In the initial days of startup, you won’t have any customers if they aren’t aware of your startup. Even more challenging is figuring out how to attract your first customers when you have a limited budget and resources. Thus, one of the toughest things for any startup is to gain initial traction. This is where most new entrepreneurs fail. The major culprit is inefficient marketing. Yes! No matter how innovative your product is, if people don’t know about it, it's bound to fail.
This applies to both nascent startups and well-established brands. The world awaits a new iPhone model every year, but what if Apple secretly starts flash sale in the market without advertising, without the highly revered Apple event (yeah, it's the release conference we're talking about). To save our readers from committing such blunders, we have listed some of the best techniques to gain initial traction for your startup.
Methods to Get Traction for Your Startup
1) Come up with an Innovative Product
It starts with the idea. There's no shortage of problems or issues—it's the absence of the right solution which in turn depends on the initial idea. Product innovation encompasses various factors: the market demand, competition, cost, and many more. The crux of building an ingenious product idea is identifying what the market is looking for and if it's willing to pay for it.
Once done with this, proceed on to analyzing the competitors, what they are doing, and what are they missing out on with their offering. Observe their product from a consumer's perspective and try to identify the possible enhancements or modifications. Then, improve the product as desired. An existing concept gets the flavor of creativity this way!
2) Social Media Marketing
The probability of an individual having a Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat account is much higher than him or her having a bank account! The demand for social media expertise and awareness has been recognized and many online education platforms and institutions do carry a holistic course on social media marketing in their catalog.
This is the holy grail for gaining traction for your startup. There are two ways to market on social media.
First, let's talk about the organic way of social media marketing—create an attractive business profile for people to understand your brand—your mission and vision. Post valuable, trending content regularly and interact with people as much as possible. Don't let your audience feel that you're paying attention to them. Use Facebook groups to build a community where like-minded individuals can converse with each other. Go through StartupTalky's Facebook community to get an idea of how effective this is!
The paid way of social media marketing is a bit advanced but once you gain a hang of the tools and techniques, it's a cakewalk. The cost associated with paid ads such as Facebook Ads is going down day by day. These facilities are becoming cheaper. So, don't forego this economical opportunities while they are available.
3) Search Engine Optimization
What makes your business different from your competitors in the market? Your popularity and influence on the web. Every company has a website and an app nowadays and this has created a rat race where everyone's eager to scoop a significant piece of the web traffic. Posting contents on trending topics that enriched with videos and graphics is imperative. And this boils down to the use of search engine optimization, or SEO.
Ensure your website is fully optimized and the you don't serve pirated content. If your site is indexed and you are posting quality content regularly then it will be easy for you to rank on search engine results pages. This is an organic way of marketing so be ready for some grinding in terms of time and efforts!
4) Affiliate Marketing
If you believe your product or service can make a difference and can benefit the consumers, then the affiliate marketing path would do wonders. Affiliate marketing, benefits your influencers and users. When an influencer sells your product through a unique link, he or she gets a commission from the selling price.
There are tools that help in setting up and automating the affiliate marketing process. Popular tools include Flippa, CJ Affiliate, and and SEMRush.
The whole point is here you don't market your product; the influencers do it for you. Your job is to deliver a quality product and the service you provide is more beneficial when compared to exisitng solutions.
5) Crowdfund Your Product
Crowdfunding has brought in a new way to conceive products and services. Platforms like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter offer the ground for people seek others' help in raising money for their ventures.
This is the perfect opportunity to attain early traction, as the individuals that choose to invest in your product entrench the base of your target audience.
There are a few things you should keep in mind about crowdfunding your business:
- Most crowdfunding campaigns fail.
- A high percentage of donations come during the initial days of the campaign.
- You should set a realistic goal for your campaign.
- Choosing the right crowdfunding platform is vital.
- Don’t promise things you can’t deliver.
6) Unconventional PR
Customer appreciation is a smaller, scalable action (like holding contests or sending handwritten notes to customers) for maintain a good rapport with your audience as well as press-coverage and publicity.
To build your brand authority and gain traction for the long term, you need to build a solid relationship with your customers. There are many methods to do this but unconventional PR is the most sustainable and effective way. Surprise your audience with goodies and perks that seem out of the world!
7) Offline Events
Conduct seminars and press conferences to make your product a burning issue among people for the right reasons. Meet people and advertise yourself. Trade shows will help build relations with industry insiders.
You can also connect with influencers capable of representing your brand. Influencers have the target audience you are seeking. There are many benefits of marketing through influencers, but the highlight is the time saved in building your community from scratch.
Invite them and other competitors in your events. The socializing and partnership building will help you and your brand in the long run.
8) Email Marketing
We've discussed so many ways of marketing a startup but if you just have started ,then email marketing is a safe, less risky path. Every startup should build an email list as soon as possible because that's how one gets subscribers.
Despite the presence of social media platforms, email marketing continues to be effective, but why? 58% people check their email before anything else in their phone. Don't send spam emails to your users because that's the last thing anyone wants.
Value people through your emails . Soon, you will have a loyal audience that will be yours for a lifetime.
Implement these tactics in your business and share it with others!