The Best Time To Start Advertising A Startup Business
The answer to this article’s title is that you need to start advertising your startup as soon as you have clear goals and metrics you can track and measure to improve any marketing strategy’s performance.
But in a nutshell, start as soon as you can, instead of when you’re comfortable with it.
The data you can collect through performing early day startup marketing strategies, the more you will learn before you scale.
Your marketing mistakes will be much less significant when you have a couple of failed experiments under your belt.
Through testing digital marketing strategies and experimenting with different marketing channels from day one, you will quickly learn, for example:
- What are the core metrics you need to keep an eye out for
- The best available marketing channels
- Product testing
- Product-market fit validation
- Early users
The answer is not about when to start advertising, but instead, we should be asking what strategy we’re going to advertise depending on our goals currently in our startup.
For starters, you can learn all the marketing channels that startups can use for gaining initial traction.
How Close You’re Launching The Startup?
If you haven’t launched your startup, your best bet for advertising would be to gain initial traction and users that might be initially interested in your products and services.
Do you have a website built or a landing page?
That’s already enough reason to test the validity of any startup idea for the future.
Pre-launch advertising can produce valuable leads and early users for future alphas and betas of your products.
For example, the way to go about it would be:
- Create a landing page
- Create a signup process (and track the steps as a funnel)
- Collect the leads
- Most crucially, collect all the web analytics data from the initial marketing campaigns
What you would be looking for is, how do the initial test groups react to your startup, brand, and products?
The earlier you can figure out the audience that converts into your ideas or initial product, the easier scaling the business will be.
For example, having the data at your disposal in Google Analytics for later use can make a huge difference when you keep developing your business further.
And if you were to test Facebook ads, you could create scalable audiences for later use through the FB Pixel.
Pre-launch advertising aims to build the core metrics that help you develop your marketing strategies to find product-market fit.
We Haven’t Advertised Yet But We A Solid Product To Sell
If you already have a product available for the market, the only difference in strategy would be the change in focus.
You should change focus to be built upon the premise if customers will buy your product instead of only interested.
Based on your product’s sales process, sales funnels will be the key to your advertising strategy as we advance.
But the same idea applies, start advertising as soon as possible. You will have to have your sales funnels clearly defined to send increasingly more traffic to different stages of these funnels for the best performance.
The earlier you advertise, the earlier you will find any problems in your funnels from the get-go instead of finding issues, such as when your product attracts organic traffic due to PR or influencers.
The goal is to build a solid funnel that can handle the scale we seek.
Product virality is hard to replicate, so you want to have everything ready before getting too much attention. In most cases, you will only get one opportunity to amass everything from one viral event.
But What If Our Startup Doesn’t Have The Funds For Advertising?
Not all startups have the opportunity to invest massively into advertising from day one, but even the smallest tests early on can produce product-market fit data you couldn’t get from anywhere else.
In the end, targeting completely new groups of customers through ads, you can make sure that these groups of customers are genuinely interested in either your idea or the product itself.
For example, the free coupons you can from Google, Microsoft, or LinkedIn can be the testbed you need.
And if you’re lucky, you could make a couple of sales from those free ads that you can instantly invest back into your marketing strategy.
If you have a tiny budget to advertise with, you need to use more time in planning. You want to optimize the learning you can achieve with even the smallest of budgets.
- Define your metrics and have realistic goals
- Be sure your analytics functions correctly
- Define your sales funnel
- Maximize learnings
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But Of Course Paid Ads Isn’t Everything A Startup Needs To Consider Right Away.
While we recommend using advertising to collect crucial initial data to build better businesses right away, you should also use long-term marketing methods.
So what are these long-term online marketing methods?
Content marketing is a strategy that every startup of all sizes can use to get traffic and sales for the long-term. Whether that’s creating a business blog to your website, producing videos on YouTube, or using organic social media marketing.
For example, developing your blog with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind can produce many long-term benefits and not just more sales and awareness.
The problem in starting with long-term marketing strategies first is that your probability of knowing your target audience truly is low.
Of course, there are free SEO tools that help you with keywords to target your blogs to a specific audience better. But is that audience one that converts or likes your idea?
That’s again where initial advertising can help you massively.
Suppose you understand your core audience before investing in content marketing and choosing the right distribution channels. In that case, your long-term results will be much higher compared to starting right away with content creation.
So, in a nutshell, advertising early can significantly benefit your other growth marketing strategies.
Through these examples, we hope you now understand the benefits of starting startup advertising early.
The main takeaway comes down to understanding and discovering your target audience. After you establish your target audience, the rest comes a lot easier.
But what if you already know your target audience?
That’s a tricky question as we might think we know who is in our target audience, but in most cases, we lack the data to confirm said audience.
So if you have the data to back your target audience, your advertising strategy should complement that data the best it can.
But does it take away from the early-advertising strategy? It doesn’t.
As now, you can entirely forgo about audience data collection and build effective online ad campaigns that scalably increase your startup’s revenue and brand awareness.
In most cases, the more people see you, the more opportunities you will have in business.
For further reading, check out the article from WebStrategies that shows you how much you should spend on marketing.