Startups operate under extremely tight budgets, which makes it almost impossible for them to set aside a marketing budget. With their tight budgets, they have to pay employees and rent, buy raw materials, and cater to their huge overhead costs. Ignoring marketing and advertising becomes an easier (and cheaper) option for them.
But then, without vigorous marketing strategies, startups do not stand any chance of growth or even staying afloat in today’s extremely competitive market. If you don’t market your products or services, you might not even have any revenue to budget for in a few short months to come. Advertising is more of a mandatory investment for the success of your startup than it is superfluous. That is why as a startup entrepreneur, you must come up with effective marketing strategies that give you 100 percent value for every coin you put into marketing, if not more.
As you will learn from this post, you don’t need to spend a fortune to market effectively. Here are 5 low-budget marketing strategies that will bring unbelievable visibility and consistency to your startup.
1. Content marketing
Content marketing requires very little investment and gives unbelievable returns when done right. Note that this form of marketing has many sides and approaches, so you shouldn’t restrict yourself to only one approach. For a start, you can establish a company website where you share with the world everything about your business. You can add a blog section in the website where you add new content as regularly as possible, both to educate and entertain your audience.
It will be helpful if you can present your content in easy-to-consume bits, e.g. in the form of videos, infographics, pictures, and podcasts. Another approach would be to guest blog for high-traffic websites and then adding outbound links to your website. If your website has compelling content, your brand reputation will greatly improve through inbound and outbound marketing. And if you want to reach a wider clientele, for example, expand in China, it will be wise to hire trusted professional translation services to localize your online content.
2. Social media marketing
Social media marketing is big these days, particularly with billions of people from all over the world owning smartphones. If you can package your content well for social media consumption, you can be sure that it will be successful and shine the limelight on your business. Your new startup needs to come out as a reliable, reputable brand online if it is to become popular and attract its target clientele.
For a start, you can create a Facebook page and use it to interact with your potential clients. Facebook pages are free to create. Other platforms that will help you appeal to your target audience include Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. As your revenue collection grows, you can opt to pay for premium social media services such as Facebook Business and Facebook Ads.
Note that a skilled social media manager will help you grow your social media profile by posting the right, relevant, and engaging content. If you wish to set up a company in China, a Chinese recruitment agency will help you find such skilled social media managers and other talents that will help you penetrate the Chinese market. Those are some of the ways through which you can leverage the immense marketing power of social media.
Note that posting compelling content is just a small part of the social media marketing puzzle. You must follow that up with providing the best services possible for your customers and making genuine efforts to attend to their online questions and concerns. A happy and satisfied customer will always be your startup’s unpaid brand ambassador. Negative comments from unhappy customers, on the other hand, can greatly harm your brand reputation.
3. Guerrilla marketing
Even with social media and the Internet taking over the world, there still are many guerrilla marketing methods that will work for you. These marketing strategies involve creating a buzz around your products and services offline as a way of winning the target market’s attention. It involves creating entertaining and informative messages and then passing it to your local target market through the word of mouth. When people keep talking about the positives of your products, you get a better shot at new business opportunities.
4. Email marketing
Email marketing might be traditional but not entirely outdated. The key to nailing email marketing is creating an organic list of customers as opposed to buying a falsified, non-organic list. Ensure that your outgoing email blasts only go to people who are actually interested in your products or in reading your content.
5. Smartphone apps
As we mentioned, everyone is using smartphones today. That should tell you that there is immeasurable potential in smartphone e-commerce apps. These apps are inexpensive to create yet they can appeal to millions of customers in one go. Just ensure that your app has the best UX so that clients can easily use it to place their orders and to access customer support.
With the 5 low-budget marketing strategies, you will easily realize the power of the entrepreneur, regardless of how small your startup is. The key here is to speak about your ideas and to share your expert opinions with the people. Be different and shake up your niche. If one strategy fails, try another. You will surely get a breakthrough in the end.