Marketing For Start-ups

Marketing for Start-ups

by Veronica Cintron

So you’ve started the company of your dreams, congratulations! But how do you share your dreams with the world, how do you let people know you are open for business? I encounter these types of questions from start-ups on a regular basis. Mistakes in the early stages of start-up development can be costly financially and can also have a negative effect on your company’s branding. Here’s a short guide to marketing the right way:

1. Discover your company’s identity. If you haven’t done so already, write down your company’s mission and purpose. This helps to give you a clear picture of what your unique identifier is. Make a list of 5-10 adjectives that identify your business, this will be important in developing the next steps on this list.

2. Have a logo. Your logo should be relevant to the type of business you have and the business name. It should also contain colors that speak to your demographic. Either you or your designer should research the psychology of color and see how it can be integrated into the logo design. Lastly, be sure the design is clear and high quality as this is the image you will use for marketing collateral, company website, and branding.

3. Define your target market. Know who the people buying your products and services are. This can be found through general market research of your industry, surveys, or analytics pulled from your site visits. Once you know your demographic, you will be able to concentrate on targeting them. Correct usage of this information will put your marketing dollars to work more efficiently.

4. Start blogging. Blogging is a great marketing tool for businesses. Gone are the days when blogging was just used to chronicle personal journeys. Although, I’ll add that one of the many perks of blogging is that it is more informal than a standard website and you can certainly take this as an opportunity to show a personal, human side to your business. Blogs provide a free way to write to your target market about your products and services. It will drive traffic to your website, which can turn into leads. It is also very important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Finally, it will build your reputation as a field expert in your industry. Remember to spread the word by posting links to each of your blog entry on all your social media accounts.

Once these steps are complete, a full marketing campaign should be launched. A marketing campaign may include postcard mailers, e-mail campaigns, a grand opening, and ad buying (billboards, radio, television, or social media). Another important piece is to be sure that your company’s website is designed to attract your target demographic, is clear in its message, and portrays your company’s identity. Lastly, Search Engine Optimization or SEO, is a marketing process that increases visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. This process allows your website to be easily found through major search engine (e.g. Google). Most website traffic happens through major search engines, therefore it is worth the investment to have your site optimized.

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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