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10 marketing, communication and PR tips for startups

Marketing for startups is one of the fundamental tools to communicate your product. Marketing helps to scale the product, bring traction and sell more. Also communication and PR. In Lisbon, we work together with Google and the Portuguese investment fund Beta-i, one of our favorites in the sector in Lisbon.

We travel to the Portuguese country to work with 8 incredible startups from the Portuguese international ecosystem. We work with them to improve their business through marketing, communication, and PR.

Startups of Lisbon Challenge

Improving the marketing of incredible international startups in Portugal
These are the fantastic projects that we are collaborating with and that we hope will achieve great things.

Monitor Fish. This startup monitors in real time and in an intelligent way the fish from the hatchery. Through the AI, Monitor Fish helps the fish farming companies to improve fish welfare, reduce their loss, optimize their production, minimize costs and financial risks of the business.
Sparkl. It’s a platform for beauty services at home. Connect beauty professionals with clients. Their main clients are mothers who lack time to go to beauty salons. Among its services, they offer manicures, pedicures, waxing, makeup, and hairdressing. They have a luxury ambassador for the brand, Cláudia Vieira, actress, model and presenter from Lisbon.

Placeme. It’s a tool that helps companies in their businesses. Through data and location, they predict the potential of product sales and the chances of success depending on the place chosen by the companies. They are working in Poland too.
Winemnt. It’s a platform that automates the process of ordering wine for restaurants. It also helps restaurants with the selection of wines. This startup provides restaurants with a list of wine suggestions for the actual consumption of their customers and with future needs.
Luvotels. It’s a Brazilian marketplace to book hotels for a short space of time. They focus on Millennials and help hotels connect with this type of clientele.
Tiger Time. It’s a freemium tool that helps users to concentrate on work tasks and limits distractions. Gamify the experience and also finds blocks of time that the user can take advantage of.
Parkio. It’s a platform that connects drivers with free spaces to park in real time. Parkio drivers find parking lots and can pay via an app.
Citycheck. It’s a game app that is based on the cities that families visit. During the trip, children and parents can learn by playing about the place they are visiting.
List of startups of Lisbon Challenge

These 8 incredible startups are part of the Lisbon Challenge. It’s a program in which we collaborate and that helps startups build and launch their product in 10 weeks.

It has been a very good experience. One and one of the things that we liked most about this experience is the model that Beta-i has to accelerate startups, with an international focus.

10 marketing, communication and PR tips for startups
For two days we have worked intensively to help these 8 incredible startups to accelerate their business, make them grow through marketing, PR, and communication.

These are the 10 tips that we share with them:

1. Know your user well. It is useless to create strategies, actions, hire AdWords campaigns, Facebook ADS or Twitter if you do not know who your user is and who will use your product.

Although this seems simple to do, it’s very common in the startup sector that while validating the business model, the user changes. Know who he is, how he is, what interests he has, his day to day, what frustrates him, what he wants, the media and the blog he reads. All this information will make life much easier when creating a marketing and communication strategy.

Placeme working on Personas

Working with “People” is essential when designing your solution. It helps you to know and identify the profile of the main clients of your startup and have it always in mind when doing any marketing, operations or product

2. Before creating a strategy, ask yourself what for. First of all, before making any strategy, ask yourself, for what? What do we want to achieve with it? Having it clear and to whom it is directed, we can create a specific plan with concrete actions.

3. Study your competition and copy. Investigate how your competition is doing in marketing and communication; what works and what does not work Also in what is good, what you could do better than them, and in what you differ.

Remember: copying is not bad. Sometimes you do not need to innovate. If you see that your competition does something that works, copy it and measure if it gives good results for you

4. Set a specific goal. When we work with startups one of the questions we ask in marketing is what you want to achieve and what your goal is. The answers that we find are very diverse. They range from creating user engagement, winning customers, until people download my app, among others. Well, these are very general objectives.

A goal must be SMART [Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, With a specific time]. It is what we call internally landing the objectives. A good example of a SMART objective is: “I want to gain 5,000 active users in my application in the next 3 months”.

When setting objectives, ask yourself how you are going to measure it and how you decide that it has been fulfilled or not. So you have measurable objectives and you can prioritize which one is more important for your business and follow up on whether you meet it or not

5. Sit with your team and involve them in the marketing plan. From experience, we know that freeing time in a startup is difficult. But it is necessary. Investing time is investing money (and yes, time is money). Working as a team is what makes a product meaningful, avoids misunderstandings, saves time and money, aligns expectations.

The magic happens when the product, the CTOs, the CEO and the marketing ones all sit at the same table. It is when what we call collisions occur. In Hackity in each project, we have sessions in which the whole team shares and exposes their vision for the magic to happen.

Working with Sparkl

Each of the people on the team is also a source of ideas that can make your startup grow quickly. Each member can bring new angles to the solution. That is why it is necessary to sit down with the team and work with him on the marketing strategy.

Do not you know how to do it?

With Design Sprint, for example, which is a good methodology to work on the marketing plan. In just 3-5 days you can establish a marketing strategy with concrete and measurable actions. With a very tight budget.

If you do not have so much time, you can do a session with your team. To achieve this you need to block the availability of the equipment in the calendar (it can be a morning, an afternoon). Plan ahead what you want to do during that session. We recommend that you create an agenda and share it with the team 2-3 days before the session so that all the team is informed. During the session, he works with a defined and concrete objective to look for actions that achieve that goal. Do not forget how those actions are going to be measured and how the achievement of the object is validated or rejected.

What it is about is to detect the actions that multiply x10 the objective to make growth hacking. Discarding actions that imply growing below 10%

 6. Plan. It’s the key to any marketing strategy. It is important to create a marketing plan and put it in a document, with dates, actions, channels, campaigns that are going to be done. The more specific, the better. This will make you not improvise in your strategy, do not deviate and the team takes better advantage of time and money.

In the event that you make a content plan for the blog, think about who will build the content? How often will it be published? Who will edit it? What is the publication process that will be followed? In RRSS, the same. Create a monthly calendar to plan the contents that you will share in RRSS and write the key messages.
7. Take care of the landing page. If what is involved is to sell, the web landing of startups is the gateway. Choose quality, careful and attractive images that support our product or service we offer. Choose well the copies, copies that convert, include CTAs with a clear call to action to use our product or service. Communicate in a human language and understandable by your user.

Include the benefits of your product, explanatory videos, use testimonials of your product or service. And the logos, clients and important prizes we have. All this makes a landing page, an attractive landing page. Beware of misspellings and misprints. They remain credible and tarnish the product.

Tiger time

8. Communicate what you do. Because communication is also part of a marketing strategy and helps sell what a startup does. Communicate out what you are doing through your RRSS, blog, website; and communicate your team inside.

Work with each team member on a small elevator pitch on the startup that includes: who you are, what you do, the problem, the product and how it is solved. Each member can adapt it to their own words. What is involved is that the team knows the product well and knows how to communicate it. We also recommend that you work on several pitches: investment, product presentation, as well as different dossiers: commercial, investment, and media.

Adapt language and information according to your audience

9. Bet on a media strategy. It’s also important to communicate what a startup does to the media. And it’s about doing well and offering them what they need. Looking for the perfect approach each startup has a very valuable information to communicate to the media. It is not about frying press releases and information that is not relevant to them. It’s about understanding how the media works and how our startup can help them.

This PR strategy is based on building a relationship of trust with the media that is achieved over time, with follow-up and dedication. It is not hiring advertising.

We recommend that you always have a dossier of media and photos in a high quality of your product and the team.

The media dossier should be as simple as possible. And you have to explain in a simple and understandable way what your product/service does, how it works, who you are and the equipment. Include the most relevant: if you have won important prizes, if you are working with famous companies and enter relevant figures. We recommend you do the dossier in word and pdf; that has 10 maximum sheets and does not weigh more than 2 megabytes.

10. Measure the results. To see if the strategy and actions are working, you have to measure them. For this, what is used are the KPIs. The KPI (Key Performance Indicators) is part of the marketing strategy.

Some basic KPIs is the conversion rate, the bounce rate, the duration of the visit on the web, CAC, the number of RT, number of likes.

We recommend that you use Google Analytics and take a few minutes to watch this video from our data scientist team leader, Manuel Rodríguez. It explains in a simple way how to analyze the information about this tool.


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