Marketing an early stage startup is very challenging due to limited time & resources at hand. Juggling with a lot of things on their plate, founders often find it hard to pick the right marketing channels out of these 4 major options:
1. Product-led Growth Marketing – Using Referrals, Social channels like Whatsapp, Telegram or Loyalty programs can give you initial traction but it is not predictable and scalable as you can’t control the volume & quality of audience directly
2. Organic Digital Marketing – Social media posts & SEO look attractive to grow your business for free. However, this is an illusion since social media posts have negligible organic reach and SEO is highly competitive and it takes years to see any meaningful results.
3. Paid Digital Marketing – Ads on marketing channels like Google, Facebook and Instagram; or using Influencer marketing is the most suitable method for an early stage startup as it leads to immediate results. Moreover, the quantum and frequency of investment can be easily controlled depending on the pace of your business growth.
4. Offline Marketing – Traditional marketing channels such as TV, Print Media, Hoardings and Offline Events are not fit for startups in their early stages as the spends needed are generally very high to create significant overall impact and you won’t be able to measure the direct impact of your ad spend on revenue.
If you are a founder of an early stage startup, you should start paid digital marketing from day 1 to start getting users immediately while experimenting with Product-led Growth Marketing in parallel. Organic Digital marketing and offline marketing channels can be picked up at later stages for long term growth.