You start a business to get Return on Investment. Yet, research shows that survival rates for start-ups are a dismal 10%. The biggest challenge is the lack of financing. Every dollar goes into setting up the business.
Yet, there is critical marketing that the company still has to do. How else can you hope to get market awareness? You must get some recognition during the stiff competition.
Our article will explore cost-effective marketing strategies for start-ups. We will look at those that are free or inexpensive. If you implement them well, you will be sure of building awareness for your start-up.
Cost-Effective Marketing Strategies for Start-ups
1. Get your website up and running.
Do you have a website? If not, get one up and running as soon as possible. It would be a good idea to hire a designer for the job. By all means, take on the job yourself if you have the relevant expertise. While there are web builders you can use online, it is not an easy process.
The designer will ensure that:
- You have a responsive, easy-to-navigate site.
- They optimize the site for search engines.
- Designers also ensure Mobile Optimization for the sites. Do note, over 50% of internet users browse using mobile devices. Google will also penalize you if your website does not give a good user experience (UX) on mobile devices.
- The designer will advise on the best web host provider. The hosting company has a significant role to play in how well your site performs.
1. Become an authority with content creation.
Your website provides an excellent platform to showcase your expertise. Use content to share your knowledge. A blog page is, therefore, a must-have section on your website.
- Take note of the following when creating content.
- It must be relevant and respond to a need you have identified amongst the target audiences.
- Ensure consistency so that you build engagement.
- Use SEO techniques to get good rankings on the search engines. Such include the use of relevant keywords and optimizing images. Fast loading pages are also critical.
- Take advantage of link building to land in reputable publications. According to LinkDoctor, a blogger outreach services company, link building signals search algorithms that you are an authority. You must, however, do it well to see the best results. That is why you may want to set aside some money to get the experts on board.
Local business listings and PR are must-try options.
Local Search Engine Optimization will create brand awareness in your vicinity. Anyone searching for a local business like yours may very well stumble upon yours. You might have been in the market looking for office supplies. You probably typed in a search query like office suppliers near me.
Local listings are free and immensely useful. Tons of options exist, including Google My Business, Yelp, Bing, and Apple Maps.
Setting up accounts is easy. Remember to provide as much detail about your business as you possibly can. Optimize keywords relevant to your business, both long and short tail. You make it easy for the search engines to find you.
Sign up to platforms like Help A Reporter Out (HARO) to build media relationships. The media is always looking for news angles or commentaries. Become their go-to source by providing such. It could be in the form of a news item, press release, or editorial. A mention in a reputable publication will help increase brand awareness.
Sponsorships and Corporate Social Responsibility can also land you in the media. It does not even have to be monetary. Mentorships, community clean-ups, and volunteering are some worthy causes. Best of all, you build positive feelings with the communities. Remember, word of mouth endorsement is more powerful than advertising.
Hop aboard the social media train.
Social media platforms have evolved over the years. In the beginning, they were social platforms. A place where like-minded individuals would interact. Now, up to 77% of small businesses have a strong social media presence.
Why you may ask? The answer is quite simple. The platforms are free and offer tons of possibilities.
You get access to a broad audience base. What you do with it is entirely up to you. You can:
- Use it to create brand awareness.
- Brands actively sell products on the platforms.
- Become an authority by joining relevant networking forums.
- Partner with influencers to push your product or services.
- Take advantage of User Generated Content (UGC) to build engagement with audiences.
- Create traffic to your website by linking it to your platforms. It allows you to build organic audiences that increase chances of conversions.
The possibilities are so many, and you will not break the bank implementing them. However, word of caution here. Research the platforms well to determine whether your target market uses them. There is no point in being everywhere, yet your audiences are not there. Why spend time on Instagram, for example, if your products target seniors.
Do not spread yourself too thin. Pick two strong platforms and concentrate on them. It helps maintain consistency and allows you to focus on relevant content.
Next, allocate some money for advertising on the platforms. Boosting posts, for example, increases the chances of your brand having a more substantial presence. A small budgetary allocation can help you achieve a lot.
In the earlier days, businesses depended on analog media for marketing. You had to have money to buy advertising space in print or electronic media. But now technology and the explosion of the internet has changed everything. Even with little or no money, you can still get the business name out in the market.
We have shared some implementable marketing ideas for start-ups above. Determine what your business needs and then take what works best. Do not spread yourself too thin by trying everything. It is better to focus your efforts on the most effective.