LC016: Marketing tactics for early stage startups

launchpeer - June 18, 2018

Today’s question:

Today’s question comes from Michael. Michael asks, what tactics should I use to grow my early stage startup? How do I know what tactics to use when we don’t have a lot of capital to run ads and don’t have time to wait for results from content marketing?

Jake’s answer:

While we do work with founders on marketing at Launchpeer, we are not a full-service marketing agency. And that’s by design. Marketing agencies are great for large companies who don’t have the time or resources to keep a marketing professional on staff full-time. However, at a startup, it’s a different story.

Focus + Experiment

As a startup, you aren’t just trying to do marketing, you are trying to get traction. When you are trying to get traction, it’s important to find the channel you can use to gain that traction. The only way to do that is to experiment and focus all of your resources on one or two strategies at a time to see what really works.

Your startup’s time and resources are like a pie. As your startup grows, you can divide the pie up to more resources without noticing much is missing. But in the early stages, there’s only so much pie to go around so you must stay focused.

Chances are, you are either doing many of your marketing activities yourself or you’ve hired someone to do it, which will get very expensive very fast.

Content Marketing + SEO

SEO is a long-term investment and for early stage startups, it’s important to get traction now – not a year from now. Content marketing can be intertwined with SEO, in which you play the long game. Additionally, content marketing for SEO purposes can be challenging if you are in a competitive industry. If you are competing in a crowded market, then it will take even longer for SEO efforts to pay off.

However, if you use content marketing for traction, then it can be beneficial. If you write content geared toward a specific niche or in an uncrowded market it can be effective, too.

One way to make an immediate impact with your content is to piggyback off of established content publishers ideas that are out there. But as most seasoned content marketers know, out of every ten posts you write, only one is likely to be a hit. And sometimes it may be more than than ten – maybe it’s twenty.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t write content at all as an early stage startup. Having a blog or content section on your site builds credibility and trust with customers, so it does serve a purpose beyond traction.

Get Results Fast

Your marketing tactics should be measurable and testable. Running PPC ads is an easy way to do this. If I’m running an ad and tracking conversions I can see Day One if it’s working. Even if an ad is expensive, it gives me a place to start making improvements.

Your marketing tactics should be measurable and testable. Click To Tweet

Giveaways are another way to gain traction fast for startups. You can get creative and give away something that targets your ideal customer.

If you are in the B2B space, then cold emailing is an effective way to gain traction. You can send a 100 emails each day and track how many people open it, how many people reply, and how many people convert so you know what works at rapid pace – not having to wait 6-12 months for results, which most startups don’t have.

If you visit you can schedule a call to discuss the marketing tactics you could be experimenting with in your startup.

Ask Your Own Question

Got questions about startups and/or startup culture? We’ve got answers. Head over to and record your own question to have it featured on the show.

TechCruch Disrupt Giveaway

We’re giving one Founder a free ticket to TechCrunch Disrupt 2018 in San Fransisco. We’re also going to cover the winner’s flight and hotel. You can enter the giveaway and get all the details at

Stay in Touch

Ask your own question
Follow Jake Twitter
Check out Jake’s articles Medium
Jake’s personal site
Check out Launchpeer
Follow Launchpeer on Twitter