The startup environment is full of energy and breeds an overwhelming amount of new creative ideas. Some of the best products in the world have all originated from a local startup. But a good idea alone isn’t enough to get yourself recognized. Even investment capital can only go so far.

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Marketing is generally one of the most important aspects of any company. Startups are especially prone to high risk of failure early on, and a proper marketing strategy can greatly reduce this risk. In this article I’d like to share a few tips for marketing an upcoming startup. You have to put in long hours and really dedicate yourself to the work – but it’s all worth it for a rise in success.

Pinpoint Strategy

Before getting your marketing materials set up it’s important that you figure out a bulletproof strategy. What type of market are you trying to appeal to? Consider first what types of products you want to build, since this is truly what your company is offering the world.

This tactic is beneficial for digital and real-world goods. But in the digital landscape there are a lot more marketing channels and different directives to follow. Your strategies will certainly differ according to your branding.

I suggest making a small list of ideas right from the get-go. List out possible routes you can follow to draw attention towards your product. It’s also good to consider the forms of media you’ll be targeting such as television, Internet video, blogging, social news, or even mobile phones.

Setup a Brand

People need to be able to recognize your brand quickly. Providing a noticeable logo is only one step in the process. Your name needs to be catchy – something that will easily roll off the tongue.

Foursquare homepage video team

A great example is the mobile check-in app Foursquare built for iPhone and Android devices. Their use of the kickball image is recognized with the schoolyard game of four square. This is displayed not only in their company logo, but also throughout notable areas on the page and even in their app icon.

Try Out New Channels

As long as you are curious there’s no reason to stifle creativity. Always be interested in trying new channels for market potential. There are hundreds of thousands of media outlets on the Internet which you can use for advertising.

Possibly the most prominent companies include Google AdWords or Facebook Ads. These are heavily trafficked networks which work off a very large marketing budget. But even if you try a plan and it fails you shouldn’t consider the market as a waste of time. All marketing is practice and growth over a long period of time.

Provide Good Products

This is often overlooked in the hopes that you just need to flood the markets with ideas. However entrepreneurs often don’t stop to consider if the ideas hold much value to society.

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Technology has drastically changed the way we live and how we interact with the world. Looking towards the future it seems technology is only ramping up at quicker speeds. Your products need to reflect this rapid growth in evolution.

Take constructive criticism from your audience and use this to better your products over time. A company is nothing without its demand from consumers. Build products targeted at your consumers and watch how quickly the markets will turn in your favor.

Get on Social Networking

This is one of the simplest tips you can follow and will certainly hold a huge impact over time. You should consider signing up for all of the popular social networks and creating a company brand profile. There are too many to list out here, so just pick a few of your favorites that will help define your goals.

A couple of staple websites I recommend are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. AngelList is also a fantastic network for startups and investors to meet each other and plan out ideas. Although it is undoubtedly geared towards a more technical audience.

And along with the big mainstream media players there are additional smaller networks which are still worthy of your attention. Social news websites like Digg and Reddit are extremely popular among the younger crowd. And the open source Pligg CMS lets developers launch their own social news clone which can provide a hefty list of marketing opportunities.

Conclusion

There is no perfect solution to creating a marketing strategy. A lot of startups learn that you need to go through trial and error to ascertain a working solution. These are just a few ideas you can try out and get your marketing strategy on the right foot. But remember that running a company is an ongoing struggle and will require years of true loyalty and devotion.

Posted by Jake Rocheleau

Jake is a writer & digital designer/illustrator. He writes about all things web and creative. Check out his website for work samples and follow his latest updates on Twitter @jakerocheleau.

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