Twitter has recently announced the purchase of ZipDial, an Indian mobile marketing startup company. The company was designed to ensure people who do not have an internet connection on their mobile devices will still receive promotions and advertisements. ZipDial is a company that allows users to telephone a company that they are interested in but then hang up before they actually connect. The purpose for this is so that they do not have to pay any telephone charges. Once they have telephoned, however, the company is then able to send out text messages free of charge, as well as voice calls with advertisements and app notifications. This system is known as “missed call marketing” and is incredibly popular for both users and companies, as it doesn’t cost anything for both parties.
Flipkart Ltd is close to making its third acquisition this year by buying mobile app marketing start-up DSYN Technologies Pvt. Ltd, DSYN has a product called Appiterate that helps clients increase downloads of their mobile apps and drive higher spending on apps by targeting users more efficiently. Appiterate, which specializes in sending notifications and marketing messages on apps, also helps companies design their apps.
The success of a startup will often depend on its approach to marketing. A good number of resources available out there on brand development, launch marketing, PR, viral videos and more. In today’s world there is good competition for every startup, thus branding is important.
Phase 1 – Strategic Positioning, Brand and Web Presence
In this phase following activities may help:
a. Strategic positioning- Strategic positioning is the positioning of an organization in the future, while taking into account the changing environment, plus the systematic realization of that positioning. The strategic positioning of an organization includes the devising of the desired future position of the organization on the basis of present and foreseeable developments, and the making of plans to realize that positioning. The strategic positioning method is derived from the business world. The method is aimed at ensuring the continuity of the organization. The strategy determines the contents and the character of the organization’s activities. The first step in a successful brand/product launch program is a strategic positioning exercise, including the early adopter target market simulation.
Start by defining the ‘category’ that your product/service exists within and then map it to its key product benefits, the core value proposition and competitor benchmarking – right down to core messages and launch strategies, plans and objectives – at least for the first 12-24 months. Keep asking: ‘who exactly is my customer and why exactly should they buy from me?’
b. Brand development – If you are ready to brand yourself or your business, you need to have a clear understanding of what developing a brand actually involves before you really get started. Your brand-development process should always follow these major steps:
— Decide what you’re going to brand.
— Do your research.
—Position your product or service.
—Write your brand definition.
—Develop your name, logo, and tagline.
—Launch your brand.
—Manage, leverage, and protect your brand.
—Realign your brand to keep it current.
c. Web Presence- In the age of social media and digital marketing your web presence is important. Think of your website as a customer ‘application’ rather than just for information. Get your Web presence right before launch!
You may try these web presence optimization tips:
Create a content marketing strategy: Content marketing is the effort of producing and sharing great content on the web. The primary intentions of this practice are to inbound traffic to your website, while building credibility in your brand. Whether your company is generating articles, infographics, or videos, the content you produce and publish is an integral component to your company’s web presence. These are some interesting Indian startups content marketing strategies: Click here…
Conduct an outreach campaign: The idea behind this web presence optimization tip is to reach out to relevant and authoritative websites for guest blogging. Guest blogging goes hand-in-hand with content marketing and SEO. The purpose is to publish your content on other websites to generate link popularity back to your own website.
Get engaged in social media: Without a doubt, social media will have a tremendous impact on your company’s web presence optimization strategy. Social signals, such as tweets, likes, shares, and Google +1′s are starting to play a role in the ranking algorithm. The social media component of your company’s web presence optimization strategy will be directly aligned with its content marketing plan. This is due to the fact that much of the content that you produce will be promoted and shared via social media.
Phase 2 – Blogging, PR, Video and SEO
a. Blog Strategy: From 2009 to 2012, the percentage of respondents with a company blog grew from 48% to 62%. It’s the trend of a modern, ‘social’ marketing and communications strategy.
The following are basic blogging strategies suggested by Jason R. Rich (author at entrepreneur.com)
— Define the target audience for your blog and cater to that audience.The more narrowly you define your target audience, the easier it will be to identify those people, cater to their needs with your content, and reach them with your advertising and marketing messages. Reaching a target demographic on the web is relatively easy (much simpler than doing it using traditional advertising practices in the real world).
— Put a unique twist on your blog’s topic and content. It’s virtually impossible to brainstorm a totally original topic to blog about. Instead, your primary and ongoing goal should be to continuously develop innovative content and put a truly unique spin on whatever topic you’re blogging about. You can also set your blog apart by including proprietary information, publishing extremely timely facts or research, or by incorporating your own unique thoughts, ideas, perspective or expertise into each of your blog entries. Another important strategy for creating and publishing a successful blog is to develop content that isn’t readily available elsewhere in the blogosphere or on the web. The more unique and innovative your content and the better you target your audience, the easier it will be to build a following.
— Add new content on a regular basis. To build and maintain a steady audience, regularly add new content to your blog. Every new blog entry should cater to your blog’s target audience, offer content that’s perceived as valuable, and build upon previously published content. For a blog to be successful, you must stay on topic and cater to the wants, needs and expectations of your target audience. This means developing a thorough understanding of who your audience is, then adjusting your focus as trends and demands change over time.
— Transform your blog into an interactive online community. Instead of focusing exclusively on publishing content, develop your blog into an interactive online community. Encourage your audience to post feedback and comments, interact with each other, share their ideas, and enhance your content by adding their own information.
— Adopt a multifaceted approach to promoting your blog continuously. It will take some time to build an audience in the hundreds of thousands or millions. To achieve this level of success will typically require ongoing marketing, promotions and even paid advertising. Promoting your blog on an ongoing basis is as important as regularly adding new content.
— Keep the blog’s look, overall design and content professional. Always convey a professional image, regardless of the subject matter or your audience. The look and overall design of your blog should be professional, and easy to read and understand.
b. Digital PR and partnering: To support and drive the company’s web presence and social media marketing activities a digital PR and partnering program needs to be kicked off, not just to drive communications, traffic, networking and partnering but also to monitor conversations, word of mouth (WOM) and online reputation.
c. Viral videos and guerrilla marketing: Viral video and guerrilla marketing programs (both for B2B and B2C environments) done in the right way can help amplify and spike awareness and WOM. They should be carefully produced and executed as done in the wrong way or too fast they can backfire.
d. Search engine optimization and link-building: Semantic as well as algorithmic search engine optimization initiatives must be applied to ensure that your Web presence, blog, digital PR and social media marketing activities have a solid technical underpinning and get effectively amplified with the network dynamics that the Internet can deliver.
Phase 3 – Advertising
a. Online Advertising: Online advertising, also called online marketing or Internet advertising, is a form of marketing and advertising which uses the Internet to deliver promotional marketing messages to consumers. It includes email marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, many types of display advertising (including web banner advertising), and mobile advertising. Like other advertising media, online advertising frequently involves both a publisher, who integrates advertisements into its online content, and an advertiser, who provides the advertisements to be displayed on the publisher’s content. Other potential participants include advertising agencies who help generate and place the ad copy, an ad server which technologically delivers the ad and tracks statistics, and advertising affiliates who do independent promotional work for the advertiser
b. Strategic PR: It’s been said that public relations is better than advertising at building a brand. It starts with growing relationships — with consumers, stakeholders, policymakers, the media and the public at large. There are good number of strategic public relation agencies and consultants available which one can opt for.
c. Crowdsourcing campaigns: Crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers. It combines the efforts of numerous self-identified volunteers or part-time workers, where each contributor of their own initiative adds a small portion to the greater result. The term “crowdsourcing” is a portmanteau of “crowd” and “outsourcing”; it is distinguished from outsourcing in that the work comes from an undefined public rather than being commissioned from a specific, named group.
These are some interesting crowdsourcing campaigns:
d. Speaking and Briefing: Once your reputation and awareness has been developed a highly targeted speaking and analyst/media briefing program should be developed to ensure that your brand remains top of mind and relevant.