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7 Marketing Must Haves for Startups

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Learning to market for your startup can feel overwhelming. If you're like most new entrepreneurs, you're doing the job of a whole marketing team on top of trying to make a profit. It might help to learn about the seven marketing must haves for startups. That way you can narrow down your marketing duties to just the essentials until you can hire a marketing team.

1. Logo

A company's logo is probably the most important aspect of their branding. A good logo is clear, concise and relevant. Your customers shouldn't have trouble recognizing or deciphering it. Also, a logo can be too busy, which can make it hard to figure out. Finally, make sure the logo is relevant to the type of product or service your company provides or customers may be confused. Try out some designs with an online logo maker to see what works for your business.

2. Website

These days, a company without a well-functioning website may be perceived as out-of-touch, and that's a bad look for a new business. Websites have become the most common ways for customers to interact with your business. Many people will check out a company's website to get an idea of who they are and what they do. If your company's website is difficult to navigate or isn't mobile friendly, it could result in potential loss of new customers. Thankfully, there are many user-friendly website builders that have elegant features already included in the design.

3. Social Media

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram - oh my! New business owners are often overwhelmed with the amount of social media channels available. The good news is you don't have to be on all of them. Just utilize the social media outlets that are easiest for you to understand or that have the most relevance to your business. For example, food and beverage businesses can do very well on Instagram because of the foodie community on that outlet. However, it's important to have content that is both relevant and engaging. Check out what comparable startups have done with their social accounts to get some inspiring ideas.

4. Customer Reviews

Word of mouth recommendations still go a long way. In the Information Age, peer-to-peer suggestions for products or services often come in the form of online reviews. Whether from a search engine, app or social media site, customer feedback is how many new customers decide whether to go with a company. If they see too many negative reviews, they may move on to the next candidate. However, if the company responds to each negative review with understanding and consolation, certain new customers may not be turned away. Of course, getting good reviews can help, too.

5. Clear Branding

Your company's branding is the message that's being sent to potential customers about the business. It's the who, what, where, when and how of your company. Branding can encompass the company's origin story, mission and graphic design. Developing a clear brand is important because it's how customers get to know your company. If your message is off, there can be a miscommunication. That could hinder you from reaching the right market for your product or service. 

6. Market-Driven Copy

Grammar, punctuation and sentence structure might not seem like they're so important, but they may have an impact on how the public views your company. Likewise, the language used in marketing campaigns can be influential. For example, if you're trying to reach a Millennial market, you might consider throwing in some emojis into your social media copy where appropriate. On the other hand, if you're marketing to a Boomer demographic, you're more likely to reach them with copy that uses proper punctuation and grammar. 

7. Search Engine Optimization

Have you ever wondered how websites get on the front page of search results? There's a system of checks that's used to see which websites contain the most relevant results based on the search terms. Search engines comb websites for that data, and when they find the right matches, they return a list of results based on the highest relevance. Search engine optimization ensures that your website has data that can allow it to be picked up when the right terms are searched.

Start with the Basics

Marketing for your startup doesn't have to be a headache. Determining what aspects of your branding are most important to your marketing can help you figure out what's necessary. On the outset, setting realistic marketing goals that include only the basic must haves can alleviate some of your stress.

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