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Marketing a startup can often be significantly more difficult than marketing an established business. This is especially true if you’re creating a new market space or if your solution is not something a lot of people are likely to be familiar with.

Let’s take a look at eight different trends and tactics that will help you drive exponential growth for your startup in 2024.

Carefully Consider Your Marketing Channels

Before you do anything else, you will need to carefully consider the marketing channels you want to utilize. While multichannel marketing is a notable trend, you can’t expect to have the resources for such a comprehensive campaign unless you’re fully funded from day one.

Instead, you want to carefully select your marketing channels based on the following information:

  • What do you want to achieve, i.e., what is your business goal?
  • Who is your target audience, and where do they spend their time (online and offline)?
  • What are your competitors already doing well, and what are they doing not so well?
  • How much money and time do you have?

For instance, you may discover that digital marketing works best and that you need to focus on outbound efforts. Or, you may learn that you can easily put inbound marketing tactics into place and let customers come to you.

Choose the tactic that will help you achieve your goal(s) in the shortest amount of time and with the least amount of investment. Once you get one marketing channel going, it will be much easier to start deploying the rest, as you’ll already have results to showcase and customers you can ask for recommendations.

Focus on Building Relationships and Authority

As a startup, you have two main marketing goals, in the broadest sense of the term: to establish meaningful relationships and to build authority.

Relationship building will, in the long run, turn out to be much more important than most marketing metrics. If your early adopters have a great interaction with you, they will become brand evangelists over time. Now, that’s the kind of marketing you can never plan or buy.

Make an effort to meet various bloggers, podcasters, and journalists. By reaching out and building good relationships with them, you’ll have no problem getting featured for free and getting organic recommendations as well as traffic.

If you build a blog that your audience can trust, they will keep coming back for information even before they convert into paying customers. If you show that your product or service works and are able to demonstrate your results, you’ll have much higher conversion rates.

Note that you don’t just have to play the long game. You can also opt for short-term tactics, like PPC, but never let the big picture out of sight, as that is what will truly help you drive exponential, steady growth over time.

Create Targeted Content

Content marketing plays a vital role in building relationships, authority, and growth. It also happens to allow for both small and big wins, which is why you need to make it a part of your strategy from early on.

Focus on two distinct types of content: one that you can rank for “quickly” and one that you will rank for consistently.

The first group is populated with articles that target queries that aren’t dominated by major competitors. They will usually see fewer searches per month, but you, as a new brand, will still be able to rank well for them.

The second group targets the top queries in your industry and will require a long time to rank for. However, this is the type of content you can promote via other channels, like social media or your newsletter. It’s what your audience will read after they have found you via the first group of content.

By doing some keyword research, you can identify both of these groups of topics. Note that you should always ensure that they are part of a clear sales funnel – how does the topic someone is reading relate to your product, and how will they be interested in your product after reading?

Leverage Quality SEO

As a startup, you can benefit from implementing an SEO strategy as early on as possible. It will ensure that you’re aligning all of your ducks, so to speak, by targeting the right audience with the right type of content. It will also make you ensure that your website meets all of Google’s requirements.

It’s easy to get the basics wrong when you’re just starting out. Having some type of content becomes much more important than having the right kind of content. But that’s a decision that may come back to haunt you later on when your poor content starts dragging your website down.

Not getting the technical and on-page elements right can also hurt your rankings, and you may unknowingly be missing out on a lot of easy wins simply by not writing the best meta descriptions or using the wrong size of images.

The key, however, is only to work with the top SEO agencies that specialize in working with startups. Startup SEO is not all that much different from SEO for established businesses, but since it’s starting from scratch, it needs to be executed very carefully.

Check the reputation and track record of the agency you are considering. If they’ve never worked with a startup, don’t dismiss them off-hand. Just make sure they understand your business, audience, and CMS platform.

Create Interactive Content

Consider creating interactive content that will help your audience learn something, have a bit of fun, or solve a specific problem. Interactive content boosts engagement rates and time on page; it also improves the quality of the data you collect about your audience, and it’s a great way to generate email signups.

Here are the different content types to consider:

  • Challenges, badges, rewards, achievements, and other gamification elements that can be incorporated into a loyalty program
  • Different types of quizzes that can either help readers choose a product or learn something about themselves
  • Calculators for anything that has to do with your niche (a fitness brand may have a protein intake calculator, for example)
  • Live events on social media

Whichever type of interactive content you choose, make sure it’s quite clear what the benefit of participating is – even if it’s just to have fun.

Also, carefully consider whether or not you want to gate your content. While it will certainly help you gather email addresses, it can also alienate a large portion of your audience. Often, the best choice is to make newsletter signup optional so that your leads are already pre-qualified.

Rely on User-Generated Content

You also want to incorporate plenty of user-generated content on your website. That includes reviews, testimonials, videos and images from customers, and so on.

The same goes for your social media presence: share the content others have created about your brand. Monitor your mentions and actively seek them out. Chat with your followers, comment on their content, and keep the conversation going by asking questions and opinions.

UGC is always more trustworthy than anything you can create yourself. Since your audience does not have an agenda and does not benefit from recommending you, their words will carry more weight.

Before you use someone else’s content, though, make sure to ask their permission. Always tag the person (especially on social media) and credit them for their opinion. Don’t choose the most glowing reviews and testimonials, either. Keep it real and let your customers see what you are really good at, as well as how you are trying to improve what may be your current weak spots.

Never Stop Learning

Keep in mind that the world of startup marketing is constantly evolving. As new social media channels, new search engine algorithms, and new consumer trends keep developing, your job is also to stay on top of these changes.

A good place to begin is to sign up to several newsletters that focus on startups. They are a great source to hear both the success stories and struggles of others. This is a great way to get some insider information from other entrepreneurs and learn from their examples.

Make sure to keep reading relevant industry blogs on a regular basis. Spend some time on social media (particularly on X, LinkedIn, and Reddit). That’s where conversations are constantly developing among entrepreneurs and startup owners. Feel free to ask questions and get some hands-on advice.

Also do your best to stay on top of all relevant marketing developments, like the above-mentioned algorithm updates. While all of the tactics we mention will remain sound for years, you may need to slightly tweak them over time.

Appear on a Podcast

Finally, think about running an audio ad on a podcasting platform. Research shows that 78% of podcast listeners don’t mind hearing ads, as opposed to video watchers who often use ad blockers just to get away from the incessant marketing. Also, 68% of podcast listeners would consider purchasing the product that was just recommended to them, so there’s a high chance you’ll see some impressive conversion rates with these ads.

Since you’re able to tailor your ads to a specific audience and since listeners trust the people they listen to, getting mentioned or endorsed by a niche podcaster can be a great way to generate some early interest and skyrocket your growth.

Consider being a podcast guest as well. You don’t even need to talk about the actual product the entire time. You will naturally mention it, as it’s a part of your background, and if you give a good performance, a lot of listeners will want to hear more and seek out your product.

Wrapping Up

All of these trends and tactics can help you grow your startup in 2024 and beyond. Before you get started, analyze your target market and competition. Check out what they’re doing. You can then more easily find any gaps that may need to be filled and capitalize on what they have missed.