Are you part of a B2B focused startup that secured a round of Series A funding and is looking to gain traction in your market to achieve the next round of funding? Or are you in a B2B startup that received Series B funding and has to scale your marketing to increase sales? Either way, it’s a long mountain to climb, but the rewards to gratifying. You’ll have to earn the trust of your ideal customers and learn to understand their wants, needs, and challenges. In this post, we will explore the best growth marketing strategies for Series A or B funded startups to help you hit the ground running!
Running a startup from ground-up is not an easy task, so having the right marketing plan in place is crucial for your business to survive. Marketing is often taken for granted, but without marketing, your company would rely heavily on just your product. This will make it hard for you to take full advantage of all the other opportunities your business could capitalize on. There are two significant marketing efforts to consider. Inbound marketing, and Outbound marketing. Both have their purposes, and both have their downsides. Let’s dive in a little deeper and see which one might work best for your startup marketing strategy!
As you may already know, Inbound Marketing is a fairly new method of marketing that’s about being a resource to your ideal prospects and in turn generating organic leads, that eventually turn into a sale. For a startup, nothing is more important than capturing the early adopters of a product/service. Creating quality content for your ideal buyers (personas) is the key to leveraging this methodology successfully. What is a Buyer Persona? A Buyer Persona is an ideal buyer for your business. You and your team outline this persona. Ideally, we should start with three personas for your business and go from there. This will be your basic foundation before you begin any marketing efforts. Then you will have a good picture at where you stand with your customers.
Let’s dive into a few basic tactics:
Blogging or Offering Videos (being found with new visitors)
With the best growth marketing strategies in place, blogging and video production enables startups to own real estate on Google, Yahoo, and YouTube searches. With quality content, you’ll be guiding your reader to your website, where they can find the information they need to solve their problems. Through SEO and keyword research, your content, whether written or produced will rank higher, matching what your ideal customers are searching for online. Once your helpful articles show up in search engines, you can drive traffic to your startup’s website in an organic fashion. Be sure not to create content that is a company/service-based focus because, through Inbound marketing, you want to guide the reader into understanding their pains and gains, and help them solve the problem with recommendations, (hint: your company).
Offering Premium Content (convert visitors to interested leads)
As you are building a constant amount of website traffic through content and other forms of media, you’ll want to give your viewers the opportunity to get further-informed. Materials like helpful eBooks, Guides, Worksheets, Tipsheets, and other resources allow your reader to get additional help in exchange for their email and other information of your choosing. By providing a premium offer to your ideal customers, you are showing that you are the thought leader within your industry. You are confirming that you are here to help your reader on their own buyer’s journey so they can solve their problem. When you receive their name, email and company title, you just gained a quality lead. Keep in mind what I had said, “Quality.” Getting leads is one thing, but getting the right leads makes the world of a difference.
Conducting Webinars (interactively engage audience)
Another way of helping turn prospects into trusted backers of your startup’s product or service is by holding webinars. Giving your prospects interactive presentations and discussing what is important to them builds trust and helps you to be a thought leader. People who feel comfortable with a brand are more likely to buy and speak highly of that brand to other friends and family. Word of mouth travels fast and is often taken for granted. In this digital era, with television, computers, laptops, and mobile phones, people are drawn to screens more so than paper. When you have something interactive, where the reader/viewer can apply functions and have their voice heard, they will be more than likely to participate and help create the ideal traffic you are looking for as a startup.
Generally, modern-day consumers don’t like to be harassed with marketing efforts. When someone knocks on your door, more than likely, you want them to go away if they are trying to sell you something. The history of Outbound Marketing is known for being interruptive. That being said, if your startup utilizes Outbound methods with an Inbound mindset, you can win big. The following outbound strategies and practices can help your startup to gain traction after or alongside getting your Inbound Marketing in motion.
One big downside to Outbound efforts is that it is hard to measure and receive statistics about how well your outbound marketing campaign did. Outbound has been undergoing a bad rap since customers have been getting smarter, but when you can apply outbound marketing efforts correctly threaded in with Inbound marketing efforts, you have a winning combo for your startup.
Lead Nurturing (Email smarter)
Let’s make it clear that cold emailing almost never works. Even emailing thousands of people the right message with the right graphics has proven to be generally ineffective. Instead of blasting out emails based on promotional offers and deals, provide helpful content to your ideal prospects. Emails should promote the tremendous customer-centered blog posts you have been creating and provide free resources that you’ve developed.
You want dedicated email lists of all the quality leads you have racked in and provide them with the quality content you have been creating. That is what’s valuable to your reader and ideal customer, knowledge to solve their problems. Be targeted and laser-focused on your potential customer’s pains and gains. You don’t want to email all the time but periodically. These small tactics can go a big way when you are emailing your leads.
Online search ads through search engines like Google have become increasingly expensive. Keywords in your market may rocket out of a startup’s marketing budget quickly. Also, paying for a click to get to your website is only helpful if you have content to keep users engaged and able to convert them into a lead. A small percentage of people who click on your ad convert to customers. This equates to a very low ROI.
Creative startups utilize Inbound Marketing more often to get cost-effective search engine exposure and use PPC carefully to help close only people ready to buy. Although this is where Inbound reigns king, there are still perks to PPC. You will still be able to measure and track how your PPC has been doing, and you are still aligned with your B2B business goals.
The best growth marketing strategies for recently funding startups (Series A or B) include a combination of Inbound marketing and Outbound marketing efforts. A big recommendation would be to start with Inbound Marketing to help build startup marketing strategy and your customer base over time, and utilize targeted Outbound strategies to capture the small percentage of “Decision stage” buyers. When you can outline who your ideal customers are and what their pains and challenges are, you will be one step ahead in the right direction with your marketing efforts, no matter which angle you choose to go at.
Running a startup, let alone a startup marketing strategy is not an easy task, but with the right strategy and team in place, your company can skyrocket. It typically takes a whole team to write the content, edit it, post it, run social around the content and more. Startups generally don’t have the funds to spend on a whole team, but it does take a little money to make a little money. By utilizing an all-in-one solution to Inbound marketing needs, Responsify has you covered. We help companies produce and execute quality content to receive the quality leads they are looking for.
If you want to learn more about how to leverage the best marketing strategies for your startup, feel free to grab our complimentary eBook: The Ultimate Startup Marketing QuickStart Guide for Startups with Series A or B Funding.
If you have any questions about how to get started with an Inbound Strategy to grow your startup, don’t be shy, reserve a time to speak with us today.
We’re here to help!