By Joy Atuzie . 27 Dec 2022 , In Digital Marketing

Creating an effective marketing strategy does not have to be expensive. All it takes is your time, effort, and imagination. These suggestions will help you get started. Why spend money on marketing when you can brainstorm your way to a killer marketing plan? The best marketing ideas can be simple and low-cost, but they don’t appear out of nowhere.

They necessitate an out-of-the-box, creative thought process. Remember that building your brand is an ongoing process, so get into the right mindset from the start.

How to Create a Startup Marketing Plan

13 Steps for Creating a Startup Marketing Plan

Here are 13 marketing tips to help you build a solid foundation.

1. Establish your ultimate goal.

Just as it is nearly impossible to start a road trip without knowing where you are going, you must define your marketing and business goals before you can achieve them. Do you interact with your target audience on social media? How do you intend to increase your following? How do you intend to drive traffic to your website?

Reaching out to leads or prospects and converting them into customers necessitates a well-defined strategy with clear goals. What objectives do you hope to achieve in the next six months? What, two years? After five years? When you have a specific goal in mind, you can use key metrics to determine whether your marketing strategy was successful or not.

2. Identify your target market.

What can you possibly accomplish if you don’t know who you’re selling to? Customers are critical to the success of your small business, regardless of how good your marketing plan, product, or service is. But who are these clients? You must define your target customer in order to tailor your marketing strategy to their needs.

But how do you know who your target audience is? To get you started, here are three suggestions:

  • Determine your target prospects’ basic demographics, such as their gender, age, and location.
  • Analyze your audience’s personalities and/or purchasing habits to learn how to relate to them.
  • Following your research, develop your brand’s message.

These suggestions will assist you in narrowing down your target audience and determining their needs so that your product or service meets them.

3. Carry out keyword research.

Keyword research is an essential component of any digital marketing strategy. You must decide which keywords best define your company and which keywords your target audience will use to find you online.

These keywords will be used across multiple platforms, including your website, blogs, social media networks, and advertisements, as part of your startup marketing strategy. Look for keywords with high traffic and low competition.

4. Create KPIs and metrics.

The only way to determine the success of your marketing campaign is to identify your key performance indicators and core metrics. If you begin recording baseline metrics right away, you will have something against which to compare future growth or decline. Make sure your metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are specific and measurable.

For example, instead of simply stating that you want to increase your social media following, make it specific and measurable by stating that you want to gain 1,000 new followers each month. Instead of simply stating that you want to build an email list, you could state that you want a 4% average email click-through rate (CTR).

The specific metrics that determine your success will be unique to your company, but you must establish them early and continue to measure against them. As your company grows and becomes more successful, you may want to reconsider which KPIs and metrics are most important.

5. Create a marketing budget.

Before you can create a marketing strategy, you must first figure out how much money you can realistically devote to it. Because you’re in the startup phase, your budget is likely to be limited, so you’ll need to spend it wisely. A business budget template can help you get started if you own a small business.

Once you’ve determined how much money you have for marketing, divide it up based on which strategies will be most beneficial to your company. If your target market is a younger demographic that only interacts with your product on social media, you may want to devote a significant portion of your budget to social media campaigns.

If you discover that your blog is your most effective marketing tool, you may want to invest more resources in hiring expert writers. Did you know that marketing accounts for approximately 11% of the average startup’s revenue.

6. Make a website and/or a blog.

Almost every business needs an online presence. Although it will depend on your target market and industry, you will most likely want to establish a company website and blog. These can be helpful in establishing your startup as a credible organization. You can build and manage these on your own, depending on your budget and skill set, or you can hire professionals to do it for you.

However, simply creating these webpages is insufficient. Someone must constantly update them and create new content. Create a consistent posting schedule that works for your audience if you have a blog, and only publish valuable content. [Read all of our best website builder and design service reviews.

7. Identify the best social channels for your startup.

Many startups understand the value of low-cost social media marketing. However, only a few recognize the significance of using the proper channels. Each social media channel caters to different personalities and audiences, and those audiences interact differently with each channel. As a result, it’s up to you to figure out what works best for your startup.

  • Facebook is the social media powerhouse. This platform is likely to attract all types of audiences. However, you are not in business for everyone, so you must determine where on the platform you can find and contact your targets.
  • Instagram is an excellent platform for native advertising. Because the algorithm is optimized for valuable content, if you provide quality content, you will most likely gain a natural following of your target audience.
  • Twitter is yet another excellent social media platform. However, if you want to build and keep a large audience, consistency is essential. The ultimate goal should be to provide relevant content to your audience.

It is best to evaluate and test each channel separately. You can invest in a sponsored campaign for a small sum of money and be confident that you will see results sooner rather than later.

8. Develop relationships with influencers.

Influencers can be just as valuable as customers. These are the people who your target audience listens to, such as YouTube channel hosts or radio and television personalities. Call or email potential influencers and offer them free products or services.

One mention from these high-profile individuals can increase brand awareness and catapult your business startup from inception to credible and legitimate force. Find the right influencers to target for collaborations to get the most out of a campaign.

9. Create advertisements that play on people’s emotions.

In advertising, emotion frequently outsells logic. Consumers’ purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by their emotions, not just facts and information. So, how can a company use emotional content to connect with its target audience?

  • Happiness: Positive posts that encourage customers to smile, laugh, and be generally happy can increase user engagement. Coca-Cola is one example of a brand that has used emotional content to reach out to customers. Its advertisements feature happy people and taglines like “open happiness” and “taste the feeling.”
  • Fear/surprise: Fear is an instinct that causes us to react to threats and increases our chances of survival. It instills a sense of urgency in us, prompting us to act or effect change. PSAs, for example, frequently use fear tactics to discourage cigarette smoking and drunk driving. Use caution when implementing this strategy to avoid upsetting customers and alienating them from your brand.
  • Anger: Although anger is a negative emotion, it can motivate people to take action. You certainly want to create ads that elicit important questions from your target audience, and sometimes anger is a necessary part of that. However, use this reaction sparingly and responsibly.

10. Establish a referral network.

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing, particularly for small businesses. Because people buy based on trust and credibility, you can use their network to get referrals. Obtaining a referral requires two steps. First and foremost, you must provide clients with high-quality results.

In addition to providing an excellent product or service, communicate openly and frequently with customers who are completing a transaction with you. The next step is to solicit feedback. Even when things go wrong, transparency is an important quality to have, especially for startups.

Asking for feedback is a great way to learn about your clients’ personalities and how satisfied they were. You can then use their comments to improve your service in the future.

11. Keep your brand and message consistent.

You might think that consistency and discipline in messaging are only important for large corporations, but consistency in the brand and message of startups cannot be overstated. While your startup will go through minor changes over time, consistency in your actual brand image and communication is critical because it instills customers’ trust and credibility.

12. Track your progress.

The only way to determine success or failure is to track the results of your marketing strategy over time. How is your target audience interacting with your brand on the internet? Have you got a high conversion rate and a low bounce rate? Is your Instagram engagement higher than your Facebook engagement? Examine the effectiveness of your strategy to identify areas for improvement.

The frequency with which you measure your results will differ depending on the metric. Some metrics (such as website visits, total number of leads, and leads and visits per channel) may require daily monitoring, whereas others can be measured weekly or monthly (such as new vs. returning visitors, CTRs, and cost per acquisition).

After you’ve measured your results, don’t be afraid to change your marketing strategy if necessary. Your marketing strategy should evolve in tandem with your company.

13. Put together the right team.

Individual talents and skills are important in any business, but teamwork takes it to the next level. To create an effective marketing strategy, you must assemble the right team. Consider the following factors when deciding whether to hire full-time employees or a professional marketing team on a contract basis:

  • Determine the roles that must be filled in order to achieve your end goals.
  • Determine whether you require people on a contract or full-time basis.
  • Examine each candidate’s strengths, skills, and experience.
  • Conduct regular evaluations of team members.

Because startup resources are limited, these suggestions may prove difficult, so you can try alternatives. Is your partner, for example, an expert in social media? Do you have a coding pro on your team? Use the resources at your disposal to gradually expand your team.

Conclusion

If you want to get the best marketing results possible, you must concentrate on what works. While there are numerous ways to achieve your objectives, you should always prioritize the most high-impact and cost-effective options, and as a startup owner, I’m sure you already understand how critical this is.

The best strategies combine what we’ve discussed above and then analyze their performance to determine which require more or less investment. Whatever you do, keep in mind that your marketing efforts are only as good as your goals and targeting.

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