How To Market Your Start-up At NO Cost?

So, you are all set to launch your first startup in this year end, and wondering how to market your startup to gain some initial interest? Bold Marketing is one of the keys to early success as a startup.

It is important for every founding team to be thinking about how to market in efficient, low cost ways. Sustaining a long-term business on paid marketing alone is quite challenging however.

Therefore, gaining an early momentum is necessary to mitigate the risk of your startup going under even before it even gets off the ground. Of course, you are beginning with a good product or service, but marketing good or bad can make or break your company. However, a good marketing requires a good amount of funds, but most of the startup companies doesn’t have enough funds. But, this is the world of marketing driven products—paid or unpaid, we are lucky that we have some ways through which we can market for little or no cash at all.

Marketing your startup at no cost, forces people to think more and make strategies and makeup for a limited budget by working smart and hard. Limited marketing and advertising funds encourages you to become more creative.

A few ways in which companies grow through marketing without spending a dime:

Brainstorming

Before writing a marketing plan, strategies a plan for marketing your startup. Only one person can’t be responsible for all the planning process, the team has to review goals and look at the products and services you are offering. Know, how do you differ from your competitors? What is your stand out point? Start with your brainstorming session to determine your selling point and think about what you hope to get out of your marketing efforts.

Talk to People

Talking to people gives you an edge and is the simplest way to market your business, but it is often overlooked or poorly done. Build relationship with people who could potentially become and advocate your product or service. This, you can do by attending startup events, hackathons and local tech group meetings.

You have to be quite tricky and refined with this. Be sure to explain the benefits of your product, but be honest and let people understand your product story. People love hearing stories. Word of mouth is something that work even now and certainly affects the buyer’s decision. “Have a message that can survive ‘the telephone game’.”

You never know sometimes, even the smallest opportunities may result in great possibilities for your company. Sometimes, even the most unassuming conversations can impact your business. Every time, you meet someone, tell them what you are and what you do and hand them your business card. Who knows where you find your biggest customer—at a bar or in a train just like that. So, talk to people.

Identify Your Target Audience

Knowing your target audience before you set your market plan is essential. You can’t reach everyone, your product/service have a certain audience and so you can’t target everyone. Determining your audience could be helpful in distributing your limited resources your startup has.

Research: Research! Research! Research! Whether it’s a high tech missile that you are going to make or just a small retail shop you are opening, research is extremely important. Gather information from secondary sources or if you can conduct a primary research. With this research, carve your niche out.

Consult your business plan: Doing anything further, after you have set your original business, must align with it. Before marketing your plan, look at what you offer and figure out if it satisfies the need of your potential customers.

Know Your Customer Profile

After researching, create a customer profile, it involves an in-depth description of who your typical customer may be. It includes both demography and psychography of the customer. Demography- age, gender and location, Psycho-graphic information—interest, hobbies or behaviors. These two factors are important while identifying your potential customer.

Find your customer: Literally, you have to find them. Find out which social networks or apps your potential customers use. What kind of websites do they like? Identify all the channels to reach your audience.

Monitor and evolve: After you’ve determined who your potential customer is and have gone through a campaign, evaluate whether you hit the mark in terms of targeting the right audience.

Analyze Your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

Know where you stand, before taking any action. Analyse your company’s internal and external factors or issues. Why is it important to know your strengths and weaknesses? To make sure your marketing objectives are based on knowledge of yourself. Research tells you so many important things that you ignored while making a marketing plan. All this help you establish your place in the market.

Strengths:

  • List your advantages
  • What’s your selling point? What is it that you think you do better than others?
  • What resources give you an edge over others

Weaknesses:

  • Where can you improve?
  • Do you have low customer retention?
  • Do you lack financial resources and staff?

Opportunities:

  • What trends can you make money on?
  • Is there a new market you can tap?

Threat:

  • Do you lack financial resources?
  • Is there new technology that might threaten your business position?
  • Do your customers or potential customers have tastes/interests that continually evolve?

Now, that you have analyzed everything related to your niche, there’s time to go beyond and execute your marketing plan. Marketing your idea effectively is, therefore, very important.

Some marketing ideas that don’t eye your pocket or at best, are extremely easy on it are:

Target Social Networking Sites

Undoubtedly, the best way to market your business is through effective content sharing on different social networks. Be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest or any other social media platform, good content is always liked and shared. This help you increase your audience and potential customer base. Making your content viral is not something that could be done easily.

But, since you don’t have enough funds to spend on marketing, here’s where creativity brings in joy. If you can create an original content, it’s a great if it gets viral. Nothing beats the importance of viral content in branding your business to a wide audience. But, social media requires consistency and regularity to identify your niche and to make audience. Everyday, try to update atleast one post on each platform.

If your social media strategy is quite strong, then Twitter can help you achieve your target audience and building your brand. It’s better if you can tweet every two-three hours. But, don’t tweet about sales all the time or never tweet about sales. Retweet, share, favorite other interesting tweets to make your presence felt by others.

Blogging

Today’s digital world is driven by the content. So, an effective way to promote your business is by having a blog. Writing blogs on trending and innovative topics certainly helps you become more visible on web. Latest industry news is a good way to write upon. Try to enhance your content by having audios, videos, pod casts, webcasts and if possible, webinars as well.

By doing all this, you increase your chances of getting viral and reaching a huge audience. In general, interesting videos go viral easily. But, innovative content also goes waste if you don’t promote it effectively through social media. So, write good and promote better by through different social media platforms.

This way, you can engage with your readers actively and develop a community. This immensely helps in branding your business. An interesting offshoot of blogging is also that it improves the SEO of your website.

Content Strategies

Now, for blogging, you need to strategize your content efficiently. Try and establish your brand as a subject -matter expert. Identify platforms where your customer could be and offer an authenticity and relevant point-of-view through added content. For instance, you are a social network focused on health and wellness, think about other such platforms where your potential customers could go to get information. Such websites or platforms are best for authoring a weekly experts column, which may add to their present information, while promoting your community. Also, most of the businesses are looking to enhance their own customer experience and touch points, so you can also ask them if you can contribute supplemental material to them, it can be a win-win.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is all about link building, or in other words, bringing traffic from other websites to your site. However, according to the post written by Matt Cutts from Google Webspam team, guest blogging is no longer valuable to drive traffic. The reason behind this is that Google has found the practice spamming.

But, guest blogging is something that cannot go off the SEO just like that. If you write an original content and for good websites, guest blogging can still be alive and good for generating traffic for your website. This practice is highly practiced in many big and small businesses.

To make it a better practice, join guest blogging communities and interact with other bloggers in your industry, find useful guest blogging opportunities and in general, get information and updates about your industry.

Post Ads in Free Sites

There are many websites which allows you to post ads for free like Craigslist, MerchantCircle.com, Local.com, and Gumtree.

Explore such websites for your business.

Offer Discounts and Coupons

Free offers, discounts, coupons and giving free trials or ‘try before you buy’ is always a good business strategy. Doing it for a limited period, but only if it is feasible for your company. Could be good idea.

This will get you contact details of many potential buyers for planning your future marketing strategies. If users opt out of your product or service after the discounts or free trials, you can pitch them later.

Press Media Exposure

Do Press releases and try to find some space in the media. Nothing is more relevant for effective branding than a good press for your product or service. However, Good old-fashioned media exposure is still relevant.

Craft and distribute the most relevant and successful business and consumer stories to some relevant places. Think, why would anyone care to publish or read your article, so be sharp about your angle and produce some relevant stories. Things that rank are something that has personal, noteworthy and authentic touch to it. Start with blogs to build a base for your brand and move on further from there.

Customer Feedback Column

Gathering feedbacks from your customer and providing a platform for that is essential, as these feedbacks are extremely helpful in making your products/services better. Providing and excellent customer is an excellent marketing strategy to spread information about your business by adopting this word-of-mouth and customer testimonials.

Give your customers an opportunity to share what they liked or disliked about the product. It only help you grow. Interact with consumer, respond quickly to user who has interacted with you.

You can also go for on-site surveys for both fresh leads and existing customers, that contains only relevant questions and take only two minutes to complete. Encourage customers to give their reviews or testimonials for your products or services. All this will help you plug the loopholes in your business, if any.

 

I hope these tips help you shoot your startup business without letting you spend any extra penny.

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One Comment

  1. some good ideas but you really need an editor. Almost unreadable.

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