Marketing for start-ups: A beginner’s guide

Marketing for start-ups can leave your head spinning, especially if marketing is new to you. Here’s a quick and easy guide to getting started with marketing for start-ups.

How to make a plan when marketing for start-ups

The best place to start with your marketing strategy as a start-up business owner is to make a plan. This is where you’ll figure out what needs to be included in your marketing and where the gaps in your knowledge are. You’ll probably be starting your business with a very small team, and you might have some basic marketing know-how among you, but it’s a good idea to look for marketing plan help when you need it. There are great free resources out there, including events, articles, and webinars to help plug the gaps in your marketing knowledge.

Within the plan, it’s a great idea to do a SWOT analysis to figure out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This will help to bring focus to your strategy.

Once you’ve made your plan, you will have a better idea of your priorities need to be, what your goals are, and what you need to know in order to achieve them.

A strong plan means that you have a good foundation for your marketing strategy. Missing out important things at this stage can have a negative effect further down the line, so it’s worth taking the time to plan ahead.

Social media

When marketing for start-ups, a strong social media presence can really help you grow. Social media is free and could be your most cost-effective tool for marketing. Through social media, you can increase your brand awareness and build a following and a network of people interested in your business.

From Instagram and Facebook to TikTok and LinkedIn, your marketing plan will help you understand what platforms are best to show off your business and where you will find the biggest audience for your products or services.

Social media is also a great way to get to know what your competitors are up to, have a look at what they’re doing well and what you think you could be doing better.

It’s possible to see your following grow if you use the right hashtags, seek out potential customers or clients and interact with your audience regularly.

Email marketing for start-ups

Email marketing campaign are an effective way to directly reach your audience when marketing for start-ups. Your marketing will appear right in your target audience’s email inbox with a notification – the best place for them to really engage with what you’ve got to offer them. This is what makes email marketing a great opportunity for converting people to customers. Also, building an email database of potential customers to market to is really important.

There are lots of email marketing platforms out there to choose from. There’s typically a range of price options to choose from, depending on the size of your audience.

There are a few different ways to build up your newsletter list – the simplest way is to just ask people! You can also offer discounts, or give away a tool or download of some useful info that your company specialises in. You need to check that the way that you store and manage data is compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and that you are asking permission for it to be used for marketing purposes.

Paid advertising when marketing for start-ups

From Google Ads to Facebook Ads, paid advertising is a huge part of digital marketing. You pay to make your ads appear higher in search engines, on YouTube clips, and on social media pages.

Paid ads are the perfect way to find an audience that’s ready to engage with your products and convert people to customers. If you’re going to invest in paid ads, it’s important to know you’re targeting the right people, your audience isn’t too large nor too specific, and you have a plan in place to monitor your results.

You can pay for ads in a range of different ways, including paying for each click you receive. Other options include paying for a certain number of impressions (views) or only paying when you receive a conversion (such as a purchase).

Website marketing for start-ups

Your website is a vital marketing tool. It’s where all your other marketing routes will funnel to get people to make a purchase or book a service with you, so it’s super important to make a good first impression. If you have Google Analytics set up, you can view when and where on your website users converted.

Your website can either be built from scratch or by using a content management system (CMS) that uses templates.

When marketing for start-ups, your website should be optimised for search engines (known as Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO). SEO is a continual process of keeping your website up to date, accessible, and clear.

The fundamentals of SEO are:

  • make sure that the keywords you want to be found for are represented in the names of pages and are used in a relevant way throughout the specific areas of the site;
  • make sure you link pages on your site together to help search engines (and people!) connect pages and understand your website structure;
  • make sure you write meta titles and descriptions for your pages to make them more appealing in search results;
  • make sure your site loads nice and fast by avoiding massive image and video files being hosted on your site.

This seems like a lot of work – can I get any marketing help for start-ups?

Some areas of marketing can be a bit tricky to get your head around to begin with. Becoming an expert in something takes time and practice. Luckily, York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub is here to help.

At York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub, we want to help your start-up get off to a great start. We offer FREE marketing support for start-up organisations to help you grow.

Marketing is such a fundamental part of growing your business and we have sales and marketing support resources that will help explain things in more detail so you can pick up the skills for success as you embark upon your new business venture.

We’re here if you need help with online marketing in the York and North Yorkshire region, don’t hesitate to contact us for more free support and advice.