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8 Best Marketing Channels Suited for Early-Stage Startups

7 min read

Early-stage startups are at a high risk of failure. Reports state that only 25% of early-stage startups make it to 15 years or more. A significant 75% of businesses aren’t able to make it past 5 years.

Hence, early-stage startups should make informed business decisions to utilize their capital effectively and enhance ROI. Leveraging marketing channels effectively is one sure-shot way to minimize burn rate and achieve business goals.

Marketing channels are the platforms, tools, and touchpoints that help brands connect and engage their target audience.

With the right marketing channels, you can:

  • Reach new markets
  • Reduce operational costs
  • Generate leads and boost sales
  • Build brand equity
  • Improve customer experience

A marketer has several marketing channels available today. So, choosing suitable ones can be a challenging task. Hence, it is important to take time to analyze and choose the ones that best align with the business goals and budget.

Here are eight marketing channels that are best suited for growth-focused early-stage startups.

#1: Content Marketing

Content marketing when done right, can help early-stage startups build expertise in their domain, eventually translating into sales.

Here are a few tips to effectively leverage this channel.

  • Identify the Target Market: The content that you create should address the pain points of your target audience. Observe how SpdLoad produces actionable blog posts to help startup founders and managers (target audience).
  • Determine the Right Content Formats: Showcase your value proposition by choosing the content format according to customers’ stages in the sales funnel.

Here’s how –

A) Awareness Stage: Blog posts, articles, videos, e-books, newsletters

B) Consideration Stage: Case studies, how-to videos, how-to articles, checklists/worksheets

C) Closing Stage: Case studies, buyer’s guide, user-generated content, videos featuring the product’s functionality and features, research reports

  • Determine the Distribution Channels: Will you share content via email, social media, or website? Understand the distribution channels where your target audience is most active.

Pro Tip: Implement Digital Asset Management Software

Organizing a multitude of marketing materials is a key challenge for early-stage startups. That’s where tools like Digizuite’s digital asset management (DAM) software can help.

This cloud-based software offers a centralized system for organizing, storing, and accessing digital media assets, such as images, audio files, videos, documents, and more. With this tool, you can streamline and speed up content distribution to multiple channels, thereby ensuring a great customer experience.

Dura-Line, a telecommunication firm, integrated Digizuite’s DAM with its CMS in 2020. This tool empowered their small marketing team by streamlining content marketing campaigns, thereby achieving great results.

#2: SEO

Nearly half of the online product searches start on Google. Hence, investing in SEO is critical for early-stage startups as it boosts brand visibility and rankings in the SERP.

Implement the following tips to strengthen your SEO strategy.

  • Target Relevant Keywords: Use relevant keywords that align with your business goals. For example, if you are an ERP firm, incorporate ERP technology-related keywords in your posts. Opt for tools like Ahrefs to find your niche-specific and relevant keywords.
  • Search Appropriate Topics: Choose topics with high search intent to answer users’ queries. Check out how SpdLoad explains cashflow management tactics to help hypergrowth firms reduce their burn rates.
  • Optimize Your Meta Description and Page Title: Write meta descriptions of around 160 characters that summarize your pages’ content. Besides, keep your page title between 30-60 characters. This will help readers know more about your offerings when they are searching on Google.

Here’s how the meta description and page title appears on Google SERPs.

  • Create Evergreen Content: Publish search-optimized content that stays relevant for your readers regardless of the time. Be mindful of Google’s E-A-T guidelines that evaluate content based on its expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness to determine its quality.

This post on SpdLoad’s blog “Design Fonts Make Your Startup Grow: Tips and Tricks” is an excellent example of evergreen content.

  • Earn High-Quality Backlinks: Backlinks are one of the most vital Google ranking factors. Creating link-worthy content, fixing broken links on your website, or finding top referral sources are a few tactics that can help you generate good backlinks and achieve top rankings in SERPs.

Check out the blog post on SpdLoad to discover the ultimate list of SEO strategies that can help you outrank your competitors.

#3: Email Marketing

Research predicts that global email users will top 4.3 billion by 2023. So, email marketing can be a powerful and cost-effective way to reach a massive audience and accelerate conversions.

Use the below-shared tactics to make the most of your email marketing campaigns.

  • Create an Email List: Implementing email forms on your website can help you create a solid list of prospects opting to receive your content.

Count on tools like Poptin’s email form builder to deploy user-friendly email forms and pop-ups on your website. This tool allows you to add personalized CTAs and templates, thereby increasing your website visitors’ engagement.

What’s more? Integrating its analytics code with your email marketing platform can help you track conversions.

  • Focus on Subject Lines: Write captivating subject lines to improve the chances of email opening.

Take some inspiration from the following industry leaders.

  • Manicube: “*Don’t open this email*”
  • Topshop: “Meet your new jeans”
  • Guess: “25% off your favorites”
  • Groupon: “Deals that make us proud (unlike our nephew, Steve)”
  • Craft a Compelling Body: Write a clear-cut message explaining your value proposition.

Here’s an example:

  • Share Emails at Frequent Intervals: Decide a specific time and frequency of sending emails to drive high open rates.
  • Track Your Results: Track metrics like open rates, bounce rate, click-through rate (CTR), and conversion rate to analyze the effectiveness of your campaign.

#4: Video Marketing

Statistics reveal that video marketing helped 93% of marketers to boost their brand awareness, while 87% of brands achieved a high ROI using videos.

Hence, early-stage startups looking to establish a strong digital presence and grow their ROI should leverage this channel.

Consider the below-shared tips to create engaging videos.

  • Create Customer Personas: Find information like target audience demographics, interests, challenges, and behavior. Use this information to determine various themes for videos.
  • Write a Compelling Script: Use your story-telling skills and a video script resonating with the theme.
  • Add Engaging Elements: Use video editing tools to add graphical elements such as distinct colors, textures, and characters. This will enhance the engagement quotient, making the videos engaging.
  • Include Captions: Adding captions to your videos will improve their accessibility.
  • Choose Distribution Channels: Promote your videos on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook to gain maximum traction.
  • Track Your Success KPIs: Consider KPIs, such as views, play rates, and drop-off rates, to gauge the effectiveness of your videos.

#5: Social Media Marketing

With over 4.65 billion social media users in the digital ecosystem, social media marketing can be a game-changer for startups looking to scale their brands.

Here are a few social media marketing tactics to consider.

  • Create Tailored Content: Tailor your content for the audience and the social channel they are on.

For example, produce captivating images and short-form videos to target Instagram’s audience. Similarly, write well-researched answers to engage the audience on platforms like Reddit and Quora.

  • Publish Consistently: Share high-quality and helpful content frequently to stay relevant and gain maximum traction.
  • Publish UGC: UGC encourages word-of-mouth marketing and imbibes a sense of trust in customers. Make sure you leverage it on social to build a loyal audience.
  • Track Your Progress: Keep a tab on the following success metrics:
  • Facebook: Reach and engagement
  • Twitter: Impressions, retweets, and mentions
  • LinkedIn: Clicks, impressions, and interactions
  • Pinterest: Engagement and impressions
  • Instagram: Likes, comments, and mentions

Check out the top ways to use social media marketing for high engagement and conversions.

#6: Podcasts

With great podcasts relevant to the niche, early-stage startups can build an authoritative presence and generate quality leads.

Here are a few podcasting tips to get the best business outcomes.

  • Invite Experts: Collaborating with experts is a great way to ride on their reputation and drive high engagement for your startup.
  • Create Targeted Content: Create targeted content with a powerful CTA. This encourages listeners to take action.

Notice how Maksym Babych, CEO SpdLoad, published a helpful podcast for startups. He shared actionable tips to help startup founders increase their ROI.

#7: Influencer Marketing

Statistics reveal that influencer-generated content can deliver 11x higher ROI than traditional marketing. Hence, startups should leverage their influence and build awareness for their brand.

Here are a few influencer marketing tips to consider:

  • Find the Right Influencer: Collaborate with your niche-specific micro (10K-100K followers) and nano influencers (1K-10K). This can help you gain high engagement without spending enormous capital.
  • Deliver Goal-Oriented Content: Coordinate with the influencers to create customized digital assets. Produce videos, imagery, captions, and more that align with your campaign goals.
  • Run Giveaway Contests: Skyrocket the success of your campaign with giveaway contests. For instance, influencers can ask the participants to share the content with their friends or like the page. The most proactive user can be declared as the winner and should receive specialized gifts.

Pro Tip: Any delay in sending gifts can leave a poor impression on your audience. Make sure you have a reliable parcel delivery partner to count on.

  • Track Your Campaign’s Results: Monitor the following KPIs to determine the success of your campaign.
  • Brand Awareness – Reach, impressions, and views
  • Engagement – Likes, shares, comments, views, and direct messages
  • Conversions – Downloads, subscriptions, and signups

#8: PR

Gaining press coverage and reaching a massive audience in the initial years is a key challenge for early-stage startups. Public relations (PR) can help startups earn media coverage and build a positive perception of their brands within no time.

Here are a few PR tactics for early-stage startups.

  • Write Press Releases and Blogs: Creating valuable blogs and newsworthy press releases is the key to achieving media attention and creating buzz around your startup. Make sure your content reflects original research and expert commentaries and doesn’t sound salesy.
  • Build Relationships with Industry Journalists: Prepare a list of top-rated journalists that publish articles on products and services in your niche. Connect with them and share information that can boost their content credibility while getting your brand the attention it deserves.

This will help you build relationships with them and increase the chances of getting noteworthy mentions on authoritative platforms.

  • Plan Promotional Interviews: Reach out to media houses to arrange paid press conferences or get in touch with TV channels for paid interviews to promote your brand.

Conclusion

Right marketing channels can help early-stage startups reach the right audience at the right time, thereby generating a high ROI.

The marketing channels shared above can help you create a high-impact and low-cost marketing strategy.

So, implement these tips to get started. Check out this blog post on SpdLoad for detailed guidance on marketing ideas for startups.

—————————————————————-

Author bio: Steven Macdonald is a digital marketer based in Tallinn, Estonia. In the last 10 years, he’s helped e-commerce and B2B SaaS brands generate more than $100 million in new revenue through SEO, content, and conversion optimization.

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