7 Budget Friendly Marketing Strategies for Startups
Startups are usually strapped for money, which comes as no surprise considering the fact that the average cost to start a business is about $30K. Add to these the cost for office-rental fees, salaries, and other operational costs, and you’ll be able to understand why young companies struggle to remain up and running.
Because of this, many startup owners put marketing on the backburner. This is a big mistake, as neglecting marketing and advertising actually inhibits a company’s growth.
The good news is, effective marketing doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive. There’s a number of effective, low-cost strategies that can help your business grow, and here are 7 of them.
Social Media Marketing
The good thing about social media is that it is widely available and almost completely free. However, if you want to have success, you need to invest some time.
Begin by creating accounts on major social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Polish them out by adding enough details about your business, then start posting content that your target audience would like to see.
Make sure to stay active and engage with your audience. This is the best way to build a solid following that will be an anchor stream of traffic to your website.
Don’t forget to leverage LinkedIn. With over 450 million professionals available, LinkedIn is more than just a social site that serves to connect employers with job seekers. It is also a powerful marketing tool. LinkedIn connects individuals and adds value for startups looking to establish a firm foothold in a competitive industry.
In order to make the most of LinkedIn, consider using an automation tool. Ones like LinkedHelper offer features like LinkedIn emails extractor and LinkedIn bulk connection to help you achieve your marketing goals quickly and efficiently.
Don’t underestimate the power of email!
Email marketing is still one of the most effective and cost-efficient strategies around, claiming a return on investment of a staggering 400%!
The two fundamentals of successful email marketing campaigns are:
- Good, organically-curated email list and;
- Sending out a steady, non-invasive stream of emails.
When it comes to marketing your startup, there is one component that you don’t want to miss out on — video marketing.
Video has proven to be one of the most effective marketing tools, and for a good reason. Consumers like video because it is engaging, entertaining, easier to digest than plain text. Marketers like it because it can give a potentially huge ROI through various channels.
Despite common belief, video can be relatively inexpensive to produce, while generating a great return on investment. Plus, it offers endless opportunities for you to promote your brand: you can promote your content on social media using video, create a how-to series on YouTube, add videos to your email marketing, etc.
If you decide to start creating videos for your brand, you’ll need secure video hosting to safely keep your videos. While YouTube gives free video hosting, it might not be the best choice for businesses. Luckily, there are many video-hosting platforms that offer data storage and provide you with access to amazing editing tools. Choosing the best one for your business will depend on the ease of use, the features you are looking for, and, of course, the cost.
Search Engine Optimization
If you are producing blog posts for your content marketing campaign, you should consider optimizing that content for SEO.
Although SEO might sound too complex and even intimidating, some dedication and reading should be enough to give you an idea of what it’s all about.
Start by identifying relevant keywords that can attract traffic to your website. Choose the ones that have high search volume and low competition. Then, adjust your website by including those keywords.
In addition, you will need to make some structural changes, produce high-quality content on a regular basis, and get some backlinks. It’s true: SEO requires lots of effort but if you do it yourself, you’ll only be spending time while saving tons of money.
What better way to market your startup than by letting your happy customers do it for you? Considering the fact that people are 4 times more likely to buy a product when it is recommended by someone they know, you should definitely consider establishing a referral program.
This doesn’t cost much. What’s more, depending on how you structure it, it could even be completely free!. You can offer your customers a cash reward or discount on their subscriptions in exchange for referring you to new customers. Just make sure to get the word out to your customers!
News Features and Press Releases
As you might be aware, people like following the news, and most news outlets would be glad to report anything newsworthy you might have to offer.
Press releases are an affordable way to get your brand mentioned in major publications, and maybe even get several inbound links along the way. If you choose to do it yourself, taking some time to discover and contact journalists and editors, press releases can be a 100% free marketing strategy.
Unlike corporate branding, personal branding applies to you as an individual. The aim is to promote your knowledge and expertise on social media, as well as on your blog in order to earn new followers.
Having in mind that people trust other people more than they trust companies, this is a great way to get a separate channel you can use to attract new leads or publish your content – all completely free of charge.
If your startup is struggling with the budget, don’t rush to dismiss marketing as an option. Try to find creative ways to build brand recognition that don’t require substantial investment. Once you establish a steady stream of revenue, you will be able to invest in more expensive marketing strategies.