For entre­pre­neurs who are expe­ri­enc­ing their start­up grow and change each day, know­ing how to har­ness your company’s growth and mar­ket your new­ly-found­ed brand in the most effi­cient way pos­si­ble can seem like a large under­tak­ing. When you begin research­ing mar­ket­ing method­olo­gies for your new busi­ness, it can feel like infor­ma­tion over­load and may turn up strate­gies that seem well-suit­ed for brands who have big­ger ideas, big­ger wal­lets, and a big­ger staff. But mar­ket­ing and pro­mot­ing your start­up doesn’t have to be com­pli­cat­ed. You’re already past the hard­est part of a begin­ning a new ven­ture – start­ing it! To help you har­ness the growth and excite­ment of your new ven­ture, use this ulti­mate start­up mar­ket­ing check­list for new start­up busi­ness­es to help you mar­ket your new busi­ness sim­ply and expert­ly.

7 Startup Marketing Steps and Tips for 2020

1. Document Your Mission Statement & Core Values

As a start­up who is just get­ting its foothold, you may agree to do work that’s out­side of your company’s exper­tise or you may sign a client who isn’t a good fit. You prob­a­bly feel like you can’t turn away busi­ness at this point. How­ev­er, under­per­form­ing for a client may do more dam­age to your rela­tion­ship and rep­u­ta­tion than say­ing “no” would.

To avoid los­ing sight of what your start­up is great at deliv­er­ing, take time to write a mis­sion state­ment for your com­pa­ny. This is a good way to begin your mar­ket­ing plan check­list because this mis­sion state­ment will be the com­pass to guide you when you’re unsure if a project or a client is a good fit. Your mis­sion state­ment can be revised as time goes on, but write it, print it, and hang it up at your desk so you see it often.

If you have a team of peo­ple, con­sid­er estab­lish­ing core val­ues. The val­ues can change over time too, but use them to begin shap­ing the cul­ture of your com­pa­ny and set expec­ta­tions for your team.

2. Build Your Brand Identity

The oth­er impor­tant thing in your start­up mar­ket­ing check­list should be build­ing your brand iden­ti­ty. Your brand iden­ti­ty means more than just your logo and oth­er design ele­ments. As you begin com­mu­ni­cat­ing with more cus­tomers, start to put thought­ful con­sid­er­a­tion into your brand iden­ti­ty. It’s bet­ter to begin doc­u­ment­ing the stan­dards and pref­er­ences you have for your brand as you go. Your brand iden­ti­ty can change over time, but if you plan on build­ing your client pro­file and your inter­nal team, it’s good to keep your out­put and mes­sag­ing con­sis­tent.

Your brand iden­ti­ty does include your logo and design ele­ments, like the col­or palette, and it includes the words you want your brand to use and avoid, typog­ra­phy, and graph­ics. When cre­at­ing your brand iden­ti­ty, Col­umn Five Media out­lines the 5 keys to an expert­ly designed brand iden­ti­ty:

  1. Dis­tinct and atten­tion-grab­bing
  2. Mem­o­rable with a visu­al impact
  3. Scal­able and flex­i­ble to grow with your brand
  4. Cohe­sive and com­ple­men­tary to the whole iden­ti­ty
  5. Easy to apply and design

3. Develop a User-Friendly Website

Web­sites are more than a dig­i­tal busi­ness card in today’s tech-savvy world. Today, peo­ple are check­ing out your web­site on their mobile phone while they’re on the go, so make sure that peo­ple and search engines can under­stand what you’re web­site is try­ing to con­vey.

Your web­site should pro­vide a good user expe­ri­ence and help con­vert users into sales. To do this, cre­ate a respon­sive web­site that will work well on dif­fer­ent devices and load quick­ly. Think With Google pro­vides a few mar­ket­ing tools that will help you improve your site, with Test My Site specif­i­cal­ly show­ing how to make your site more mobile-friend­ly and improve your site speed.

If you’re not much of a web­site devel­op­er, this is an area of your new busi­ness that may be worth some invest­ment into a web devel­op­ment com­pa­ny who can help you real­ize your web­site vision with more speed and pre­ci­sion that you may be able to han­dle on your own.

4. Create a Blog

Once you have an estab­lished brand iden­ti­ty and a fast, opti­mized web­site, cre­ate a blog for your com­pa­ny. A blog can be a great mar­ket­ing chan­nel for your com­pa­ny. As you begin to learn about the life­cy­cle of your cus­tomers, you can cre­ate a con­tent mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy to help poten­tial clients find your site and con­vert. As you gain more expe­ri­ence and start col­lect­ing more data, you can start to pub­lish orig­i­nal case stud­ies and white papers that will help you show off your company’s know-how and close more deals.

When you begin blog­ging, remem­ber that every sin­gle idea doesn’t need to be com­plete­ly orig­i­nal and data-dri­ven. You can use your com­pa­ny blog to share com­pa­ny updates, indus­try news from thought lead­ers, and to col­lab­o­rate with oth­er busi­ness­es and orga­ni­za­tions. If you don’t have some­one on your team who can write, turn to local free­lance writ­ers or search an online free­lance mar­ket­place like Upwork or Freelancer.com to find a writer.

Create a Blog

5. Be Social

Social media chan­nels are a great mar­ket­ing tool for star­tups because they are free and easy to use. How­ev­er, you need a social media strat­e­gy to use these chan­nels effec­tive­ly.

To start, choose spe­cif­ic chan­nels to focus on. You don’t need to par­tic­i­pate in every chan­nel invent­ed. If you’re an e‑commerce com­pa­ny, visu­al chan­nels like Insta­gram and Face­book will be great, but if you’re a B2B brand, con­sid­er lever­ag­ing LinkedIn.

The main thing brands for­get to do on their social media chan­nels is BE SOCIAL! If your Twit­ter stream is only about you, your prod­ucts, and your blog posts, then you’re doing it wrong. Par­tic­i­pate in rel­e­vant hash­tag chats, ask ques­tions to oth­er thought lead­ers in your indus­try, share great con­tent from oth­er brands, and don’t ignore your cus­tomers – those who are singing your prais­es and those who are com­plain­ing. Above all else, be human.

6. Be Social In Person

For-Profit Startup

Accord­ing to the Con­tent Mar­ket­ing Insti­tute, 56% of B2B mar­keters use in-per­son events as one of their top 5 mar­ket­ing efforts. If you’re run­ning a for-prof­it start­up, attend­ing and host­ing indus­try con­fer­ences can be a great way to mar­ket your busi­ness to a cap­tive audi­ence. For a start­up, host­ing an in-per­son event or con­fer­ence may not be the best use of time, but attend­ing pop­u­lar indus­try con­fer­ences to net­work and learn about oth­er busi­ness strate­gies and upcom­ing trends.

Non-Profit Startup

If you’re a non-prof­it, host­ing in-per­son events is crit­i­cal to build aware­ness about your cause and to begin devel­op­ing rela­tion­ships with donors. To host a non-prof­it event:

  1. Set one spe­cif­ic, mea­sur­able goal.
  2. Choose the right event for your mis­sion, bud­get, and audi­ence.
  3. Secure cor­po­rate spon­sor­ships.
  4. Cre­ate com­pelling con­tent to incite inter­est and invite peo­ple.
  5. Go green and use an online tick­et­ing plat­form.
  6. Encour­age tick­et buy­ers to spread the word
  7. Pro­mote your event on your web­site, social media chan­nels, email mar­ket­ing, and print.

7. Measure Every Marketing Effort

Mea­sure, mea­sure, and mea­sure!

As a start­up, you’ll need to con­stant­ly mea­sure and change your busi­ness strate­gies to increase effi­cien­cies in your work­flows. The same con­cept should be applied to your mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. Set mar­ket­ing goals and mea­sure your efforts against them. This will allow you to deter­mine what mar­ket­ing efforts are worth pur­su­ing and which are worth chang­ing or stop doing as you con­tin­ue to grow and expe­ri­ence suc­cess.

Don’t for­get to share your thoughts and sug­ges­tions in the com­ments sec­tion, so that we can improve the start­up mar­ket­ing check­list for new busi­ness­es.

SOURCE: Start­up buffer