The tech startup guide to online marketing
Marketing is one of the things that tech startup founders can’t afford to ignore, even at the earliest stages of a new venture. You can’t create an effective product if you don’t understand your customers. You can’t sell that product unless you’ve cracked the code of how to connect with the right customers and communicate how you meet their needs. For tech startups even more than most, you’re going to need to master online marketing to succeed.
You need to start with a plan. Define your customer in as much detail as you can (this also helps you in production and sales). Use this ideal customer profile to research where your customers spend their time online and what they like. This may overlap with the type of tech product you provide. If you’re selling ERP solutions to a corporate executive, then you’re less likely to be effective with humor-based content on a platform such as Snapchat or Pinterest than if you’re selling a new lifestyle app.
Always start with your plan and your customer profile. This helps you create strategies that are focused on success, not trends. The last thing you want to do is chase every passing online fad or ephemeral channel. However, some channels, tools and trends are significant and lasting enough to take note of for all tech startups.
Check major social media channels for your ideal customers. Chances are you’ll find them on Facebook and Twitter, with other growing channels such as Instagram and YouTube being worth a serious look. Paid advertising is effective for all business types, if used right, either through traditional search platforms such as Google AdWords or social media in the form of sidebar ads or boosted posts.
Content marketing is another area that you need to include in your plan. You need to connect with prospective and continuing customers online. You do this through content marketing. This used to mean lots of blogs, whitepapers, articles and downloadables. These types of text-based content still have their place, but solely relying on text-based content is limiting and can reduce your effectiveness. Make the most of your content by presenting it in as many formats as possible to better reach your customers online.
Always incorporate high-quality graphics in whatever content you do share online (on your website, in “posts” on social media, or in ads), and whenever possible, use motion graphics or video. Video gets you noticed. Social media channels currently give it an extra boost in reach, and video ads can be less expensive than other formats. This online animator can help you get comfortable with creating quick video content of all kinds.
Online marketing is a critical component of your success. Start planning from the earliest stages. You want marketing to be part of your overall strategy, and a deep understanding of your customers should infuse everything you do, from product design to marketing. Online, share content that provides value to your customers on the channels they frequent. Repurpose content into multiple formats to get the most value out of it, and don’t forget or ignore the power of video content.