It seems as if, with each passing year, new marketing tactics for startups quickly become the old. While there's a case to be made for sticking with the "tried and true" when it comes to your marketing, by regularly experimenting with new tactics, you can gain a significant advantage over your competitors -- even if just one out of the countless techniques you try is a winner.
With 2019 approaching fast, here are seven fresh marketing tactics your startup probably hasn't tried yet.
1. Hire an influencer to join your content team.
For startup founders, particularly those in early- to mid-stages of development, appointing an influencer (one with tangible business experience, of course) to be part of your content team is a marketing tactic that's very rarely used.
Temporarily hiring an influencer to promote your product is one thing, but what about hiring one to be a full-time employee? For startups, traction is difficult. For influencers, steady income is unlikely. This makes the role a potential match made in heaven for the startup, which will receive immense brand exposure simply from the influencer letting their audience know where they're working. Without Casey Neistat's massive YouTube following, it's unlikely most people would've ever heard of his startup, Beme.
2. Partner with Twitch streamers.
With over 46 billion minutes of monthly watch-time on Twitch (up 56 percent from last year), it's clear live-streaming for gamers is here to stay. More generally, with e-sports now getting both praise and airtime on major networks like ESPN, the trajectory of the space, and Twitch's own trajectory, look promising.
Whether your budget allows you to partner with a big-time streamer or one with a smaller audience, the close connection these individuals have with their followers could provide you with the exposure your startup needs to go from zero to infinity.
3. Use Medium.
Of the top 10 publications on all of Medium (based on number of subscribers), seven of them are related to startups and tech. Because of this, it's evident the readership on the platform skews techie, making for a great opportunity for your company to get noticed.
As for how to leverage Medium to gain attention, you can either create a Medium publication related to your brand, develop a personal brand as a founder by publishing articles on relevant topics to build thought leadership, or sponsor an already established publication. If done correctly, any of these strategies can help get a lot more eyeballs on your company.
4. Try YouTube pre-roll ads.
As annoying as many pre-roll ads can be, with the breakout success of people like Billy Gene, Tai Lopez, and Sam Ovens, it's hard to argue with the potential this medium provides to buyers. Because YouTube forces users to watch at least five seconds of these ads, brand awareness will be inevitable for your startup if you decide to invest in YouTube pre-roll ads.
5. And podcast ads.
I'll be honest here, of the dozen or so online products I've tried out over the past three years, all but two of them were because comedian Bill Burr gave his podcast listeners a promo code to try the product or service. I've also purchased products like Four Sigmatic, as a result of Tim Ferriss's podcast and Thrive Market thanks to Lewis Howes's podcast.
While I'm just one person, this is emblematic of the marketing power podcasts hold. Because audio facilitates such an intimate setting for listeners, the trust and bond built between the host and the audience is extremely strong, making it much easier to sell products for the brands that sponsor the shows.
6. Sponsor a YouTuber.
You've probably seen some of the top YouTube creators promote products and services from brands. Yet one of the best parts of YouTube is the wide variety of creators available, both in terms of audience size and subject matter. If your budget is limited, try reaching out to a YouTuber with a smaller audience. Because advertising pays pennies to most creators, they may very well be open, even thrilled, to be getting compensated for something they typically do for free out of passion: creating videos.
7. Try Spotify's Ad Studio.
Spotify recently rolled out a self-serve advertising platform called Spotify Ad Studio. With over 109 million monthly listeners, the platform could be a clever, underpriced way to reach relevant audiences. Take some time to peruse the various ad options available to see if one suits your startup.
Due to the sheer number of options available, settling on a specific marketing strategy can quickly become overwhelming for startup founders. This year, while staying true to the tactics working well for you already, don't be afraid to try something new. The seven ideas laid out in this article are a great place to start. Best of luck.