily, here are marketing strategies that worth leveraging to scale your business.
1) Conduct a market research…again
42% of startups identified “lack of a market need for their product”. You may have the best product in the world but if it is not helping anyone, it can’t be successful. Therefore, find out your largest core users. You can make effective improvements in your product through consistent feedback and data analysis. The key is to make sure your product reaches “market fit”.
2) Set up an SEO-optimized website
Have you ever come across any business “without” a website? No, right? A website is the face of your company and explains the world about your nature of business. But just because your website design and content is apt doesn’t mean it will rank at the top on Google!
You must focus on SEO. I agree it is a bit complex and confusing but if you leverage its fundamental principles while adhering to Google’s many rules, your website is eventually gain visibility.
3) Choose the right logo
Every startup needs a logo – to look professional, to attract more customers easily and to sound more credible. Your target audience may not remember your website, but your logo will never leave their minds.
Having a poorly-designed logo or no logo at all means you don’t take your business seriously. In case you don’t have one, you can use a logo maker online. I personally like Logojoy, a AI-powered online logo design tool.
Logojoy lets you first choose a few general logo you liked. This helps form the base of the logo the AI will generate for you. You can choose a colour scheme, add the company name and tagline and pick up to 3 symbols from their extensive photo bank. Here’s an example:
These are just some of the examples Logojoy came up with. You can keep experimenting with the colour scheme and icons till you find the right logo! If you want a simple, high-quality logo at an affordable price, Logojoy is a good option.
Another smart tool to use here is Canva. With easily editable and customizable templates for different industries in the gallery, it takes only a few minutes to create your logo on this tool. Just add in your brand colors, change your font, choose the elements you want to include, and you’re done.
By endless templates, here’s what I mean!
4) Connect with influencers online
Online consumers are increasingly becoming frustrated with adverts hampering their browsing experience. Therefore, instead of pumping money in advertising, connect with influencers. Get them on board to promote your product.
This is a quick way of getting your startup in front of a large audience. It’s certainly not a cheap option. But if the budget permits, allocate a small amount of money to collaborate with an influencer of your industry.
5) Amplify your content
Soon we will ring in 2018, and content is still “king”. According to Demand Metric, content marketing generates 3x as many leads, and drives higher conversion rates. Therefore, it is useful to add unique content on the website that adds tremendous value to your visitors.
Blogging is one of the best ways to create an organic audience over a period of time. But don’t just write content. Promote it on various platforms such as Inbound.org, StumbleUpon, Sccop.it, etc. so that your blogs reach maximum people.
Medium is also a great platform to market content. Shortlist publications on Medium that can post your content, create useful discussions and get the word out.
6) Boost your social media
90% of B2C businesses report that social media has become their most popular content marketing tactic. No matter what kind of business you have, there’s always a platform that will do wonders for you in the social spectrum.
Raise the awareness and visibility of your startup on either or all social channels. If you post the right content, conduct a couple of contests and takeaways and run paid ads (if the budget permits), you will not only garner a massive following but also convert those followers into customers.
7) Focus on email marketing
Contrary to popular belief, email is not dead. It is still a powerful tool for raising brand awareness and driving sales. A McKinsey study states that email is almost 40x better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter.
Therefore, give it a fair shot. Have appropriate CTAs on the website that instigate the visitors to sign up for your newsletter. Don’t spam them. Send high quality content – sell your product – add value to your subscribers.
8) Strengthen PR outreach through HARO
HARO stands for Help-A-Report-Out. It is a platform where journalists seek business and expert sources for info on stories they are working on. It is a great platform for connecting with writers, contributors and reporters from some of the leading publishing hours.
What’s the harm in showcasing your product or even giving a quote as an expert to a journalist? At least you will get the word out!
9) Non-marketing tip: Hire the right people
Absolutely! I live by this rule. Hire the kind of people that will help you scale. They must share your dedication, be full of good ideas and have more than one skill. You don’t need an army to scale a business, just a handful of hard-working believers.
Over to you
Startups that scale properly grow up to 20x faster than businesses that scale prematurely. Therefore, initial marketing and branding initiatives are necessary. Make sure your brand image is on point.
Focus on marketing and scalability will follow!