5 tips for tech startups ready to build an online audience

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Do you have an exciting tech product you are eager to get on the market? That’s amazing, but you’re not the only one vying for consumers’ attention. The internet is chock-full of tech startups competing for press, so even if your product will disrupt entire industries, you need an effective marketing strategy to make sure people know about it.

How do you go about building an online audience, though? There is no tried-and-true formula, and each industry requires a different approach. With a bit of creativity, strategy, and adaptability, though, it is possible. If you are part of a tech startup, here are a few tips for growing a follower base:

Create engaging content

One of the most imperative things you can do is create content. It cannot just be anything, though; social media users have no interest in seeing advertisements for products or services they have no emotional investment in. Rather, your content needs to be two things: valuable and engaging.

The value portion refers to educating listeners, readers, and viewers why they should care. What makes your product or service special? What need in people’s lives does it fill, and how does it do so better than any other option? Your goal is (or at least, should be) to solve a problem. The content you produce doesn’t necessarily have to be about your product, either—if you provide information about your industry in general that anyone can use as a resource, people will see you as an authority and are more likely to turn to your first when the time comes to make a purchase.

The engagement part means you need to make your content compelling and enjoyable. Do you like to pay attention to boring material? Even if the subject matter is exciting, the way information is presented plays a crucial role in communicating it successfully. Use images, videos, humor, games, and other media to spice up your content. The more fun it is to pay attention, the more closely people will listen.

Pick the right platforms

There are seemingly countless platforms out there that you can use, so pick the ones that are most advantageous for your business. You’ll spread yourself too thin if you attempt to use them all. A significant factor in your decision will be where your audience likes to hang out online: if your product is tailored toward younger demographics, then you’ll probably have more luck on Instagram than Facebook. Determine which channels you are most likely to have success with and stick to them; you can always expand later.

Leverage influencers

Influencers can be effective for accessing currently-existing audiences that you could not otherwise. You probably do not have the budget to afford a major celebrity—which doesn’t matter anyway, because studies show that social media users listen to micro-influencers more than macro ones anyway—but strike up a relationship with a thought leader in your field who is willing to give you a shoutout.

However, you mustn't become dependent on influencers. In an interview with Rocket Space, author Vincent Dignan says:

“[Influencers] can give you a traffic spike way bigger than a lot of the tactics I’m [discussing], but you also have to build your own community. Your own email list, your own Twitter followers, your own Facebook group, your own Facebook following.”

Why? Because those audiences cannot be taken from you as easily, whereas an influencer can decide to stop representing you at any point. So, feel free to use influencers to grab people’s attention—but then make sure you hold it.

Build partnerships with other businesses

Similar to influencer marketing, try collaborating with companies that are not direct competitors. This way, you can both tap into each other’s audiences, and you can use each other’s talents for creating content (and encouraging user-generated content). When you promote your partner on social media but have limited space to do so, you can supercharge your marketing with these URL shorteners.

Take advantage of social media analytics

Some social media platforms come with built-in analytics features, and there are plenty of high-quality third-party options to choose from. Either way, analytics tools are incredibly valuable for executing social media campaigns because they tell you what is performing well and what needs work. For instance, are you posting at the wrong time of day because your targeted audience isn’t online? Is one medium sparking more engagement than another? When you aren’t stumbling around in the dark, you can plan and execute a more effective social strategy.

Tech companies hoping to build audiences have a challenging task before them, but with it’s possible with a well-thought-out and adaptable plan. How will you grow your online audience?