Right, startups…by show of hands, how many of you have an almost non-exist marketing & PR budget? Thought so! Don’t worry – there are actually plenty of effective ways of marketing your business, and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. What you will need however, is the right mindset. Are you prepared to put in your own time and effort? Are you willing to commit to a schedule? If so, here’s how to market your new business on a shoestring…
Do it the old fashioned way
Sounds crazy, but before such a thing as the ‘internet’, businesses did in fact find ways of marketing their products – mostly by investing in printed materials. You don’t have to spend lots either – why not go in for making booklets, flyers or newsletters, or take a look at flag printing from Helloprint? These tried and tested mediums are pretty effective as they allow you to reach potential customers directly in their homes, high streets and offices.
Network, network, network!
It’s time to take a deep breath in, suit up and put on your game face – you need to get out and meet other entrepreneurs. Start introducing yourself to others in your industry, and get cosy with influential people. It might not bring you an instant return on investment, but it could pay dividends over the long term.
As well as making your name known, you can use networking as an opportunity to find people worth keeping an eye on. Follow the influencers you meet on their social networking profiles and make them notice you by engaging with them long after the event is over. Better yet, you can nose around their social media profiles and ‘poach’ their followers, banking on the fact that if they’ve a customer who likes them, their customer might be interested in what you have to offer too.
Make the most of social media
According to statistics, 92% of marketers claim that social media marketing is important for their business. This is just as true for your startup; many of your customers are prolific uses of sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. The greatest thing about social media for startups is that it gives you a platform to simultaneously keep in touch with existing customers, new customers and potential customers. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
So, use social media to promote every new product launch, news on how your company is doing, and all the content you’re producing for your blog or website. Use scheduling tools like Hootsuite to make sure you’re doing it consistently, too. Marketing like this, combined with the fact that customers have an increased sense of brand loyalty when following brands on social media, means your startup can look forward to higher conversion rates.
Launch an email newsletter
Email newsletters are great for building ongoing relationships with customers, and makes financial sense to keep customers once you’ve earned them! Email newsletters are also a good way of reaching many recipients at once, so it’s a cost effective way of marketing a startup. You can get free services using MailChimp if you’ve less than 2,000 subscribers, and there are plenty of affordable packages to sign up for when you’re ready to take it to the next level.