Startup series 4 - Choosing marketing channels

Startup series 4 - Choosing marketing channels

Beyond Growth | Startup series | How to choose the right marketing channels

Beyond Growth | Startup series | How to choose the right marketing channels

Last edited on:

Jan 9, 2024

Author:

Jordy Oost

This series of articles is crafted to help entrepreneurs and team members of early-stage companies grow their business. Because most articles were outdated, or aiming at big VC backed projects, we decided to create our own guide. Enjoy!

1️⃣ Startup series - part 1 - Generating a business idea
2️⃣ Startup series - part 2 - Validating your business idea
3️⃣ Startup series - part 3 - Identifying your ideal customer profile
4️⃣ Startup series - part 4 - Choosing the right marketing channels <— You are here

In this fourth part, we'll explore how to choose the right marketing channel for your business.

This series of articles is crafted to help entrepreneurs and team members of early-stage companies grow their business. Because most articles were outdated, or aiming at big VC backed projects, we decided to create our own guide. Enjoy!

1️⃣ Startup series - part 1 - Generating a business idea
2️⃣ Startup series - part 2 - Validating your business idea
3️⃣ Startup series - part 3 - Identifying your ideal customer profile
4️⃣ Startup series - part 4 - Choosing the right marketing channels <— You are here

In this fourth part, we'll explore how to choose the right marketing channel for your business.

Startup series - part 4 - choosing the right marketing channels - quote
Startup series - part 4 - choosing the right marketing channels - quote
Startup series - part 4 - choosing the right marketing channels - quote

1. Choosing the right marketing channels

Let's start with a simple truth: Not all marketing channels are equal, especially for early-stage companies.

The right channels can amplify your message, engage your audience and drive growth. While the wrong ones can drain your time and budget.

To find the right ones, you want to test and experiment. Your choice for selection of first channels to test and experiment with depends on your audience, product, team and the market.

In this chapter we will take a look at the things to take into consideration and subsequently at the channels that are available.

1. Choosing the right marketing channels

Let's start with a simple truth: Not all marketing channels are equal, especially for early-stage companies.

The right channels can amplify your message, engage your audience and drive growth. While the wrong ones can drain your time and budget.

To find the right ones, you want to test and experiment. Your choice for selection of first channels to test and experiment with depends on your audience, product, team and the market.

In this chapter we will take a look at the things to take into consideration and subsequently at the channels that are available.

2. Understanding your audience, product and budget

The right combination of marketing channels will differ based on your product and the phase your company is in, and is something you can only find by trial and error.

Before you make a selection and start testing with a selection of 1-3 channels, it is smart to take a look at your audience, product, team, the market and your budget.

Audience

Who are they? What do they need? How do they prefer to engage?

These are questions you should answer before you even begin to look at marketing channels.

Why? Because you need to know if your audience is represented on these channels. If you haven’t identified your ICP yet, take another look at the previous post in this series.


Product

The type of product you are selling will define which marketing and sales tactics are effective. High over, you can fit your product in either a low-touch or a high-touch product.

Low touch

Low touch usually has a low barrier before purchase; a low priced product or service that is easy to implement. Because of this a small amount of touch points from sales and marketing is needed. This often leads to short deal times/sales cycles.

High touch

High touch usually has a high barrier before purchase; a high priced product or service that is hard to implement. This requires a higher amount of touch points from sales and marketing. Often deal times are longer and you should think about nurturing and retargeting of prospects.

The market

A nuanced understanding of your competitors and dynamics of the market are valuable in multiple ways. During early stages of your company this is usually something you're still working on. Figuring out which marketing channels your competitors are using is a solid next step in this progress.

Where does the traffic towards their website come from? Within which communities are they active? Are they present on conferences and events? Which logo's can you spot on their website and what are the business cases behind them?

This exercise is not about imitation but about uncovering insights into why certain channels are preferred over others within your niche.

Team and budget

Take a look at the budget you have available and the capabilities of your team. This allows you to estimate the amount of budget and hours you have available on a monthly basis for working on campaigns and hiring specialists.


Put your research to paper

>>> Before moving to the next chapter, you want to make sure you have answered the following questions:

  • Who is my target audience and where do they hang out?

  • What type of funnel fits my product, and do I need many marketing and sales touches before I can close a deal? 


  • Where are my competitors active and what are they doing?

  • Which marketing and sales expertise do I have in house and what is my marketing budget?

2. Understanding your audience, product and budget

The right combination of marketing channels will differ based on your product and the phase your company is in, and is something you can only find by trial and error.

Before you make a selection and start testing with a selection of 1-3 channels, it is smart to take a look at your audience, product, team, the market and your budget.

Audience

Who are they? What do they need? How do they prefer to engage?

These are questions you should answer before you even begin to look at marketing channels.

Why? Because you need to know if your audience is represented on these channels. If you haven’t identified your ICP yet, take another look at the previous post in this series.


Product

The type of product you are selling will define which marketing and sales tactics are effective. High over, you can fit your product in either a low-touch or a high-touch product.

Low touch

Low touch usually has a low barrier before purchase; a low priced product or service that is easy to implement. Because of this a small amount of touch points from sales and marketing is needed. This often leads to short deal times/sales cycles.

High touch

High touch usually has a high barrier before purchase; a high priced product or service that is hard to implement. This requires a higher amount of touch points from sales and marketing. Often deal times are longer and you should think about nurturing and retargeting of prospects.

The market

A nuanced understanding of your competitors and dynamics of the market are valuable in multiple ways. During early stages of your company this is usually something you're still working on. Figuring out which marketing channels your competitors are using is a solid next step in this progress.

Where does the traffic towards their website come from? Within which communities are they active? Are they present on conferences and events? Which logo's can you spot on their website and what are the business cases behind them?

This exercise is not about imitation but about uncovering insights into why certain channels are preferred over others within your niche.

Team and budget

Take a look at the budget you have available and the capabilities of your team. This allows you to estimate the amount of budget and hours you have available on a monthly basis for working on campaigns and hiring specialists.


Put your research to paper

>>> Before moving to the next chapter, you want to make sure you have answered the following questions:

  • Who is my target audience and where do they hang out?

  • What type of funnel fits my product, and do I need many marketing and sales touches before I can close a deal? 


  • Where are my competitors active and what are they doing?

  • Which marketing and sales expertise do I have in house and what is my marketing budget?

3. An overview of channels - How to choose

Marketing channels can fall into a wide array of of categories. Two categories that are especially important are Paid/Organic and Short term/Long term.

When selecting your first combination of channels you want to make sure that you balance both short- and long-term strategies.

A well-rounded approach ensures immediate market presence and lead inflow while steadily growing a sustainable brand, setting the stage for lasting success and resilience.

3. An overview of channels - How to choose

Marketing channels can fall into a wide array of of categories. Two categories that are especially important are Paid/Organic and Short term/Long term.

When selecting your first combination of channels you want to make sure that you balance both short- and long-term strategies.

A well-rounded approach ensures immediate market presence and lead inflow while steadily growing a sustainable brand, setting the stage for lasting success and resilience.

Balancing long-term and short-term strategies in channel selection

When selecting marketing channels, you want to balance short-term wins with long-term goals. Short-term strategies, like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, can drive immediate results and quick boosts in traffic or sales. 

However, solely focusing on these can overlook the enduring benefits of long-term strategies like SEO or content marketing, which build brand authority and customer loyalty over time.


Budget considerations: balancing costs with potential ROI

Budgeting is a critical aspect of your channel selection strategy. It’s not just about how much you can spend, but also about how you allocate your funds across different channels for maximum impact.

Here's a practical approach:

  • Start with a test Budget: Allocate a small amount to test a channel. Monitor the performance closely.

  • Track and measure: Use tools to track the effectiveness of each channel. Metrics like customer acquisition cost (CAC), conversion rate, and engagement rates are key. Do keep in mind that not everything is measurable.

  • Scale wisely: Once you identify channels that work, gradually increase your investment while continuously monitoring performance.

An overview of marketing channels


Balancing long-term and short-term strategies in channel selection

When selecting marketing channels, you want to balance short-term wins with long-term goals. Short-term strategies, like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, can drive immediate results and quick boosts in traffic or sales. 

However, solely focusing on these can overlook the enduring benefits of long-term strategies like SEO or content marketing, which build brand authority and customer loyalty over time.


Budget considerations: balancing costs with potential ROI

Budgeting is a critical aspect of your channel selection strategy. It’s not just about how much you can spend, but also about how you allocate your funds across different channels for maximum impact.

Here's a practical approach:

  • Start with a test Budget: Allocate a small amount to test a channel. Monitor the performance closely.

  • Track and measure: Use tools to track the effectiveness of each channel. Metrics like customer acquisition cost (CAC), conversion rate, and engagement rates are key. Do keep in mind that not everything is measurable.

  • Scale wisely: Once you identify channels that work, gradually increase your investment while continuously monitoring performance.

An overview of marketing channels


Conclusion

Selecting the right marketing channels for your early-stage company is a blend of science and intuition.

It requires an understanding of your audience, a strategic approach to budgeting, and a willingness to experiment and learn. 

Start with running tests on 1-2 channels. Test, scale and repeat.

Conclusion

Selecting the right marketing channels for your early-stage company is a blend of science and intuition.

It requires an understanding of your audience, a strategic approach to budgeting, and a willingness to experiment and learn. 

Start with running tests on 1-2 channels. Test, scale and repeat.

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