Startups often have great ideas behind them. However, one area they struggle with initially is cash flow. But they need to meet expenses such as procuring raw materials, paying office-leasing fees, making monthly staff salary, and other operational costs. So, many entrepreneurs tend to save costs by cutting out marketing, which isn’t good.
Let’s get started discussing 10 low-budget marketing strategies for start-ups
1. Establish a strong online presence
The foremost requirement for having an online presence is to own a website. A well-designed and well-developed website can be your best online identity and marketing asset. For, it tells people what your startup manufactures, its offerings, values, vision, mission, and more. Apart from working on your website, you also need to take the following effort to establish a strong online presence.
- Have a blog page. Blogging can serve as a great low-budget marketing strategy for startups. The keys are relevancy and consistency.
- Regularly visit and comment on other popular blogs in your niche.
- Get active on social media (we’ll discuss more of this later).
- Create a quality video of a product or service and post it on YouTube.
2. Search engine optimization (SEO)
A low-budget but indispensable online marketing strategy for startups and other businesses is SEO. It involves applying several techniques and tactics to manipulate your site to rank it higher in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). This widens its scope of gaining more web traffic by improving site visibility.
Here are some basic SEO tactics to apply-
- Target primary and secondary keywords.
- Create high quality, relevant, and original content
- Use keywords relevantly and along with the content’s flow.
- Use keywords at the right places (webpage URL, Title, first 100 words of the content, and subheadings.)
- Research your industry to find authority sites and news sites in it. Then backlink to those.
- Improve your site’s loading speed.
- Update old web pages.
- Add text to podcasts, videos, and infographics.
- Improve your organic click-through rates.
3. Content marketing
One of the cheapest yet most effective marketing strategies for start-ups is content marketing. Create informative articles, blogs, newsletters, infographics, social media posts, videos, posters, press releases, etc. and post those on or send those through different channels to your targeted audience. Take care that your content is interesting, unique, and useful.
Great content captivates and engages readers. This in turn can draw traffic to your site, convert visitors to leads, increase your customer base, promote sales, and boost brand affinity. Be consistent in posting such content to keep your audience interested and updated. Also, make your content shareable so that impressed readers can share them with their friends, folks, and colleagues.
4. Social media marketing
With numerous people using social media today, it presents a great opportunity to reach your audience there. Despite being cheap, marketing your start-up over social networks is also efficient. For, it has the potential to immensely boost your brand awareness and engagement among millions of prospects.
Here is what you need to market your startup over social media-
- Find the social media platforms where your target audience spends. You can choose from popular options like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram.
- Open your business account on the chosen platforms.
- Post relevant, attractive, creative, engaging, interesting, and shareable content there regularly.
- Add a contextual link inside the content and link those back to your website. For instance, if your startup deals with organic produce, your content can talk about the benefits of consuming organic produce, how organic products are grown, what are organic manures used to grow crops, etc.
5. Work on attracting new customers
While taking good care to retain existing customers, your startup should also work on attracting new customers. Here are some great ways to accomplish this.
- People love to learn. Take advantage of this by conducting free classes or workshops in your niche. This will help you develop meaningful customer connections.
- Come up with an innovative tagline and logo for your startup and use them on all your marketing assets including the website, emails, product packaging, brochures, staff uniforms, and more.
- Create a brochure. It can come as a handy marketing and sales tool that can talk more about products or services to your leads, prospects, and customers.
- Partner with other complementary businesses in your niche. This will facilitate the easy enlargement of your customer base via cross-promotion.
6. Referral marketing
Referral marketing is nothing but tapping into the potential of your existing customers to spread the word about your startup. Often happy customers would love to talk about your brand in their circle. And this can have a huge favorable influence on your company. Referral marketing statistics reveal that people trust recommendations from friends, folks, and even strangers more than they trust advertisements from brands.
Here are some ideas to make the most out of your referral marketing-
- Have a formal referral program in place.
- Learn the basics of when and how to ask for referrals.
- Make your brand ambassador program easily discoverable for people.
- Incentivize your referrers with something that they would value.
- Promote your referral program through emails.
7. Email marketing
Another effective low-budget marketing strategy is email marketing. For, email delivers a strong return on investment. Stats say that businesses make a profit of $42 for every $1 spent on email marketing. The most basic essentiality is an organically curated email list you gather by using lead forms and other sources.
We’ve listed some of the best email marketing tactics you should use-
- Make your emails mobile-friendly.
- Segment your contacts meaningfully.
- Personalize your emails so that each segment of users receives only emails that are relevant to them.
- Let your email subject lines be concise and personalized.
- Analyze your reports to know the best time to send your emails.
- Retarget and re-engage with customers who’ve gone silent by sending win-back campaigns.
8. Keep improving your products
Your existing customers are your best assets. It costs 5 times more to acquire new customers than retain existing ones. So, focus on serving them better. Offer them the best products so that they won’t have to go elsewhere looking for a better item. Also keep finding ways to improve your products and services.
One great way to do this is by keeping your offerings up to date with the current advancements, trends, and public hype. And have policies to ensure that irrespective of what happens, your startup maintains its integrity. This can help keep your current customers loyal and also attract new ones.
9. Take time to understand your startup
The most basic necessity for successfully marketing a startup is to understand it to its core. You need to gain a solid grasp of your offerings, customers, marketing mediums, and more. Once you comprehend your business inside-out, take steps to make sure that they are reliable. Only then you’ll be able to scale your business to the next level.
Here are some questions for which you need to get detailed answers to gain a good understanding of the heart of your business-
- Who are your main customers?
- Does your product have the market fit?
- What are the marketing channels that bring you the best ROI?
- Is your revenue generation sufficient to keep your startup thriving even in case there is a downward slope?
If your answer to all the above-mentioned questions is ‘yes’, your startup might be ready to employ business growth strategies. If not, work on these basics of marketing your startup efficiently.
10. Evaluate all conversion metrics
Last but not the least, no marketing strategy can be based on guesswork. So, use marketing automation software to know how well your marketing efforts are paying off. This will help you determine if your consumers are responding to your efforts, what efforts are bringing in the most conversions, what needs improvement, and more.
Equipped with this information, you can optimize your future efforts on promoting your startup!
So, do make use of our list of low-budget marketing strategies for startups to create brand awareness, increase customer base, and shoot revenue generation.
Author – Shivani is a content writer at InviteReferrals, which provides referral software that allows businesses to attract new customers from existing customers through referral campaigns.