AKA How do I market my startup in front of my target audience?
Reproduced for HackerNoon. Some minor edits for improved readability.
The original question on Quora:
As a founder, do I need to be an expert marketer in order to run effective marketing campaigns?
Unlike popular belief, marketing is not so much about marketing, and A LOT about one simple thing — growth.
As long as you can stay focussed on that one job, it doesn’t really matter whether you are an expert marketer or not. Expertise you can gain and earn with time, by making mistakes, and with every single micro-campaign you execute. The only metric you need to keep your eyes on would be growth (this is true for all marketers, even more applicable for you, being the founder).
Having said that, I understand that chartering into unfamiliar waters can be daunting, exhausting and stressful. You may be questioning your every move, whether you are going about things the right way or not. So, here are a few tips for you, but before that, here is why you shouldn’t be stressed on taking this new role:
While unfamiliar waters can be intimidating, remember this — you already decided to take on the harshest waters possible when you decided to start your business. And then you went ahead and did that. Anything and everything that follows would be a walk in the park as compared to the perilous waters you have already ventured into.
NOW, THE TIPS:
- Decide on your brand’s personality, persona, tone of communication etc. You shouldn’t be all over the place when it comes to your marketing communications. Are you a young and energetic brand or are you something serious? What defines you? It would make a lot of sense if the persona you choose for your brand is something you can yourself relate to. That way, you can be authentic in your communication.
- Do not fall prey to the rat race of doing everything. One of the very first things any entrepreneur does is set up the social media accounts for his business. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. And then 90% of these pages set up will end up becoming ghost-towns. Don’t do that. Think it through, and choose the social media platforms that (i) make the most sense to you, (ii) you can be consistently active on, (iii) you have a command over. The reason I talk about (iii) is the fact that different social media platforms have different types of ideal content type. Don’t recycle the same content everywhere just for the sake of being active everywhere. Whatever you are doing, focus on doing it well. Doing it well is more important than doing everything. Also, remember the importance of consistency in any form of content marketing.
- Align your work to the expected outcomes. I have seen countless businesses that do PR because “they should do PR”, that do social media marketing because “everyone else is doing so, and it drives a lot of traffic”. Don’t fall into that trap. Everything that you do needs to be aligned to an outcome. And for that, HAVING AN OUTCOME is the very first step. Everything — ranging from sending welcome emails to press releases — needs to have a quantifiable goal. Always keep on working towards that goal.
- Keep your eye on the moon, but aim for the first floor first. Having an ambitious goal is great, but don’t forget to set up achievable micro-targets first. Your ideal targets should be incremental in nature, and have a targeted timeframe of not more than a few weeks. (Keep them as short as possible and meaningful)
- Customers have always valued trust over anything else. Recently, I saw an episode of some web-series which had a scene that said “You should buy expensive stuff that you’ll be using for years from trusted retailers”. That’s actually true for everything. Consumers may temporarily get distracted by shiny offers and discounts, but they will always fall back to the names they trust the most. And a consumer who trusts you is most likely to recommend you to his friends when he is asked for opinion. Start cultivating a trust for your brand amongst your consumers from the very first day.
I can go on and on, but for the next 6 months, these 5 tips would be more than good enough to both keep you busy, and happy with the growth you will be seeing.
Originally published at www.quora.com.