Life in the startup stage can be precarious. In fact, as many as 60% of new businesses fold within the first three years. This is a worrying statistic for anyone who is launching a new business, especially when you consider that there are many reasons why startups fail. One of the most common reasons is the struggle to stand out and get noticed in a crowded market. These days, you are competing with millions of other companies online, making it extremely difficult to get noticed when you are just getting started and competing against much bigger, more established brands with the resources to dominate. So, what can you do as a startup to get noticed? Fear not; there are a few tried and tested strategies that could help you hit the ground running.
Start Promo Work Early
First, it is a good idea to start promoting your startup as early as possible. Building your visibility online and getting noticed can take a long time, so you might struggle to make an impact if you wait to promote your business. By beginning promotional work early, you can raise awareness before you have launched - this can help to create a buzz around your startup, which will hopefully help you start attracting customers from day one.
Define Your USP
If you want to stand out in a crowded marketplace, you must bring something new to the table. If you are the same as the competition, you cannot expect to succeed in a crowded and established marketplace as a new business, as consumers will always go with the more established brand. Therefore, you need to use your market research to define a USP that will help you stand out and get noticed.
It is not easy in an established marketplace, but a gap in the market will be a highly effective way to stand out and attract customers. Many marketplaces have undergone a transformation in recent years, so in-depth research could help you unearth a gap in the market to capitalize on.
Combine SEO & PPC
Obviously, you will want to have a good ranking on search engine results pages so that you are easy to find by your target market. However, you need to understand that SEO can take several months and longer for results to show (this is why it is a good idea to start early as established earlier). It is also worth using the services of an experienced link-building agency that will know how to help your brand quickly improve your Google ranking.
As SEO results can take a while, it is worth combining this with PPC. PPC allows you to instantly improve your visibility on search engine results pages by appearing in sponsored results. When combined, SEO and PPC can deliver powerful results in both the short and long term - this is ideal for a startup because you want to start attracting customers immediately but also need to develop a long-term strategy for organic traffic.
Get Active On Social Media The search engines are fiercely competitive, but social media can provide more of a level playing field for startups. Therefore, you want to make sure that you are active on the right social media channels - Facebook should be a priority, but you should also find out what other channels your target market uses. There is a lot of good advice for how to use social media as a startup online, but a few good practices include:
Showing behind-the-scenes content
Creating and sharing engaging content for your target market
Starting and participating in discussions
Responding swiftly to messages
Following local businesses
Using relevant hashtags
Partnering with influencers
Encourage user-generated content (UGC)
Rely On Your Network
You need all the help you can get when launching a startup, so do not hesitate to ask those in your network to help spread the word about your business. Often, startups succeed due to word-of-mouth marketing as this can help you spread into a wide range of markets. Getting friends, family members, neighbors, former colleagues, and anyone else in your life to recommend your new brand to their network can make all the difference early on and often creates a snowball effect.
Getting noticed as a startup is hard, especially when operating in a crowded marketplace. These are a few of the most effective strategies that will help you to get noticed, attract customers from day one, and hit the ground running with your new business venture. Find this post useful? Keep checking back to learn more about getting your business noticed.
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