Marketing and Sales Tips for Startups

Starting a business can be overwhelming, to say the least. Because small business owners have to be whatever their small business needs, it can be difficult to master all the nuances that go into sales or marketing. And if you are not a salesperson, to begin with, you face an even bigger challenge.

However, innovative marketing ideas that will set you apart from competitors is essential.

Here are some marketing tips and tricks to help you with your startup or small business:

1.Create Credibility 

Networking and sharing your expertise with others can help you prove your abilities to your community. After establishing your niche, channel your energy into assembling a culture around your business. You can do this by offering an insider’s perspective to those on the outside.

Entrepreneur.com gives a few suggestions on how to achieve this: ” A blog can offer laymen the chance to understand your trade with a new perspective. A webinar or a podcast can help viewers (or listeners) feel like experts in your field. Speaking at an incubator, expo or niche event can put you in the role of the teacher and allow you to share your groundbreaking ideas with an immediate audience.”

These methods will establish a level of credibility in your field, which is more apt to generate interested customers.

 

 

2. Get “Out There” 

Allow with establishing your niche and increasing your credibility, you need to “be everywhere.” You want to be that brand that people notice when they’re walking down the streets.Even if they don’t know what your startup does, they’ll recognize your name.

This means going above and beyond blogging and being active on social media. Although these platforms and services are important, you can do more.

According to Forbes.com, “Some examples would be commissioning a mural on building and covering the streets with chalk, paint or displays. You could also make up bumper stickers and t-shirts and give them to employees or as freebies at events. They may not be the most unusual, but a creative shirt not only lets people have the chance to be different, it will make others want to jump on board – think Zaarly shirts floating around the Bay Area.”

This may seem a little “out there” but if you following the same method as everyone else, you could get lost in the crowd. Don’t be invisible.

Also, help the people discover your content by improving your ranking on Google. Use hyper-targeted keywords to power your social media-based audience. There are many platforms that can help you do this, like Socedo, a social media automation tool, where you can, for example, find Twitter users who post content using your niche keywords and engage with them over time.

It will take a little bit of fight to get noticed but it will be worth the hard work in the end.

3. Listen To Your Customer   

Customers may at times defy logic, but they are usually right. If you want to know what your potential audience wants, you need to pay attention to what they are saying. Review data, interview customer service reps, build a rapport through email, create a survey and, above all, be open and ready to listen.

 

4. People and Places 

It never hurts to pair with an unexpected partner or place to promote your product. A great example of this is, “the time M&M’s were offered a starring role in E.T. The offer was turned down, so the film went with Reese’s Pieces instead. While that hiccup didn’t remove M&M’s from grocery store shelves, it did help make Reese’s Pieces an extremely popular candy.”

A risk is involved with every avenue of business. So don’t be afraid to branch out into the unexpected. You could be rewarded in the end.

5. Engage, Don’t Sell 

As a startup business owner and an entrepreneur, your first inclination will be to push a sale to everyone you meet. However, start with engagement first and sales will follow later.

With social media, it’s easy to engage your target demographic without looking like you’re just trying to advertise. Build brand trust by showing your support, whether of your community or your online following. This goes along with previous steps mentioned in this article. Sales will come after customers are listened to, credibility is established and your presence on various social platforms is recognized. In short, engagement.

5 Tips for Improving Your Email Marketing Campaign

Email is one of the most powerful marketing platforms. While serving a number of purposes, its greatest function is the ability to funnel your audience into one place.

According to Entrepreneur.com, “email is so powerful that the Direct Marketing Association says that you can get a return on investment (ROI) of $38 for every $1 you invest in email marketing.”

However, some email marketers end up narrowing their focus, limiting themselves to one goal: click-throughs. While getting the most traffic you can to your site is extremely important, you need to move a step further to keep your audience loyal to your or your brand.

Here are some tips to spruce up your email marketing campaign and keep your audience coming back for more.

1. Keeping Your Audience Informed 

Your first task is to make sure your email strategy is keeping your audience informed with important updates and reminders. This helps your brand stay fresh in the mind of your subscribers, and demonstrates value to them. Just make sure your announcements have real value and are relevant to your audience.

Don’t just send an email out for the heck of it. Stay focused and narrow your scope to contain what your audience will be interested in receiving.

2. Segment Your Email List 

Instead of lumping all your subscribers into one category and one email, try the segmenting approach. This means categorizing your subscribers based on relevant information, such as age, gender, activity to your site, purchase behavior or interests. People like personalization and feeling important as a customer.

According to a study conducted by Marketing Sherpa, “segmenting emails can boost email conversion rates by up to 208 percent.”

3. Timing 

As the saying goes, timing is everything. This goes for email marketing as well. Research shows that there are better times and days to send emails depending on your goals. According to coschedule.com data, the best time to send an email is between 10 and 11 a.m on Mondays during the week and on Sundays for weekends. Additionally, the best day to send emails to high open rates and clickthrough rates is on Tuesday.

Don’t forget about timezones too. Identify where the majority of your target audience is located and adjust your times and days accordingly.

4. Email Automation is Key 

If any of these steps seem overwhelming, remember that most email platforms have email automation. This makes it possible to send emails to different people at different times based on their time zones.

Familiarize yourself with this feature, as it will make your life easier and your audience reach more accessible.

Some email services are now introducing artificial intelligence for email marketing that will do all of this for you. Services such as Sendpulse, Infusionsoft, Active Campaign, and Ontraport, all offer this feature.

5. Social Media Integration 

Though this may seem simple, but a great way to encourage brand loyalty and keep a connection with your audience is integrating your social media into your email strategy.

According to Small Business Trends, “this mode of cross-pollination encourage some of your already-loyal social media followers to subscribe to your email list and encourages some of your interested email subscribers to get more involved on the social media front.” This way you will be encouraging more user participation, thus establishing stronger brand loyalty.