Marketing For Start-ups Requires More Than Social Media

There are two areas companies focus on when they think of “expansion.” First, is the obvious: physical space. Start-up companies often begin life in a garage or small home office. Their expansion is literal—from one room to several, and so on. Digital storefront expansion is different in that it doesn’t take up more physical space, but companies do have to think about memory, speed, and screen dimensions.

Physical expansion overshadows marketing

Of course, this emphasis on expansion is critical in the early days of a business, but once it is established, Eric Kranz, marketing correspondent for the Dawson County Register, said businesses need to start broadening their focus. He explained, “As businesses get started, they tend to favor focusing their time and capital into improving the physical space the business will occupy, getting the latest and greatest technology to be ahead of the competition, hiring more people than is probably necessary, and over-stocking on inventory.”

Sure employees and inventory are necessary, but they won’t be much use if no one knows about your business. Owners often neglect the marketing side in the beginning, figuring word of mouth and social media will be enough to get them going.

More than social media and word of mouth

Kranz said, “Those are the stock answers. While they can be incredibly important for many businesses, it’s rarely enough especially as you first start out.” So what should you be doing? The answer varies widely depending on your product or service, audience demographic, and your scope or reach. If you’re entirely clueless as to what you should be doing, a good start might be to check out what your competitors are doing. Industry analysis can give you statistics and figures on annual marketing spending and what venues marketers are using most frequently.

“Ultimately, however,” Kranz said, “the key to effectively growing your business is not just in how much you are spending, but how efficiently.” That’s why social media and word of mouth are such attractive answers. It’s free for dissemination and more convincing than other types of marketing. Spending hundreds or thousands of dollars are web campaigns or direct mailings won’t do you any good if that’s not how your consumers get their information.

Include actionable phrases

One way to make your marketing more effective is by including actionable phrases or challenges. So you post a funny picture or pithy quote on Facebook. What are your clients supposed to do with that? Challenge them to do something with it, and make it beneficial to them. For instance, try, “Call now to find out more,” or “Sign up today for 30% off,” or “Share now for a chance to win.”


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