3 Marketing Mantras for Every Startup to Live By

Live by these three pillars of any smart marketing strategy and your brand might just skyrocket from fledgling startup to Silicon Valley success story.

Pretty much every young company faces the same challenge: you have a great product or service to offer, but nobody knows about it.

That of course begs the question: how can you get the word out? Or more specifically, how do you engage the right people, build a brand that resonates, and ultimately transform audience members into customers and customers into brand advocates? The answer, of course, lies in effective digital marketing.

The great thing about being a new company in 2017 (almost 2018!) is that the internet offers a practically countless number of channels, tools, and strategies that allow a brand to reach thousands — even millions — of people in a matter of days. Whereas the companies of yesteryear were forced to turn to Madison Avenue ad agencies and 30-second TV spots to craft creative messaging to reach consumers, startups today don’t have to break the bank to quickly build awareness amongst the right people.

That said, not every one of those channels, tools, and strategies will produce results. In fact, many are a huge waste of precious resources. But if you stick to the following three marketing mantras, your brand might just separate itself from the pack.

1. Content is King

Sure, this statement might have sounded more innovative back in 1996 — when Bill Gates first penned it in an essay published to the Microsoft website . But I’d argue that it rings truer today than ever before.

We’re consuming content on an unprecedented scale; we read blogs, click links, and watch videos as often as we do practically anything else in our daily lives. While this demand has given rise to a correspondingly unprecedented volume of content published to the internet, that fact has done nothing to curb that demand.

So whether you publish articles on your company blog, create video or graphic content, or write thought leading articles for third-party publications , just make sure you do a lot of it. If you want people to see your brand, you have to put it right in front of their faces.

2. Be Social

Perhaps the only thing we do more than watch videos and read articles on the internet is thumb through our seemingly endless social media feeds. And while a combination of the dreaded algorithms ( thanks, Facebook! ) and something approaching content saturation on these platforms makes it far harder to organically build a sizable, relevant audience, that doesn’t mean you should forget about Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram altogether.

On the contrary, you should invest more in these channels. Put some ad dollars behind your posts and see what happens. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but these platforms’ targeting capabilities afford you more control over precisely who sees your content than was ever thought possible. Whether you want to target supply chain professionals at Fortune 500 companies in the state of Missouri or twenty-somethings who like Barack Obama and LGBT Pride, you can be sure your content will reach them and only them.

Of course, make sure your creative material is up to snuff — otherwise, you’ll just be flushing your ad dollars down the drain.

3. Keep Your Customers in the Loop

In the age of Gchat, Slack, and iMessage, plain old email can seem a little outdated. And yet, it remains the best and fastest way to directly reconnect with your existing customers, fans, and community members.

Related: Should You Outsource Your Content Or Keep It In House?

Consider the following:

  • eMarketer reports a median ROI of 122% for marketing campaigns launched over email
  • Over 3 billion people will have an email address by 2020
  • 86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with on a monthly basis
  • Even if it’s just a monthly blast to your existing contact list that includes a few highlights from your company blog, you have to put in the work to keep these people engaged. They are your brand’s biggest and most effective advocates — that’s because we as consumers trust each other far more than we trust the brands we buy from (hence why customer reviews and user-generated content have never been more valuable).

    Along the same lines, your existing customer base can be your brand’s greatest asset — they can refer new business to your company, tell their friends a great story about your product or service, and of course, make additional purchases.

    So take the time to engage the people who matter most to your business: it’s the only way to make sure that that community — and your brand — grows.