10 marketing tips for startups in Nigeria
As a startup in Nigeria, getting your marketing right can be the difference between becoming a successful business enterprise or not. Marketing, when done right, can be an incredible boon for your business’s net income. Now is the time to invest in extensive marketing, but as a startup you most likely don’t have a lot of money to throw around. I mean, unless you have a lot of ready investors to fund your startup, it’s very likely you don’t have a great deal of cash to spend on your marketing for your business.
But no worries, check out these ten marketing tips for startups which will help you make more sales, spend less and make more money.
- Listen to your customers. The customer may at times defy logic, but they are always right. Listen to them. Focus on them and forget about what seems to make sense for your business. Study your customers to understand their needs and then attempt to meet those needs, that’s what makes you invaluable.
The founder of Walmart, Sam Walton, knew his customers because he would frequently listen to them firsthand. He was aware that people that lived in rural and suburban areas often bought in larger quantities because they had larger families, or needed more goods to keep their own small businesses stocked and running. He started his empire in rural America. Today, Walmart is the largest and most powerful brick and mortar retailer in the whole world.
- Measuring results. How can you be sure that what you put into ads correlates with sales? Marketing that can not be measured is failed marketing. If you’re going to commit money and precious time to a marketing campaign, make sure that you can measure the results. You will have to device means to track conversions that stem from each marketing campaign. This way you can easily compare and contrast marketing channels to see which one has a higher performance level. As a startup, it is recommended that you run multiple types of marketing campaigns in distinct, small batches; find out the ones that work best for the business and toss out the ones that don’t work.
- Solidy your brand. Try not to be moved by what every other business is doing. Stay true to your original business concept and be yourself. Ensure that you have a solid concept as to what your business truly represents, and what you desire to accomplish, before you even set out to run marketing campaigns. Determine why you are unique and what sets you apart from your competitors. Let your brand stand out by simply enforcing it. Stand your ground. It’s easy to be tempted to mimic your competitors brand, you should avoid this.
What can you offer the world in a special and unique way that your competitors can’t? Now that’s your brand. Build on it. Be consistent when presenting your image, don’t try to change your image to attract a variety of audiences. When a brand consistently changes its approach or image, it can flag red to potential customers, it can make you come off as being confused and lacking direction. This is not good for business.
For example, if people know you as Ben Z. Mark then use that name exactly the same way everywhere. Don’t go Benny or sometimes go BZ on LinkedIn.
Another example could be; repeatedly changing your company logo or headshot image perhaps to attract a set of people. This is bad for marketing, don’t do it. Now is the time to build your brand and work to gain brand loyalty. You absolutely cannot achieve brand loyalty if you’re inconsistent. So take note.
- Listen and observe. It is unrealistic and ridiculous to think you can simply launch a marketing campaign and receive instant results. Well it really doesn’t work that way. When it comes to the startup phase of your business, listening and observing are very important.
Note the following:
- Set up and monitor Google accounts.
- Use a Twitter management tool like Tweetdeck to monitor numerous keywords and to see who’s buzzing about your brand.
- Closely watch your various social media channels to determine the sort of feedback you’re receiving.
By closely listening, you will get the chance to address any negative feedback straightaway and also improve on the positive aspects.
A successful marketing routine is all about refining your methods so you can determine what works best for you, because chances are your initial marketing efforts will probably fail. Rather than getting discouraged, learn from your mistakes and get right back up and try again.
- Build partnerships. Time to team up? Exactly. Start to explore how partner marketing can help your marketing efforts. By building the right partnerships, and forming strong relationships with some of the big names in the field will significantly help you deploy your marketing strategies. Get close to industry leaders in your field, because it’s not that easy to succeed on your own, especially as you are new in the industry. Strategic partnerships can get you a long — much faster.
- Focus on benefits. Sell your benefits and not comparisons.
People always buy the benefit, not the feature. Do not lose sight of your business value proposition. You do not have to be better, different or expensive in the market. What matters is how you frame the differences in terms of the benefits, associated risks and value that resonate with your customers
— Dharmesh Shah, Hubspot
What this means is that you can tell someone that you provide a product or service that is cheaper or more effective than that of some other business, but that doesn’t say how much better you are going to make the customer’s life.
- Your target market. Focus all your marketing efforts on the right audience. You can’t expect to have a positive impact on everyone you reach, so, as a startup, you need to target a particular market. The reason being that, reaching the right audience will have a much better result in terms of gaining the desired attention. Attempting to reach the entire market will cost you a lot of money and may result in wasted efforts as you may not get the desired results.
Focus on your niche audience. Simple. Don’t go chasing shadows.
- Start marketing before your products come. Start this journey with your customers. Start telling your story from day one, even before you launch your product. Start a blog and record your journey with your audience. Some businesses always wait until their products is ready and perfect before they do any marketing. This can be a costly mistake. Its best to start creating some kind of awareness for products beforehand, even if it’s minimal, to let potential customers know your product is on the way. This way when the products are finally ready, so will the customers.
When you start the journey with customers, it makes them feel like a part of your company, which boosts loyalty and leads to higher retention rates after the product launch.
- Maximize social media. When used effectively, social media can make your idea go viral and provide your business with enough expose for a good head start. Register a page for your business with Google+, Facebook and Twitter, and start building an audience. Any successful marketing strategy should involve a whole lot of social media interaction. Make sure you are quick to respond to tweets and comments to gainfully engage your audience. Also ensure that you stay relevant on social media and seek to establish your business as an industry expert. Create a platform that will redirect your target audience back to your products. Regardless of the social media platform you are using, ensure your message is educative and will make prospects want to try your product.
- Be open to feedback. Create a place on your website for accessing feedback. If you don’t provide a place/platform for your customers to praise or blame you; they get the impression they don’t matter in the scheme of things. You wouldn’t want that now, would you? Whether good or bad, you have to be able to hear your customers thoughts concerning your products. Allow for a two-way communication between you and your customers. By providing a place on your site for this kind of exchange to happen, you can easily address issues without third party involvement.
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