Businesses need to spend a considerable amount of money on their marketing. This can be quite difficult for start-up and small business owners who are already struggling to meet numerous other expenses. The good news for them is- marketing has become affordable and easier with the emergence of social media and digital marketing.
With a little creativity, start-ups can market themselves efficiently yet cost-effectively through these channels. Here are ten such low-budget marketing strategies for start-ups.
10 Low-Budget Marketing Strategies for StartUps
1. Content marketing
One of the best low-budget marketing strategies for start-ups and other businesses is content marketing. It involves creating, publishing, and disseminating content for a targeted online audience. It can attract and engage leads, and thus can increase your customer base and increase sales. You just need to keep posting regularly to keep leads, prospects, and customers interested and updated.
Your content can take different forms such as blogs, articles, press releases, infographics, newsletters, videos, social media posts, posters, advertisements, etc. Your content should be unique, interesting, useful, and shareable. This will motivate readers who are impressed by your content to share them in their circle.
Brand marketing is all about creating a connection with your audience, and one of the best ways to do that is through stories. Stories have the ability to take us to other worlds, to make us feel emotions, and to give us a new perspective on familiar topics. By harnessing the power of story, you can create marketing content that is both memorable and effective. There are business storytelling workshops available to help you hone your craft and learn how to create compelling content that unlocks your brand’s true potential.
2. Social media marketing
Social media marketing is not only cheap but also effective in increasing your brand awareness and engagement. For, it opens up the potential to reach even millions. There are numerous social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit to choose from. Find and target those networks where your target audiences are spending most of their time.
Open your business account for free and keep posting creative, attractive, interesting, relevant, and engaging content there. Link the content to your website contextually. For instance, if you’re a shoe manufacturer and/or seller, talk about the latest collections available in the market, and then link your post to the product page.
3. Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most capable low-budget marketing strategies for start-ups. It involves manipulating your website to rank it higher in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) to increase site visibility and thereby increase website traffic. Though it involves a bit of technical knowledge, it isn’t rocket science. You just need to have a basic understanding of it.
Here are some useful tactics to employ-
Find and use appropriate keywords and their densities.
Identify pages with declining traffic (content decay) and fix them by refreshing old content.
Align with search intent by covering related questions.
Improve your site’s user experience by making your content easy to read, increasing website speed, and simplifying navigation.
Make your site mobile-friendly
Link your site internally as well as externally (backlinking).
Ensure that your site loads on HTPPS.
Fix “404 Page Errors” by re-directly URLs.
Target local searchers with listings and landing pages.
4. Referral marketing
Referral marketing involves getting your existing customers to spread your brand via word-of-mouth promotion. Referral marketing statistics say that people are four times more likely to buy a product that is referred to them by a friend. You need to have a structured referral program in place to successfully tap into this potential.
You can get your existing customers with brand affinity to introduce their friends, folks, and colleagues to you by incentivizing them. Some reward ideas are cash rewards, discounts on the next purchase, upgrading products, and offering exclusive features. Though this method requires you to invest some money, it isn’t a big investment and is really worth it.
5. Create a viral video
Video marketing statistics say that 54% of people love to watch videos from marketers. This is because we humans are basically visual creatures who prefer video content to text-based content. Creating a viral video can generate massive traffic while motivating your audience to purchase your product.
Your videos can take different forms like explainers, how-Tos, testimonials, and product demos. So, opt for displaying your product hilariously and in a unique angle. A witty and unusual video can attract the mass and also trigger word-of-mouth promotion. However, remember that only short and engaging videos retain the interest of viewers till the end.
Make sure to figure out what kind of audiovisual content will best fit your brand and the message you're trying to send. Companies from all over Toronto are reaching out to a video production company located here for advice and expertise so they can create the perfect content for their target audience. By closely collaborating with the company, you can create highly optimized videos that will achieve your goals!
6. Participate in groups and forums
Getting on public forums can be powerful in this era of extensive internet usage. When you see someone making a query in your area of expertise or about an upcoming event in your locality, take it as an opportunity to promote your business. The more you get involved, the higher you’ll gain through it.
The best thing about this competent marketing strategy is that it comes absolutely free of cost and helps establish yourself as the authority in your niche. Participating in groups and forums also facilitates meeting competitors and identifying what they are/aren’t doing right. This will help you determine what you should do to set your website stand out from theirs.
7. Guerrilla marketing
If the term “guerrilla marketing” is new to you, it’s simply a marketing strategy where a brand uses unconventional and/or surprising communications to promote its product or service. The aim is to create a buzz around your product or service offline. This attracts the attention of your target market, gets people to talk favorably about you, and opens new business opportunities.
One great example is that of Bounty, a paper towel company. It won the attraction of innumerable people by installing life-sized “messes” such as a gigantic melting popsicle and a knocked-over giant coffee cup throughout the New York streets. This visual marketing to advertise its product and the solution it provides gained immense recognition for the firm.
8. Attend trade shows
This is yet another offline low-budget marketing strategy. Here are several tips to market through trade shows and conferences.
Attract attendees to your booth via banners, giveaways, banner stands, literature, and touch screens to conduct a survey, collect customer information, or demonstrate a product.
Publicize your attendance at the event through emails, email signatures, website, newsletters, blog section, and social media sites.
Conduct contests and prize drawings to win your target audience’s attention.
Set objectives and focus on those.
Have a good amount of supplies such as brochures, literature, giveaways, and business cards handy.
9. Have a social cause
Use your product itself for a social cause to skyrocket your brand’s success. Get creative to think of a way to help customers interact with your physical product such that it contributes to a noble purpose.
One great example is that of Ambev, a beer company in Brazil. It let its consumers scan its beer cans for a free train ride. This had a dual purpose- motivating people to use public transport frequently and reducing litter. This initiative created a huge buzz and recognition for the firm.
10. Email marketing
Email marketing never gets outdated. It is still one of the low-cost marketing strategies available. However, you need to have an organically curated email list rather than a purchased one. Here are certain sure-fire email marketing techniques to try-
Segment Your Subscribers.
Personalize your emails to increase open and click-through rates.
Keep your subject lines personalized and short.
Determine the best timing to send your emails.
Keep your emails mobile-friendly.
Give away freebies such as tools and templates.
Re-engage with inactive customers by employing win-back campaigns.
Your budget need not be necessarily big to reap big marketing results. Employ our ten low-budget marketing strategies to shoot up your business growth. If one of them doesn’t work for you, try another to build recognition for your brand. And once you start making big revenue consistently, you’ll gain more freedom to invest in costlier strategies; or allot more resources to the best performers from your previous experiments.
This article is a guest blog written by Shivani Goyal. To contribute a guest post to Workast.com, please complete the expression of interest form here.