Bure Valley Group is an investment introducer business which links successful investors with exciting, innovative UK startups seeking funding. This content is for information purposes only and should not be taken as financial or investment advice.
Marketing for startups is very different to marketing a large corporation. The latter usually has a large team and war chest to draw upon for campaigns – as well as an established track record of which tactics produce results. Startups, however, have more limited resources (staff and funds) and less marketing data to ground decisions. This is where angel investors can offer a startup a lot of value by offering insights and recommendations based on their experience with others.
Here at Bure Valley Group, we’ve also helped many startups in a wide range of industries grow through effective marketing techniques. In this guide, we share five tactics which investors and business owners might want to consider for a startup campaign.
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#1 Paid Search
One of the best ways to get online exposure quickly for a startup is through pay-per-click (PPC) channels such as Google Ads. Here, you generally have two options. You can advertise directly within search engine results – aiming to have your adverts triggered by certain keywords. Or, it may be more effective to use “display advertising”. This latter approach shows your graphic ads on other websites (e.g. in sidebars and headings).
You need to pay for each click on your ads (or for every 1,000 impressions). From here, you can direct the user to a web page or landing page where they can perform an action such as making an enquiry or signing up to the startup’s newsletter.
In most market segments email is still a very powerful communication tool. If a startup has a big email list of qualified subscribers (e.g. 10,000+ people) then this presents a huge opportunity. It might be that a “product launch” email campaign could yield huge success – depending on how timely and well-crafted the message is. The challenge here, of course, is that many startups do not have a large email list at the outset. This is where other marketing channels can be useful for building it up (e.g. paid search and social media ads).
#3 Social advertising
It’s hard for a startup to get a lot of exposure and engagement on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms purely through organic means in 2020 (e.g. posting every day). Rather, you need to “pay to play” – which usually means running social advertising campaigns. Yet the good news is that these can yield great results if done correctly. Suppose your startup provides a specific solution to healthcare workers. On Facebook, you can build an advertising campaign which targets users on the platform who work within this field. You can then offer the product to them directly on the ad or encourage them to take another conversion action, depending on the nature of the startup’s buyer journey.
#4 Direct outreach
Today’s world is certainly saturated by online advertising and digital marketing. Yet there is still a place for printed/offline marketing within certain industries, sectors or contexts. For instance, if a startup is offering a product/service targeted at language departments at UK universities, then it could be effective to run a direct mail campaign targeting the heads of these departments. Here, it would be important to think carefully about the timing of the campaign – i.e. during term times as opposed to the summer break. The call to action (CTA) in the direct mail piece will also need to be carefully crafted. Will you be offering a special, time-limited deal within a small brochure or will you be inviting the reader to share or sign up to something?
#5 Press & guest writing
In 2020 it can be easy to forget about traditional media when “going viral” on social media can seem so much more powerful than having your article featured in an industry publication. Yet this can be the perfect way for a startup to gain exposure to specific audiences. Suppose your startup deals in renewable energy and seeks to sell fuel cells to manufacturers of security cameras, lighting systems and other such products. Which publications, blogs or magazines do the key people in these types of companies read/consume regularly? Getting a guest article or interview of the startup featured on such a platform could be a powerful way to get in front of the target market quickly. This, in turn, can generate searches on Google for the startup’s website or searches on social media.
Conclusion & invitation
Marketing for startups is foundational to launching them towards growth. As such, both business owners and their investors have an interest in doing this well and producing success. We hope the ideas offered in this article have inspired your thinking.
Interested in finding out more about the great startup projects in our exclusive network? Get in touch today to start a conversation with our team and discuss some of the great investment memorandums we have available here:
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