If you’re a tech startup founder, you may feel like marketing is an aimless endeavor. You’re not alone—many tech startups feel they’re simply throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks when it comes to attracting new customers.
But it shouldn’t be this way. The first step to success with tech startup marketing is developing a plan—a roadmap to follow as you attract new customers and hit growth goals. Here are 6 steps to get you started with developing your plan and building the foundation for a successful tech startup marketing program:
1. Define your target customer and create buyer personas.
It’s a tough pill for many tech startups to swallow: your product cannot be everything to everyone. Effective marketing requires that you understand your target buyer’s needs, motivations, triggers, blockers, and company goals, and that’s not something you can do if you’re trying to sell to anyone who could ever potentially need your software.
Instead, focus on developing buyer personas for the top three types of customers you want to attract the most. Interview your sales reps to get a deeper understanding of what they’ve heard from customers first and foremost. Then, try interviewing real customers. (Gift cards usually work for some extra encouragement.)
Ask questions to get a better understanding of their day-to-day, what kind of tech they’re already using to solve problems, how they make decisions about new technologies to use, and how your software specifically helps them do their job better. Then, name each persona and compile your information into a document the entire company can access for reference.
2. Develop messaging for each persona.
Once you have a few buyer personas fleshed out, you can start thinking about your messaging.
- What are the pain points of your target customer?
- How does your product or service solve those problems?
- How do you want to position your tech startup?
- What unique value proposition can you offer that will speak to the specific pain points of your target buyer?
Your messaging should be clear, concise, and tailored to each buyer persona.
3. Develop content at all stages of the buyer’s journey, from awareness to consideration to decision.
With messaging in hand, you can start developing content for each stage of the buyer’s journey:
- Awareness: Buyers are just beginning to realize they have a problem and need to do more research to determine whether technology is a viable solution.
Recommended content: blogs, social media posts, informative videos.
- Consideration: Buyers are convinced they need a solution and are now evaluating their options.
Recommended content: data sheets, tech specs, customer testimonials and case studies, webinars.
- Decision: Buyers are ready to purchase and are comparing final contenders.
Recommended content: pricing pages, free trials or demos, product comparisons.
Whatever stage your buyer is at, content needs to be informative and helpful in order to develop trust and credibility.
4. Make sure your website is optimized for user experience and for search engines.
Many startups focus on growing their sales teams before ramping up marketing. But your website can be your strongest sales tool. Give your target customers every opportunity to find you and every reason to stay. With a well-designed and optimized website, you’ll be able to do just that.
Start by ensuring your website can be found by choosing categories and keywords you want your website to rank for and focusing your content in these areas. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and responsive, as more and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to search the web (yes, even for business information).
Lastly, focus on your website’s design and navigation. Is it easy for users to find what they’re looking for? If not, you may want to consider making some changes to your site’s structure or redesigning it altogether.
5. Build your digital marketing strategy and tactical plan.
Digital marketing is a broad term that encompasses everything from SEO and content marketing to social media and email marketing. Once you’ve defined your target customer and buyer personas, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to reach them.
There are a number of digital marketing channels you can use to reach your target customers. Organic tactics are those that you don’t have to pay for, like SEO and blogging. Paid tactics are those that require you to spend money, like social media ads and Google AdWords. The key here is to find the right mix of both paid and organic strategies.
6. Analyze your results and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Finally, it’s important to regularly analyze the results of your marketing efforts and make adjustments to your strategy as needed. The best way to do this is to set up tracking for your marketing campaigns so you can see which ones are performing well and which ones need improvement. You can also use analytics tools like Google Analytics to track website traffic and conversions from your marketing campaigns.
Building a new marketing program for a tech startup is complex and requires a lot of moving pieces. But once you have marketing functioning reliably, you can set the stage for fast growth.
Need more guidance on your next move? Talk to a partner at ScaleView Partners today.