If you are thinking about startup marketing, then you have probably set up your own business and have a website. 

Your friends and family have evaluated your efforts and your new great product or service, so now it’s high time to conquer the world. “What’s next?” is quite a logical question in this situation.

At this stage, you should be ready to get advice for getting your website on the first page of Google, how to boost customer engagement and improve conversions, how to choose the best analytical metrics, how to gain more social media followers and so on and so forth. Right, it’s all about startup marketing

Here we share some basics and startup marketing principles that work for every startup, every business, and even individual situations.

How is a startup marketing strategy different?

The marketing strategy for startups requires the flexibility that is perfectly proposed in the Agile approach. This kind of marketing should be optimized for performance.

It can be rather difficult to perform just because of two main causes:

  • Startups typically have limited budgets
  • Startups typically have limited or no resource

Develop a marketing strategy for your startup, you probably start from scratch and think multi-channel. You should be highly skilled in allocating not only budgets but also your resources and professional abilities.

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Startup marketing strategy from scratch: setting goals for your marketing efforts

Sometimes happen that startup founders do not have a clear idea of what marketing even means or why they are actually doing it. This attitude is not effective and leads to wasted time, energy and resources. 

For startup founders, marketing is first about understanding their target audience and figuring out how to promote their product/service in order to turn the audience into customers. 

Smart goals and understanding where you are in terms of product development will definitely help ensure that you are not just doing marketing for the sake of it.

What you must know for sure is why exactly you’re marketing. Having a clear marketing strategy in place can also be important for fundraising, as maybe one day you will need to arrange a crowdfunding campaign for a startup business.

With the help of a marketing strategy, you will be able to demonstrate to investors that you are serious about your startup and can put strategic thoughts into how you’re going to acquire customers.

So, what are the key stages of startup marketing?

Startup marketing basics

A successful startup marketing strategy begins with the theory and basic foundation. Here they are:

1. Entering the right market

Any startup founder surely believes that the whole world will love his/her product just because they eat, sleep and breathe their masterpieces. In the real world, only a small part of the population will be interested in.

Trying to market a startup to everyone is just wasting time and money. That’s why it’s crucial to identify the right niche target market and go after it aggressively. Choose a market, it’s important to consider market size, market wealth, competition, and value proposition.

2. Formulating success

Thinking about the ideal outcome and success for your startup business, you should consider many factors and also understand key causes why startups fail.

Success is different for every business. It can be related to new signups, great revenue per month, releasing outstanding features, etc. Make sure everyone in your team knows the definition of success and is prepared to work towards it.

3. Defining keywords

After choosing the market, startup founders should care about creating a keyword list. These keywords will be used in blogging, on social media, and your main website. These words and phrases should be highly relevant to your brand. 

Make sure you expand your core keyword, including secondary keywords that are usually more specific.

4. Choosing key metrics

Choosing appropriate marketing metrics, make sure they are measurable and specific. 

For any business, it’s rather important to have highly valuable metrics based on actions taken throughout the customer acquisition funnel (subscriptions, signups, ebook downloads, etc.).

Do not try to measure everything, just focus on the key indicators of success.

5. Estimating a conversion rate

Assigning conversion rates and values is the next essential step. Estimate the lead conversion rate and do the same to estimate the lifetime value of a customer.

6. Budget setting

Everything comes down to money anyway. One of the headaches for startup founders is to define how much they can afford to spend on the startup marketing strategy. 

Set a budget early and do not forget to accept possible limitations. Plan how you intend to divide that budget and be sure you have the required logistics before you start spending.

Essential parts of a startup marketing strategy

Social media marketing

Social networks perfectly promote content and reach influencers. This marketing channel looks powerful and attractive for startups as it can bring potential customers to the main website and influencing the influencers can generate thousands of new leads.

Choosing the best social networks for your business is not an easy thing. The most common mistakes many startups do are trying to master every network and trying to apply a specific network just because the competitor is doing it.

Email marketing

Email marketing is also an excellent way to drive customers to any startup business. Once you’ve created the right framework, it will do a lot of your job for you.

Startup founders may use various affordable email tools, some of which are specifically designed for startup businesses that don’t yet require managing contacts. For example, MailChimp or Zoho Mail.

Do not forget to integrate an email sign up on your website for people to learn more about your product and get a demo. It will help to generate leads as well.

Public relations

It’s not always easy to define when it is the right time to tell people about your startup and choose the right messages to attract their attention.

Make sure you have a clear understanding of:

  • What to say
  • When to say it
  • Who to say it to

Some of the essential PR steps and actions include:

  • Preparing meaningful positioning statements
  • Defining possible startup sensitivities
  • Identifying the right writers for a media list
  • Creating a press kit
  • Reaching out to journalists

Content marketing

Content marketing does really matter. Managing a blog and other forms of content is a daunting but rather interesting job.

It all may start with creating a topic list, preparing a content plan and choosing appropriate sources for promo campaigns.

Knowing what types of startup content to publish is also a big deal. Consider your options carefully, always keeping your target market in mind.


Startup marketing may seem easy at first sight, but it is a complex science. 

Some great marketing ideas have failed due to a lack of budget, media attention, customer awareness or a poor strategy. However, there are many great startups that have achieved their fame painlessly.

Have you found this elusive secret to startup marketing success? Can you share your experience? Feel free to comment below.