5 Marketing Mistakes Startups Make

It’s estimated that about 325,000 startups are formed each year within the United States, according to business formation reports by the United States Census Bureau. With their founders working to make an impact, marketing is a key tool for any business to reach the pinnacle of great performance.

Marketing done right should be a priority for most startups, yet, many don’t look into creating a strategy, costing them their bottom line. Below is a list of common marketing mistakes startups make so you can identify what you should avoid in order better your chances of overall success.

1: Posting Too Much Low-Quality Content

It’s important for beginner marketers to know: Publishing a lot of content doesn’t mean that you’ll rank higher when it comes to SEO. It’s actually quite a common misconception. What does matter are two things: Authority and Relevance.

Authority is a statistic that indicates the strength of your domain’s ranking relative to other related domains. Relevance, on the other hand, is how well your content matches certain search queries.

It’s important to know that authority is mainly built through high-quality backlinks (high-quality sites linking your article on one of their pages), NOT content volume. You can have all of the content in the world on one page, but if that content isn’t helpful or worth referencing, other sites won’t link it and the page won’t have nearly as much impact on your SEO.

When it comes to attracting new site visitors, create smart content with purpose, it’ll always prevail over low-quality writing that’s produced in bulk.

2: Not Measuring or Analyzing Data

Forgetting to measure data from the day you start can be one of the biggest mistakes a startup can make when it comes to marketing. Not recording data prevents you from having benchmark data. “Benchmarking” is when a business compares their performance metrics to those in their industry to see what works and what doesn’t. This allows a company to make adjustments in strategy, content creation, and ensure they’re on the right track.

Forgetting to measure data, whether it’s paid promotion or not, prevents you from determining whether or not you’ve had a successful return on investment.

By forgetting to measure these metrics, you are losing valuable data on who your audience is, what type of posts they engage with, conversion and overall growth.

3: Not Utilizing Free Resources Instead Of Paid Promotion

Luckily, we live in a time where there are countless channels to use to engage your target audience. Discovering which ones have a positive impact and which ones have a negative impact depends on who your audience is.

Most companies have several target audiences, so there is no need to rush to find out who your audience is. But recognize that each audience may have a very specific channel.

Startups have a tendency to go directly into paid promotion rather than searching for free resources. Thinking that there will be value in paid promotion without engaging with their audience.

Throughout your community, there are many sources to help you with your marketing efforts and to just spread the word about what you’re doing.

Finding local blogs, influencers, organizations who align with your mission or values is a great way to build an audience.

Content is king, but distribution is queen.

4: Trying To Perfect Their Brand Too Early

It doesn’t matter how long you and your team sit in a think tank and work on your branding, it will never be perfect when you start.

Refusing to publish content before you’ve finalized what your brand will look like hinders you from building an engaged audience. Your brand evolves as you continue to figure out more about the company and the more the faces behind the company have an impact.

Startups get their team together, sit down and rewrite their verbiage, redesign their websites, even change their brand colors, and logo over and over again. This can be one of the largest wastes of financial and human resources.

Your brand lives and breathes alongside the people who come in and make an impact on your company. Allow your brand to evolve and adapt.

5: Giving Everyone A Voice When Choosing The Brand Identity

Although the intention of getting your whole team involved in creating your brand is wonderful, it is not the most practical. Everyone—me, you, your co-worker (probably even your dog), has some sort of stance when it comes to branding. Whether it be that you preferred the orange simplicity of NASA’s notorious Worm logo, or the blue boldness of the current blob known as the Meatball, people are going to have opinions, and even though this can be beneficial at times, it makes finalizing anything far more difficult.

When it comes to choosing a brand identify, keep the number of decision makers down to a minimum. Obviously you’ll want employee and customer feedback throughout the process in order to achieve buy-in, but when it comes to making those final branding decisions, we recommend keeping things to a group of your most experienced marketers.

Marketing is a strategic tool that can create impact, audience, and conversion if done well. You can have a revolutionary product, but what good is it, if no one knows about it?


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