To work at a small startup is to be forever busy with a seemingly endless number of tasks. From fixing bugs to handling customer support requests and attempting to secure funding, small startups are in a constant state of overwhelm.
With so much to be done, it can be hard to focus on one of the most important priorities: marketing. For many small startups, marketing is an afterthought – something that can wait until the product is polished up or a round of funding is closed.
Whether landing pages, ad campaigns, or blog posts, try to ship continuously. This helps with momentum. Marketing is about process, constant optimization, and consistent learning, not one-off “growth hacks”. Especially at the early stages, focusing on perfection can be a detriment. That’s why it’s important to work on marketing tasks at least weekly, if not daily.
2. Use Tools
Startup founders, especially those from an engineering background, tend to be heavily inclined towards DIY. Why use a landing page builder when you can code up an HTML landing page in a few hours? The answer lies in optimizing your time.
With so much to do, it’s critical to focus your time on the highest impact tasks you can. Using tools like Unbounce for landing pages helps you free up time to focus on those high impact tasks.
Another great tool is Canva, a FREE web-based design tool with templates for every social media network and use case you can think of. Of course, many of the tools available won’t get you the exact result you were looking, especially when it comes to landing pages, but the time savings are worth it.
Sometimes, the hardest part of marketing is deciding what exactly you should be doing.
The average marketer’s day is spent on an array of tasks from social media content creation to paid ad optimization and a/b testing, but as a small startup, trying to do everything at once ensures you get nothing done. That’s why it’s important to use data as a guide.
Data can make decision so you don’t have to. To start, focus on creating a simple funnel. The AARRR funnel is a good place to start.
AARRR stands for Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue, and Referrals. For each stage of the funnel, choose a few key metrics to track and actually use them. Then focus in on strategies that will move the needle for each metric, starting at the top of the funnel with acquisition.
Remember to focus in on a few metrics. The more metrics you track, the less likely you are to actually make use of this data.
Terms like growth hacking have made marketing seem like an easy task, but the reality is that good marketing requires consistent focus and yes, skill. While it’s important to try out different marketing strategies yourself at first so you can learn more about your market, there comes a point where it’s necessary to get some help.
Outsource tasks like graphic design, SEO, conversion optimization, and paid ad management so you can focus on the big picture items like product positioning and customer development.
Tools like Zapier allow you to automate manual tasks that would otherwise take up valuable time. With Zapier, you can do create automated workflows, such as posting a Slack message when a new lead comes in, posting social media messages whenever you publish a new blog post, and more.
These workflows will ensure that your marketing machine is running smoothly, even when you’re asleep. You can check out the most popular workflows from Zapier users for inspiration.
Other solutions to look at include marketing automation platforms like Hubspot, which can automatically send emails based your contacts’ information, and Buffer, which allows you to schedule social media posts to go out at specific times.