By Charles Dearing

No matter what industry you are in and what kind of business you do, marketing is going to be an essential part of it. This is especially true in case of startups. At the end of the day, every business is aimed to bring profits, but without marketing and promotion, this goal would be very hard to achieve.

When it comes to online marketing campaigns, everything has to be planned and executed smartly. Here are 5 marketing hacks that will help you accelerate your business growth.

1. Start with Your Ideal Customer

The first thing you want to do is make an image of your ideal customer. It’s impossible to promote your product/service to everybody: you need to find the right group of people that will truly benefit from the products you offer. Think about what your product means for your customers, what kind of problems it solves and which pain points it addresses. This is the first step to take in any marketing campaign, everything else has to evolve around it.

2. Create Content that Speaks Directly to Your Ideal Customers

The buying habits of consumers have changed a lot during the years. It’s not enough for a sales rep to promote products to people anymore. In fact, an average consumer has already made his or her buying decision by 57% before even talking to a sales rep. Consumers identify their needs themselves and go online to find solutions and answers for those needs. There are hundreds of articles and e-books about almost every problem that a potential consumer might have, the only difference is the quality of that content.

In order to help consumers make the right choice, you need to create truly exceptional content that will directly address their needs and provide actionable solutions for them. This is a solid way to create trust between your brand and the potential consumer and really stand out from your competitors.

3. Use Social Media to Maximum Advantage

Having exceptional content is the first step. The next step will be to share that content with the world and there is no better way to do it than through social media. However, you need to be very mindful of what you share with the world. Pareto’s 80/20 rule of thumb should be applied to social media as it is applied to business in general. Only 20% of your social media content should be promotional, and 80% needs to be the exceptional content that you created, which will help people solve actual (not fictional) problems.

Keep in mind that you are not going to get a 1000 followers in a few months. You probably won’t get 1000 followers in one year. It takes time and effort to gain trust and followers on social media. Think of it like a 4-week long marathon compared to a hundred meter dash. As long as you target the right consumers and continuously strive to provide value to them, people will start listening, slowly but steadily.

4. Constantly Analyze Your Activities

Analytics will help you understand whether you are on the right track or not. The good part of online marketing is that it can be measured to a certain degree and you always want to follow data over assumptions. If analytics tell you that something isn’t working out, you should consider changing it ASAP, even if you think that it should be working well. A/B tests are a very simple and effective way to test stuff out and determine what you should do more of or less of. The more you test, the more you know.

5. Send Well Written and Relevant Emails

The exceptional content that you created before will help you collect email addresses from your potential consumers and gradually build a big database. Sometimes consumers aren’t ready to buy something on the first go; they need some more nurturing. Knowing exactly what your customers are interested in will give you a chance to create relevant emails that will offer even more value and solutions to your audience.

Marketing may seem to be hazardous and complex at a glance, but it’s more about caring than selling. Focus on your customers and help them solve their issues, and you will notice your revenue going up as they show their gratitude towards your company.