A strategic marketing plan for startups needs more than financial planning, staff approval, and sales projection. Regardless of the unique business scenario and market conditions, this guide can help you develop a marketing plan which is guaranteed to bring great results if you follow it.
Know your customers as soon as possible
New business owners often fail to identify their target customers thinking that everyone is eligible to buy their products. It’s good that there’s a big market for you to explore, but you should still consider some solid facts. In order to understand who will buy from you, create a buyer persona for your B2B, B2C and marketplace clients.
Consider geographical data such as your target country, city, areas, and population. Also pay attention to demographic data like age, occupation, education, gender, and family size. By studying consumer behaviour, you can easily get information about their lifestyle, social status, and the frequency of purchase etc.
A Quick Tip: If you’ve never used Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads or Google Adwords, just create a dummy account there to see how you can narrow down your search criteria to reach the right customers. It’s completely free and you may get tons of ideas to work on.
Craft a compelling brand message
How do you want your customers to feel about your business? To develop a successful marketing campaign for a startup, you must know how you will communicate with potential buyers. Your brand message can help your business stand out as it will guide your customers to set clear expectations. Lack of clarity means people will not be able to understand your offerings and the benefits of your products. What types of brand message will speak clearly and loudly?
With that, you need to have a strategy for content creation. Once you’re clear with a brand message, you can begin with content creation. There are plenty of options available for you to explore. Blogs, video promotion, ebooks, webinars, newsletters, influencers and social media posts can help you deliver that message in a suitable format.
Build a positive brand message that clearly says – why someone should buy from you. Keep in mind that a strategic marketing plan should spread the love. Instead of focusing on destroying your competition or mocking them, focus all your efforts on making your customers feel special.
A Quick Tip: If you can’t come up with a great brand message, don’t worry. Prepare a list of all the leading brands. Visit their websites and analyze the catchy headings and phrases they have highlighted. Don’t copy them. Just take inspiration to learn how you can clearly convey your message in a way that makes your customers want to read on.
Finalize your marketing channels
Don’t try to do everything at once. In the future, you will have to build a strong presence on as many channels as possible, but in the beginning, stick to the most relevant marketing channels and content formats. Be realistic when choosing social media platforms for content publishing, advertising channels for paid marketing and long-term growth tools like SEO and guest blogging.
Even if your goal is to publish 10 articles on your own website in the first month, set up measurement and tracking tools first. Keep in mind that every minute and each dollar you spend on marketing needs to be tracked. Always keep results in mind and be ready to make changes. Even the most strategic marketing plan needs optimization from time to time.
“Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant.” — Anthony D’Angelo
A Quick Tip: A single search on Google can help you find many free and premium tracking tools which you can add to your website. Why it’s important because you will be able to test and measure your marketing campaigns using them.
A successful marketing plan thrives on connections
Remember that online tools can provide you with more knowledge and a solid ROI boost. But a business thrives on connections and without them, you can never come out of that startup phase. From day one, make it a habit that anyone who enquires, asks or takes interest in your products, you will keep their contact information with you. It is applicable to your existing clients because referrals can be a great help for a startup.
Stay committed to your brand values and be ready to give more than you’re asked for. A successful marketing plan is about building relationships. Put a subscribe form on your website, share accurate contact details and offer something extra whenever you can. Request your customers to review your services and write a feedback note. Ask them to sign up for your newsletters and focus on increasing your email list.
A Quick Tip: Anyone who is on Twitter or Facebook with a large number of followers can be a source of leads for you. Influencers don’t necessarily have to be an actor or an internet sensation. People who write about your industry and are considered a trustworthy source of information can work as an influencer for your business.
People work for years to become an overnight success – you know what it means. If your strategies are not working, you can’t just blame the platforms or your target audience. Sometimes it takes time to see results, even in the digital world. So be willing to give a reasonable amount of time to each marketing campaign you run. At any time if you feel like something is not working, instead of making immediate changes, check your plan from the start to end.
Creating a strategic marketing plan for startups can be intimidating. Don’t get discouraged if you make mistakes and don’t be so overconfident that you can’t even accept the flaws in your approach. Be open to asking for help and if you are not confident about your marketing strategy, let a professional marketing agency or individual develop it for you.
As long as you measure results and optimize your marketing plan accordingly, nothing will stop your business from growing. Follow these tips and start working on developing a strategic marketing plan for your startup today. Great success awaits you.