26 Unique Ways to Market Startups

Good marketing makes the company look smart but great marketing makes the customer feel smart.

The idea of getting into a startup is a big thought on its own. In order to start a startup, all your mind-mapping and imagination needs to come into a reality which can be quite intimidating and pressurizing, but it's all about the start.

Now time for a reality check, a startup doesn't become a successful business overnight and you just can't leave it on it own to grow. Once, someone said "having a product is just the half of a business, the other half is all about a good marketing". Hence, marketing is the key to make your products, the talk of the town. So, here we have listed down few eccentric ways to market your startup. Let us see all the 26 unique ways to market startups.

Unique Ways to Market Your Startup

1) Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth is an old school trick but it's always effective. A news always reaches fast, when it travels through mouth. The news can be both positive and negative, because both ways people will take an interest. Hence, use this old trick to promote your startup.

When, people start talking about something, other people get curious to know and try out the product/service.

Hence for starters, this technique is a good to get customers attracted to the startup.

2) Search Engine Optimization

Everyone notices the one who's is in the top, no offence but I am talking about our search engine results. We always check the first line which comes after search bar on Google. That's the beauty of Search Engine optimization. It increases the quantity and quality of the traffic for your startup website.

You want to get your start up on the top, focus on SEO. Hire a professional SEO expert and get it done, to maximize your traffic and get the attention you want for your startup. Make sure, you do it on the leading search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc to get people notice you.


Also Read: Backlinks | The Key To Get Organic Traffic On Your Website


3) Hoardings, Posters, Banners, Flyers and Graffiti arts

Remember the days when a new movie or serial use to come and there was no craze of social media. In those times, hoardings, posters, banners used to come in handy. Everyone notices the big hoardings on road because how quirky, colorful and vibrant they are.

So contact a advertisement company and get your startup on the big Billboard across your city. Spread across flyers nearby malls, roads and all the crowded places you can find. Paste posters like old school movie promotion, to attract people to actually notice the brand or product.

Want to do more cool and attractive, then draw graffiti art related to your product and get people talking about it. Even though it's an old trick but still it is very useful in nature for promotion.

4) Offers, Stickers and Freebies

Who doesn't love a free thing or an offer, maybe God?

Because us humans, we live for such crazy offers or free stuff. So entrepreneurs, here is your cue to win hearts and customers and a great way to promote your brand or startup. If you are a new startup or brand, then some cool offers on the product or some free stuff is the coolest trick you can use to grab the attention of the people to your startup.

Give good offers and free stuff, to get customers and to have a great promotion of your app. Now, everyone loves a cute sticker with their product, and even if it's a personalized  then its more wonderful. Hence, start giving away some personalized stickers with purchase and ask your customers to flaunt them over social media. This will give you an abundance of promotion.

5) Social Media Marketing

The key to success is in your hand. Thanks to Jio and other companies, we get plenty of internet to use and to search, browse etc. This is also a place for the grand promotion that you have been looking for, the social media marketing.

Create your startup account on every social media handle and promote your products. Use your own your creative hashtags and ask people to use them. Hold photo /video contest for your followers and promise for gifts and offers in respective of such contest. Organize free giveaways for your customers and online family. You may have to spend here but you will be able to gather the attention of millions and millions of customers.

Let me give you an example-

Sofy, for their new product Sofy Cool Pad, they asked people to post a picture or to upload a picture of themselves, especially girls, describing how they keep cool in summers. There was also use of hashtags like #staycoolinsummers. Hence, it's the best form of promotion in the current time period.


Also Read: How To Use Instagram For Business


6) Targeting a specific customer base and promotion based it

Now, for a product like crib or diapers or feeding bottle, you cannot target kids of 10-15 because it will be of no use for them. It is very important to target a specific base of customers who are actually going to consume the product. Once, you target the customer base, create videos and animations which will attract the particular customer base and they will strive to  take a look into the product. This is also a smart way to spending your cash in the name of promotion.

Keep the promotional stuff personalized and it should be encouraging the targeted customers to actually crave a look for the product.

For example, A makeup enthusiasts will go for a product (foundation) which provides an airbrush look, so creating a video which shows such qualities of your new foundation will surely strike the mind if the make-up enthusiasts to go and look at your product.

7) Launch a referral program

What can be good than your regular customers promoting your product among their friends, family. Fascinating, isn't it. So, for the purpose launch a referral program for your customers to refer your products production family, friends and relatives. Now, the question is, why your customers will do it?

Treat them with exciting gifts once completing a set of targets. That is how you will be able to reach your product to vast members and your customers will be able to get some exciting gifts.


Also Read: Everything to know about Referral Marketing that can Boost your Sales


8) Colorful and electrifying Advertisements

According to a recent report, our subconscious mind catches whatever is shown with lots of colour and vibrancy. That's why invest in good advertising for your product or startup. Make it on social media, television and print media. The more number of times  people will see your ad, the more they will keep it in their minds and they will be drawn to your products. Hence, they will be trying and will be telling to other people to try it out. Two targets at one arrow, isn't it?

To make it more effective and attractive, hire a celebrity to be the spokesperson for your product because as humans we love to try what the celebrities are trying, hence seeing a celebrity in the ad which actually attract more customers to the startup

Also, either make it emotional or super funny, don't make it boring because people generally goes for these emotions and when portrayed properly, it can be a game changer for the marketing of your product.

9) Start an exclusive beta

We humans love what we can only have, not others. Using this mechanism, create a beta version of your product under your startup. As this will allow only a few user to use the product initially, it will surely create a buzz among people's mind which is what is necessary for you. The people will wait to join the beta version making it a popular product and talk of the town. Also, make sure you are open to reviews from the customers who are using the beta version.

As more good reviews from the standard customers, more and more people will be eager to use the version. Also, these reviews will work as a word of mouth for you. Hence, two forms of marketing under one

For this reason focus on this exclusivity feature to attract customers and to promote the startup.

10) Customer reviews and views

People like if someone cares for them and wants their opinion , even if it is from their product company or service provider. Hence, ask your customers to provide you review and feedback about your startup and improvements related to it.

This will show that you care for your customers and will create a positive impact on your customers. This will keep them interested in your company on a regular basis and will also fetch new customers for your company.

11) Collaboration

Tommy×Zendaya,  Jio×Saavn, Puma×Fenty. These are some of  the hottest collection and collaboration of the popular time. Collaboration is a big way to create buzz for your brand and if you are a startup then it's the best thing you can do, to turn heads and to promote your startup everywhere.

Try to get a collaboration with already established brand and its not going to be easy, so to reach up to that level start with another startup. Create a fresh collaboration and create fresh products and make it the talk of the town. This will surely turn up some heads towards your startup, giving you boost in your marketing strategy.

12) Sponsoring an event

Do you remember in awards shows and events, the MCs and anchors always start thanking the sponsors for sponsoring the event. That's a great way to create promotion and marketing for your startup. Sponsoring an event not only gives you the liberty to get your name with shows but also gives you a huge platform to promote your brand.

This trick is the Trump card of marketing, used by almost every startups, companies, brands. So, don't hesitate from doing so and use the opportunity of sponsoring events. This will surely bring huge focus on your startup.


Also Read: Why You Should Use Contests as a Marketing Tool To Generate Leads For Your Business


13) Charity and Fundraising

"People remember you for two things, to your good deeds  or  for your bad deeds, so the choice is yours". We have always heard this statement from every elder in our life. So, for startups, doing the good deed is the key to grab a lot of good attention. Donate to good causes and flaunt that donation, to show people you actually care. This will give you the positive attention you want from people.

Then, launch online fundraiser campaign for charity and encourage people to donate their. To make it more effective, promise the donors with discounts,  badges, stickers etc. This will do the good marketing for your startup, bringing the perfect reputation for your startup.

14) Creating a regular customer base

This is one of the most important eccentric ways to promote startup, Focus on creating a regular customer database for your startup and make sure, you are promoting your new launches with them on a regular basis. Give them newsletter, product booklets to show they still matter to your startup.

Don't become stupid here, as to grab new customers, you will ignore and forget about the old customer base of yours. You can actually engage them to your referral programs, reviews to keep them on the board. This will keep your customers base increasing, which is of course you want to do.


Also Read: Best Marketing and Sales Tools


15) Skywritting

It is one of the most attractive marketing techniques that unlike traditional skywriting which uses one aircraft to write out a short message, digital skywriting uses a group of team of five aircrafts working together with onboard computer that regulates smoke output and spells out longer messages in a dot matrix style. The average cost may vary from $1500 to $2100 and may be used accordingly as per the funding available with the start-ups.

16) Actively participate in trade shows

To make your startup successful, you should focus on online as well as offline marketing strategies. Hence, you should attend the trade shows to acquire a loyal customer base. Participating in trade shows can be very beneficial for your startup because you can meet several other professionals and learn how they maximize their sales.

17) Usage of emotions

Emotion is a huge success in marketing. This emotion makes your concept lively. It is important not to focus on what you are providing people but how much they need what you give.

Nobody wants to know who you are or what informational value you have but they want to know about how much you care for them.

In UAE coca cola created the hello happiness booth which accepted bottle caps as currency to make a 3-min international call. It was made for the labourers who stayed away from their families in UAE and rarely were in touch with them.


Also Read: Understanding Customer Sentiments Is Important For Marketing


18) Befriending the imperfections

It doesn't hurt to show some reality and connect the audience with you. The more raw you can be with your product, the more people will get attracted to it. So, don't hide from showing some imperfections, when it comes to printing your products in markets.

The good example of such promotion strategy is was when Dove used 6 ordinary women's instead of models in its 'real beauty campaign' of all different sizes and shapes to promote that every woman is beautiful and one should feel beautiful in their own skin.

It also shows examples of ordinary women in its advertisement to show how their product is made for everyone. It was a huge success which increase their sales to about 700%.

19) Email marketing

So, every startup has one thing in common and that is email promotion. But what you have to really keep in mind is that don't send those emails very frequently because it would irritate your customer and they would end up unsubscribing to them. Secondly, don't email as a primary mail. Send it under promotional category because if they are actually interested they would open that up.

As a startup I think every mail which a user receives must have some personalised welcome feel by the founder. They should feel happy after joining your platform.


Also Read: Email writing for Engagement stage


20) Campus Ambassador Program

Ambassador program is one trending way of creating a hype of your brand amongst people; here a student from a particular institute will be the representative of that company in the particular institute. The various fields of study and learning ensure that no product is of “no use” to a student. So campus ambassador programs can be one of the better ways of branding your proposition, it’s just that you need to select the right institute for the right product, and obviously, the right Campus Ambassador.

21) Campaign

Creating a viral video won’t just cut it. You need something more than that because no matter how clever a video is, it might not take off with the consumers. What you need is a challenge to offer to the consumers. For example, Codecademy challenged its users to learn to code back in 2012 as their new year’s resolution and slowly that built its user base.

Host twitter chats, polls etc. Build hype around your product that would get people attracted to your product. Going Beta is one option too. People love the idea of exclusivity. But be warned. This might severely backfire as well if your product does not have the appeal. Not everything is done through your marketing agency. If you fail to deliver on the mystery of exclusivity, then the same mouths that would spread positive words would work to tear you down, and that is not a road you want to go down.


Also Read: Best Web Marketing Strategy For Your Startup


22) Radio promotion

Radio, it is a nostalgia for entertainment and media. As we are growing in terms of technology and development, we are leaning towards everything visual. Internet, videos etc have become important to us but the radio still has its customers in its pockets.

There are people who still prefer radio because of its authenticity. Hence, for the regular radio junkies, you can actually take the way of radio promotion. Sponsor a radio event or programme or go for paid promotion. Either way, the purpose should be promotion of the product.

23) Tie-ups with online wallets for cash referrals

Come on, who doesn't like some free money? And with the digitalisation on an incline, a few coupons can always charm your target audience.

A lot of companies and brands give away digital wallet coupons so that more and more customers come back to access or purchase the product!

This also creates an image of brand selflessness amongst the consumers and helps in making the brand a favourite brand amongst the market.

24) Active participation in Trade shows and Popups

To make your startup successful, you should focus on online as well as offline marketing strategies. Hence, you should attend the trade shows to acquire a loyal customer base.

Participating in trade shows can be very beneficial for your startup because you can meet several other professionals and learn how they maximize their sales.You can have a pop-up in such trade shows. Pop-ups are small stores featuring your products. This trick is used by every big company.

Open pop-ups and ask your customers to come and check your stores. To make it more interesting, give some offers and goodies on the products at the pop-ups.

25) Innovative interactions

Most of the start up products are millennial centric. And considering this, a very important thing to know is that the millennial do not like cliched branding strategies. They are attracted to anything that is quirky and different. Therefore, to establish a communicable bond with them, you have to be innovative.

For example, a lot of companies are taking surveys through the Instagram stories by using their poll and ask a question feature.


Also Read: This is How Podcasts Can Grow your Business Tremendously


26) Handwritten notes

A sweet little note you receive as soon as you open the package. How will you feel? Sweet isn't it? This shows how the brand feels about the customers and wants to make them feel special. Hence, add a sweet handwritten notes to your products. This will make your customers feel special which will give you good reviews and the chances of them coming back will increase, for sure.

Now these are some of the very popular tricks which you can use to promote your startup. In order to make your startup an effective one, it is very important that you actually focus on the marketing because without proper marketing, it is impossible for your product and startup  to reach the heights you want it. That is why a good startup is the one which has a good marketing strategy.

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About Yash Gupta

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