5 Startup Marketing Plan Musts

5 Startup Marketing Plan Musts for a New Business

What’s more exciting than launching a startup? Launching a new business that has its startup marketing plan musts covered, so that it’s attracting new customers right out of the gate.

Growing a new startup business comes along with its own unique sets of challenges, among which is finding effective startup marketing ideas for promoting and growing your new endeavor. Here are five startup marketing plan musts that can help your new business attract customers from day one.

5 Startup Marketing Plan Musts to Help Grow Your New Business Faster

1: Know who your customers are.

Knowing “who” your customers are and what common problems or challenges they share can help you identify improvements that can make their customer experience better and – in so doing – increase their level of satisfaction and the likelihood that they will become loyal customers and refer their friends or colleagues to your startup business.

2: Identify niche markets and ideal buyer types.

Now that you know who your customers are, you need to ask yourself if you want more customers just like them, or if you want to change your customer mix.  By thinking through demographics and characteristics that would make up an “ideal” customer for your new business, you can better identify niche markets and target your marketing efforts to attract them.

3: Be present where new customers can find you.

Having analyzed your current customer base and identified ideal buyer types, you should also have a pretty good idea of how they did – or would be most likely to – find out about your business.  Be present and make the most of opportunities to “get found” by customers and prospects:

  • Strategically placed and timed advertising
  • Listing directories
  • Agents or brokers
  • Customer referrals (do you have a reward or referral “thank you” program – do you even ask your customers for referrals?)
  • PPC or retargeting search engine (paid) marketing with Google Adwords, another PPC search engine or 3rd-party managed paid search marketing
  • Online, via internet search (see below)

4: Maximize your website’s ability to attract new business.

Regardless of whether your startup business serves other businesses or the public, it’s likely that the vast majority of prospects in your ideal buyer type category start searching for products or services like yours using an online search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) Check with your webmaster to be sure your website is equipped with the right coding and content to maximize the potential that your customers, prospects and members of your ideal buyer types will be likely to find it in an internet search online:

  • Keyword research to identify words and phrases that members of your target markets would likely enter into an online search when looking for a business like yours
  • Keyword-inspired and infused (but not stuffed!) content, meta tags (title, description, keywords), on-page titles and anchor link text
  • A blog with frequently added content (2-3x a week) that is also keyword-inspired and infused
  • Active presence (daily posts) on social networks where your customers are likely to have profiles, starting with Google+ and LinkedIn
  • Landing pages with forms (subscription forms, contact forms, request information forms, application forms) that let you capture information and begin to dialogue with members of your target markets
  • An active and consistently published email newsletter that (primarily) features topics of interest to your target markets and (secondarily) strategic self-promotion

5: A plan for tracking the success of your marketing initiatives and efforts.

There’s an old joke in business about a company CEO who wanted to cut waste out of the marketing budget but couldn’t, because, as he said, “Only 50% of my marketing is working – the problem is I don’t know which half!” Having identified your target markets and set out to reach them, it’s important that you also know your starting points and measure success over time for all of the marketing tactics you use.  This will help you maximize the effectiveness of what is working and minimize the waste of money, time and other resources when it comes to marketing.