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The Truth About Marketing Every First Time Founder Should Know

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While starting your own business is an exhilarating experience, many start-up founders struggle with successful marketing more than any other area of business. So if you’re thinking about starting a business, here are some of the key things you need to know about marketing before you take the plunge.

Paid Advertising Is Expensive

Every start-up founder will be looking to promote their business as much as possible in order to increase visibility and sales. But unfortunately, they will only have a limited budget and paid advertising can very quickly become an expensive exercise. In fact, most entrepreneurs will eventually learn that executing marketing strategies for paid advertising can end up costing so much that it cuts into too much of their bottom line to be effective.

And just because digital advertising costs more money over time, that doesn’t justify the expense, nor does it necessarily mean it’s any more effective than other strategies. It’s usually much better to spend your advertising dollars on a fully automated campaign with a bid strategy for maximising conversions. Then once you’ve worked out a cost per acquisition that’s both achievable and profitable, you will have a much better chance of potentially having a limitless ad budget.

SEO May Take Longer Than You Think

Seeing results from SEO takes time. While effective SEO is vital if you want to see your website reach the top page of search engine results, it’s a procedure that takes time to see results. The reason SEO doesn’t increase your ranking overnight is because it’s a cumulative process. Not only does researching markets and analysing the industry take time, it also takes time to create quality engaging content that converts. It also takes time for Google crawlers to recognise and assign your website the right authority, and then it’ll be a while before consumers finally start discovering your site.

No two websites are the same, even when they’re both competing for the same customers in the same industry. It basically comes down to variables around your website that impact how long it takes before you start seeing the results of an SEO campaign. But once you’ve started using good SEO protocols, your site will steadily perform better and rank higher as time passes from months to years.

“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” – Andrew Davis

Make Data Driven Decisions

Even the smallest business or start-up generates data. The insights that can be derived from this data can not only provide value in general, but data-driven decisions can provide a competitive advantage. Data helps businesses evaluate how they can increase brand loyalty, improve operational efficiency, enhance customer experiences, and create new revenue streams.

Everyone talks about the importance of creating a data-driven culture in order to unlock the full potential of start-up businesses, but where do you start? You need to start by looking at whatever data is available to you to establish a foundational baseline. Once you have a decent grasp on the data, you’ll be able to tell things like which channels work the best and the most effective tone of voice, before you can start constantly testing ways of improving the marketing effectiveness of your business.

Never Launch To No Audience

The launch of your start-up is an extremely important event for your brand, so you need to give yourself more time than just a couple weeks. Choosing a launch date that’s far enough in the future will help you develop hype for your brand while making sure that everything is ready. Your launch also shouldn’t be the same time you start generating leads, so you should have a waitlist of interested people or a list of your product’s beta users.

One simple way to create a pre-launch buzz is to construct a landing page on your website with a form that encourages users to register for your brand. This allows you to evaluate market demand early on, which gives you a pool of potential users to start it up. Your landing page should provide potential customers with enough information to stimulate their interest while ensuring they feel comfortable about sharing their contact information. It also needs to be simple and user-friendly as possible, so don’t over-complicate everything.

Quality Content Is King

Quality content is a powerful tool that still maintains its position as the most effective of all types of marketing practices. While it can be tricky to implement for some, this is what wins most people over. Which most likely seems like common sense because people obviously respond better to high quality, authentic content. Even with the rise of online video over the last decade, marketing with quality content statistically generates more leads than outbound marketing strategies, and it also costs less.

By sharing a regular stream of informative, meaningful, and interesting content about your brand on your website and social networks, you’ll be better positioned to gain trust and make sales during the buyer’s journey. Quality content helps you extend your brand’s reach by delivering dramatic results which naturally increases and compounds engagement.

Golden rewards await the advertiser who has the brains to create a coherent image, and the stability to stick with it over a long period.” – David Ogilvy

Most Campaigns Fail (And That’s Ok)

No product marketing campaign will succeed all of the time. Many of them fail, and some of the failures are catastrophic. Failed marketing campaigns can be caused by many different things, from bad timing, to lack of interest, going too far outside their market, or a million other possible reasons. While unsuccessful marketing campaigns will be discouraging, it’s important not to dwell on your failures.  

By taking the time to review your campaign and ascertain how it missed the mark, a failed campaign can actually be a blessing in disguise. Once you understand the reasons, you can make the necessary adjustments for your next campaign launch to be more successful. And each time you fail, it can open up new horizons to conquer. Remember that failure is always an integral part of any start-up’s success. So as long as you’re always trying something new and you’re willing to fail, it’s okay if things don’t go as planned.

Launching a start-up is never simple. And while no one can prepare you for what’s ahead, you’ll have the best chance at success if you know about these marketing truth’s beforehand. Remember, if going into business was that easy, everybody would be doing it.

Felix is the co-founder of GrowthBoost, an online journal covering the latest software and marketing tips for entrepreneurs. Alongside digital journalism, Felix recently graduated from university with a finance degree and enjoys helping students and other young founders grow their projects.

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