We all love our myths. Whether it’s the elusive unicorn or the great beard of Zeus, a good myth expands our imagination.
A bad myth, however, can cloud our judgment, inspire poor decisions or trap us in bad habits and misguided beliefs. If you read the internet on any given day, you’ll come across some myth busting. Lucky you, today you’ve stumbled on another round of debunking. This time we tackle the startup myths, particularly pertaining to marketing misconceptions, we encounter much too often.
So let’s do as Poseidon would, and dive right in.
Myth #1 All Content Marketing Works for Everyone
Content Marketing encompasses so many styles, channels and strategies, to assume that every facet of it can work for every kind of business is just plain silly. Just like the idea that you can’t be everything to everybody, certain types of content marketing will not work for every case.
When approaching content marketing for your business, your goal should be customization. Pick and choose what will work for you and focus on knocking it out of the park. For example, a whitepaper is great for explaining really formal and detailed information. This might work great for a software company but not make any sense for a shoe company. A Planned Parenthood location would probably not need a twitter account, but would do well with information kits and guides.
This starts by mapping out your goals but also knowing who your audience is and how to boost your appeal to them without stretching yourself too thin.
Myth # 2 Social Media Marketing Is Free
Sorry to burst your bubble.
It’s true that you don’t have to pay anything to set up a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, (the list is long) account for your startup, but you’re sadly mistaken if you believe these platforms come at no expense to your business.
For a startup, time is the most valuable commodity. How you spend it should be measured in dollar and cents. Time you spend on growing your presence on social media is time you’re not spending on product testing, research, business development or plain ol’ accounting.
The debate on social media marketing and ROI is a tale as old as time. Vanity metrics aside, your focus should be measuring social media interaction and engagement against traffic numbers. Experiment with trackable links, such as bitly, to see what content is generating traffic and what is falling flat.
Without diligently measuring your social media input and output, you could literally be burning through time and money.
Myth #3 You Can’t Afford PR
You can’t afford not to have a PR strategy or plan in place for your company. Getting your story out there can be the difference between stardom and fading into obscurity. Okay, maybe not as melodramatic as that.
True, some startups have the midas touch when it comes to gaining snowball-like press momentum but that doesn’t mean your startup has to spend an arm and a leg to achieve the same.
While startups are sprouting up all over the place, so are helpful and affordable startup PR tools like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) that helps connect reporters with industry experts. Another approach is to offer your service and product up for free in return for a written review.
We love how Artsicle founder, Alex Tryon, described her very human approach to social media in this Small Empires episode. It is called public relations, the relationship aspect is truly important (not to mention cost effective!)
Myth # 4 Your Startup Can’t Compete Against the Big Guys with the Big Bucks
It’s just WAY too obvious to fold under the impression that you need to match marketing spend with the giant corporate titans in your industry in order to compete. You’re too smart to believe this myth.
Instead of focussing on just the dollar amount that goes into marketing budgets, shift your perspective to what you can achieve that your competition cannot. Being a startup, you’re likely to have less bureaucratic nonsense to have to push through. This can make you more agile and creative allowing you to experiment with your brand personality.
You can market your company to a niche audience and better foster long-term relationships and increase the lifetime value of each customer by building up brand loyalty. Be faster and more dedicated than your competition, step up to the plate when they can’t and fill in the gaps.
Actions speak much louder than an expensive ad campaign or fancy events. Being David is so much cooler than Goliath, trust us.
Like we said, the difference between a good myth and a bad myth is that one expands our imagination while the other creates imaginary boundaries. Tear down these walls with a little critical and creative thinking. Just remember that obstacles are often just opportunities in disguise. And that unicorns, totally exist.
Ever busted through a long held startup myth? We’d like to hear how your story, please leave a comment below!