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10 Marketing Tactics for Online Startups

After much research, planning, and implementing, your online startup is finally up and running. Launching your own business is no easy feat, so feel free to give yourself some hearty pats on the back — you deserve it! But, as you can imagine, it’s time to move on to the next chapter of your entrepreneurship journey: marketing.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a marketing virtuoso to increase brand awareness and get customers through the virtual door. With a winning product selection by your side, these 10 foolproof strategies will be sure to get you going! Let’s get started.

#1. Make a Mark with Your Branding

eCommerce has grown up considerably from its humble beginnings, where plain cardboard boxes and anonymous internet sellers dominated the digital domain. Nowadays, customers crave a branded experience that hooks them with a catchy tagline and keeps them coming back with memorable unboxings. When it comes to branding, it’s more than just looking pretty — it’s about building credibility, boosting loyalty, and standing out in a crowded market.

#2. Start a Referral Program

Word-of-mouth is alive and well, and referral programs are proof! At the end of the day, a product recommendation from a friend or family member is invaluable and capable of trumping even the most sophisticated digital marketing campaign. We trust what our loved ones have to say, so why not reward them for their undercover marketing efforts?

#3. Form a Brand Alliance

Two is stronger than one, especially if the brand you’re connecting with is the other pea in your marketing pod — think Coke and Tic Tac or Nike and Apple. The trick with brand alliances is making sure that both parties are equally matched and have the same to gain from joining forces. Like with any relationship, communication and discernment are key.

#4. Host a Giveaway

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Giveaways are excellent drivers of engagement, and are often a natural progression of brand alliances. Whether you choose to go at it solo or with a partner, a well-planned giveaway is rarely unsuccessful. Plus, if you’re planning on launching new products, giveaways can help generate buzz and add an extra layer of exclusivity.

#5. Write a Killer Blog

Content is king, and long-form content still packs a serious punch when it comes to educating potential customers and — bonus! — turbocharging your SEO efforts. If you’ve happened to catch the writing bug, try committing to a few blog posts each month and watch your social engagement and page ranking climb up in momentum.

#6. Be Active on Social Media

Okay, so you’ve probably heard this one before. Maybe multiple times. Like it or not, social media is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to communicate with your audience. Out of the almost 8 billion people in the world, 3.69 billion of them are tapping and scrolling their way to targeted ads and shareable memes — that’s just too many people to miss out on!

#7. Take Advantage of User-Generated Content

Handing the marketing reigns over to customers may sound risky, but the reality is that user-generated content provides substantial value — and you won’t have to spend a dime! Not only will you get some great content, like favorable YouTube reviews and aesthetically pleasing posts on social media, but you’ll also get new insights into a wider audience.

#8. Go Viral

When the internet was still in its infancy, all it took to reach the far corners of the World Wide Web was a grainy video of a cat sneezing. Nowadays, virality is less of a spontaneous occurrence and more of a calculated artform, as ephemeral as it is tricky. 

All that to say, while we encourage you to go big or go home, don’t stress it if you don’t end up being the next Evil Kermit or Dancing Drake — you can always join in on the fun by hopping on the bandwagon and putting your own spin on popular memes!

#9. Get a Press Feature

What’s better than talking about your business? Having someone else do it for you! You don’t have to appear on the national news to make a splash, either. Being recognized locally or within niche publications is an amazing opportunity to evangelize your products and put a friendly face behind your online business.

#10. Hit the Trade Show Circuit

Not everything has to be digital. Sometimes, showing up in the 3D world is the perfect way to get people talking, and, ultimately, clicking. Be on the lookout for trade shows near you, and don’t forget to read up on our tips for bootstrapping a trade show and finding the perfect booth. And, as long as you do your due mingling, being an observer works too!

And there you have it! Ten tried-and-true methods to get the ball rolling and introduce your company to as many eyes (and wallets!) as possible. As always, feel free to mix and match  until you find your ideal strategy. If you’re staying committed, consistent, and responsive, you can’t go wrong!

Questions? Comments? We’re here to help! Shoot us a line and we’ll reply ASAP.

P.S. Looking for more actionable ideas and creative inspo? We have oodles of that over on the ShipMonk blog! Subscribe to our blog newsletter today.

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