6 Innovative Marketing Strategies Designed for Startups

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Building a business from the ground up is an exciting endeavor. While many entrepreneurs dream of launching their very own startup, few pull it off successfully. Statistically speaking, 20% of all startups fail in the first year. Flash forward five years, and the failure rate jumps to 50%.

This failure rate often isn’t a result of having a bad product or service. Many startups have great, innovative products that have a lot of potential. The challenge is that startups face many headwinds in their early years, especially when they are competing in sectors that have large established brands. Not only do they have to figure out how to draw attention to their product, but they need to do it with limited financial and personnel resources.

Successfully marketing a startup requires creativity and innovation. Here are six out-of-the-box marketing strategies that any startup can use to capture brand attention in a unique and exciting way.

Related: 11 Effective Marketing Strategies to Help Streamline Your Startup

1. Influencer partnerships

One of the most challenging things about being a startup is the lack of brand awareness. Without brand awareness, you’ll struggle to generate sales and revenue to keep the business alive. It’s critical to build brand recognition and awareness as quickly as possible. You can have the greatest product on the market, but unless someone gives you a chance, it’s unlikely that you will make many sales.

Working with an influencer who has connections with your target audience is a great way to generate rapid brand recognition. People follow influencers because they care what they have to say. If an influencer promotes your brand, their audience will listen.

2. Enhanced content marketing

Most marketers swear by the power of content marketing. While there is power in delivering a steady stream of informative and entertaining blog posts, articles and social media posts, you can take this to a whole new level by focusing heavily on audience engagement.

Figuring out ways to promote user-generated content is a great way to build a following and establish social proof. User-generated content focuses on encouraging your audience to post information and reviews and creating content featuring your brand. Like influencer marketing, people care about what their friends and family say about the products and services they use.

Another highly effective method is to make your content as interactive as possible by introducing quizzes, polls and interactive videos.

3. Memorable experiences

Studies have shown that three-fourths of people who engage with a brand during an event are more likely to buy the promoted product or service. Events are the perfect way to deliver the authenticity and unique experiences that consumers crave today. These events can include pop-up stores, exclusive product launches and workshops. Don’t be afraid to experiment with cutting-edge technology such as virtual reality and augmented reality to build memorable connections in the digital world.

Related: How Experiential Marketing Events Can Skyrocket Your ROI

4. AI-powered personalization

Consumers are tired of feeling like a number. Any opportunity you have to customize your marketing messages to each specific customer is a win. Fortunately, new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are making this much easier. These tools can sift through thousands of data points to help you identify your target customers’ personal behaviors and preferences to deliver customized messages or product recommendations designed just for them.

5. Cause marketing and social impact campaigns

People no longer want to simply purchase a product or service. More and more consumers care about the impact that brands are making on the world around them. Aligning your brand with a social cause or issue that resonates with your target audience is a great way to build brand awareness and positive reception.

6. Collaborate with other startups

Just because you are running a startup, doesn’t mean you are on your own. There are other startups out there that are looking to build their brand as well. Forming partnerships with other startups that have complimentary offerings is a great way to work together and tap into each other’s audiences. This can also help foster a sense of innovation and idea-sharing within the startup community.

The world of startup marketing is constantly evolving. It’s important that startup marketers keep a pulse on changes in technology, especially as AI, ML and voice optimization mature. Social movements and cultural norms may also shift over time, allowing leading brands to stay ahead rather than jumping on the bandwagon when it’s too late. Finally, more and more companies have the capability to develop and produce similar products. Success will ultimately boil down to the overall experience and authenticity of the brand itself. Startups that are able to keep these trends in mind will be best positioned to be one of the few that go on to obtain long-term success.

Related: 9 Low-Budget Marketing Strategies Every Startup Can Afford

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