When you don’t have generous investors to fund TV advertising or billboards, it may seem that you are limited to world-of-mouth in your efforts to acquire leads for your startup. However, the digital world we are living in gives you much more chances to market your business on a tight budget. Let’s explore some steps you need to take along your cost-effective marketing journey.
Define Who You Are and What Is Your Target Audience
Frankly speaking, you need to know this as early as the development stage since a clear understanding of what you do, why, and for whom will help you create a product to get dead on target. And sure enough, distinctly articulated answers to these questions can serve as hands-on marketing tools:
- Shape a short message on what you do and use it as an elevator pitch whenever you happen to stumble across a potential customer or partner. Further, you can insert it in your emails, advertising materials printed with the help of a flyer maker, business card maker, and so on.
- Create your own story explaining why you are in this business for your future customers to get hooked and distinguish your startup from competitors. Later, you will be able to share it through social media, publish it on your website, or print it on hand-outs for better brand awareness and customer engagement.
- Define your customer’s age, gender, location, income level, occupation, and other important aspects to correctly deliver your marketing campaigns. Don’t waste your time, money, and effort on those who are not likely to need your product. Instead, focus on strategies and channels to reach the target audience.
Set Your Marketing Goals
Be specific and realistic, we mean. It’s obvious you would want to get rich in seconds with your products or services selling like hotcakes, but let’s start with something more doable. Each goal implies a different approach, marketing channel, measuring tool, and time frame. If you can assess the results produced within a certain time, you will be able to redirect your scarce funds to employ more effective marketing tools. Move from a general list of the goals like boosting brand recognition, attracting new customers, telling about a new product, or encouraging repeat purchases to more narrow tasks, for example, generating X times more traffic or increasing the number of your followers by X% in a month. Do research to see which channels work best to connect with your target audience for delivering the right message within the goal set.
Socialize in Your Perfect Place
Speaking of the channels: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest – one of the things we like about social media platforms is that you can find the one (or even several) to reach out to your target audience. LinkedIn is used by 97% of B2B marketers and voted to be the most effective in this segment. But if your perfect customer is a female with a high disposal income, who is interested in fashion, food, or home décor, you’d better opt for Pinterest. Besides, social networking sites work fine for achieving various goals, from improving brand awareness to growing a loyal customer base, and your marketing efforts can be accurately measured with the help of multiple metrics. And, of course, that is all for free unless you decide to invest in premium services.
Go Online with a Website
Yes, you can establish an online presence with social networks, but building a website would give you nice multichannel opportunities. Get your Facebook profile linked to the website to deliver a consistent marketing message and integrated shopping experience to your customers. According to a study, 97% of marketing professionals reported an increase in revenues thanks to multichannel marketing. And 84% of consumers tend to trust a business with a website more than that available on social media only. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a tech geek to master modern website builders like Wix or Strikingly. Make it a step further and start blogging in a special section on your website (alternatively, think of Medium or Blogger). Whichever option you choose, don’t forget about generating quality content coupled with keywords, titles, internal links, and other SEO-related stuff.
Drop Them an Email
With all those upstart tricks, you might be surprised to learn that email marketing is more than just alive – it is thriving. It remains the biggest communication channel, being well ahead of websites and social media pages. Emails do a great job when you need to reach more people and build a solid customer base. Obviously, you will need to compile a mailing list somehow, but that’s where your website and Facebook account will come in handy. Create pop-ups on your site asking visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, for example, in return for some incentives. Or run a contest or provide gated content on your social media page to collect email addresses from your followers.
We are perfectly sure that the approaches listed can be creatively combined to spotlight your emerging business in the most money-saving way. However, there will be plenty of work to do and plenty of things to learn, so buckle down to the task!