As a startup marketer, you’re probably keen on one major thing: maximizing growth with minimum effort. It’s simple math really: startups, more than any other type of company seem to have the biggest dichotomy between growth goals and resources available. So the less time you can spend on each additional unit of growth (whether that’s a new user or a new channel partner), the faster you can grow.

In other words, your time is finite but the possibilities for that time are not.

Make “Maximum Impact” Your Guiding Principle

This probably sounds unbelievably simple and you’re now thinking this whole post is the fluffiest of fluff. But I promise, simple is effective and I have seen this work. If you want to focus on things that are going to have the biggest impact, you have to live and breathe the mindset. And so does your team. At every turn, you need to be asking: are you spending your time in a way that’s going to have the biggest impact? Are you focusing on the target market that’s going to have the biggest impact? Have you hired the team that’s going to have the biggest impact?

How can we have the biggest impact?

This simple question should become the new mantra for your startup marketing organization. Without it, you can find yourself starting a Facebook page and posting status after status or article after article with no business results, yet still ticking the theoretical marketing checkbox!

So print this question out and post it on your cubicle wall or write it on the whiteboard in your open office. Tell everyone. Every single meeting should be clouded with the question “how do we get the maximum impact with this?”

Planning is Part of an Impactful Marketing Org

Once you’re in this mindset, it’s time to revisit your marketing plan (if you had one to begin with). Because now, you’ll want to know if your approach is the one that’s going to have the biggest impact, right?

Let’s nip another thing right in the bud first: yes, even as a startup, you need a plan.

No, you do not have all the time in the world and hey, as a startup or small business, planning too far in advance could all be for naught if your course changes in a few months. But if you’re going to be effective, you need some sort of plan to align the troops. Otherwise, as our own CEO tells us at Vidyard, you’ll be like Bambi on ice – trying so hard to get your whole unit going in one direction but really just flailing about, not going anywhere.

bambi on ice

According to Hubspot, there are five major components of an impactful startup marketing plan that are going to help you hit your audacious growth goals: the right message, the right methodology, the right tools, the right team, and the right priorities.

Let’s take a look at each one and how you can maximize impact in each. To dive deeper into each component, check out Hubspot’s Startup Marketing Plan: Blueprint and Kit.

The Right Message

According to Hubspot, nailing the right messaging includes two parts: getting a grasp on your brand and its identity and pinpointing your target market via buyer personas. Knowing who you’re targeting and how you’ll appeal to them is absolutely critical. Find out as much as you can about how to define your target, what their day-to-day is like, what keeps them awake at night, and why your product or service appeals to them.

How Can You Maximize Messaging Impact?

The best way to have the biggest impact here is to avoid trying to boil the ocean. Your product or service can probably help multiple types of people but it’s often best to focus on one main target market and one main message to be able to really hit home and avoid diluting your communications.

When you’re identifying your first target market, you’ll want to choose those who already know they have a problem, for example, or are already looking for a solution, and not those who you’re going to have to convince they even have the problem before you convince them that your product is the best option for them to solve that problem! That’s too much convincing – and sounds like a lot of effort for minimal impact.

The Right Methodology

This is where you’ll determine what approach you’re going to use to build pipeline and grow your business. Will it be an inbound methodology focused on providing valuable education to your potential customers? Or an outbound approach where you seek out your customers and take a more direct selling approach?

How Can You Maximize Methodology Impact?

Again, focus can go a long way here. Chances are that as your business grows, you may experiment with multiple methodologies. For now, start with one. Take a look at how your competitors are approaching their market and see if you can find out what works for them and what doesn’t. Just keep in mind that maximum impact doesn’t mean you should only focus on things that will drive results now and not in the future. There’s a fine art in balancing these two timelines – you need success in both.

The Right Tools

There are so many tools available to marketers today that just listing out the options can be overwhelming. But hey, if you’re not leaning on technology, you’re probably missing out on results and efficiency. Get a comprehensive rundown of 58 tools for startups from Hubspot from social media to website optimization and even conversion rate optimization or check out this infographic for the ultimate small business marketing tech stack.

How Can You Maximize Tool Impact?

This one is simple math. How much is the tool going to cost you and what impact do you predict it’ll have on pipeline or the bottom line? If it’s not that easy, think about where you need the most help, or where the greatest opportunities for the time savings are.

The Right Team

The whole purpose of being a startup is that you’re just starting up, right? That means growth is in the future and that means people, too. Who will you need in the next phase of your startup marketing team and how will you ensure you hire the right people?

How Can You Maximize Team Impact?

Chances are that you won’t be able to hire an army right away. So if you could only hire one person, who would it be? Think about the best way to complement the team you already have while gaining a skill set that you don’t (and that you desperately need). Most importantly, don’t over-hire!

The Right Priorities

There are only 24 hours in a day. And every startup I’ve ever spoken to feels that’s not enough. So proper goal setting, prioritization, budgeting, and focus is paramount to a successful marketing organization because you’ll probably have an endless list of ideas and needle-moving initiatives but you just can’t do them all.

How Can You Maximize Prioritization Impact?

Ask where you can put your money that’ll get the greatest ROI. Start thinking about your team’s time in terms of units – if you only have 65 units in a week, how will you allocate them to get the biggest impact?

Dive into these five components of a successful startup marketing plan with Hubspot’s Startup Marketing Plan: Blueprint and Kit. Discover worksheets for building out your first target persona, templates for your marketing budget, and more.

Hubspot blog CTA

Focus on High Impact Tactics, like Video

It goes without saying that if you’re going to be putting the effort into planning the high impact tools, methodology, or messaging, that you’ll want to make sure you’re using the tactics that get you the biggest bang for your buck, too.

That’s why we always recommend that startups take a particular focus on video.

Why? First and foremost, it’s how people are consuming content:

  • Every day, over 4 billion videos are watched on Facebook
  • Every month, over 6 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube
  • 82% of all global consumer internet traffic will come from video by 2020, according to Cisco

Plus, it will have a major impact on your marketing results:

Startup marketing video

Video is a critical component to any startup marketing plan because it’s how consumers want to consume content. And thanks to modern developments, recording and publishing video content is easier than ever. I’d bet that you could probably record your first one in the next 5 minutes with a free tool like Vidyard GoVideo (formerly ViewedIt).

Want to learn more about video for your startup? Check out these 17 reasons why small businesses should be using (more!) video. Or, if you’re wondering how you should be using video, dive into 10 ways small businesses should be using video (with examples!)

Kimbe MacMaster