7 Marketing Tips for Young Startups

 In Branding, Marketing

By Sean Sutherland, Kapowza

Marketing isn’t always cheap and it isn’t always easy. Despite that, there are still a few things you can do yourself for your startup; and if you’re going to do them, you might as well do them right. These tips below are the ones that make every great ad, a great ad. Some of them are easier to implement than the others, but remember, every place your brand can be touched, heard, seen, tasted, and even smelled can be used as marketing.

1) Entertain.​

Your first priority is to not inform. You only inform after you’ve gotten their attention first. Start treating everything you do as an opportunity to entertain. That doesn’t mean dancing cats every single time, but it could be. You have to find the right way to be entertaining within the sandbox that is your industry.

 2) Remember your industry is only interesting to you.

No one will find antique carpet fiber collection more riveting than you. Do not assume the others would find your industry as interesting as you do. There’s a reason you do it for a living. Hopefully, you think it’s just neat.

3) Have a point of view.

Nothing is duller than something that’s trying to avoid having any opinion at all. You cannot please everyone, and you shouldn’t try to. Although, do bear in mind that all middle roads lead to a dead end. That said, don’t be an insulting jerk, unless your customers find that funny (see Cards Against Humanity emails).

4) Use emotion.

There are twenty-four different emotions that you can use in your storytelling. From those twenty-four, maybe only four apply to you—probably even lesser. Let your emotions come through in your campaigns and communication with customers. Find at least one and let that be visible in your marketing. For example, Coke has found Happiness as their emotion. What’s yours?

5) Be relevant.

Know what the world is talking about and join in. Depending on your audience, Reddit might be a good place for you to the pulse on what the internet is up to. Viewer beware: the internet is a strange place. There’s been a trend for brands to use memes lately. (If you do not know what a meme is, then you shouldn’t be considering this idea at all). If you’re going to do this, please use them right. Word of caution: do not post your brand/company stuff without some help. There’s an intense community of people out there that just hate marketing.

6) Be honest.

The best stuff comes from the truth. If you’re a bank, that’s fine; don’t try to be Apple. Don’t shy away from what makes your brand your brand or your industry, your industry. Not everyone can be Nike. Not everyone should be.

7) Do the opposite.

What’s everyone else doing? Try the inverse of that. It might not always be the best idea, especially when driving. But it’s a good place to start. It’s an easy trick to get out of “the box”. Competition sending junk mail? Send a bag to collect the junk mail (yes, you’re still sending junk mail). Competition bugging people with Youtube Pre-Roll ads? Make an ad about how lame those ads are; like Geico did. Everyone jumping up and down about the Holidays? KitKat released an ad of nothing. What can you do that’s the exact opposite of everyone else?

With these tips in mind, and the right idea, you are sure to hit the ground running with your own marketing efforts. Plus, as a member of Startup League, you’ve already taken the right first step towards getting your venture out there.

If you still feel that you’re not ready to give marketing a shot yourself, give me a shout at Sean@Kapowza.co. We’re partnering with the Startup League and can offer a discounted rate to all startups onboard the Startup League. Kapowza is a full-service creative agency specializing in graphic design, website, and video production. You can find more information at Kapowza.co.

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