Is your growth or startup marketing plan destined to become yet another failure?\nYou may know the story: A founder has a killer idea for a product or solution that will solve a real problem. When marketing the startup, they build a website, grab some social handles, and start running ads\u2026but nothing happens.\nDespite all that precious budget they spent, they\u2019re not getting many visitors and leads, and almost none of those are converting into buyers. Why? Because they didn\u2019t understand the factors that make startup marketing successful. And when you\u2019re just getting off the ground, wasting all that time and energy can be catastrophic. Read on to learn how to avoid these pitfalls.\nThe Four Parts of a Successful Startup Growth Strategy.\nA startup marketing plan that works takes much more than just checking off boxes and being on social. This comprehensive guide will explain how startup founders and small teams can build a successful marketing and lead generation strategy.\nIn Part 1, we\u2019ll discuss why you must focus on building your brand.\nIn Part 2, we\u2019ll lay out five tips for building your startup marketing plan.\nIn Part 3, you\u2019ll learn about the seven most effective types of digital marketing for startups.\nIn Part 4, we\u2019ll look at additional ways and resources to maximize lead generation efforts.\nPart 1: The Secret to Startup Marketing Success\u2014Build Your Brand.\nHere\u2019s the startup marketing plan that finds success:\nStep 1: Build a brand.\nStep 2: Sell it.\nThe entire process is way more complex, but in the end, it boils down to those two steps.\nYour goal is to establish a footprint in your audience\u2019s mind. You want your startup to be known as an entity that solves a specific problem using a high-quality solution. Cementing your brand\u2019s reputation drives purchases and builds business momentum.\nExample: Dollar Shave Club. The startup saw an issue\u2014namely, having to buy expensive razors. The solution: Subscribe to have affordable razors delivered straight to your doorstep.\nDollar Shave Club was so successful at building its brand through positive product experiences that it was eventually bought out for $1 billion.\nWhat\u2019s in a Brand?\nSo, what exactly is a brand? You promise your buyers: \u201cIf you buy our product, you\u2019ll get a quality solution.\u201d\nYour brand travels through word of mouth. It\u2019s discovered when people interact with your product. They must like what they find\u2014no amount of advertising can make a bad product good, like a breakfast cereal that burns people\u2019s tongues. You get one chance to make an impression.\nCreate a strong brand by building a product that buyers will genuinely enjoy. Word about your product will begin to spread on its own. The stronger your brand and the better the product experience, the more durable your impression and the more effective all of your marketing will be.\nIt\u2019s as true for consumer packaged goods as it is for marketing for tech startups.\nStartup Marketing is Brand Building, Not Brand Maintenance.\nWhen you think of \u201cstartup marketing,\u201d the first thing that comes to mind is probably \u201cadvertising,\u201d but ads aren\u2019t the answer. Establishing a brand that\u2019s backed by trust and quality isn\u2019t something you can do with just advertisements.\n\u201cMost marketers confuse brand building with brand maintenance,\u201d say marketing experts Al Ries and Laura Ries in their book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding.\nMost big brands use advertising for brand maintenance\u2014think billboards, banner ads, radio spots, and Superbowl commercials. However, you\u2019re not at that stage (or budget) just yet, young founder. Before you can maintain your brand, you need to build it in the first place.\nDon\u2019t Jump the Gun on Your Startup Marketing Plan.\nYou may be champing at the bit to get started with this whole \u201cstartup marketing\u201d thing, but don\u2019t sprint out the gate. Resist the initial pressure to act immediately\u2014whether from your peers, investors, or the board.\nInstead, study. Invest in building an authentic brand. Know\u2014don\u2019t just guess\u2014why people buy. It\u2019s the only way you\u2019ll get through those next few months of blistering activity and see the results you wanted.\nPart 2: 5 Tips for Building Your Startup Marketing Plan.\n1. Identify Your Strengths and Focus on Them.\nAs a startup, you can\u2019t afford to spread yourself thin. It\u2019s better to dominate one channel than to bore audiences with many and better to produce one remarkable asset than to write many mediocre ones.\nSo, what are the best marketing strategies for a startup or founder? The answer: The marketing strategies that play to your strengths.\nWhat are your startup\u2019s unique advantages? What\u2019s remarkable about your product or process? What do you have that those big brands don\u2019t? Identify it and double down.\nFor instance, many startups find that their small size and low budget are actually benefits to their marketing efforts, not detriments. When it comes to approaches like video marketing, those scrappy, small-budget videos can make your startup feel far more human and relatable than your larger rivals.\n2. Look at What Your Competitors Are Doing.\nUse this intel to know where to focus your efforts (because it\u2019s working in those markets) or where to avoid (because those markets are already saturated).\nDon\u2019t duplicate their marketing initiatives wholesale, but don\u2019t miss out on the valuable insights you can gain from their marketing decisions. If your competition is doing something, figure out why, then put it to work in a way that complements your own brand.\n3. Set and Manage Your Startup Marketing Budget.\nNext, you\u2019ll need to decide on your marketing budget. Here\u2019s a common question: \u201cFor early-stage startups, it\u2019s advisable to spend what percentage of your revenue on marketing?\u201d The answer is always \u201cit depends.\u201d\nMost mature businesses spend 10% of their budget on marketing. The marketing budget for startups will likely be higher\u2014you\u2019re in the insurgent stage of the corporate lifecycle where it\u2019s build a brand or die. Though Gartner says the average marketing budget for a startup is 11.2%, up to 20% is acceptable.\nWithin that startup marketing budget, spend 85% on conservative activities that you know work\u2014branding, PR, email marketing, content marketing\u2014and 15% on moonshot projects. Most moonshots won\u2019t pay off (or break even), but some will succeed wildly and help you learn, grow, and pivot to channels and assets that work best for you.\nLearning what doesn\u2019t work is just as important as learning what does. After years of spending four to five hours each month selecting images for its blog posts, one startup agency learned that the blog actually looked better without them. The time and startup marketing budget they had spent was worse than just wasted\u2014it had diverted time and money from more profitable activities.\n4. Build Your Startup Marketing Plan.\nWith all that reflection, competitor research, and budgeting work finished, you may feel ready to get rolling on your first startup marketing program\u2026but there\u2019s actually a little more prep work to be done before you can get on the road.\nWriting blogs and buying ads willy-nilly isn\u2019t going to get you anywhere. First, build a detailed, carefully considered startup marketing plan. It\u2019s the roadmap that will guide you all the way through the execution and refinement of each marketing program you run.\nA lot of the things you should be doing at this stage share commonalities with standard, non-startup marketing strategy generation. But if it\u2019s been a while since you read your last \u201cmarketing 101\u201d guide, here\u2019s a quick refresher.\nBuild Buyer Personas.\nYou\u2019re probably no stranger to the buyer persona concept or your ideal customer profile. It\u2019s a fictionalized individual who represents your larger customer base. Based on what you know about your target audience, you nail down the type of job they\u2019re most likely to have, their probable lifestyle choices, their most common values and fears, etc.\nDrilling down to this level of detail lets you hyper-focus on the marketing activities that are most likely to pay dividends. Example: Instead of deciding to run ads on all major social media outlets, you can consult your buyer persona to wind down to the social media your target persona is most likely to hang out on.\nThis leads to less wasted resources\u2014which is especially important when you\u2019re working nearly alone as a founder or with a small startup marketing budget.\nCrystallize Your Core Value Proposition.\nNow that you know who your audience is (via the buyer personas), what do they care about? What desires drive them, and what fears keep them up at night? What questions are they asking Google?\nThose findings will be invaluable levers for your startup marketing plan. You may be selling a product, but truly effective startup marketing strategies also sell an outcome.\nUse those wants, needs, and fears as cornerstones of your messaging. Use your marketing to explain how you\u2019ll solve a problem, attain a goal, or avoid a pitfall that is relevant and authentic to your audience.\nPresenting a strong value proposition is so important because your startup is a new player on the scene. When was the last time Coca-Cola told you about what its product does or what problems it solves? Big brands can get away with brand maintenance because they\u2019re so entrenched in the market\u2019s consciousness. Your startup, on the other hand, needs to tell consumers exactly what a purchase will get them and why.\nTailor Your Startup Marketing Strategy to Your Resources.\nYou probably don\u2019t have the startup marketing budget to throw at every idea that comes along, so you need to refine your choices down to the options that are most likely to work for you. What approaches best suit your staffing, skillset, and budget?\nIf you\u2019ve got great content creators, lean into content. If someone has an eye for design and can write a punchy headline, consider an ad campaign. Have a naturally charismatic presenter on the team? Events and webinars might be more your speed.\n(More on each of these types of digital marketing for startups in Part 3.)\n5. Execute, Track, and Test.\nYou\u2019ve done your homework. Now it\u2019s time to actually develop your marketing program, execute it, and see how it fares.\nDon\u2019t forget to set performance goals and KPIs before launch, then reflect on them after the program concludes. Did you get the results you expected? If not, it\u2019s back to the drawing board. Tweak how you talk about your product, the imagery you use, and the methods you use to reach your audience. Permutation makes perfect!\nAdditional Marketing Resources for Startups.\nThe Best Small Business Tech Stack (Vidyard).\nHow to Build A Startup Marketing Budget (HubSpot).\nSMB Video Marketing Guide (Vidyard).\nPart 3: 7 Types of Digital Marketing for Startups.\nThere are many ways to market your startup based on what it is and who your buyers are. The smartest marketers narrow their options and pick one or two things to do well before expanding.\nBelow, we detail seven strategies for (mostly) digital marketing for startups:\n1. Content Marketing for Startups.\nGreat content is rooted in a deep understanding of how your buyers think, and many startup marketers don\u2019t invest enough in this.\nThe goal of content marketing is simple: establish your startup as an authority through valuable content. This attracts the attention of prospective customers and search engines. For example, Michelin\u2019s star rating system started as maps for drivers, increasing tire sales.\nContent marketing for startups can take various forms: guides, case studies, videos, blogs, infographics, tools, checklists, or calculators. CoSchedule\u2019s Headline Analyzer is a prime example. Great content requires a deep understanding of your buyers, an aspect that startup marketers often overlook. Most startups are understandably intoxicated by the opportunity they have perceived. It\u2019s why they started the company. In marketing, that can cause a sort of willful blindness, particularly among first-time entrepreneurs. They think everyone else is as excited as they are and that they don\u2019t have to put the hard yards in to persuade their target audience. It\u2019s often a problem if a first-time engineering or sales leader leads the company. Marketing usually ends up being more \u2018look at me\u2019 and less about romancing the opportunity or explaining the problem they solve. Stan Woods Velocity Partners CEO\nContent marketing fails when it gets too concerned or when it has too apparent a conflict of interest. The Sisyphean struggle of content marketers is stopping others on the team from inserting calls to action or pitches for the product. Readers sense a fake immediately and flee.\nTo create great content, follow the four Es: Engaging, educational, emotional, and empathetic.\n5 Content Marketing Strategies for Startups.\nUse video. There\u2019s no better way to connect with your audience authentically and meaningfully.\nLeverage artificial intelligence (responsibly). Far from perfect, AI generative tools can help with content ideation, creation, editing, and repurposing to help you scale your efforts.\nKeep it mainly product-free. Use your content to educate, not shill your product. Non-customers should still find your content helpful. A piece of content that\u2019s obviously trying to sell them something will make them click away, especially when it\u2019s coming this early in the buyer\u2019s journey.\nShowcase your customers. 46% of adults in the U.S. say they trust consumer-written online reviews, while only 10% trust ads on websites, and 9% have faith in written messages from brands.\nStay organized. Map your content to where it belongs in your marketing funnel. You can create what\u2019s known as a content matrix where you list all the assets and where they belong in your funnel so you can see coverage gaps.\nStartup Marketing Resources for Content Marketing.\nThe HubSpot blog.\nThe Content Marketing Institute blog.\nThe Vidyard blog.\nAI Video Tools Guide.\nStartup Marketing Tools for Content Marketing.\nDesign and stock photography: Unsplash, Canva, Powtoon.\nIdeation and Writing: Grammarly, Hemingway Editor, Jasper, ChatGPT.\nFreelancers: Upwork, PeoplePerHour, Narrato.\nContent management: WordPress, HubSpot, Vidyard Hosting.\nCollaboration and productivity: Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Trello, HeySpace.\n2. SEO for Startups.\nIf you\u2019re focused on inbound marketing, it means you\u2019re trying to get people to come to you. Your biggest traffic driver here will probably be from search engines like Google. This is known as organic traffic.\nYou\u2019ll see a lot of search engine optimization (SEO) advice that makes it seem like magic. It suggests if you only have the right combination of keywords, you can \u201ctrick\u201d Google and rank high on the first page. Banish that idea. Google updates its algorithm constantly to thwart SEO hacksters.\nInstead, understand what Google wants\u2014to show people the answers they enjoy. This content is so useful or entertaining that they click, stay to read or watch, click around some more, and share.\nGoogle expresses this using its \u201cE-A-T\u201d methodology. It elevates sites that demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.\nSo, good SEO for startups is primarily about having a website full of well-written and well-designed content. That\u2019s why video is such a big help. People love videos, so adding a video to your website increases your chances of ranking on the first page of Google results by 50x. That makes it well worth the effort\u2014especially when 75% of people never venture past that first page of search results.\nIn addition to a video hosting solution for your website, don\u2019t forget to focus on your YouTube channel as well. Video content is being prioritized more and more in search algorithms.\n5 SEO Marketing Strategies for Startups.\nDo your research. Identify what keywords you want to own and what your competitors are using.\nBe consistent. Use keywords consistently across your site\u2014blogs, campaign pages, case studies, and product pages.\nLanguage matters. Ensure you use customer language, not internal corporate jargon.\nCrosslink and backlink. Link relevant content across your site and find backlink opportunities with third-party content on other sites, i.e., integration partners, resellers, industry-related posts, and influencers.\nOptimize content. Don\u2019t set and forget your content once published. Keeping it updated regularly will keep it working for you. And content that isn\u2019t performing? Unpublish or redirect.\nStartup Marketing Tools for SEO.\nMangools.\nMoz.\nAhrefs.\nAnswerThePublic.\nGoogle Analytics.\nScreaming Frog.\n3. Social Media Marketing for Startups.\nStartups on social media have huge pros and cons. Only on platforms like TikTok, LinkedIn, or X can you go viral and reach massive audiences, with algorithms recommending your profile to millions. But there\u2019s a catch. Growing a social media following for startups is like building a house on rented land. Networks can change rules overnight, and you can\u2019t control them.\nWhen LinkedIn changed its algorithm to deprioritize organic posts from companies to force them to buy more ads, most businesses had no choice but to pay.\nHowever, when social media marketing for startups works, it can work wonders. The data startup CB Insights has built the most significant newsletter of any B2B brand thanks to its riotously funny and helpful X presence. Their CEO and brand personality, Anand Sanwal, credits their success to daring to post provocative topics. You don\u2019t want to be boring ever, but in B2B, the bar is so shallow that if you\u2019re not dull, you will stand out. The reality is most B2B marketing is self-promotional, jargon-infested drivel. And that is because people think that in B2B, you need to be boring, serious, and buttoned up. Most B2B marketers forget that people reading their content want to be educated but also like to be entertained. Anand Sanwal CB Insights CEO\nWhat exactly should you post? Social tends to be a great place to share your startup\u2019s content marketing, but that\u2019s not your only option.\nTest to see what works for your audience. Try text posts, videos, polls, memes, quotes, GIFs, and carousels (Follow Vidyard\u2019s LinkedIn channel to see how this mix works in action). Cross-promotion is often highly effective and helps you tap into other larger but related audiences\u2014you can hand your account over to a social media personality for a day. Also, don\u2019t forget to leverage your employees to like and share. And as a founder, don\u2019t forget to build your personal brand on social. Watch and Learn\nHear from Vidyard\u2019s Social Media Manager, Charlie Rogers, on strategies for growing your social presence.\nStartup Marketing Resources for Social Media.\nThe Ultimate Social Media Video Guide.\nTikTok For B2B: 6 Tips To Creating Binge-Worthy Videos.\nThe Top Social Selling Best Practices to Follow.\nHow to Use Each LinkedIn Video Format.\nSocial Media Marketing Society.\nHootsuite blog.\nStartup Marketing Tools for Social Media.\nSocial media management: Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer.\nDesign: Canva, Adobe Spark.\nVideo creation and editing: Vidyard Messages, CapCut, OpusClip.\n4. Email Marketing for Startups.\nDon\u2019t think for a second that just because over half the world\u2019s population uses email, it\u2019s old and boring. It\u2019s a direct line of communication to all those people, and they check it as much as 15 times per day for a total of five hours.\nEmail has one massive advantage over other channels like social media: It\u2019s a way to build an owned audience. Nobody can take your email list from you or stop you from using it.\nThere are many different ways to go about email marketing, but the most common is to set triggered emails to respond when people take action, like subscribing to your newsletter on your site. Triggered emails are crucial for online businesses, serving as the foundation of communication with prospects and customers. They provide opportunities to educate and cross-promote products. Additionally, email nurtures can be used to activate, onboard, upgrade, or upsell customers and drip information until they\u2019re ready to buy. However, caution must be exercised to prevent misuse. Just because you have an email doesn\u2019t mean you should send offers immediately. Think about your audience, understand their relationship to your business and why they gave you their email, anticipate their interests and needs, and only then, craft an email to send the right message at the right time. Mollie Bodensteiner Granular Enterprise Data Architect\nYou also have to do the hard work of providing enough value for people to share their email in the first place.\n\u201cA purchased list is never as good as an earned one,\u201d says Mollie Bodensteiner, Enterprise Data Architect at Granular, an Iowa-based software startup. \u201cThere\u2019s no shortcut, and then you must work hard to ensure people receive and understand your emails. Just because they opened it doesn\u2019t mean they read it.\u201d\nThe biggest mistake Mollie sees in email marketing? \u201cNot having the right technical foundation to get into the inbox. You must set up things for deliverability, configure the right authentication (SPF, DKIM, TLS, DMARC), monitor performance, avoid spam traps, keep your lists clean, and optimize your email templates.\u201d\n4 Email Marketing Strategies for Startups.\nDon\u2019t buy too much email software. The best software for you depends on how much time you can dedicate to it. You may want to eventually have workflows, triggers, website integration, and lead scoring, but if all you can save now is a few hours a week, it\u2019s better to choose a more straightforward, cheaper platform.\nTest, test, test. A\/B test your email content regularly to see what yields the best open and click-through rates. Test things like personalization, emojis, memes, subject lines, button colors, etc.\nSend videos in email. Using \u201cvideo\u201d in your subject line can increase open and click-through rates.\nTest automated lead generation email tools. Advancements in AI will find leads in your designated territory and automatically generate and send emails for you.\nStartup Marketing Tools for Email.\nMailchimp.\nSendGrid.\nHubSpot.\nMoosend.\nVidyard Prospector. How to Run an Award-Winning Email Marketing Campaign\nEmail was a core distribution channel for our Holiday Campaign, which won a Telly Award for its innovation and creativity. Playful and relatable video content, an irresistible email subject line,\u00a0and a personalized user experience helped us stand out in inboxes.\n5. Advertising for Startups.\nAnother big inbound channel is running digital ads\u2014known as paid traffic.\nHow do you advertise your startup business? It\u2019s pretty simple: Create and run ads that identify and solve your prospective customers\u2019 problems.\nWhen someone clicks your ad, you want to send them to a specific landing page that shows exactly what you promised. The biggest error in startup advertising is sending people to your homepage and hoping they figure it out from there. Direct them to precisely what the ad showed\u2014down to the model type or product color. Otherwise, your ads will be penalized, and they\u2019ll actually cost you more.\nTo improve your conversions, you must track them, revisit them, and tune them constantly. Nobody ever created a successful startup by launching a site, setting up an ad, and then sitting back and relaxing.\nAndy Crestodina, CMO of Orbit Media, a Chicago-based web design and marketing agency, explains that website marketing and advertising for startups is a relentless game of trial and error.\n\u201cWhy does someone become a lead? Consider the psychology of the visitor,\u201d says Andy. \u201cPeople come to a website with a story that led them there. They have a problem. They are asking themselves a series of questions. Am I in the right place? Does this company offer solutions that are likely a fit for my problem? Do I have reasons to believe this is a credible website? Is there evidence here? Have they helped other people? What statistics or stories, data points, or testimonials make me believe this?\u201d\nOnly when you know the questions people are asking can you build a valuable website for marketing. Every person in every market has to have a series of questions answered before they will convert. Your website\u2019s job is to answer them. That\u2019s it. Andy Crestondina Orbit Media CMO\n4 Paid Advertising Marketing Strategies for Startups.\nUse ads to test messaging. A\/B test ads to see which messages work best and reuse the winners elsewhere in your marketing.\nSegment. If you show one ad to everyone, it may be mildly interesting to all. But if you group your buyers into several segments and show them each something specific to them, you\u2019ll get them excited.\nIf it works, keep running it. Startups often stop running an ad when the marketing team tires of it. Don\u2019t. Let it run until the market tires of it.\nSwitch out visual ads often. The exception is with ads with photos, as with Facebook. Facebook\u2019s granular targeting means the groups seeing your ads see them a lot. If they see them consistently for more than two weeks, they grow fatigued, and the ads stop working.\nStartup Marketing Resources for Paid Advertising.\nHow to Create Video Landing Pages That Convert.\nOrbit Media blog.\nHubSpot blog.\nGoogle Ads blog.\n6. Websites for Startups.\nYour website is often the cornerstone of your digital marketing\u2014all roads lead to it. However, many startups fail to consider their site\u2019s purpose. Is your site the place where buyers add items to their cart or just a digital business card? Is it meant to collect people\u2019s emails so you can market to them further, or is it just a series of pages to reinforce what your sales team says?\nEach goal necessitates a different approach. Our rule for startups is this: Build the fewest number of pages you can while still answering your customers\u2019 questions well enough to get them to take the desired action. If you have too many pages, the website becomes a labyrinth. Your visitors get lost and close the tab.\nThis ideal path through your website is known as the ideal buyer journey or golden path. It would be best if you mapped out this journey based on the questions you expect them to ask and made navigating to the next anticipated question a simple process.\nOnce you have an ideal user path, you can apply various strategies to increase conversions. You pick an outcome tied to revenue\u2014maybe purchases, form fills, or sign-ups\u2014and then work backward to see how many people you can drive there and how many of them take that desired action.\nUser Experience (UX) Optimization.\nMake your website brain-dead simple. Assume nobody will figure anything out, and always inform visitors what will happen on the next page if they click.\n\u201cA website\u2019s job is to answer questions, but few do,\u201d says Andy of Orbit Media. \u201cSay I fill out a contact form. I actually don\u2019t know what happens next. The channel is unknown, and the timing is unknown. This is the key moment\u2014the moment of truth\u2014and all I\u2019m left with is uncertainty. Are you going to call me back? Will you email me? Will you do it today or in the future? All these uncertainties are a problem for the prospect and a big reason they feel a need to submit several forms on several websites.\u201d\nUser Flow Analysis.\nWebsite analytics tools like Google Analytics allow you to see which pages people visit most and which page they tend to visit next. If you see high \u201cdrop-offs,\u201d it means someone exited the page at that point. That generally means they didn\u2019t find what they sought; otherwise, they would have taken action.\nLanding Page Optimization.\nWhen you\u2019ve found a page that performs poorly\u2014lots of people dropping off\u2014you can begin to test that will improve that conversion rate.\nAdding video to your landing page is a great way to inject more information and engagement into a poorly performing page (with the bonus of making the page more attractive to search engines). For instance, an explainer video can lay out the concept behind your product in just a couple of minutes, making it a great addition to your homepage.\nAdd Attractions.\nAside from SEO and ads, what brings people to your website? And just as important, what brings them back?\nIf all your site shows is product information, there\u2019s not much there for people who may buy one day but aren\u2019t yet ready. To attract a broader audience, build authority by answering questions on a topic through a blog, a resources section, or a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page. Adding an FAQ video to that page will scale your efforts even further. It\u2019ll make you look good both in the eyes of prospective customers and search engines.\nUsability Testing.\nThe best way to understand your site\u2019s strengths and shortcomings can be to ask your users themselves.\nWith usability testing, real people run through a sample workflow on your site and then offer feedback on the experience. This can shed light on functionality issues, points of confusion, and opportunities for improvement to the user experience that can only be spotted with fresh, unbiased eyes.\n5 Website Marketing Strategies for Startups.\nKeep things simple. Use a simple domain name, short URLs, and concise page messaging.\nInvest in branding. Ensure branding and design are consistent across your site.\nGuide the user. Have clear primary and secondary calls to action.\nDesign mobile-first. Ensure your site has a mobile-friendly design and layout.\nPick the right platform. Do your research on the web platform that best fits your needs (i.e., do you need e-commerce vs. portfolio). Security, server space, speed, and support are essential factors to consider.\nTop Website Tools and Resources for Startups.\nOptimization and conversion: Intercom, Calendly, Unbounce, Optimizely.\nDesign, hosting, and e-commerce: WordPress, Shopify, Balsamiq, Wix, Squarespace,\u00a0Vidyard.\nGrow and Convert blog.\n7. Event Marketing for Startups.\nBelieve it or not, events can be one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies for startups. Event marketing can be a wonderful way to not only connect with your prospects and customers but also connect your prospects and customers with each other. (Even if it\u2019s only virtually.)\nUnlike a webinar, which is a one-to-many message, events are many-to-many. People network, connect, learn, meet, and associate all the positive things that come out of that with your startup. There are a few event marketing types and approaches you can employ.\nVirtual Events.\nIf the pandemic taught us anything, it\u2019s that lots of events still work online, though you may have to make adjustments to the format. Don\u2019t bite off more than you can chew, however.\n\u201cMy best advice for startups considering events as a new initiative is to think in terms of your event as a minimum viable product (MVP),\u201d says Christine Farrier, Senior Director of Partner and Channel Marketing at Demandbase.\n\u201cWhat\u2019s the smallest possible version of an event that you can launch and still extract lessons that could later be scaled up?\u201d\nWant to start hosting a virtual event big enough to feed your SDR team for an entire quarter? \u201cBegin with the \u2018friends and family\u2019 size event,\u201d says Christine. \u201cIf it works, conduct pre- and post-event briefings, begin documenting what works into a webinar playbook, and then double the goals for the next iteration.\u201d Online Events That Work\nVidyard has been running its virtual Fast Forward event for years. However, with the move to all things digital in 2020, we knew we had to step up our virtual user experience.\nFor our bi-annual virtual summit, we leverage a virtual event platform (Accelevents) to help us manage the event logistics and Zoom Webinars to host our monthly webinar sessions. Then all on-demand sessions are hosted in Vidyard Hubs to keep that content working for us long after the live events.\nCoupled with highly-targeted relevant content and speakers, our Fast Forward program is a lead generation machine that works time and time again. And feeds our content marketing machine.\nRegional Events.\nWhere it\u2019s practical, regional events are an approachable entry point for startups who can\u2019t shell out cash for a convention center. You can hold them in coworking spaces, partner offices, and boutique venues. Video in Business Lunch and Learn Series\nHistorically Vidyard has hosted Video in Business Lunch and Learns that are small (usually 20 to 30 attendees) and regionally focused. They provided the opportunity to bring together local go-to-market leaders and professionals seeking actionable tips for activating their GTM strategies with minimal budgets.\nUser Conferences and Industry Trade Shows.\nYou can market at other people\u2019s events, too. The budget option here is to simply send your salespeople to wander the showroom floor and take meetings. If you have a bit more budget, you can book a booth, speak at breakout sessions, or host a panel.\nStartup Marketing Tools and Resources for Event Marketing.\nEvent Manager Blog.\nHeySummit.\nHopIn.\nBizzabo.\nGoToWebinar.\nZoom.\nVidyard: video messaging, video hubs, and video hosting.\nPart 4: How to Maximize Startup Lead and Demand Gen Efforts.\nWe\u2019ve covered a ton of tactics and tools already to help with your startup marketing foundations, but how do you generate demand and interest in your products effectively as a startup? We\u2019ll cover a few approaches below.\nScale Yourself as a Founder.\nYou may have a tiny sales and marketing team, or you very well may be a team of one. As a result, lead generation can be a challenge. In addition to building your personal brand and networking at industry events, you can look to leverage automated lead gen tools to help you automate outbound sales prospecting efforts so you can focus on other parts of your business.\nWith tools like Vidyard Prospector, you simply set your territory and target audience, and the tool will automatically build your lead lists and send AI-generated emails and perfectly timed follow-ups for you. If you get responses, you can follow up accordingly or sales can start to work those leads through the funnel.\nThe Importance of Sales and Marketing Alignment.\nAs you build your sales and marketing team, you may soon realize these two functions can often clash. But don\u2019t forget that you\u2019re on the same team\u2014the revenue team and alignment between sales and marketing is crucial to your growth success. The best way to work together is to spend a lot of time together and measure the same metrics.\nIt\u2019s difficult for a marketer to blame sales for not closing enough deals if they\u2019re in the proverbial room and hearing how some of those leads were a really bad fit. And it\u2019s tough for sales to blame marketing for driving bad leads when they can see how hard marketing works. Both teams need to communicate constantly and ask, \u201cHow can I help you help me do my job better?\u201d\nTop Sales Lead Tools for Startups.\nVidyard: video messaging, automated prospecting, and digital sales rooms.\nSalesLoft.\nOutreach.\nOpenPhone.\nCalendly.\nMake Your Product Drive Demand with Growth Marketing.\nGrowth marketing is a strategic approach that centers around acquiring and retaining users by leveraging a product\u2019s virality, stickiness, and habit-forming nature. It works particularly well for SaaS companies that have user-focused solutions. The focus is on inbound actively that drives activations (usually a free version with fewer features works here), and then things like referrals and amazing onboarding and user experiences can let your product speak for itself.\nAs a startup, leveraging growth marketing can be instrumental in driving demand for your products. By understanding user behavior and preferences and continuously iterating based on insights, you and your teams can create a product experience that attracts and retains customers. By focusing on the growth marketing approach, as a founder or startup, you have the opportunity to scale rapidly and achieve sustainable growth.\nWorking with an Agency as a Startup.\nAs a startup, you may not have the bandwidth or resources to do it all when it comes to executing or even developing your go-to-market strategy. One approach is to hire an entrepreneur in residence to bring in some seasoned experience on a short-term basis.\nAnother may be to look to external agencies to help with your demand generation needs.\nLuckily, there are hundreds of agencies specializing in inbound and growth marketing that can help get you started (like IMPACT, Revenue River, SmartBug, and New Breed, to name a few).\nFocus your marketing attention on where you\u2019re most comfortable and look to bring in consultants or agencies to help you in other areas.\nFeeling More Comfortable with Startup Marketing Now?\nDigital and growth marketing for startups can seem intimidating at first look. But with the right planning, strategy, and execution, your startup can be making waves in the market in no time.\nNow go forth and make a splash.\nThis post was originally published on July 9, 2020. It was updated on November 8, 2023.