How to Make a Splash with Simple Ways to Market Your New Business

How to Make a Splash with Simple Ways to Market Your New Business

Launching a startup is one of, if not the, most daunting tasks in business. The blood, sweat, tears, and stress needed to devise a plan, secure financing, and put the dream into motion are not something that just anybody possesses. It takes a special, resilient person to be an entrepreneur.

Unfortunately, opening your business’ doors is just the beginning of the journey. Many new business owners put so much focus into their launch that they fail to plan the next steps properly. Without a strategic, consistent, and aggressive marketing plan, your startup may be doomed to fail. On the other hand, there are plenty of easy techniques that you can deploy in the early days of your company to avoid this. Here are some crucial marketing tactics that even the smallest of startups can utilize.

Build Marketing into Your Business Plan

Hopefully, this first technique was one of the earliest tasks you undertook when conceiving your company. In case you’re just getting started, though, your business plan is the key to getting financial support from investors or banking institutions. It should include a detailed expense budget, market analysis of competitors, and operational structure. It should also set aside a significant amount of money for marketing and advertising.

The more detailed the marketing component of your business plan can be, the better. You should get specific about your media mix and tick off every tactic from email marketing to traditional and social media scheduling. Whether you come from a marketing background or not, invest the time to educate yourself (or seek help) and build a thoughtful advertising and marketing plan. This will not only show investors that you have considered every necessary angle but also make it far more likely that you will have the funding to spend on marketing when the time comes.

Get Your Online Presence in Order

Prior to launch, your business should be ready to be found online. In the 21st century, potential customers will almost always check you out online before visiting your location. This means you should have a modern, responsive, and easy-to-navigate website. It’s worth the money to hire an experienced webmaster or agency to create one for you, rather than rely on cheap and confusing templates. A modern website should have a mobile-first design, meaning it should be accessible and fully functional on smartphones and tablets as well as computers.

Your online effectiveness is also closely tied to your social media identity. Determine what social channels line up with your target demos and establish business accounts on them. Load them up with relevant content of your pre-launch efforts if that’s appropriate for your industry. It’s great for restaurants and retailers to show remodeling, stocking, and prep photos and videos to generate buzz. At the very least, be sure your accounts include all contact information, addresses of physical locations, and links that will make it easy to close sales if you’re selling products online.

Reach Out to Local Media

Let’s take a side journey for a moment and talk about “earned media.” While you can’t expect to promote your business entirely for free, there are some simple steps you can take to spread the word without spending a dime. It’s also possible they will pay off with huge dividends.

First, it never hurts to prepare a news release and send it to the appropriate contacts at local media outlets. If they find anything in your company’s story newsworthy and of the public interest, they may offer you an interview or news package. If they don’t, they may pitch you discounted ad rates. At the very least, you will have introduced yourself to public figures with very large networks which can only help your awareness.

Invest in a mix of Traditional and Digital Advertising

Traditional advertising is still the best way to reach a large, broad audience. Despite what you may hear, broadcast television, radio, and print are still very relevant, especially when it comes to live and local content like news and sports. Chances are, account executives will call on you to solicit advertising once you’re open. If you reach out to local TV, radio, and newspaper outlets proactively, however, they may cut you a better deal. These organizations thrive on new business, and when it comes to them, their job is made easier.

The best modern marketing plans mix traditional with digital offerings like banner ads, web pre-roll, paid social, and geotargeting. These may not all be a good fit for your company, so do your homework. It’s easiest to work with an agency or media buyer to place digital buys. They should also be able to help with traditional media, too.

These businesses come in all shapes and sizes now, from large agencies with dozens of specialists to a single person working from home. Interview and vet them as you would any other employee, and don’t settle until you’ve found someone who knows their stuff and will make your life easier.

Create and Maintain a Thoughtful and Manageable Social Strategy

Digital agencies can also help with your social media channels, but if you’d rather handle them yourself there are a few key principles to keep in mind. First, don’t try to be everywhere. Select the two or three most relevant channels to your target audience and establish pages with good content. You can always grow, but it’s better to have quality social content than a large quantity of pages. Second, build a plan to respond to comments and questions in a timely fashion. Third, never get defensive or argue with a customer in a public forum on social media. Apologize that they didn’t have the experience you strive to provide and ask them to directly message you.

Any good plan should be measurable. Decide what success looks like in a quantifiable way, and make sure your marketing is delivering it. If it isn’t, don’t panic, but adjust. If you understand the advertising channels you’re using and your target audiences, it should be easy to tweak messaging or media placement to deliver the results you desire!