#1 Know your target group
As is well known with advertisers like Facebook or LinkedIn in particular, extremely detailed targeting is possible. So think carefully about who you really want to reach with your paid advertisements (and conversely, who you do NOT want to reach) to avoid ad waste. Even if the target group seems to be very small and you do not reach a huge range of people, it can definitely still be profitable.
#2 Work with your existing fans
The keyword is retargeting: even if your target group seems small, especially in the beginning, connecting with your existing fans, customers, etc. is often a lot more cost-effective and successful. One example: users who have visited your website, but have not purchased anything yet. Email contacts with “friendly reminders” keep them up to date and ideally lead to a conversion.
#3 Don’t follow every trend
Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat, and maybe an app as well? Just because something is trending does not mean you have to do it too. Time and staff are notoriously scarce in startups, so really think about which channels make sense for which business activities and optimize how they are used.
#4 You don’t always need a huge budget
This is a combination of the previous tips. With a clearly defined target group and manageable channels, you can achieve a lot even with a small marketing budget. You do not necessarily have to start with a 100k branding video made by the hottest agency with the intention of reaching one million people. It is also extremely useful to think about good storytelling and to systematically put it to use.
#5 Track, analyze and optimize
Do not be scared of numbers, and try to make every marketing campaign as measureable as possible. Otherwise, you will run the risk of throwing lots of money out the window for no reason at all. Simple URL tracking can be performed quickly, for example with Google Analytics, and it is easy to learn the basics. Social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter are also a good way to measure the success or failure of a campaign.
Regardless of how you do it, go deeper than just looking at clicks or sales. For example, ask: Which devices are my customers using? Is Android cheaper than iOS? Are my customers mostly from urban or rural areas? What time of day are they most active? and so on…
#6 Test, test, test
If your first campaign is a total success from the first ad and you can hardly keep on top of sales, then — congratulations! However, that is not how it usually works. You will need to be patient and creative in how you test out different kinds of texts, images, videos and designs to find out what works for the company or not.
About the author
Andreas Bruckschlögl, co-founder of Onpage.org and Bits & Pretzels, discovered his entrepreneurial ambitions early on. He was already selling products from his parents’ company on eBay when he was twelve years old. He has diploma in Online Marketing from the Bavarian Academy for Advertising and Marketing and passed his best marketing tips on to Munich Startup based on his many years of experience.