How to Develop a Winning Marketing Plan for Startups

Have you JUST started your own business? If yes, then you must have a mountain of work on your to-do list every day. After all, being a startup owner means wearing multiple hats at the same time. You need to organize your products, hire skilled employees, identify day-to-day problems, find solutions for those, and the list goes on and on.

Most importantly, you have to reach potential customers and promote your products smartly. Your promotion strategy has to be attractive enough to entice them to learn more about your brand and your product and, eventually, to convert.

However, you cannot do that without a solid marketing plan. And developing an A-1 marketing plan for startups is not a piece of cake, especially for someone who already has so many things on their plate.

So, we’ve rounded up some of the most influential and essential tips to make a winning marketing plan for newbie businesses. Adopting these strategies will help you make the best marketing plan for your startup with the least effort.

But first, let’s make sure you truly understand why it’s worth spending your time, money, and energy on a killer marketing plan.

Why Does Your Startup Need a Killer Marketing Plan?

Marketing is one of the activities you MUST do when you start a business. There is no alternative. If you’ve been running your business for some time now, you already know why it is a must. Still, let’s have a recap on the most apparent yet excellent perks of marketing or promotional activities:

  • Brand identity and exposure: A good marketing plan will give your brand the exposure you need. You can make your brand identity so much stronger if you can identify and utilize the right marketing tools.
  • Enhanced market knowledge: Besides, marketing ideas for startups will help you get an overall idea about the demands and preferences of your target consumers as well as the market as a whole.
  • Expanding your reach: When you successfully promote your videos in front of a targeted audience, you reach more and more potential customers, thus expanding your business.
  • Boosting conversions: Naturally, you will get more conversions if you can reach more customers, and more conversions will bring inevitable success for your startup.
  • Customer satisfaction: An essential part of marketing is using tools to learn more about your target consumers. Through marketing activities, you’ll be able to better understand consumer expectations and consider their feedback so that you can create offers they’ll love.

8 Advanced Strategies for Developing a Solid Marketing Plan for Startups

Now that you have a strong grasp of the importance of a marketing plan for startups, let’s go further. Here are some vital steps and strategies for making a solid marketing plan as a newcomer on the market.

1. Pinpointing Your Target Audience

The first and foremost step you need to take to make a solid marketing plan is determining your target audience. Your business might be new, and you might need a lot of customers to grow that business. But you need to understand that not all people are fit to be your potential customers.

You might want to catch a wide range of customers by casting a huge net, but that would only slow you down, bringing fewer outcomes than expected. You have to understand the demographics related to your industry and niche. In turn, this knowledge will help you understand who to target.

You cannot adopt practical marketing strategies if you do not have a clear idea about your targeted audience. Moreover, you do not need to waste your time on consumers who will not be interested in your products and will not help in conversion.

A startup usually has a comparatively tight budget for everything. So, why invest money in someone who might not turn into a customer?

Pour that energy into people who are more likely to be interested in your products.

Are you thinking about how you can understand who to target?

Well, Buyers Persona comes in handy in this regard. You can study buyers’ personalities to understand their attitudes and preferences.

2. Fixing Business Goals

When you opened your business, you had goals in mind. All your business activities revolve around those goals. Your startup marketing plan should be based upon some goals. You need to know what you want to achieve before entering the arena.

This will help you save a lot of time, and you will also have an idea about what exactly you are doing; you will not feel like a fish out of water. For making the most realistic and efficient goals, you can opt for the SMART goals.

These are basically goals and objectives that are-

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timed

So, you can easily understand that your business goals should be specific ones, and at the same time, those should be something that you can measure. In this way, you will get to know about your progress.

The goals you target should be achievable as well. You cannot target an unrealistic goal as that will only waste your valuable time.

Lastly, you have to ensure that the goals you fix are relevant to your business and time-bound. You cannot invest a massive amount of time for a specific goal; instead, you need to divide time for all the activities.

3.    Creating an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

If you make a list of the vital factors of a successful marketing plan, content marketing will surely fall on that list. This is one of the first things you have to do to develop a winning marketing plan.

Now, what do we mean by content?

Content in content marketing is usually comprised of the following:

  • Blogs
  • Newspapers
  • Articles
  • Press releases
  • Social media posts
  • Brochures
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Emails and so on.

An effective content marketing strategy refers to an elaborate plan for showcasing your promotional content on various channels. So, first, you need to target what type of content you would like to get on with, and then you need to choose your preferred channels.

Search Engine Optimization can be beneficial for a startup business. When you make SEO-optimized content, it helps you reach more customers, allowing your business to be known widely and getting more leads. Here are some steps you need to follow while tailoring content marketing for startups-

  1. Select your audience
  2. Select the type of content you would like to go for
  3. Compare those with your company goals and mission
  4. Optimize your content for SEO
  5. Make a suitable schedule for posting or publishing those
  6. Monitor how your content is doing on different platforms

 That’s how you can create content that converts the most.

4.   Using Marketing Channels to the Fullest

You’ll be marketing your products on certain channels. And your marketing plan should identify which of the available channels would work best for you.

After opening a startup business, you must make your brand known and reliable in front of people. If people do not know about you, they cannot buy products from you. So, you can understand that the first step to becoming a successful business is to reach people and make your identity a strong and trustworthy one in front of them.

The road to doing that is through marketing channels. Now, there are multiple channels that you can opt for, but as a startup, you can start with these two:

Search engines

When a person wants to buy something, he usually looks for it on different search engines. So, promoting your products on different search engines can be highly beneficial for you. Search engine optimization will come in handy in this matter.

You have to make your content and images keyword-optimized and upload your products to these search engines maintaining all the requirements. The process to upload your product info and images on these platforms is by making a product feed.

You can create product feeds manually, but that process is tiresome and time-consuming. If you are on platforms like WooCommerce, your hassles can be taken right away by the best WooCommerce product feed plugins available there. These plugins help you make the most optimized product feeds for hundreds of marketing channels very easily.

Social media

Social media platforms are the most budding places for startup businesses. Why? Because the popularity of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tiktok, and Twitter is sky high now.

The number of active social media users is increasing every day, and the estimated number of these users is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025. Social media platforms are usually the go-to places for these people for anything and everything. Use this opportunity!

Tailor engaging content for social media platforms to catch people’s attention towards your business. Introduce them with your products, but do that using unique and exciting ways. Because the more awesome your content will be, the more people will remember you, which is excellent for new businesses.

SEO is crucial for social media posts as well. In fact, if you want to excel in social media marketing (SMM), you must understand the similarities and differences between SEO and SMM. Implementing both of these will help you make the most ideal and outstanding posts.

You can use social media in a variety of ways. Besides advertising your products or services through photos and videos, you can now use the LIVE feature too, where you can connect and communicate with your customers in real-time and let them know about your business.

In addition to making your own content, you also need to study what your competitors are doing and be informed about all the latest trends.

5. Influencer Marketing

Social media influencers are trendsetters. People adore them, love to follow them, and most importantly, listen to them.

Being a startup owner, you are sure to face a hard time making people listen to you or proving yourself to be trustworthy. They might not listen or believe what you say about your or your products, but they will definitely take an interest in your business if an influencer promotes it.

Besides, influencers have a huge follower base who try to follow in their footsteps in everything they do and everything they use. People trust the influencers as they are usually ethical and care for their followers.

That is why, when an influencer promotes your products in front of their millions of followers, you can reach millions of people at the same time and without any hard work at all.

Doesn’t it sound amazing?

Surely it does. Influencer marketing is smart marketing. But you need to understand which influencer has a similar passion to you or who works in a similar niche. Not all of them could be beneficial for your business.

6. Creating the Best Experience For the Customers

When you run a business, your top priority is always the customers. There is no dispute about that. So, surely you understand how vital customer experience is for your business. It becomes even more crucial when you have just started your business.

If you cannot offer a top-notch customer experience to all who buy products from you from the very outset of your business journey, you will find it extremely hard to have success. On the other hand, if you care about your customers and offer them ease and comfort while making them feel special, they will definitely be more interested in your products.

The possibility of making a sale increases significantly with excellent customer service. In fact, it has been seen that 86% of the customers are even ready to pay more for a better customer experience, whereas 32% of them will simply leave after they have had only one bad experience.

So, design your customer service very cautiously. Study the customer’s needs and attend to each of their queries and problems with the same importance. Live chat and chatbot can be useful techniques to increase customer experience. This is a way to remain connected with your customers day and night.

When your customers feel that they can reach you anytime they want and share their feedback with you, it automatically improves their experience with you.

7. Offering Free Products Through Contests

This little gesture can take you miles ahead. When you have a new business, people find it a bit hard to try out your products. They feel hesitant to spend money on something without really knowing whether or not it will be worth it.

What to do then?

Well, what you can do in this regard is offer free trials of your products. Nobody minds gifts. This can be an excellent way to showcase your products in front of potential customers.

However, you cannot just give your products away to hundreds or thousands of people. This will have a massive impact on your new business. You have to come up with a plan that will get you something back in return for those free products.

Here is an example of how you can manage giving free products and increase customer engagement at the same time-

  1. Arrange a giveaway contest
  2. Ask people to share your business profile with their friends and family as a competition
  3. Select the winner from them
  4. Give away your products as the prize

Arranging such contests will give your business a lot more exposure. People will get more interested in your products. When they share your profile with their friends and family, you will get more leads as well.

8. Making a Referral Scheme

Referral marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies for startups. The idea is to spread the word about your business through your existing customers. People might feel hesitant to put their trust in your business, but they will definitely trust the recommendations from their family members and friends.

So, if your customers spread the good word about your business, you will be able to spread your net wider and earn loyalty and trust from a more extensive customer base. More people will know about you, you will have more leads, and your conversions will increase as well.

Referrals from your satisfied customers act as social proof of the quality of service you offer. Ask your customers to refer your new business to their close ones and leave reviews on your business profile.

When new viewers visit your social pages or website and get to see good reviews about your product or service from other customers, they get a good feeling about your business. And this also makes them feel confident to make a purchase themselves.

This can do wonders for your startup. You will make more sales, no doubt about that; but most importantly, it will help build trust in your brand. Proving to be trustworthy is a great success for any company.

Wrapping up

Growing a startup business is like taking care of a child. You have to be cautious about each and every decision for a certain period. You have to experiment, take risks, and bring out innovative and creative ideas to stand out.

There are already millions of startups in this world. Strong and out-of-the-box marketing and promotional tactics can be your savior to help you stand out and build your brand. The effort will certainly pay off!