Now that your startup is up and running, it’s time to begin thinking about marketing. The
startup community is competitive and diverse, with hundreds, if not thousands, of new
startups competing to be noticed each year. How can you stand out from the pack? One
time-tested and effective way is word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM). Here are 5 tips to
get you started:
1. Have a Social Strategy
One of the most important yet overlooked factors in marketing a new startup is social
presence. Make sure to set up accounts on Facebook and Twitter (and whatever other
social media channels your target audience frequents) and update them regularly with
relevant content. Put in the effort to research about the best times to post, the best
hashtags to use, and keep up to date with what’s trending in your community.
2. Recruit Influencers
Influencers are a very valuable marketing resource so reach out to them in a smart way.
If you are marketing an app or technology service, for example, seek out the influential
journalists and publications and pitch your product. However, asking journalists to write
about your company will not always be successful, so don’t forget your other well of
influencers – bloggers. Seek out bloggers that have a recognizable and trusted voice in
your field and launch a blogger campaign. Ask them for honest reviews of your product
and to help you promote it, and gain publicity, word of mouth, and valuable feedback.
3. Make Partnerships
Don’t be afraid to reach out to veterans in your field, as they are always looking for
interesting new startups to discover and support. Attend events and conferences,
exchange guest posts, and make partnerships to introduce your peers to your product.
4. Engage, Engage, Engage
All of the above requires you becoming an active presence in your community. Build
your brand voice and engage with consumers and peers beyond just posting links to
your latest blog post or product update. Retweet, comment, share, and always reply to
let people know that you are approachable and are willing to offer your knowledge.
Of course, not every strategy will work perfectly. Analyze as much as you can – which
tweets have more impact, what content is best for your SEO, and so on. Furthermore,
make sure to conduct interviews with your users/consumers and ask for testimonials in
order to continuously improve your product and build a reputation as a brand that cares
about their customers.
Remember that you are unlikely to see immediate results, as word of mouth needs time
to grow and spread. Keep engaging with consumers, analyzing your campaigns, and
networking with peers and investors in your industry – the Alley Boost Startup Expo (3
November) is one great place to start. By utilizing these tips, you will eventually start
seeing buzz grow around your startup.