Launching a startup is an exciting venture into the business space, and if your marketing is up to the challenge, you could go far.
Although you’ll probably come up with plenty more as you work through your launch, these three things are start-up marketing musts:
Press Kits. Don’t have a press kit yet? Without one, you’re going to be missing out on opportunities to issue press releases and brand yourself from the get-go.
Your press kit should include things like a logo, screenshots (and the URL) of your ready-to-launch site, bios and photos of your founders, your company’s story and, perhaps most importantly, a piece called a media advisory. This is similar to a press release, in that it’s tight and gets straight to the point. Include information on your product or service and how what you’re bringing to the table is different from the rest of the market, as well as information that shows how your product will benefit your demographic.
Marketing Plans. There’s never a good reason to plunge ahead without a marketing plan.
You may very well revise and revisit your original after your launch, but having a marketing plan in place gives you a point to start from and some goals to reach for. Make your marketing plan as detailed as possible, including outlets to target, publishing calendars for your blog, different tools you’ll use, A/B testing methodologies and KPIs with initial goals set. You can do all the marketing in the world, but without a focus or a way to gauge success, you’re wasting your efforts.
Great Customer Service. The problem with marketing a startup is that most of the time, we’re so invested in launching it that we forget about following up with our efforts. Customer service is a huge hurdle for many startups, often due to a lack of manpower. Hiring in-house operators is tricky since you have no way to know how busy your phones will be, but you can solve this problem by using an answering service to help with call overflow or as a first point of contact for customers. Since you pay an answering service by the call and not by the hour, you’ll be only paying for the help you need, keeping your marketing budget tight.
There are always plenty of things you’ll later realize you forgot to do when it comes time to launch your startup, but don’t let those “re-dos” be something that will seriously hurt your marketing. Instead, ensure that your press kit is complete, your marketing plan covers everything you plan to do and that you have someone available to help you with customer service, should your need exceed your ability.