Your startup spurred from the inception of a fantastic idea.
From that idea came securing your intellectual property, and the management and development of your product/service, with you all the while navigating investors and funding.
Once your funding is received and your startup can really get off the ground, it’s time figure out how you’re going to allocate your money – specifically, how you’re going to allocate your marketing dollars.
It’s no secret that marketing budgets are tight for startups, but there’s also no denying the need for marketing itself.
What this means is you need to be strategic in your use of your marketing dollars to ensure your limited budget gets you as far as it possibly can. In other words, you need a solid foundation to build upon and you need to cut any efforts where you might not see ROI.
Well, look no further! Here is your “How To” guide to getting the most ‘bang for your buck’ from your startup’s marketing budget!
1. Identify Your Buyer Personas
First and foremost, allocate a small portion of your budget toward market research and identifying your startup’s buyer personas.
Meet internally with your team, or with a reputable marketing agency, and discuss who your target buyers are. Maybe you have three target buyers, maybe you have 10! Regardless, you need to know the life story of these target buyers (i.e. buyer personas).
You need to know what they’re interested in, what they search for, how they search for it, what they spend their time doing during their day, when they check their email, etc.
Knowing this information will help ensure you’re getting the proper messaging to them, through the right mediums, at the correct times of the day to help drive these target buyers to the point of sale when your marketing efforts kick-off.
2. Solidify Your Brand
While developing your startup’s brand identity, you probably went through several different logo variations, you might have had trouble developing the consistent tone and messaging of your brand, and your startup’s purpose might have evolved.
And while changes are to be expected as your starting your business, it’s imperative that your brand is solidified as it’s launched. Having inconsistencies across various platforms in your messaging, logo, purpose, etc. can have your startup come across an unprofessional and not ready.
It’s important to spend some of your budget putting quality assurance processes in place to review your marketing efforts before anything is pushed live as this will protect and solidify your brand from the beginning.
3. Define Your Short Term and Long Term Goals
Unless you have short term and long term goals for your startup and you’re measuring progress, you’ll never know whether your marketing efforts are working and whether your money is money well-spent.
Develop measurable, attainable goals for your startup such as ‘to increase qualified visits to the website by X percent by X date,’ ‘to increase qualified leads by X percent by X date,’ or ‘to close X percent of leads acquired by X date.’
Then, develop a process for aggregating and analyzing the necessary data to see your startup’s progress at reaching those benchmarks.
If you’re unsure of what data you should be measuring, download our free eBook, The Data You Should (and Shouldn’t) be Measuring for Company Growth.
4. Design and Develop Your Website
Think of your website as a living, breathing sales machine that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for your startup. Your website should reflect your branding guidelines, should be designed with user experience and your buyer personas in mind, and should function as a sales funnel to move your visitors to the point of conversion.
Your startup’s website is and will always continue to be one of the most important aspects of your marketing, and it is what all of your other marketing efforts will stem from. Therefore, do not skimp out on designing and developing your website.
Put aside a good portion of your marketing budget to go toward designing and developing your online identity.
5. Build a Solid Foundation on SEO
Without SEO, or search engine optimization, your website will not be found, your goals will not be met and your business will not grow. It’s harsh, but true.
Begin your startup’s online presence on the right foot by building a solid foundation on SEO. Enlist the aid of a digital marketer or digital marketing agency and make sure your website is SEO-friendly with keyword-optimized, meta data, headers, alt tags, content, etc.
If you’re unsure of where to begin, download our free eBook, The Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization, to learn SEO best practices to get you started!
6. Implement an Inbound Marketing Strategy
It’s important to note that there are two different kinds of marketing: inbound and outbound.
Outbound marketing includes advertising, cold calling, purchased email lists, telemarketing, and other paid mediums to bring you business. Outbound methods are typically costly, come off as “salesy” and make it hard to show ROI.
Inbound marketing is the exact opposite. It’s the “get yourself found” approach where you implement tactics to help people who are already learning about and shopping in your industry find you.
Not only is inbound marketing cheaper, but it’s also more effective and measurable! So rather than blowing through the remainder of your marketing dollars by implementing outbound tactics, go the inbound route and truly grow your startup into a profitable business!