Startups and small businesses are often faced with the challenge of marketing themselves on a shoestring budget – getting the most ‘bang for your buck’ can make or break your business, especially in the early stages.
By using a few simple and strategic marketing tactics, startups and small businesses can succeed at promoting your business and growing your customer base while keeping costs minimal.
Here are some cost-effective marketing tips to help you connect with your target markets, without breaking your budget:
- Brand yourself: Contrary to popular belief, branding your startup or small business is something that you can execute on your own – without blowing your budget! You can establish your corporate identity by creating a great logo yourself using Photoshop, or you can take advantage of freelancing networks such as elance.com or guru.com where you can post your logo project, set your budget and have graphic designers bid on your project. Once you develop your logo, you can further your branding activities and develop other marketing materials like business cards, signage, brochures, flyers, coffee mugs, pens, fridge magnets – basically any kind of promotional material you can think of!
- Create a great website: The first thing to keep in mind when designing your website is usability and user experience. You will want to make sure that your website is easy to navigate – make your search toolbar easy to locate, and make your content prominent and easy to find and be sure to update it regularly. The goal of any website is to ultimately convert visitors into customers so incorporate tools such as surveys, contests and promotions to engage your visitors and keep them coming back for more!
- Establish a Social Media Presence: Social Media is still one of the most cost-effective ways of marketing your startup or small business. Be sure to create profiles and pages on the major social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube – start with these major networks and join others as well as they relate to your business. Keep in mind that the point of marketing on social networks is to promote your business, and to engage and create relationships that drive your bottom line so keep your profiles and pages up to date and be sure to post useful content.
- Start a Blog: Create a blog for your business that centers on topics related to your niche and be sure to post engaging content regularly. Blogging is a very powerful business tool and can be a tremendous asset to your business as it’s a great way to connect with your target market. One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to be overly promotional when you blog, make sure your posts contain helpful and useful information that will be helpful to your audience. Make sure to include a comment section so your readers can engage with you, and always share your posts on your social networks for maximum impact!
- Create an engaging e-newsletter: Relevant and informative e-newsletters are an inexpensive way of reaching new customers and keeping existing ones engaged. Treat your newsletter as a hook to drive traffic to your website – provide just enough information to peak interest and let them know that they can find more information on your website. A well-written newsletter is also an excellent PR tool as it maintains relationships with existing clients, and can also be a conversion tool leading to new clients.
Marketing your startup or small business with a small budget might not seem like an easy take, but by following these simple and cost-effective tips you’ll be able to promote your business and increase your client base – without breaking the bank!