Thursday, 19 February 2015

20140430 Sophia Alleycat Design-1

If you’re a startup with a limited budget, you’re probably evaluating where to allocate your marketing budget to promote your product, increase brand recognition to generate leads, and ultimately, increase sales. There are several marketing activities you can execute that will come at a cost, so how do you know which ones to select?
If are a B2B startup company, I’d like to recommend these nine essentials to include in your marketing strategy.

1. Create a Striking Website

If you want to reach out to large audience with your product and service, this is a fundamental step to making a great first impression. When users visit your website to learn more information, they will form an impression about your company based on your website. Focusing on the fine details, such as the look and feel, rich and relevant content with a neat layout for easy navigation, is critical. Your website should also be optimized to different types of devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Therefore, invest time and money to build an impressive website.

2. Generate Knowledgeable Content

Now that you have invested in creating a good website, you need to pump it up with knowledgeable content. Create resources such as blogs, whitepapers, infographics, videos, and case studies. You do not need to generate all the content by yourself. Influence people from other functional teams to contribute content. For example, in a technology firm, project managers can contribute to a technical whitepaper and sales team can provide case studies.

3. Connect with Digital Media

The Internet is an ocean. There are thousands of online media sites that may publish articles written by you and the thought leaders in your company. If you have an innovative product or a service, influence journalists and authors to write about you.  There are many external websites that will allow you to publish press releases on the launch of your company, whitepapers, or even blog posts. Therefore, spend time to research which online sites are good platforms to publish your content.

4. Get on Social Media

Create social media account such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube for your organization and maintain them on a regular basis. Find out which ones are best for your business. For example, actively participate on LinkedIn groups specific to your service/product and even exchange ideas on forums. This can be a great way to increase brand recognition.

5. Interact with Social Members

You might be one person handling marketing activities, but you can actually do more as a team. Create your own mini marketing team with members from different groups within your organization. Get them to talk about the product and service in their communities they are following. For example, project managers can participate in developer forums and sales team can post blogs written by you on their social media networks.

6. Nurture Your Leads

With an impressive website, knowledgeable resources, and social media accounts, you will start generating a good number of leads in a short amount of time. Create a database to capture all the leads and start connecting with them. Send them email campaigns on a regular basis with relevant content that they’ll find interesting, such as thought leadership articles or updates on your company.

7. Network at Events

Increasing your network is an essential step in marketing.  You don’t necessarily have to be a sponsor or be an exhibitor at an event. Many times, participating to network with other attendees bring in good leads. There are a large number of events happening across the globe. Research the attendees, sessions, and companies participating and attend the right ones based on your target audience. Send the networking enthusiasts in your firm to be brand ambassadors at these events.

8. Monitor, Measure and Analyze your ROI

Since this is the most critical step in your marketing strategy, spend more time analyzing on your returns. The leads that you bring from various sources, such as website, social networking sites, online media and events, should be integrated with analytics tools. Monitor the traffic based on geography, demographics, sources, etc. This will help you evaluate what works and doesn’t work. Focus on the activities and channels moving in a positive direction for you.

9.  Respect Your Customers

Finally, all the effort you put in is useless if you do not deliver a good product and service that meet your customers’ expectations. Conduct surveys, collect feedback, and take action as a team to improve. Customers are an important medium who can take your company to the next level if you take the time to listen to them.
Not everything is linked to financial spend. Many times you can explore areas which cost less and returns are higher.  Think of innovative ideas to get to market, keep an eye on latest happenings around you, and finally, be focused on your goals.


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