Marketing For Startups: What We Learned At Collision Conference

After attending Collision Conference in 2017, not only did we learn more about robots to live video, but we also got to talk with startups about their marketing strategies. We learned what they found challenging, what was successful, and what advice they have for other startups struggling with their marketing plans.

Here’s what they had to say.

Tips From Travis Murdock, Atlas Informatics

Travis, CMO at Atlas Informatics, finds credibility in third-party testimonials. Coverage from media relations with journalists and trusted influencers has been the best marketing tool for the company.

In addition, search engine optimization (SEO) and social visibility are crucial to marketing success. SEO is critical in determining your place in promoted search options, especially as a startup with a limited digital footprint. All messages are carefully crafted and targeted, especially through search engines and on Facebook. Specialized content is what drives engagement, along with tagging third-party influencers, which leads to more inbound linking.

“Around 90 percent of web sessions start with a search.” (Travis, Atlas Informatics)

They also see extreme value in video. The explainer video on the Atlas Informatics home page is the most clicked link on the site. The video is compelling and gets straight to the point, without bogging users down with information overload. A brief breakdown of the product keeps viewers engaged without boring them.

You can find Atlas Informatics on Twitter and Facebook.

Tips From Cecilia Haynes, Help Scout

Cecilia from Help Scout says her marketing strategy lives up to the “help scout” name. She emphasizes the importance of investing time into your customers and providing the best service possible. Better service and a stronger customer relationship leads to greater revenue. She has also found that word-of-mouth does well in fostering that customer loyalty as well.

Cecilia believes that video can be an effective marketing tool. It helps draw attention to your brand, helping you elevate yourself with the details. It’s visually appealing and compelling, which helps startups and small businesses attract more attention. Not only can you convey a lot through video, but you can also get a large amount of content through it.

Just one video post can lead to write-ups, reviews, transcript, blog posts, infographics, and the list continues. Video provides you will so much material to brand your startup, and gives you flexibility in shaping that material to match certain formats.

Cecilia finds the greatest success in continuing to strengthen relationships with customers, through social media and video. You can find Help Scout on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Tips From Rachel Koretsky, Upace

Rachel, founder of Upace, stressed the importance of having knowledge about your market and product when building your startup. She found that having a fully developed product and greater understanding of the market made her marketing strategy more successful. Startups need to understand their brand and purpose before entering the market. Knowing your brand ensures that you can find members that believe in your product and create a loyal customer base.

Word-of-mouth is incredibly effective. Creating a conversation builds user loyalty. Rather than simply pushing her product, Rachel showed users the benefits, proving how it can actually help them in their everyday lives.

Rachel also found success in content marketing on different social media platforms. She provides content for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts. The most important aspect of this kind of marketing though? Specializing the content.

The most successful strategy is in personalizing the content for each outlet. She doesn’t post the same media on all accounts. Most of her Instagram posts are videos of users exercising, while her Facebook posts are more content oriented, like blogs and infographics. This content is always specialized to what her followers want to see, whether its recipes or workout tips.


Personalization is the backbone of a successful social media marketing strategy.

You can find Upace on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Tips From Obi Omile & Kush Patel, theCut

Obi and Kush from theCut — an app that connects barbers to clients — had similar advice to Rachel’s. They agreed that having a good product is necessary before you begin marketing your startup. You need to be solving a real need that appeals to your potential users.

“Connecting the best barbers with clients who need them.” (theCut)

They found that one of their most successful marketing strategies was through word-of-mouth. They were able to spread through word-of-mouth because of their shareable and interactive social media strategy. Obi and Kush use Instagram to repost creative styling they see on the social media platform. This creates a two-way conversation that opens up an opportunity to connect with both clients and barbers.

Reaching out online — through Instagram — was what really pushed their marketing strategy to success. You can find theCut on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


Tips From Vince Crisler, Dark Cubed

Vince, founder of Dark Cubed, believes that building a community is crucial for startups. A strong community leads to word-of-mouth awareness and results in user growth. Sharing thoughts with your community, whether through blogs or social media interaction, can also help strengthen that bond. Vince actively uses Twitter as one of his outreach platforms. He is able to communicate quickly and efficiently with his audience in an engaging way.

The Dark Cubed marketing strategy isn’t confined to the online world. Vince often capitalizes on press and public relations events, like Collision Conference. Meeting people on the floor gives the brand a face, a person users can feel comfortable communicating with.  

Like Atlas Informatics, Vince agrees that having an explainer video has been helpful in marketing his product. Being able to clearly outline product features and capabilities through video helps increase engagement among users.

You can find Dark Cubed on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


1. Do not underestimate the power of word-of-mouth for startups.

2. Have a finished product before you start marketing.

3. Know your market and audience.

4. Use explainer videos to build brand awareness.

5. Build your community.

Updated on February 7, 2020

Katie Murray, Marketing and Communications at Green Buzz Agency. Emily Herman contributed to this post.