Four steps to successfully marketing your startup

Getting a startup business off the ground? Here are four steps to help you successfully market it.

Bringing a startup to life takes a lot of work. And finding the right marketing strategies should be an essential part of your success plan.

According to this campaign monitor survey, 56.9% of startups have designated teams to work on their marketing strategy. But that might be a luxury if you don’t have a hefty budget to invest.

So, if you’re tackling your marketing yourself, we’ve prepared some advice to help you get started.  

1) Create your ICP 

ICP is an ideal customer profile that gives an in-depth outline of your potential ideal customers.

You need to know exactly who is a potential buyer for your startup solution, and what kind of messaging will most appeal to them. That’s why the detailed insights of your ICP determine the right marketing tactics and strategies to reach your chosen audience better. 

A thorough ICP also includes the firmographic, environmental, and behavioral aspects of your potential customers. You may conduct interviews of eligible consumers to get the raw feedback and create a digital marketing strategy around that. This will also help you decide on the right price corresponding to your service’s worth.

For example, ICP may look like:

  • A person – Joan, female, 35 years, California.
  • A career – She works as a web designer at a rapidly growing startup.
  • Fears – She’s afraid of being out of the loop, as things change rapidly.
  • Pains – The lack of advanced and actionable courses for professional development in design.

You can create two or more VPs and take customer opinions on them. They can rank these, and you may consider making changes accordingly. You may include prices and services offered for the customers to analyze. This can be a one-person job, as 20.8 % of startups have a one-person team to successfully work on digital marketing.

2) Analyze the marketplace

When researching the viability of your startup, you wold have looked at the wider marketplace. This includes comparing, monitoring, and analyzing your competition.

You need to be aware of their positioning in the marketplace, their pricing and their marketing strategy and messaging. After all, you don’t simply want to develop a me-too product or marketing campaign. You need to ensure that your product can occupy a unique space, and your marketing have cut through.

It’s important, therefore to also find out your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, so you can fill gaps that genuinely exist in the market, and play up any strengths your offering or brand has.

3) Create a value proposition

Once you have a through understanding of the market – and where you want to sit in it – you can start woking on your value proposition. A value proposition is the value you promise to deliver to your customers if they buy your offering.

When coming up with the right value proposition, it’s therefore essential that you consider carefully the needs, wishes and tastes of your ideal customer and any gaps or opportunities in the market.

Then create a concise and easy-to-digest value proposition (also known as a USP) upon which you will build your marketing campaigns.

There’s one more step to take before you go live with it though: you need to test it with your ideal customers. Find some way of reaching people who fit your audience profile and check that the value proposition you have chosen works for them. If not, then go back to the drawing board until you have one they respond positively to.

4) Define and use the right channels

Part of your marketing research should be finding the right channels to reach your audience. Here are some suggestions.


Done properly, SEO is a highly effective way to drive a consistent volume of the right traffic to your website. And the good end is that you don’t need to hire an SEO agency to do your SEO>

It’s entirely possible to DIY your own SEO with just a little knowledge of how SEO works. This one-hour SEO Masterclass will help you understand SEO and learn how to use it with confidence on your own website. Here’s what you’ll learn in it:

  • The three parties who matter in SEO, and what their different agendas are
  • The ONE thing Google needs to know in order to rank your site in their search results (and why that’s useful to you)
  • The three main clues search engines like Google look for in your site when deciding where to rank you
  • Why your SEO isn’t finished when someone visits your website, and four things that will help
  • The three main types of keyword – and the big mistake many small businesses make with them
  • Which two type of keywords you should aim to rank for – and the magic three things they’ll give you
  • The two big keyword mistakes to avoid, and an easy trick to help you find the right ones
  • The seven different places you should use your keywords
  • Why the right backlinks are important, and the two questions you should ask when getting links
  • The EIGHT factors Google looks at when judging your backlinks

You’ll also get a simple, five-step SEO strategy you can start using today to confidently improve the SEO of your own website, and help your site to rank higher in search engine results. 

Social media marketing

The two main components of social media marketing are community and influencers.

Creating a community is free and is entirely organic, however it takes knowledge of how social media works and a significant amount of time to build a community organically.

You can reach a larger number of people more quickly using influencers, however this comes with a price tag. How much they charge will depend on their reach.

If you need help getting your social media strategy off the ground, here are some articles that will help:

Email marketing 

According to Barilliance, the open rate for email marketing in 2019 was 41.85%, and CTR was 8.31%. So clearly email marketing is an important way to communicate with customers and sell.

If you’re new to email marketing, then you can watch this Email Marketing Masterclass. In it you’ll learn:

  • Why email marketing is such a powerful tool – and why marketers say it delivers their highest ROI
  • The eight things you need for successful email marketing 
  • Learn how to put together a welcome email sequence, and what needs to be in it
  • How to write a simple cold sales email sequence that’s perfect for small businesses and freelancers
  • Why personalisation is so important, and how to get it right (with examples)
  • The easy tech tools we use to enable us to send automated, highly tailored emails that sell while we sleep
  • How to write subject lines that people will respond to
  • The 13 different types of emails you can send to customers
  • How to write newsletters that work

After watching this class you’ll understand how email marketing works, and what you need to create powerful emails and simple email sequences

Set yourself a SMART goal and get your marketing working!

For some people, getting the first 100 customers is monumental. While for others, their goal is to earn $100,000 in the first year. Whatever goal you are setting for your startup business, make sure it is a SMART goal – then plan your marketing to help you reach it.

Maksym Babych is CEO at SpdLoad, a product development company for startups at an early stage. You can read more information on marketing for startups here.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema