startup marketing


Do you own a startup and want to increase its visibility and success? Digital marketing is the key to making this happen. It’s a powerful way to reach potential customers and build your brand. In this article, you’ll learn the 10 winning digital marketing strategies that will help you stand out. From websites and brand building to social media and SEO, you’ll get the tips and tricks you need to create an effective digital marketing plan and get your startup off the ground. So, join us and learn how to make your digital marketing journey a success!


1. Crafting a Digital Marketing Plan

To craft a successful digital marketing plan for your startup, you need to identify the most effective strategies for your business. Implementing influencer partnerships, utilizing video marketing, and leveraging user generated content are all important steps to take. Influencer partnerships can help spread your message and build brand recognition with an engaged audience. Utilizing video marketing is an effective way to showcase your products, services, and company culture. Leveraging user generated content can help create social proof and trust for your brand.


Creating a website and establishing your digital presence is essential for any startup. Your website should be optimized for search engines and include all the essential pages such as About Us, Contact, Privacy, and Disclaimer. Social media marketing is a cost-effective way to reach potential customers and build an engaged following. Content marketing should be leveraged to create informative and educational content that resonates with your target audience. Email marketing is a great way to keep customers informed and engaged with your brand.


startup digital marketing plan


Advertising on Google and Facebook are effective tactics to reach new customers. Google Ads can be used to target customers searching for specific keywords, while Facebook Ads can be used to find customers interested in your products and services. Additionally, digital PR is essential for boosting your visibility online. From getting featured in trade media to earning backlinks, PR activities can help you reach new audiences and improve your SEO performance.


Finally, it’s important to focus on customer lifetime value and reputation. Track customer satisfaction and work on improving retention. Request feedback and take action on it. Ask for testimonials when you’ve exceeded expectations. Improve the customer experience to generate referrals and cultivate social proof such as case studies.


2. Growing an Email List

Start building your email list now, and you’ll be well on your way to success. Email marketing can be a powerful tool for startups, as it helps to generate leads, convert customers, and build relationships. To maximize the effectiveness of your email list, here are five strategies to consider:


  • Utilize effective lead generation software to grow your email list quickly and easily.
  • Maximize email conversions by creating compelling content and providing incentives for sign-ups.
  • Segment your email list into different groups based on customer interests and behaviors.
  • Automate email campaigns to nurture leads and drive sales.
  • Analyze the performance of your email campaigns and optimize them for better results.


These strategies can help you to effectively grow and manage your email list, so you can reap the rewards of more leads, conversions, and relationships with customers. To achieve mastery in email marketing, it is essential to understand your target audience and craft compelling messages that will resonate with them. By taking the time to understand your target audience and craft effective strategies, you can ensure your emails are successful and your list keeps growing.


3. Leveraging Social Media Platforms

Leverage social media platforms to boost your startup’s digital marketing strategy. One of the most effective tactics for getting the attention of your target audience is to partner with influencers. These influencers can promote your products and services to their followers, who are likely to be interested in your offerings. Additionally, you can create social media contests to encourage users to interact with your brand and spread the word about your startup. This can help to build a larger following and increase engagement with your content. Finally, engaging with online communities can help to spread awareness of your brand and increase your reach. These communities can provide valuable insights and feedback, as well as helping to generate leads. By leveraging these social media strategies, you can effectively reach a wider audience and increase the success of your digital marketing strategy.


4. Developing a Content Strategy

Once you’ve developed a content strategy, you can start leveraging it to create and promote engaging content. Here are some techniques to consider:


  • Create blogs to increase organic traffic and brand awareness.
  • Optimize blogs for long-tail keywords to drive targeted traffic.
  • Develop informative ebooks and gate them behind landing pages.
  • Create social media graphics or informational series to promote your content.
  • Repurpose your content for non-search channels such as social media and email.


When distributing content, consider these strategies:


  • Focus on the right people at the right time and place of their buyer’s journey.
  • Distribute content to new and existing audiences.
  • Retrofit marketing assets for PR purposes.
  • Earn backlinks to increase visibility and optimize for search.


5. Creating Ads for Paid Channels

Frequently and strategically, you should create ads for paid channels. Creating compelling ad copy, targeting the right audience, and measuring ad performance are all key components of a successful paid ad campaign. Start by understanding the needs of your target customer and create ad copy that speaks to those needs. Utilize relevant keywords and phrases that are specific to your product or service, and avoid generic or vague language. It’s also important to target the right audience with your ads. Use data to determine who your ideal customer is and use demographic and psychographic criteria to target the most relevant audience. Finally, measure ad performance regularly to assess what is working and what needs to be changed. Monitor key metrics such as click-through-rate, cost-per-click, and conversions to improve your campaign over time. With the right combination of compelling messaging, targeting, and optimization, you can create a successful ad campaign that will help grow your startup.


6. Increasing Brand Awareness Through PR

By leveraging PR, you can increase your startup’s brand awareness and reach a wider audience in an effective and cost-efficient manner. Here are some tips to help you get started:


  • Building media relationships is essential for getting press coverage. Try to establish relationships with journalists, bloggers, and influencers in your industry.
  • Utilizing press releases is a great way to inform the media about your product and services. Craft interesting press releases and distribute them to reach key media contacts.
  • Collaborating with influencers can help you reach a larger audience. Identify influencers who align with your brand and offer them incentives for promoting your product or service.
  • Developing a content marketing strategy is an important part of PR. Create interesting content and optimize it for search engines to generate organic traffic.
  • Leverage user-generated content to showcase your product or service. Ask satisfied customers to share their stories and promote their content on social media.


7. Optimizing Your Website for Search Engines

You can optimize your website for search engines and get more organic traffic by making some simple changes. Investing in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is key for startups to get more visibility and customers. Start by conducting keyword research and optimizing your website’s meta tags, headings, and content for those relevant keywords. Additionally, building high-quality backlinks will help to improve your website’s authority. Monitoring and analyzing your website’s SEO performance is also important to track progress and make adjustments as needed.


Another important strategy is link building. This involves creating high-quality links to other relevant websites to increase your website’s authority and visibility. Aim for link-building opportunities with reputable websites in your industry to get the most value from your efforts. It is also important to keep your website updated with fresh content and to share new content on social media platforms regularly. This will help to keep your website visible and attract new visitors.


Finally, consider incorporating long-tail keywords into your website content. Long-tail keywords are phrases that are more specific and tend to have less competition, which can make them easier to rank for. When used strategically, long-tail keywords can help to improve your website’s search engine ranking and drive more organic traffic.


8. Nurturing Leads With Automation

Once you’ve acquired leads, you can use automation to nurture them. Automation tools provide a cost-effective way to keep your leads engaged and eventually convert them into paying customers. Here are some lead nurturing strategies that you can use to increase customer engagement and ROI:


  • Utilize automation tools such as Drip, MailChimp, or ConvertKit to set up email campaigns.
  • Develop a comprehensive email marketing strategy to target leads at the right time.
  • Experiment with different types of emails such as newsletters, promotional offers, and surveys.
  • Personalize emails to make them more relevant to the recipient.
  • Analyze the performance of emails to identify what works and what doesn’t.


Effective email campaigns should be tailored to each lead’s needs and interests. They should also be engaging and informative. Automation tools can be used to track the performance of emails and optimize them for maximum impact. By tracking the effectiveness of your emails, you can adjust your campaigns to generate better results.


9. Analyzing Your Digital Marketing Performance

Analyzing your digital marketing performance is essential for optimizing your campaigns and driving ROI. It is important to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns in order to maximize ROI and reach your company’s goals. An effective way to measure the success of your digital marketing efforts is to track metrics such as website visits, conversions, and return on investment. Additionally, you should implement data-driven marketing strategies that are tailored to your target audience. These can be used to analyze customer behavior, measure customer satisfaction, and refine your marketing approach. You should also consider using analytics tools to track the performance of your campaigns. These tools can help you understand which channels are driving the most value, and where you should focus your resources. By tracking and evaluating the performance of your campaigns, you will be able to identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions that will help you achieve your desired outcomes.


10. Staying Ahead of Digital Marketing Trends

Regularly staying ahead of digital marketing trends is essential for startups to remain competitive. To keep up, consider implementing influencer marketing, exploring video marketing strategies, and utilizing voice search optimization. Additionally, consider leveraging user-generated content, and leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) for more personalized campaigns.


Influencer marketing is a powerful tool to reach potential customers. It can build trust, increase brand awareness, and drive conversions. Video marketing is a great way to capture attention and build relationships with customers. Video can be used in a variety of ways such as tutorials, product demos, and explainer videos. Voice search optimization is becoming increasingly important as more people use voice assistants. To optimize for voice search, use natural language, focus on long-tail keywords, and create content that answers questions.


User-generated content is an effective way to build trust and authenticity. Encourage customers to share their experiences with your product or service. Finally, use AI to personalize campaigns and create more relevant content. AI can be used to target the right customers at the right time and place in their buyer’s journey.



Congratulations! By leveraging the strategies and tactics outlined here, you have the tools to create a powerful digital marketing plan for your startup. With a bit of hard work and dedication, you can spread the word about your business and reach a larger audience. Don’t forget to stay on top of digital marketing trends to ensure your success. It’s time to take the bull by the horns and make your startup a success!


lead generation startups


Tracking key metrics is crucial for lead generation success in a startup. With so many metrics available, it takes time to determine which ones to focus on. This article discusses seven key metrics for digital marketing agencies for startups. It should be tracked to measure lead generation campaign success.

Conversion Rate

A digital marketing agency for startups aims to enhance conversion rates. It analyzes website visitors’ behavior and optimizes marketing strategies. The conversion rate signifies the proportion of visitors who complete desired actions. Close monitoring of this metric can assess the effectiveness of your website. Marketing endeavors in converting visitors into valuable leads.


Cost per Lead (CPL)

CPL measures how much it costs to acquire a lead. This metric is essential in determining the ROI of your lead generation campaigns. Knowing your CPL allows you to budget and optimize your campaigns for maximum return.


  • Provides insights into CPL to assist businesses in making informed decisions.
  • Businesses can assess the efficiency and effectiveness of lead generation efforts by monitoring CPL.
  • Optimizing CPL improved ROI, increased conversions, and better use of marketing resources.
  • CPL allows businesses to identify areas for improvement. It helps in making data-driven decisions to enhance lead-generation strategies.
  • Accurate CPL tracking gauges the cost-effectiveness of various marketing channels and campaigns.


Lead Quality 

 is evaluated by assessing a lead’s readiness to purchase. In a startup branding agency context, lead quality determines a lead’s willingness to purchase. Often times a WordPress CRM tool can help you keep track of the quality of leads.


  • Evaluating lead quality is crucial as it influences a business’s sales pipeline and conversion rate.
  • Tracking lead quality enables to focus on targeting high-quality leads.
  • Lead generation campaigns should be designed to attract and engage high-quality leads. It increases the chances of successful conversions.
  • Identifying and nurturing high-quality leads improves business performance and increases ROI. 
  •  Provides strategies and tactics to optimize lead quality through targeted marketing campaigns and personalized communication. 
  • Regular monitoring and analysis of lead quality metrics help refine lead generation strategies and maximize conversion rates.
  • Enhancing lead quality positively impacts the effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts. This leads to increased revenue and startup marketing agency growth.


Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR measures the percentage of people clicking a call-to-action (CTA) button or link. This metric can help you on the effectiveness of the marketing agency CTA and ad copy. A low CTR indicates that your ad or CTA may need to be optimized to resonate better with your target audience.


  • The click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that measures the percentage of people who click on a call-to-action (CTA) button or link.
  • CTR is essential in evaluating the effectiveness of CTAs and ad copy used in digital marketing agency for startups.  
  • A higher CTR indicates that your CTAs and ad copy resonate well with your target audience and drive engagement.
  • A low CTR suggests that your ads or CTAs need optimization to capture the attention and interest of your audience.
  • Can analyze CTR data to identify areas for improvement and optimize CTAs and ad copy.
  • Optimizing CTR can increase website traffic and conversions and improve campaign performance.
  •  Offers strategies and techniques to enhance CTR through CTAs, engaging ad copy, and audience targeting.
  • Regular monitoring and testing of CTR can help refine marketing strategies. It maximizes the impact of advertising campaigns.


Cost per Click (CPC)

CPC measures how much you pay for each click on your ad. Tracking CPC determines the effectiveness of your ad campaign and optimizes it for ROI. 


  • Cost per Click (CPC) is a metric that measures the amount you pay for each click on your advertisement.
  • Tracking CPC helps assess the effectiveness of your ad campaign. It enables optimization for maximum return on investment (ROI).
  • Monitoring CPC allows you to understand the cost-effectiveness of your advertising efforts. It makes informed decisions about budget allocation.
  • A lower CPC indicates more efficient ad spending and can lead to higher ROI.
  • It provides insights into CPC data to help businesses make strategic decisions and improve advertising performance.
  • Optimizing CPC involves refining targeting, ad messaging, and bidding strategies to LOWER COSTS. It maintains or increases click-through rates.
  • Offers expertise in managing CPC campaigns. It bid optimization techniques and maximizes ad spend efficiency.
  •  Optimizing CPC achieves higher click-through rates. It increases website traffic and improves conversion rates for businesses. 


Return on Investment (ROI)

 ROI measures revenue generated compared to the cost of your lead generation campaign. This metric is crucial in determining campaign profitability and making data-driven decisions. 


  • This measures revenue generated from the cost of a lead generation campaign. 
  •  ROI assesses campaign profitability and guides data-driven decision-making. 
  • Analyzing ROI determines the effectiveness and efficiency of businesses’ marketing efforts.
  •  A positive ROI indicates profitable outcomes where campaign revenue outweighs the cost. 
  • Provides ROI insights to help businesses test marketing campaign success.
  •  Monitoring ROI helps businesses identify underperforming campaigns. It reallocates resources to more profitable initiatives. 
  •  Calculating ROI compares conversion revenue to costs, including advertising expenses and campaign management. 
  •  A higher ROI signifies campaign success and optimal use of marketing resources. 
  • Maximizing ROI leads to increased profitability, business growth, and marketing performance.


Engagement Rate

 The engagement rate measures interaction on social media posts or email campaigns. Tracking this metric helps determine content resonance with the audience and adjust content strategy. 


  •  Measures interaction and participation on social media posts or email campaigns. 
  • It helps assess the effectiveness of content in connecting with the target audience.
  • A higher engagement rate indicates that the content resonates well with the audience—Fosters interactions such as likes, comments, shares, and clicks.
  •  Monitoring engagement rates evaluates content strategy performance and enables data-driven adjustments. 
  •  Provides insights into engagement rate data to optimize branding for startups’ content and engagement strategies
  •  Analyzing engagement rates identifies popular content. It understands audience preferences and tailors future content for higher engagement. 
  • Improving engagement rates increases brand awareness, customer loyalty, and conversion rates. 
  •  Offers expertise in creating engaging content and leveraging storytelling techniques. It implements interactive elements for boosted engagement. 
  •  Regular monitoring of engagement rate metrics refines content approaches and maximizes audience participation. 
  •  Enhancing engagement rates fosters stronger audience connections. It amplifies brand reach and strengthens marketing effectiveness. 



Tracking these seven key metrics can help digital marketing agencies for startups. It evaluates the success of their lead-generation campaigns. Optimizing these metrics generates high-quality leads, improves conversion rates, and increases ROI. Remember to check and adjust your campaigns to ensure effectiveness.




What is a good conversion rate?


A good conversion rate varies by industry, but the average conversion rate for a lead generation campaign is around 2-5%.


How do I improve lead quality?


 Improving lead quality targets ideal customer profiles and creates targeted content. It prioritizes high-quality leads using lead scoring. 


What is a good engagement rate?


A good engagement rate varies by industry and platform, but a benchmark for social media is around 1-3%.


When I founded my company, SquareFoot, in 2011, while still in business school, I had no idea that it would turn into something that would keep me busy full time for the next many years and that I would raise $29 million to grow it. It all originated with one phone call from a friend. A buddy from home had a business of his own and he was struggling to find office space that would suit him and his team. He thought of me because I had worked for a few years in commercial real estate before heading to graduate school.

Frustrations Often Drive Entrepreneurialism

After speaking with him, I realized that the reason he was out of luck, and so obviously frustrated, was that traditional brokerages don’t tend to work on smaller deals of his size. And that’s the conversation that changed everything for me, that propelled me when I graduated to dive in and start my own company that would cater specifically to growing companies like my friend’s and so many other startups.

It was easier said than done. Typically, the bigger brokerages would lean on past work and word of mouth marketing to promote themselves and the similar deals they’d done. I didn’t have those luxuries at my disposal then. I knew that lots of people needed the service I had envisioned, with the same level of customer service that I’d been trained to provide, but how was I going to find them, convince them I was the right broker for them, and to get them to stick with me over the many months it can take to find and then negotiate for the right office space?

Why Digital Marketing Knowledge is Crucial

Like all startup founders, I looked to reading on the internet to learn more about digital marketing. I didn’t have an expensive budget to invest in paid advertising or to plop down for a booth at industry events. I had to be more innovative, more resourceful. And that’s when I realized that if I’m Googling for answers, so must be all the other small business owners for their various needs and answers. So I read up about search engine optimization at the same time that we were building out our company website, in hopes that by combining those two pursuits we could create a superb user experience for digital searchers. This was all brand new to me, but I had a hunch I was onto something.

Important Business Lessons

We built then a first-of-its-kind online listings platform on our website to give greater transparency to the search that these business owners would be embarking on. The first rule of digital marketing, I discovered, was creating on behalf of the user a worthy and valuable digital presence. We didn’t set out to capture people with a curtain to hand off their names and numbers. Instead, the website would serve people well, giving them the ability to sift through listings the way they’d come to expect from residential sites like StreetEasy, Redfin, and Zillow. By giving people more access to listings themselves, I wasn’t hurting my business, rather I was building it. Once they found spaces they wanted to move into, they’d need a broker to work with, and I, or a member of my team, could execute those deals. It was truly a win-win. They got more information, and we got a series of high-intent leads.

Eight years later, I continue to learn more every day about my business and how to grow it. But one of the areas I enjoy most and continue to be challenged by is the digital marketing component. Commercial real estate is a traditional industry filled with brokers who operate the same way today as they did 25 years ago. As we’ve witnessed so much digital disruption in other areas of business, much of what was built (systems, hierarchies, operations) many decades ago remains the same. That, for entrepreneurial types like me, is a key indication that there’s an opportunity to change the status quo and go about things differently.

Finding the Voids

I advise young entrepreneurs these days to assess which areas of an industry are outdated and overlooked. Usually, there’s a better way to do things, even if it’s not yet the industry standard. In this day and age, most to all industries should be sourcing leads via organic search – especially in their company’s first years – when they can convert users who are finding poor results for what should be more available to them. To get there, though, you have to do more than launch your business and put out a press release introducing yourself to the world. You have to go searching for those wayward searchers and give them a destination to come to, embrace, and enjoy. It’s through that transparency and trust that they’ll eventually share with you their contact information to get started with you.

I’m building the same rapport online that I expect from my team offline. We want people, no matter who they are or what they seek, to come to us when they’re ready, to tell us what they need, and to allow us to guide them toward their goal. Digital marketing makes that process so much simpler, as they will type into Google what they need. You just have to be ready on the other end, from both a technical standpoint and from a customer service one, to welcome them and to give them what they’re looking for.

I would imagine that there are other industries beyond commercial real estate that are sitting in 2020 ready and poised for change. The next generation of entrepreneurs will invest in their companies and also in their marketing education to build something spectacular. Today’s clients await these results to emerge and arise.



Jonathan Wasserstrum, SquareFoot CEO, has worked for 12 years in commercial real estate and eight years with digital marketing.

startup momentum


Your once small start-up is growing and you’re no longer in survival mode. Keeping the lights on and paying yourself enough to not starve has morphed into a healthy profit margin and your company is continuing to see gains.


This type of forwarding momentum is something every startup hopes to achieve, so it should be celebrated. But it should also be used as a sign that a time of transition is fast approaching. You cannot continue to operate in the same way, using the same methods, if you want your business to keep expanding.


Here we outline the next steps you should take to keep your company agile as it takes on its next level of growth.


Capitalize on Technology

In today’s hyper-connected world, making the switch to more tech-friendly alternatives in certain areas of your business can save you some serious capital. Take, for example, the traditional practice of having an in-office phone system. If you’re ready to level up, consider bypassing the conventional office phone set-up for more modern and affordable VoIP phone systems.


Online and connected to the cloud, VoIP phone systems reduce basic call costs both local and international by up to 40 percent, according to Tech.Co. And these software-based phones provide a whole host of additional benefits, including voice to email transcription, call routing, call recording, multi-level IVR and more. Using a more modern tech-based phone system also allows for faster and more flexible business communication, as every one of your employees, no matter if they are working in an office, remote or traveling, can stay connected.


Power Up Your Marketing Strategy

You can have the best business idea in the world — and if your startup is gaining serious traction, it’s likely you do — but if more people don’t learn about it, your business momentum will lose steam. So, don’t let your marketing efforts be put on the back burner. Now is the time to make certain you have a marketing plan. You can hire from the outside or use software to create, edit and share with your trusted team; either way, you want to make sure you have a tailored website and start building your online presence as soon as possible.


Don’t get stuck in an old school mindset when it comes to things like inbound marketing or using social media to spread the word about your business. Social sites can be a huge platform for your marketing efforts, especially if some of your customers are Millennials.


Also, the methodology behind your marketing is just as important. So, remember to keep each piece of marketing targeted toward a particular buyer persona, section of the sales funnel or SEO benchmark. This way your efforts can be measured, and you can adjust your tactics if need be.


Say Yes to Change

If you want to continue to grow your business, you have to stay open to the idea of change. Having a more nimble mindset often leads to unexpected doors opening and the ability to hone in on opportunities to scale others may miss due to fear of change. Your business will always be your business, but being okay with change keeps the possibilities for growth wide open.


You followed a ton of little steps to get your business to the level of success it’s at now. Try implementing these next set of steps to go from short-term thinking to long-term success and watch your customer satisfaction skyrocket.

Startup Fails


It should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody that a lot of startups fail every year. When you begin to break things down by statistics, however, they paint a much more harrowing picture than you probably realized.


According to a study conducted by Forbes, nearly 90% of all startups – or roughly nine out of ten – will fail. That rate is highest during the essential first two years of their life cycle, where only about 66% of all companies will make it across the finish line.


If you extend things another two years, only 44% of those that remain will still be in existence. Things continue similar patterns from there. Finance insurance and real estate, agriculture, construction, information – the industry you’re talking about doesn’t matter.


The good news is that while a lot of startups DO fail, they don’t necessarily HAVE to fail. It’s not destiny – it’s the simple matter that people keep falling into the same key traps and making the same mistakes time and again.


Getting to know and truly understanding the top five reasons why nearly all startups fail today is one of the keys to making sure that you don’t find yourself among this statistic in the future.


startup fail



1). A Product in Search of a Marketplace

In a piece published by Fortune, it was revealed that the number one reason why most startups fail is also perhaps the most simple: they’re making terrific products that nobody actually wants to buy.


In a comprehensive survey, it was revealed that an incredible 42% of startups that failed had not actually identified a market need for their product.


2). They’re Not Telling the Right Story

Along the same lines, another one of the major reasons why startups fail is because they’re just not marketing themselves, their products or their services properly. This goes far beyond the startup pitchdeck – from the moment a startup opens its doors, it needs to grab hold of its own internal narrative and broadcast it to the widest possible audience.


Startups should be using a wide range of different materials, like presentations and Infographics, to convey to the world who they are, what they want to do and why they want to do it. Tools like Visme (which I’m the founder of) can be essential during this time, crafting compelling visual content that speaks to the right people in the right ways.


A presentation tool like Visme isn’t just a way to create great collateral – it’s a way for startups to bring their audience into the fold, building anticipation and helping to use the narrative power of storytelling to their advantage.




3). Cash Flow Problems

Another one of the major reasons why startups fail is also a frustratingly simple one: cash flow. In the study reported on by Fortune, this was responsible for approximately 29% of all startup failures – coming in ahead of even things like product timing and pivoting gone bad. Entrepreneurs who feel the need to do it all themselves tend to fall into this trap most often – they become a jack of all trades, master of none. It is imperative that people bring on real experts in terms of cash flow to generate the type of visibility they need to sustain the growth that their startup demands.


4). They Don’t Know How to Recover From the Setbacks

Just because you’ve launched what appears to be a successful startup doesn’t mean you’re immune to failure. Any entrepreneur will tell you that failure is a way of life. Avoiding it is not the key to long-term success – recovering from it is. As a result, startups need to be versatile and those who aren’t – those who are unable to recover from minor setbacks by pulling the team together, will often find themselves unable to make it through those tough times. This is something that happens most often to people who are new to the world of startups in particular.


5). They Ignored the Customer

Let’s say that you were able to avoid the trap of releasing a great product or service that nobody actually wanted. If you put something into the world that people are clamoring for, but you ignore what they’re telling you about what it should be, you’re looking at another one of the most common reasons why nearly all startups fail. Startups should not ignore ANYTHING – chief among them being their marketplace.


This often leads to a variety of other issues, from a general lack of focus to a mis-timed product to poor marketing, a lack of passion and beyond.


Marketing collateral is another great way to avoid this trap altogether. Presentations and Infographics aren’t a one-way communications medium – when used properly they can be a great way to open a dialog with a target audience, to illicit feedback and to make sure that you’re always focusing your efforts in the right direction at the right moment.


The Long, Hard Road to Success

Despite all of this advice, a huge number of startups are going to continue to fail every year. It’s something that has been true for decades and something that will likely remain true long after we’re all gone.


Even if you’re successfully able to navigate these issues, you still have things like legal challenges, people who refuse to make use of their network or advisors and even good, old-fashioned competition to worry about.


Startup Fail


But again: success as a startup is all about what you do when times get tough.


Problems are not a question of “if” but “when,” so the ultimate goal shouldn’t be to put yourself in a position to avoid them altogether.


That’s unrealistic. What you need to do is get ready for them. You need to learn as much about the challenges that you face as possible so that you can plow right through them, coming out in a better position on the other side BECAUSE of them.


Digital Marketing Tactics
Today, a large majority of consumers distrusts advertising, and corporations in general, more than ever before. Today, an average buyer has seen major corporations coax the onset of full-blown financial crisis and spark a major outcry against income inequality. Furthermore, people are bombarded with tons of advertisements every day. Telesian Technology Inc. estimates, that an average consumer sees anywhere between 300 and 700 ads each day. As a result, traditional marketing strategies have become rather ineffective, to say the least.


Podcasting as a Marketing Tool

Two years ago, Serial took podcasting to another level, and while I’m sure you’ve listened to at least a couple podcasts, have you ever considered using a podcast as a marketing tool? And while podcasting is only gaining momentum, many of your potential customers are surely active listeners. In fact, recent Infinite Dial findings have revealed that between 2015 and 2016, podcast listening grew around 23%. And if that’s not enough to make you take podcasting seriously, also think about this – today, more than 20% of Americans, ages 12 and up, listen to podcasts on a regular basis.


And to provide context for what 20% of the country represents, you have to take into consideration that only around 13% of people in the United States have a Spotify subscription, and 21% of them have an active Twitter account.  All in all, there are around 57 million podcast listeners in the United States. There are a couple of elements that make podcasting stand out as a great content tool – it gives you an opportunity to connect to your customers, reach a guest audience and it lends itself to generating multiple revenue streams, just to name a few.

Leveraging Big Data

According to IBM research, we create around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, as a matter of fact, we create so much of it that around 90% of the data in recorded human history has been created in the last two years. The sheer amount of information we have today has completely changed what it means to be a marketer. Look at it like this – big data is the missing link between marketing actions and results. So, despite all of this, why are so many companies still turned off by big data?


The answer perhaps lies in the fact that there’s a huge emphasis on short-term results in today’s corporate world. And this insistence on instant results can prevent companies from making the necessity investments today to lay the foundation for greater results, which may take months to come to fruition. According to Rex Briggs’ research, around 40% of marketing budgets are being wasted every year by thousands and thousands of companies around the world. A big reason why this continues to happen is because of lack of data that prevents insights, measurements and informed decision making.


Email Marketing is Still Here

And so we come to probably the most underutilized and underestimated marketing tactic of today – email marketing. For years, email has been labeled as a “has-been” in the modern marketing world, taking the back seat to newer and “exciting” tactics, such as social media. But from a pure cost-effectiveness standpoint, it’s hard to argue that something is better than email. What’s more, even though Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are more commonly used today, people still use emails to communicate quite a lot actually. Radicati Group estimates that around 2.4 million emails are sent every second, which amounts to 74 trillion mails per year.


But seeing how mobile usage has grown in recent years, today you have to approach your email marketing strategy with a mobile-first mindset. Every aspect of your campaign has to be optimized for mobile – fast-loading and visually captivating emails work best on smartphone screens. Moreover, according to statistics compiled by HubSpot, more than 95 of your site’s visitors aren’t ready to buy your product. That is why you should also try to take advantage of email remarketing. Travel companies, for instance, have known how to increase conversions using email remarketing for years. These companies, as well as eCommerce sites that have a high level of booking and cart abandonment use email remarketing as a way to re-engage customers and encourage them to finish the transaction.



Stepping outside of the norm and giving other platforms like podcasting and emailing a chance to work for you and your company will definitely prove equally beneficial in the long run. Leveraging big data will also give you a chance to learn more about your consumer base and allow you to make smarter marketing decisions in the future. Finally, the point is, just because something still isn’t popular or widely-used it doesn’t mean that it isn’t effective. Chances are, some of the more underrated marketing strategies and tools are making someone a lot of money – and if you think outside of the box, that someone could be you in the future.



Nate Vickery is a business consultant and a blogger mostly focused on streamlining marketing and management for small businesses and startups. He is also an editor on and a regular contributor on many other business and marketing oriented websites.

Instagram Growth


We all like to share our photos and filter them in order to get the best possible photo effect. In this article we will concentrate more on business strategy of the most famous photo sharing app in the world and inspect 5 aspects of its success through quotes of Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder of Instagram.

“Part of being an entrepreneur is understanding how you’re going to be different.”


Before Instagram, people who wanted to customize their photos needed to use Photoshop. Although it is a great piece of software, is more adapted to professional users. Since Photoshop is a paid software and it can only work from desktop, there were a lot of people who wished to play with their photos, but simply didn’t have the means.


Instagram changed everything, with the introduction of photo filters that are great for photos taken by phone, that often come out too dark, even during a sunny day. Each startup should have at least one thing they do different from others.


“Optimize for people, don’t optimize for valuation.”


Each new Instagram feature was made to be useful for their audience. You can look at their innovation timeline and see for yourself:


  • October 6, 2010- Instagram Launch
  • September 20, 2011- Introduction of 4 new filters
  • February 11, 2012- Introduction of “Lux” filter
  • April 3, 2012- Launch of Android phone app
  • June 28, 2012- Photo page redesign
  • August 16, 2012- PhotoMaps launch
  • September 13, 2012- Mobile profile pages redesign
  • February 5, 2013- Launch of web feed
  • June 20, 2013- Launch of Instagram video
  • October 24, 2013- Sponsored photos and videos launch.


Although their app became instantly popular, they waited for three full years to add any sponsored content to it. From this timeline we can see how Instagram adapted its product to make it more suitable for people who like playing with their photos. Imagine 2010 is 2015 and think about what you are doing at the moment to make your startup more optimized for your targeted audience.


“I think that above all else, [what] makes products spread is when they’re useful and they’re usable.”


Unlike other photo sharing apps and websites, Instagram is fully oriented to creating the best possible user experience. On Instagram’s photo pages, there are no commercials and ads and everything is highly transparent. In addition to that Instagram also set a new standard when it comes to fast photo uploading process. All this shows us Instagram’s serious approach to UX which makes it one of the most popular apps in the digital world.


“Bringing a prototype into a pitch meeting is so much more powerful than a bunch of graphs that say you’re going to make lots of money in the future.”


For the moment we will go back to the launch of Instagram. Back then, this app was only available for iPhone users, who were at the time the best audience for app testing. “iPhone People” were always more respectable towards innovations and more diligent in testing all possible features of certain apps. That’s mostly because they are younger and more affluent, plus they invested more money in the gadgets and want them to provide the best possible experience. That’s how Instagram skip the initial talking and put their prototype on the table for everyone to try it. Enthusiasm about this app, which was shared through social network channels by its initial users, put Instagram where it is today.


“You should not be afraid to have simple solutions to simple problems.”


Everybody has that one thing he/she is really good at, and the same goes for startups. When mobile apps introduce too many features, they shift the focus from things they are really good at to those for which they offer average or even above average performance. From the beginning of its work, Instagram focused on photos and filters, and they let other companies to deal with check-ins, video games and stuff like that. Each company has its thing:


  • DropBox– practicality and ability to connect to any device;
  • Zoho– users can make custom email addresses for free;
  • Tesla Motors– makes electric cars.


This rule doesn’t only concern tech businesses, but any other company that wants to be successful. Do one thing you are good at and have a wide network of people and organizations to provide you with all other services you are not into., You can search for business advice online, the same goes for accounting, graphic design, marketing etc. That is also one of the reasons why outsourcing gives great results for startups, because pros work best with pros.


In 2012, Instagram was a company with almost no revenue, but lots of soul. It was bought by Facebook for $1 billion, which proves our point that making your product more convenient for the users always pays off in the end, and that making over-commercialization leads to small amounts of fast cash, and nothing more than that.


SaaS Marketing


SaaS businesses are lucky enough to have customers that are mostly consistent monthly subscribers. But how do you build that customer base and establish a strong MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) to drive your business? In order to grow and maintain profitability, you must provide high quality services and develop a bond of trust with customers. You can use MRR/ARR to plan your investment in additional features, hiring, and subscriptions such as CloudZero and ProfitWell.


In today’s time every niche has several businesses working under it, that’s why competition gets tougher by the minute. So if you really want to stand out, it’s important to prioritize trust and establish it as soon as you can.


I’m going to talk about growth hacks that businesses are using these days; they help increase sales and improve your chances of building a sustainable business. These hacks are based on customer satisfaction and user engagement.


When it comes to customers, listen and act!


You could be a hard-worker regarding your product/service with lots of in-depth research about the industry, but none of it matters unless you pay attention to your customers. This helps make effective business plans and strategies that bring more profit and sustainability.


It’s best to listen to your customers and ask for their advice so you’re able to understand whether their needs are fulfilled or not. This particular technique applies to all kinds of businesses and keeps existing customers loyal and closer to your brand. But the interesting part is that you can promote brand awareness and gain more customers through constructive criticism and product improvement. Before you know it, existing and new customers will turn into brand advocates with positive feedback about your product/service.


That’s why I love Click Desk, they continuously listen to customers through their chat app. Moreover they integrate improvements and additional features based on such feedback. Almost every customer communication tool out there has ClickDesk integration available. It has shown to be user-friendly with Google Analytics, Unbounce, Zendesk and MailChimp; these extensive integrations have been a huge factor in their consistent growth.


Blog, blog and blog a little more


SaaS business owners should make sure that their blog is full of relevant content that is up to date. It should be high quality content within your niche and must answer questions that other entrepreneurs are trying to answer. If your blog has sufficient content then you’re sure to inspire others who will share such information within their circle. The more sharing your content generates the wider the potential reach to attract new customers.


Why is blogging important? This isn’t the 90’s where a team of sales reps call a list of phone numbers to pitch a product in order to get a few sales. In today’s time to sell a product, it’s necessary to inspire and encourage people to convert into paying customers. Blogging is the most convenient and viral way to inspire an audience!


The BuzzStream Blog is my personal favorite even though it’s not as popular as An intriguing thing about BuzzStream is that it addresses questions relevant to the industry; this particular attribute makes a targeted audience stick around and eventually become a paying customer. Have a look at the blog yourself!


UI and UX is as important as functionality


 Speaking from personal experience, UI and UX are very important, almost as important as SaaS tool’s functionality. Ask yourself this: Why would a user stick with your tool if the functionalities of it aren’t working or creating problems from time to time?


The same answer applies to design and user experience. If the functionalities of your tool are superb with a ‘not so good’ UI and UX, users will most likely go for their second choice to fulfill their needs, even if they signed up for a trial account with you.


A few years back I did some consultation for a rank tracking tool called Rank Watch. The tool was perfect at that time but they lacked good user experience on their website and hence were struggling. But today they are well-established and one of the main areas of the business they adjusted was their UI and UX. Once they made strategic tweaks their user base began to grow.


Remember, your customers are the most important people in your business’s life. You should always think of them first. No customer wants an interface to be clumsy or user experience to be painful so try spending the necessary time and energy on UI and UX. Once you provide customers with a seamless user experience, they will stick with you and may possibly promote you online with positive reviews. All the credit goes to an enjoyably smooth user experience you’ve built into your SaaS app.


Build and manage Community: Let’s get together


We all know that it’s important to build a community around your product, but a remarkably small number of SaaS businesses manage to do this successfully. SaaS businesses should especially have an active community around their brand. This can include existing customers and new potential customers. This helps you spread the brand name to a new audience and also encourages potential customers to convert into paying customers. Last but not least; it gives current paid customers a good reason to upgrade. A community shows you care. Sometimes new and existing customers need that warm fuzzy feeling. is one of those few SaaS businesses that get it right when it comes to community! They’ve built a strong community of brand advocates around them and are now a number one marketing tool for almost every type of small business.


I cracked into’s community a while ago, read this article to learn more about building and managing a community around your brand.


Social Media: A tweet a day makes customers stay


SaaS businesses aim to retain customers and increase customer base so they can build a profitable business with strong MRR. When talking about this, I think it’s vital to include the massive role that social media plays in customer engagement.


Nobody talks to logos and call centers these days!


Nowadays, people want real human communication with companies and businesses. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram encourages interactions, questions and updates between companies and customers. They provide a platform to approach customers and connect with them every day.


You will surely stay in their minds if your brand name constantly pops up in their news feed or timeline. Never forget to make a presence online! Consistency is the key to staying relevant online.


Here is another example. runs their social media quite efficiently. Not only do they tweet, but they’re fast to respond and follow up on Twitter chats too. Follow them right now and get a good sense of how to make use of social media for a SaaS company.


Add Gamification to it!


Recently I’ve written about gamification and I strongly believe that it’s the secret ingredient to retain customers. If you add gamification within your system then your customers won’t get bored, and are more likely to visit again rather than turning to other alternatives.


Tree House is a great example of adding gamification within systems. It makes users come back again with full motivation where they can share awards and badges with the rest of the world. This helps promote your brand name and encourages potential customers to convert into paying ones!


Where do I add gamification within system? Before coming up with an answer for this, go out there and understand your customers and identify some reasons why they’d come back. Once you’ve concluded these points, you can make decisions.


There’s also gamification for sales teams. All-in-one sales and marketing automation apps like Agile CRM are making it easy and affordable for SaaS startups to gamify sales efforts with leaderboards and email reports. My clients who use CRM for sales gamification often report that they learn a lot about their customers by encouraging competition and collaboration among their sales reps. High-pressure environment demands that sales pros find the hottest leads and learn how to pitch their product to specific user personas.


Get one step closer!


One step closer? Yes, exactly! The competition is tough. If you are not the first name on your customers’ minds, you probably aren’t the first choice either. The idea is to get one step closer to customers and remind them about your brand name!


Many brands are doing this through multiple means such as conferences, training programs, webinars and more. Even businesses with tight marketing budgets can achieve it.


Get a reliable webinar software and invite the speaker. All you have to do is promote this on as many avenues possible. You don’t need thousands to attend, you can start small!


There are other ideas too, but the one mentioned above is easiest and fastest for small setups too. You can retain customers and spread brand awareness this way, plus in the long run you’ll see increased profitability. SaaS might be a struggle but it’s also immensely fulfilling (and financially rewarding). Connecting with your customers is the first step in building a successful brand!

When it comes to launching a startup company it can be quite daunting to figure out exactly what it is that you want to do when it comes to marketing. With so many overhead costs for advertising, software dashboards and PR distribution costs you are most likely going to have to pick and chose your cash flow battles precisely. Even if you are a hot startup and you just received a check for a cool 20 million from some cushy venture capitalist you are going to need a solid strategy. Throwing everything at the wall only to see what sticks is not strategy.

Here is an infographic from the folks over at Search Enabler which describes the differences between online and offline start up marketing.

Online or Offline Startup Marketing

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Dollar Shave Club

We haven’t written about too many startups lately but I would like to dive into this new one that has quickly become one of my favorite branding experiences I have experienced. Dollar Shave Club came out with a YouTube video not that long ago that has quickly grown to almost 4 million views in a relatively short amount of time (I signed up just because the video was that great).

When we preach that your business should have branding & personality this is what we are talking about right here.

I saw this video and had to buy their product. Now I haven’t used it yet but for the few bucks and 5 razors I think it is well worth the experiment. So far the packaging and presentation is great. Many companies don’t realize just how important the packaging really is when it comes to marketing a new product. One thing to keep in mind, these are not selling razors, they are selling a brand the razors just happen to come with it.

Product & packaging images

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club