When it comes to hitting the ground running with a start-up, raising awareness in those early days is everything! But needless to say, getting people, or even potential customers, excited about your new product or service isn’t easy. Consumers are savvier than ever these days, which makes the more traditional tactics used by marketers to increase reach a little lack-lustre.
We don’t want to throw a load of start-up business failure rates at you, but it’s a fact, a huge percentage of new businesses are unsuccessful in their target markets and fall into oblivion as a result. Whether you’re a bricks and mortar store or an online innovator, expanding your reach and promoting your wares to consumers in your target area and beyond is all about versatility, combining the old tactics with the new to create a truly unstoppable force of a marketing campaign.
Read on to discover the top ways to increase reach for your start-up and give your new business the gumption it needs to succeed.
Get your brand on fleek
Before you even hit the market making sure your brand identity and ideals are on point is a vital part of the increase your reach puzzle. Your start-up brand, no matter how niche, needs to compete with the big boys for attention so keeping your visual identity – and tone of voice – consistent throughout the life of your company is important. But where do you begin when it comes to creating a foundation?
Market research is an excellent way to gain an in-depth insight into what your audience wants and expects from businesses within your target sector. You can also use market research to rip apart what your competitors have done with their branding, and use those strengths and weaknesses to your advantage. Once you have a few concepts that fall in line with your findings, test, test and test again, analysing the results as you go, to ensure your final brand identity is the best it can be.
Become a social whore
As you well know, social media is a great way to spread the word of your brand and its brilliant products or services – and it’s cheap, which is even better news for start-ups on tight budgets. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp all offer excellent advantages when building an audience from scratch and extending your reach, that is with the right management.
Social media marketing isn’t a quick-fix however. Whilst it may be free of charge to use, it’s a major time drainer. It’s worth it though, as long as you have the time to dedicate to building exceptional profiles, staying active with regular interactions, and showcasing your expertise with relevant, on-topic posts.
Get offline and meet the people
It’s not all about the online world – and don’t let Google or Facebook tell you otherwise – for start-up businesses looking to have a physical presence in particular towns or cities and those looking to stay online, live events are great for drumming up support for your fledgling brand. With events, the possibilities are endless so let your creativity run wild and host an event that really gets people talking.
You don’t have to spend your wad hosting your own event either, a wide range of industry sectors hold exhibitions and conferences where businesses of all shapes, sizes and niches can showcase their products or services. As well as gaining some valuable face time with potential customers, attending exhibitions, conferences and other industry specific events are great for networking.
Go for some good old fashioned PR
Getting the press coverage that pushes your company into the public eye is the Holy Grail. It’s literally free advertising, and start-up businesses always have an excuse to share their story, particularly if they have an innovative product or service in tow. Local media or national media, print or online, TV or radio, they all count so start building relationships with press contacts during those early days. You don’t always have to be the star of the show either, by simply getting approached for comment you can spread your expertise that little bit further.
Giving something back is a great way to hit the headlines for so many reasons. Not only will your sponsorship gain you a few column inches, it supports your community and helps you reach your target audience, especially if you are targeting a specific area or niche. Experiential campaigns are another route to a bit of coverage, and a valuable approach for connecting with customers directly. The flash mob phenomenon is evidence of that!
Support your fellow business owners
Partnering with businesses within your industry sector or serving a complementary market may seem counterproductive at first glance but with careful selection you can both reap the rewards of joining forces. Take it from us partnering doesn’t mean death – to complement our own services we have partnered with an established print company to deliver the highest quality printed materials around! We’re all winners, we can provide a better service to you and they enjoy a steady stream of custom also. Not only will you be able to tap into a larger pool of consumers, you can also provide a more complete experience for your customers.
It’s all about the merch’
We’re suckers for quoting a bit of Peep Show, but Ben was right, it really is all about the merchandise (sorry Jez). Promotional merchandise still works and is a simple way to increase reach. You can pick up branded pens for pennies but don’t be tempted to go more cheap than cheerful. The quality of your promotional merchandise will tell consumers a lot about your brand so invest wisely. There are tons of merchandising options, and nowadays you can be as creative as you like. Think outside the box with unusual merchandise and personalised items for added impact.
Unlock the power of content – in all its forms
Content is so much more than words, and dodgy SEO tactics aside, content really does count and produces an organic reach that spammy tricks don’t. Make content marketing work for you in all its forms, not being afraid to get in front of the camera from time to time – 87% of online marketers use video content and more than 500 million hours of video is watched on YouTube daily!
Interested in using one, two or even all of these top tips to increase your own reach? Well you don’t have to do it alone, let us help you achieve better brand awareness. Get in touch with our lovely and super talented team today to discuss your requirements.