Startups face many challenges, and the most precarious is to remain cash positive. According to the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the cost of starting a business is US$ 30 000 and while there are considerable variances in the figure with some startups beginning with a few dollars while other need upwards of millions, setting-up a goof communication plan is among the most important step for each type of start-up.
A new company has to pay thousands each month in bills, salaries, and additional operational cost while still trying to make profits. The struggle leads to abandoning the once superfluous investments such as marketing and advertising. Neglecting startup advertisement stifles growth. The problems worsen if the entrepreneur doesn’t know how to measure a marketing strategy effectively, thus leaving business promoting to get the ax.
However, an effective advertisement doesn’t have to be costly. Although higher-budget strategies might increase traffic and conversation rates, there’re plenty of highly effective, low-cost advertisement strategies that can help a startup grow.
Use referral marketing techniques
The best way to advertise for startups is to create a strategy that lets your clients do the marketing for you. How? New clients are likely to buy when referred to your business by a past customers-friends, family, and workmates. People trust, personal recommendation more than anything and the rise of social networks and social selling strategies play a great role.
What to do? Establish a referral program which might be entirely free or offer your current customer a discount in exchange for a referring a new customer.
Communicate about your company
People read news often, and if you have a newsworthy idea to report, most news outlets will gladly publish it for you. Hold press releases an inexpensive way to get your startup brand mentioned in a significant publication and gain some inbound links along the way.
Undertake the groundwork yourself by hunting down and emailing publication journalist, and the strategy can be free. You can still pay to have a press release syndicated through popular services but note that many start-up related platforms offer free PR distribution.
Develop an SEO strategy
The content strategy works hand in hand with search engine optimization. Most companies rely on Google AdWords for advertisement which is quite expensive but SEO is a great alternative since you don’t have to pay for each click you receive from search engines.
A successful SEO strategy requires identifying a relevant keyword that will attract high traffic to your startup website with low competition and tweak your site to include those terms in order to increase your positions in search results.
- Make structural and code-changes to your site.
- Add keywords in your Title Tags.
- Publish consistently high-quality content and create new landing pages to target new queries.
- Add in internal links between related pages.
- Attract high-quality backlinks to your domain.
This is much work, but your cost will only be a time which is worth it, and your startup will enjoy enormous long-term benefits since SEO might represents up to 50% of your monthly traffic overtime.
Launch a content marketing strategy
Start a blog or a guide, and add a new informative or entertaining content in some unique and practical way, like answering questions your customers may have is a great way to develop your audience and while there are several forms of content marketing, and none all of them are expensive. You can supplement your campaign with infographics, podcast, and videos in order to better engage your visitors too. The right inbound and content marketing strategy will improve your brand reputation, increase your traffic and complement another strategy you draw in form this article.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing can’t be done casually, although freely available. It’s a strategy you can quickly master if you invest a few hours of your day.
To kickstart a social media strategy, create a business profile in all social media that are relevant to your activity, and:
- Syndicate content that your target market can engage with.
- Develop partnership with other brands and pages to increase your reach.
- Engage your community to give a positive brand image.
- Answer questions and concerns raised in order to provide a good client servicing (in case you sell products or services).
E-mail marketing can be powerful since you can apply filters to address the right message to the right target, at the right time. While you can also supplement social media advertisement with email marketing, note that promotional emails remain open of the most cost-effective marketing strategies a startup can leverage.
You can easily create a good contact list from your referrals, social media contacts, and concerted traffic. Create a steady but non-invasive stream of outgoing emails blast, and you will soon see significant returns.
Struggling with a startup budget, you don’t have to cut marketing out of the business plan. Instead, use the above creative ways to build recognition for your brand, product or service with little or no upfront advertisement investment. You will soon establish stronger steam of consistent revenue, and you can decide to go big with more expensive advertisement strategies. You can quickly boost the best resulting approach above with more resources.