Maly Ly on the TechCrunch Meetup PanelLast night, I participated in a TechCrunch Meetup panel on “Marketing for Startups“, hosted and moderated by the folks at EFactor.

Other than myself, the Director of Marketing at AdRoll, the panel participants talking about startup marketing included Lisa Abramson, director of marketing at Rhythm; Mark Schmulen, GM at Constant Contact; and Evan Reiser, CEO of AdStack. The event was intimate, with 60+ attendees. Panelists and attendees engaged in a dynamic discussion on navigating the constantly changing marketing terrain and how to best utilize limited resources in a startup environment.

In light of last night’s event, here are a few of my top tips for startup marketers (often on a team of one):

1. Optimize Search

Successful SEO efforts are hard to execute but often have the highest ROI of any type of marketing. Real SEO strategy is not about clever on-page optimization where best practices are well documented. Instead focus on researching your industry’s top keywords & your competitors’ information and positioning. Then use this to execute and develop effective content strategy.

These posts are a good place to start for more in-depth SEO for startups:

2. Retargeting to Re-engage

98% of your website visitors leave your site without completing a transaction. Since they visited, they’re obviously interested. Retargeting can be as effective as search and is an essential part of the marketing mix. Best of all, it doesn’t cost much. At AdRoll, we’ve made it our mission to make innovative retargeting simple and affordable for businesses of all sizes through our industry-leading SaaS platform. You can get started with our free trial and should you decide to continue, you can spend as little as 25 dollars a week. Don’t forget to experiment and run testing on various messaging/creative/promotions to maximize click-through rates and conversions.For retargeting best practices, watch a few videos from a recent Retargeting News post.

3. PR and Content Creation

Take the time to build solid relationships with journalists in your space before you ask them to write about your company. Familiarize yourself with the topics they’re writing about and make sure that your pitch is actually relevant to their beat.Follow relevant blogs and forums in order to stay up-to-speed on trending topics. Find out where your customers are searching for information or support to meet their goals and listen to them. You can then leverage social media channels and your own blog to provide them with content of value.If you can’t afford to hire an in-house PR rep or an agency, here’s a great article from Inc. on managing your own PR:Do-It-Yourself Public Relations.

4. Partner Up

It’s imperative to network and create strong relationships with businesses or non-profit organizations supporting similar customers. Cut costs by co-sponsoring events and leveraging your partners’ marketing channels. Network, network, network!