Yearly, new businesses continue to spring up. At the same time, existing ones fade into oblivion. A perfect look at the situation reveals that startups face many challenges in gaining a foothold in the market. But a major reason why many of them pack their bags is related to marketing. Indeed, marketing is like the lifeblood of any organization. It is the best way to bring in prospects and retain existing customers.
According to Forbes, the inability to determine the right product and a poor marketing strategy are just some of the reasons why a lot of startups fail. Needless to say, any company that is going to rise beyond the initial start will definitely have to overcome the challenges of marketing.
Getting down to the heart of the matter, we see that the cost of marketing in a competitive market can be hard to keep up with. So, businesses that can’t afford effective marketing channels are forced to use other not-so-effective marketing strategies to get the word out about themselves.
As a result, growth is slower than it should be. Fortunately, the times have changed, and new and less expensive or restrictive marketing options have emerged, thanks to the emergence of disruptive technologies.
Suppose you run a startup, and you often find yourself in a fix when it comes to pushing your brand aggressively in the market without breaking the bank. In that case, you should consider trying some of these seven low-budget marketing strategies for startups.
#1 – Social Media Marketing
Social media is about the cheapest marketing platform out there. It costs nothing to set up an account, and it takes minimal effort to use it effectively.
The advantage is the enormous number of people on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter every single day. All that you need to do is create and post engaging content always.
Suppose you’re able to build a strong reputation online. Chances are your customer base will increase as you build a sterling social media profile that brings in the money. But you’ll need to invest heavily in creating captivating content.
There’s also an option of using paid ads to advertise your products or services. And the icing on the cake is that you can always include a link to your website in each post or ad, thereby leading potential clients to your website.
#2 – Content Marketing
Content marketing is the use of content to drive publicity while targeting a particular kind of audience. It involves the strategic use of infographics, videos, pictures, blogs, and podcasts to bring prospects to see your business online.
Content marketing is relatively inexpensive, but it requires consistency and a well-worked out strategy to be successful. This means that there must be a plan for creating content and posting it regularly to keep your audience engaged. You may use a dedicated blog and your social media handles to achieve this.
#3 – SEO
Today, many online businesses rely on organic digital marketing’s phenomenal power to drive inbound traffic and grow their business. SEO involves the careful use of rich content on your website to provide answers and solutions to what people are searching for. And in the process, make your business very visible to prospects. SEO requires that you keep a tab on what’s trending in your niche and how to strategically leverage that knowledge to improve the content on your website.
Because of the technicality it entails, it is best to outsource this to experts. You can learn it yourself, but it would take quite a bit of time to become proficient at it. Either way, it is a budget-friendly advertising method and is suitable for both startups and bigger businesses.
#4 – Referrals
Using referrals is undeniably one of the best marketing strategies there is. It is a marketing method that both startups and large corporations can use to strengthen their brand reputation and acquire new customers. We all like to get recommendations from friends and family, despite the beautiful commercials we see about a product.
If you’re able to set up an effective referral program, your clients will do the work of marketing for you. You could use a discount to encourage them to tell people they know about your business.
A gift card or a reward system can also help you achieve that; a simple follow up call to find out if they were satisfied with your services and products can go a long way in getting them to spread the word about your business.
#5 – Email Marketing
Email marketing is another highly effective marketing tool that’s suitable for startups. Without spending a lot, you can spread the word about your business to thousands of people weekly. However, you would need to spend some time and resources to build a list of potential subscribers. This could be done by asking your blog audience to sign up to get free updates on topics of interest to them.
By sending a steady and non-invasive stream of content-rich emails every week, you will be able to generate new clients.
#6 – Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is writing and publishing articles or content related to your business on someone else’s website or blog. This allows you to create backlinks to your website or promote your brand.
Guest blogging is another type of SEO tactic that you can use to drive traffic to your blogs and websites. The backlinks help in optimizing your site’s appearance on search engine results pages like Google.
However, this is tricky because you will need to find a website that’s willing to accept your content, and you’ll also need to engage a good writer for the content.
#7 – Participating in Social Events
An excellent way to push your public image is by participating in social events such as volunteering, charity, and supporting a general cause. If you can sponsor events, you may also do that. It helps your branding as an entity.