Marketing is now an essential part of startups. And the problem with startups is that they don’t have the funds required to compete for the spotlight with giant corporations. So, as a small business, you need to be innovative with your approach in order to come out on top. Today, we will discuss some of the best ways of getting yourself noticed (without spending too much money).
There are multiple ways of expanding your network, it can be done by collaborating with other businesses, attending events, making deals with influencers, or even making your own events. Organizing a charity event will bring you a long way in terms of respect in your community. Another way of doing it is by sponsoring a local event. By paying for some of the organizer’s fees, you can promote your business with banners, signs, and other marketing materials. Everything can work as long as you are being proactive at trying to get yourself noticed in the wider community.
Be Active on Social Media
First, you need to ask yourself: “What is my target group?“. Because saying to be active on social media is too abstract with the number of apps out there. You need to know specifically who it is you are targeting. For example, if your product is for users between the ages of 18-29 then Facebook and Instagram are your best bet. If it’s for students, then go for strictly Facebook. You get the point. You need to do your research upfront for what target group you want to market your product/services for. When you decide on your niche, it’s time to be proactive. The more you get yourself known, the higher chances are of people taking an interest in your product. You don’t even need to be just advertising your product. If you present yourself as more than just a corporate shell, you are bound to be more appealing to the public eye, resulting in a more relaxed and friendly perspective of your brand.
Collaborate With Other Small Startups
One way of integrating yourself into the community is by collaborating with other small businesses (that are not your direct competition). You can do this by swapping coupons for each other and giving them away to each other’s customers, effectively merging the customer base. This is best implemented when both sides gain from it.
Start a Referral Program
What you can also do is allow the customers to do the marketing for you. By starting a referral program, you will effectively give benefits to the customers that bring in other customers. This type of approach is very effective if the original customers like your product. Interpersonal recommendations always go a long way in terms of the trust factor. People are always more willing to buy a product when recommended by a friend over a random ad.
Utilize Cheaper Forms of Marketing
Not every marketing campaign has to have tens of thousands of dollars thrown into it in order to make it worthwhile. If you’re on a budget, it’s best to distribute the funds equally scaling with importance.
For marketing, it really comes down to how innovative you are at utilizing your funds. Because around 90% of all startups end up failing. In order for this not to be you, these are some really cheap yet effective ways of getting exposure.
You can use stickers with pictures of your logo on them. It’s really cheap and it gets the point across easily.
Even though joining online directories is not the most efficient way of getting exposure, it is definitely one of the more inexpensive ones. You can use them to get a slight boost for your page or utilize them to target a specific area.
Outdoor banners are good marketing for the immediate surrounding. They are large, inexpensive, and hard to miss. Not to mention they are also more durable. You can easily hang a fence banner and not be afraid of the elements destroying it in a few days. Like online directories, they won’t make massive progress in turning your brand into a world-class product, but for the price you pay, they are definitely worth it.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a contemporary style of marketing in which you try to boost your website for the relevant keyword entered by a third-party person. Of course, the competition for the highest-rated SEO is massive, so you should expect a real deathmatch when going into this. The positive side is that the rewards are limitless, as you gain worldwide attraction.
As you might have noticed, you aren’t starved for alternatives when dealing with budgeting issues. The answer is not to simply cut out marketing altogether (as that would be a death sentence for any startup), but instead to use a different approach, one that will suit you best.