Every startup go through a lot to keep their heads above waters. But among the many challenges faced by these businesses, staying cash positive is even more life-threatening to their survival. Harnessing low-budget marketing strategies is a plus for most small startups. According to The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) , starting a business in the neighborhood is estimated at $30,000. But a notable variance occurs with some startups kicking off with several millions of dollars while others with just a few hundreds.
In addition to these variant startup figure, a lot of new companies always have to cough out a lot more funds for the leasing of their office(s), team salaries, regular processing materials, and other operational funds. These expenses go on while also struggling to build sufficient revenue to stay relevant in business.
If you got caught in the middle of this wavy financial struggles, you may have considered ditching investing in advertising and marketing to focus on other aspects of your business. But the sad truth is that, if you ditch marketing, the growth of your startup is strained. And this will leave you with even less revenue and ultimately restrict your budget even further.
But here is the juice, having an effective marketing strategy for your startup doesn’t have to come at a huge cost for you. Well, this is not disputing the fact that higher-budget marketing strategies would more likely yield more visibility for your business. But there are numerous low-budget marketing strategies every startup can afford and use to move forward.
Here Are Nine Low-Budget Marketing Strategies Every Startup Can Afford
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing can occur in diverse forms, but without any huge cost. A very popular and simpler approach is blogging. You can manage an on-site blog that feeds your visitors regularly with valuable information and entertainment in a very different and practical way.
Make use of videos, infographics, podcast in you content marketing strategy. They very powerful in building the reputation of your brands when properly used. You will experience an improvement in your inbound traffic with a complement with other strategies.
2. Social Media Marketing
This low-budget marketing strategy can even be personally mastered with time committed to it. It however isn’t something you should do casually. Establish social media profiles across major platforms. These include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Create fascinating content topics that would get your target audience glued to your pages.
Ensure to stay constant with updating your pages and also reach out and connect always to your audience. You could grow your audience into thousands if you become steady for a period of time. And they could turn in as aspired conversions for your business
Do you know that your customers are your best marketers? If you could create a system where your customers get on doing the marketing job on your behalf, this has the potential of giving you up to four times the possibility of having your product bought, especially when the referral is a friend.
You could consider giving your customers discounts on your products or subcriptions in place of referring your product or service to a potential new customer. You may also offer cash rewards if you’ll rather consider it. Try out every approach to connect to your customers. We all still get convinced better with personal recommendations beyond every other thing,
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
For your content marketing campaigns to do well on search engines, then you must invest in making your search engine optimization (SEO) much better. And if this sounds strange and new to you, then you should do a bit of reading and commitment to understanding how it works.
Find out free and paid tools that can make this effective on your effort. Keyword tools like Moz Keyword Explorer, Keyword planner, and SEMrush can help you with keywords which would help you get high traffic to your website, without high competition. Tweak your site by including those keywords in it.
You will also have to make structural changes, produce consistent contents that of high quality, and get quality backlinks to your website. All these require so much work. But if you choose to learn and do these yourself, then you’ll save a lot of marketing costs. The effort is very rewarding for your business on the long-run.
For Pay-per-click, targeting keywords with high-traffic heads can be quite expensive. But as an entrepreneur focusing on low-budget marketing strategies to improve your startup, you’ll discover platforms and niches that are budget-friendly.
Facebook ads can go for as low as $1 per day for some ads. You should learn how to do accurate targeting and also monitor the results on your site. To receive significant results, you should put in more cash for your ads.
6. News Features And Press Releases
News is everybody’s thing. And most news outlets will report anything newsworthy for you with a cost. This medium is a very inexpensive way to have major publications mention your brand,and maybe with some inbound links.
Try out hunting and emailing journalists. Press releases can come to you on a platter of gold without paying a dime. Or you can throw in a few cash to have a press release passed in via service like PR Newswire. Also check out Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to offer information to journalists who would be glad to have them
7. Email Marketing
Email marketing stands out as among the list of low-budget marketing strategies, as some entrepreneurs claim to have up to 400% and even more on return on investment (ROI). If you are able to curate an email list organically, without employing invasive stream of outgoing email blast, you will definitely experience a signficant return on all your investments.
8. Personal Branding
This marketing strategy works like corporate branding. A major difference is that it would apply to you as an individual. You will market your expertise across multiple personal social media platforms, and also on your dedicated blog. These multiple platforms will serve as traffic source and interest.
The idea is that, since a lot of people trust other people – especiall influencers – more than corporations, it is only smart to have a distinct powerful outlet to channel your products and contents to your brand. And the good thing is that, you do not have to pay anyone to get this done!
9. Groups And Forums
Group and forums have become an increasingly harnessed method of connecting to targeted audience by corporations and inviduals. You might find someone in a social media group needing an answer to a question which can be answered with your expertise. When you connect and get involved in groups and forums that are very related to your brand, you have even more to gain. And becoming members of these communities actually doesn’t cost you anything.
So, even if you aren’t able to achieve high-cost marketing strategies for your startup, considering this no-cost or low-cost marketing strategies is a worthy alternative. And once you are able to grow your business for a, consistent stream of revenue, you’ll be able to invest in even costlier and bigger strategies. Or you could consider putting in more resources in the enlisted strategies that worked best for you.
The takeaway here? If you find yourself struggling with your business’s budget, don’t resort to cutting marketing out of the equation. Instead, find creative ways to build recognition for your brand and products that don’t require significant up-front investment.
Once you establish a stronger stream of consistent revenue, you’ll have more freedom to invest in bigger, more expensive strategies; or you can pour more resources into the top performers from your earlier experiments