Low Cost Marketing Strategies for Startups
Trying to get the word out about your business on a limited budget? Your market strategy for your startup will really depend on your individual business goals, timeline and available resources. Search engine optimization (SEO) is generally cost-effective but it takes time. Pay-per-click advertising is more expensive but produces results right away. These are just two of many available strategies including social media, traditional public relations, and inbound marketing.
Before launching a low-cost marketing strategy, it’s important to figure out your business goal. Do you want to maximize business-to-business leads, application downloads, product sales, or to exit by selling to Google? Something new? Each of these business goals require a different strategy and marketing mix and those aspects will depend on how much time and money you want to devote to this effort. Try some of these low cost marketing strategies that are perfect for startups.
1. Content Marketing. Content marketing is a highly cost-effective way to market a product or service but can be time-consuming. However, one good piece of content, such as research findings, a customer survey or a quality white paper can be leveraged and merchandised in everything from public relations and social media to your sales collateral. If you are consistent with your messaging, stay on point and follow up on conversations, you can develop a compelling leadership program that will provide you with disproportionate market awareness, more leads, and better customer impact.
2. Get Creative with Other Professionals. When you don’t have a significant budget, it forces you to get creative. Resourceful marketers find a way around obstacles, despite having no money. A good practice for inexpensive marketing is starting a blog and reaching out to influential bloggers in your area. Offer to guest blog or write LinkedIn content for other creative entrepreneurs and offer to promote their material on your site, and hopefully they will return the favor. Bloggers with significant followers have developed trust in their audience and getting to know them is a cheap way to market your product or service.
3. Act locally. Sometimes the best way to get your startup known is by starting local. Utilize your friends and family at first to start developing a network. Make a few posts on your local Craigslist community, Reddit subreddit or other discussion forums. Place a free ad in your local newspaper, alt-weekly or a local magazine. Get involved with like-minded Meetup.com groups and share your concept with them. Additionally, you’ll want to add your startup to as many local directories as you can.
4. Public Speaking. It’s also worth considering speaking publicly about your startup’s product or service. You can speak to local Chambers of Commerce, rotary groups, or other professional organizations. This is a great way to demonstrate to others that you are considered to be an expert in your field and to get your startup’s name known in a wider community of people who have common interests. Some people may be intimidated by speaking in front of people but it’s a great and inexpensive way to market your startup by talking about things you know already and relating to your audience.