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Launching a tech startup? Don’t forget your comms!

Posted in Online on 25th Aug, 2017 08:38 PM by Alex Muller
Ever feel like a new tech startup pops up every minute? You’re not imagining it - according to Startup Britain, 80 new UK companies were born every minute back in 2016. With a marketplace saturated with innovative businesses, a clever idea isn’t enough. Your startup needs a stellar reputation, a steady flow of customers, and a strong brand to succeed.
You cannot afford marketing and communications to be an afterthought, though that’s often easier said than done.
Feeling a bit clueless about where to begin? Don’t panic. Here’s our guide to getting started with marketing your tech startup. Whether you’re a comms novice or seeking fresh inspiration, there's some tips for everyone. Enjoy!
According to Fleishman-Hillard, 89% of customers use search engines to help them make buying decisions. If your business doesn’t have a strong online presence before launch, you’re taking yourself out at the first hurdle.
And when we say website, we mean a proper website - a holding page with your logo and ‘coming soon’ won’t cut it. It's very affordable to build your own website with tools like Wordpress and Wix - so no excuses!
A brand’s website is its biggest opportunities to showcase itself - so it’s important to get it right!
A good website is simple but effective: the copy should be well written, free of jargon and concise. A good starting point is to think about how to explain your business to an outsider who may have never heard of you before. Adding FAQs, imagery or explainer videos are valuable tools to help explain complicated or niche offerings. Adding a team page, about us section, or even a photo gallery gives you a chance to show your personality and stand out from the crowd.
Once you’re happy with the basics of your website, pay some attention to your SEO (search engine optimisation). SEO is the practice of fine-tuning your website to increase your site traffic and improve your position in search engine results. It sounds complicated, but once you’ve done your research you’ll be amazed how much you can do for yourself.
Social media
While the internet is often the first stop for potential buyers, don’t underestimate the importance of social media. Research from Deloitte found that 47% of millennials say their buying decisions are impacted by social media. Across all other age groups, this figure remains a respectable 19%.
What’s great about social media is that encourages conversations. Customers feel a greater connection to brands because they are talking to them - not at them.
For those with little or no social media experience, Twitter is the best place to start. It’s suitable for all businesses and sectors. Since tweets are so short, you can post several times a day without overwhelming your followers. Try a free tool like Buffer or Hootsuite that allows you to schedule your social media posts in advance. You can’t afford to spend all day on Twitter when you have a startup to run!
Try to be interesting and helpful, rather than pushing sales messages about your startup. For example, share industry news stories, blog posts, photos, and comment on trending topics. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through!
As we mentioned above, blogging is important to any startup growing its following on social media. While it’s ok to share news stories and photos, sharing blog content is valuable because it can be used on social media channels to drive more potential customers to your website.
Not only that, but research from marketing experts HubSpot reveals that businesses that blog have 60% more customers than those that don’t.
Blogging can feel daunting for those that aren’t natural writers, but it needn't be. A blog post doesn’t have to be very long - 400 words is enough. And remember - you’re launching a tech startup because you’re an expert in your field. Use your blog as a space to answer questions, share knowledge, showcase your team culture (important if you want to attract great talent) and position yourself as a thought leader. It can be difficult to make time for blogging when you’re a startup, but try to blog once a week - we promise you’ll see results with an increase in site traffic.
Once you’ve created a strong website and social media presence, you might like to try some PR.
PR - or public relations - is all about getting your startup brand featured in the media so its seen by more people. Of course, there is an art to this. You need to focus on media outlets known and trusted by your target audience. While featuring in some mainstream publications will be a big PR achievement and useful for investment conversations, you need to think about a cross-section of publications that are going to be read by your potential customers and will give you a strong chance of attracting interest.
Once you’ve achieved PR success, the way you make your media coverage work for you also makes a big difference. Every bit of media coverage should be posted to a ‘press page’ on your site. This means that when you push your media coverage on social media you'll be driving traffic and potential customers back to your site. Remember - BBC News doesn’t need any more web traffic, but your site does!
You are not alone. The challenges faced by many entrepreneurs when it comes to using communications channels and content to help get your new business off the ground are common. Why? Well, if you’ve launched a tech startup, using technology to solve some of the world’s biggest problems is where your strengths lie. For many, it seems counter-productive to devote so much time to something that doesn’t come naturally.
Think of it this way; PR, social, marketing and comms activity are simply a means to an end. You could have the best idea in the world, but nobody can buy your products if they haven’t heard of you. Even the tech giants like Apple and IBM have to market themselves too!
By Melissa Taylor Brand Communications Manager, Luminous PR
Luminous PR is a PR, social media and content agency. With a team of journalists behind each strategy, the Luminous team deliver high impact PR, content, and social media campaigns for some of the most exciting and game-changing technology and digital businesses.
Find out more about Melissa Taylor and Luminous PR by following the link “Read original article”

Tags: startupscommunicationbusinessonlinePRpublic relations

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