You’ve had your big launch and now it’s time to get down to serious business: you must get your brand in front of as many people as possible.
Your major issue is that, besides competing in your own industry, you’re also competing with all the millions of marketing messages that consumers are constantly being bombarded with – every hour of every day.
Plus, you’re just a new startup so you don’t have the available funds to invest too heavily into digital marketing. What can you do?
8 Marketing Tips for Cash-Strapped Startups
This is a very common problem for startups, so we’ve compiled a list of invaluable (and very affordable) digital marketing tips for cash-strapped startups.
Let’s Begin with Social Media
Probably the most cost-effective way to market your startup business is through social media. It provides a ready platform for growing your brand and it’s an easy medium for promoting your goods and/or services and for customer service opportunities.
1. Be Consistent and Be Frequent
You can build your brand’s voice through using social media: this means posting regularly and ensuring there’s a uniformed identity to your posts. Therefore, don’t over-post, and don’t deviate away from your brand’s message.
The advice from Buffer App is that you shouldn’t post any more than 5 to 10 times a week on Facebook; 5 tweets a day on Twitter, and only once a day for both Google+ and LinkedIn.
2. Consider Your Customer
Many brands use their social media pages solely for promoting their products or services, and this is a strategy that just doesn’t work. Why?
Because it offers no value!
You need to find and share information that your followers really do want to see, and then you can occasionally mix in your promotional content.
3. You Must Engage With Your Followers
Use social media to interact with your existing customers and your potential customers. Interacting with your followers lets them know you consider them valuable members of your product or service brand.
If there’s any confrontation on social media, step up and approach any comments or complaints: this is the perfect opportunity to show your customer-service capabilities.
Remember also that failures are just a part of your overall success. As a startup there are going to be many hurdles for you to overcome along the way.
Don’t get disheartened: it’s a learning process, and yes, there’s a lot to learn. You can use these ‘failures’ as great opportunities to win lifetime customers by providing great customer service: remember to go above and beyond, and provide that little bit extra.
4. Try Making Small Investments
There are a number of social opportunities that you might like to try investing in: they all have merit, but which way you go will depend on your industry and your own unique selling proposition.
Consider some of the options listed below and determine which of these would provide the best Return on Investment for your startup business:
More and more, Facebook is becoming a pay-to-play platform, so to see any real engagement you’ll need to invest by promoting your Facebook posts.
Twitter does provide a fair amount of organic engagement; however the micro-blogging platform also provides paid solutions for businesses: one of these is sponsored tweets. A sponsored tweet will result in more engagement with followers.
Premium Services on LinkedIn
There are a few very valuable paid features on LinkedIn, one of these being Sales Navigator: this makes finding contacts and leads very simple. And the good news is that you can try this service for a month – free!
Content is King!
The most overlooked investment when launching a startup is content marketing. Content is vital because it’s the vehicle that conveys your brand’s message! When your content and your messages aren’t crystal clear, your business is going to struggle.
5. Think About the Message You Want to Convey
With content marketing you must do your own initial industry research, and from this information you formulate your own Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
You don’t just throw content around and see what works. You’re trying to effectively brand your startup so keep the message you want to convey to people in mind.
6. Look for Cheap, Creative Content
You don’t have to pay a lot of money for creative content. Sites like Fiverr, Elance and Craigslist are brimming with writers providing affordable and top-quality content.
On Fiverr, for example, you can get an animated video created for your site from a Fiverr Top Seller for just a fraction of the price charged by an agency.
These explainer videos are ideal for startups because they effectively and quickly show your potential customers your new product or service.
You may even choose to make a small investment into getting good content written to promote your startup’s brand.
7. Optimize Web Pages for Conversions
Ask yourself what you want your web visitors to do once they’ve landed on your page.
The answer to this question should determine your entire content strategy. Once you can answer this question and you know what you want your visitors to do, then you find affordable tools to make it happen; such as:
- You can find free plugins for capturing emails; and then use affordable services like Constant Contact or MailChimp for drip campaigns;
- Google Analytics is a free tool designed to monitor visitor’s paths to your website, and once they’re on your site you can find opportunities to create a more satisfying customer experience;
- Optimize forms on your website to create a stronger inbound lead funnel; and
- Look for reliable but cheap cart services so you can sell products directly from your website.
8. Promote Your Content
Possibly the most important step for effective content marketing is promoting your content. You’ve produced an amazing piece of branded content: now you must amplify that content piece as much as you can.
Leverage your social media profiles, reach out to LinkedIn groups or other industry forums, email industry experts, and contribute to sites you believe your consumers are visiting.
Each week you should invest a few hours in outreaching and soon you’ll see your startup gaining traction.
We understand only too well that running a startup on a small budget is very difficult. Try to keep your marketing costs down whilst capitalizing on successful digital opportunities and very soon you’ll see a huge improvement in your brand’s visibility.
It won’t be long before you’ll see very clearly what works, and what doesn’t.
Do you have any other marketing tips for budget startups you’d like to share?