Are you ready to go out there and conquer the business world with your amazing startup idea? Hold on a second there, slugger. You’re going to want to think about your marketing first. Many would-be entrepreneurs have thought about their products or services in great detail, but they don’t always know how to get the word out to the people who should be their best customers. What’s more, marketing can be expensive—and you probably already know how tight money can be when you’re starting a business.
The good news is that it’s still possible to market your company effectively without breaking the bank. To help you get started, we’ve put together this list of ideas that you can use to market your startup on a tight budget. Use these tips to your advantage and you’ll be sure to garner some much-needed attention for your brand during those crucial early days. Let’s begin:
Our Top Four Tips for Budget Startup Marketing
- Crunch the numbers. It should be obvious, but it bears repeating because you need to do this first if you want your startup to be successful. Take stock of your resources, and figure out exactly what you can afford to spend on marketing this year. Not happy with what you find? Not to worry. Most of the tips that follow are things that any startup can afford to do.
- Create a rewards program to gain referrals. Customers trust their friends and relatives much more than they trust advertisements. In fact, they’re four times as likely to buy something if a friend tells them to do it instead of an ad. You can turn that stat to your advantage by creating a referral program for your startup. Offer a product sample or a discount to anyone who successfully signs someone else up for your service or convinces them to place an order for one of your products. The beauty of this model is that you’ll only end up paying for the new customers you actually acquire—so you’ll always be able to afford it.
- Try to make the news. In the age of “fake news”, people might not trust the media quite as much as they used to—but that doesn’t mean media attention is bad for business. In fact, the old adage probably rings truer now than it ever has before: there’s no such thing as bad publicity these days. One excellent (and cheap) way to attract attention to your brand is to write press releases and send them to local media outlets. If you have a gift for storytelling, you may be able to acquire some press for your company completely free of charge.
- Produce smart web content. Small businesses that make blogging a priority are a whopping 13 times more likely to achieve a positive ROI than those that do not. Make sure you’re writing content that brings value to your target audience and keeps them coming back to learn more about your work. For best results, make sure to learn a little about SEO best practices and incorporate them into your blogging—but don’t stop there. Your website itself should use the same targeted keywords that your blog does. For an excellent example of SEO done right, check out this custom jewelry manufacturer, whose website is peppered with exactly the kinds of terms their customers are likely typing into their search engines.
As you can see, there’s plenty you can do to market your startup without spending an insane amount of money. Make use of these tips as you venture forward into the exciting world of commerce, and may they bring you all the success you desire.