Holistic Approach Towards Marketing for Start-ups: Part 18 min read

In today’s economy, start-ups have a special relevance. They are promoted by governments because they are growth-oriented and

In today’s economy, start-ups have a special relevance. They are promoted by governments because they are growth-oriented and provide jobs in the market. Their flexibility enables them to withstand financial crisis and the ups-and-downs in the economy. The growth of a start-up is highly dependent on its ability to raise funds. For this, proper marketing techniques need to be implemented specially with respect to smart social media marketing.



A start-up is an enterprise at the very beginning of its operations. In the first stage they are often financed by the founders as they try to invest more in developing a service or a product, for which they believe a demand exists. As a result of the limited income and usually high costs, nearly all of those small operations are not continuous in the long term without any extra financing from venture capitalists.” – Investopedia (2016)

To raise capital for their venture, founders of start-ups need to increase its visibility both within the investor sector and amongst people. Therefore, having effective marketing strategies is critical.

The secret behind Pinterest’s growth was marketing, not engineering.” – Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest

Since start-ups are, in several cases, revolutionary and game-changing, it becomes all the more important for executives to take novel approaches towards marketing. And in a world of social media, the way forward for start-ups is social media marketing in addition to the traditional ways. These platforms, along with the company’s website work together towards building the company’s presence in the market.

However, before creating an online presence, the vision regarding your company’s brand concept, direction and goals should be clear. You need to have well-defined strategies that should be implemented in order to effectively create and thereafter increase your social presence. With a chiseled set of strategy, you would be able to connect better with your target audience and your potential investors. As a start-up, both are essential in order to sustain yourself in the market. Communication channels that favour online marketing are Facebook and Instagram amongst others. Company websites are essential as they formally and official represent a company.

Important Aspects of Smarter Online Marketing



  • The first thing that needs to be done in order to create a decent marketing strategy is determining the objectives. Once the goals have been established, the target audience of the start-up needs to be recognised. It is only then that a strategy should be devised to fulfill the goal.

  • Once a strategy has been created, document it. In a formal setup, you need to write down all the marketing goals that have been agreed upon and the strategies to be implemented to achieve them.

  • You should then decide on the type of advertising; paid or organic. While the former will cost you more money, it will be done by professionals and will get you the results you want in a shorter time span. The latter, however, will not be as expensive, but will be more time consuming. Considering a start-up does not always have funds to pay the professional, you may choose organic marketing over paid for marketing. Each has its own benefits.

  • People are increasingly speaking out about their dissatisfaction with big companies. Tired of the lack of transparency and integrity, people continue to be disillusioned with them. They are, therefore, choosing small companies and start-ups over the mammoths. Hence, as a company that is trying to build a loyal customer base, it is important for you to be strong of your word and deliver on your promises.

  • Customers are also indifferent towards the apathetic email campaigns by the big brands. Start-ups have the tactical advantage, owing to a smaller customer base, of interacting with each of their customers personally. This builds the bond between the company and the customer and opens doors to different forms of engagement on multiple platforms increasing the chances of visibility and growth.

  • It is also important to produce quality content which adds value to the company and its brand. Though time consuming, if done in-house, content creation will not blow the budget of your company out of balance. In-house content creation can also be highly personalised based on your company’s brand, ideology and philosophy.

  • Do not put all your eggs in one basket and be present on several social media platforms as opposed to just a major one like Facebook or Twitter. Everyone does not use a particular platforms and you are bound to find your target audience on most platforms. This way, you will be able to grab the attention of consumers on different media. Additionally, “it is hard to determine the lifespan of a single-stream marketing, especially in the case of a third party owning it.” It is therefore critical for you to not only be present on different platforms, but to have your own website and direct traffic from your social media profiles back to your website.

  • A lot of times companies do not have enough time and resources (both capital and workforce) to properly create a social social media marketing strategy. They may, perhaps rightly so, not consider it on top of the priority list and may not want to invest their resources in it. However, what you have to consider is that since you do not have the resources that the giants of the sector do, you need to put extra effort into being heard by your potential customers and even investors. Having a proper marketing strategy will amplify your message and lead to more investors, more followers and eventually more customers.

A holistic online marketing approach is a great opportunity to reach a large audience on an affordable budget and it is definitely a way forward. Proper planning and making sure to take advantage of it, rather than giving the opportunity to the competitors.” – L.A. Management Company (2015)

Pros of Using Social Media for Marketing




  • Cost Efficient – If managed correctly, social media can be cost efficient. They are usually free or have a small fee. It reduces not only the time spent on marketing, but also improves results. This is specially useful for a start-up with want of funds or manpower. Those can be applied elsewhere.

  • Reach – Potential customers and investors can be reached around the globe at any time. Marketing through social media is therefore not limited by either location or time. Queries can also be answers and problems resolved in real time with social media. In a world run by technology, people have come to expect 24×7 customer service even from a start-up. Social media can certainly help you with that.

  • Direct Interaction – Social platforms also give you the liberty to have a direct interaction with your target audience via comments, personal messages and status’. These platforms are a great place to build your brand name and create value for the customers.

  • Content – You also have the freedom to publish the kind of content you want and whenever you want. Unlike print media, digital media does not have deadlines. More importantly, the content is not limited to a specific format. It can be text, audio, video, or even a GIF.

Cons of Using Social Media for Marketing



  • Although it is well used by marketers, mostly people prefer interacting with their family and friends on social media rather than be actively pursued by brands, as evidenced by Facebook’s new Explore feed. The amount of adverisements that float in the social world tend to have a negative effect on their potential customers. Therefore, while as a part of a start-up you may want to maximise your social presence in a short amount of time, you need to keep in mind your audience’s saturation level. Find the balance between being forgotten due to lack of content being delivered and being ignored due to excess content being delivered.

  • Since all major companies of a sector have a social media presence, it can be difficult for an underdog to obtain their share of the pie. Since all brands, big and small, will fight for the same pool of people, things get competitive online. As a start-up, you will have to find your own niche, build your brand and create your own customer base.

  • As easy it is to be successful because of social media, it is easier to be unsuccessful, especially in case of a public relations mishap. Bad news travels fast. Comments from unsatisfied customers, if not handled properly, can very quickly snowball into a crisis.

Final Thoughts

Holistic Approach Towards Marketing for Startups is a two part series. In this part we talked about how it is critical for a start-up to have a coherent and understandable marketing strategy in order to succeed in creating a consumer base and raise capital. The developed strategy should be in synergy with the product(s) and/or service(s) it provides. In part 2 of the series, we will talk about the ways a start-up should take advantage of the endless possibilities provided by the Internet.

SmatSocial offers an efficient way to manage your social accounts. Empowered with tools that help create dynamic content and increase organic fan base, SmatSocial is a start-up’s closest ally in terms of marketing and can help in achieving the goals and objectives of your company efficaciously.



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