When running a start-up, more often than not you will find yourself under a great deal of financial constraints. While most businesses do understand the importance of marketing their companies, they don’t have the financial resources to do so. This is where you will need to bootstrap. It is by no means a simple task but it will encourage innovation and creativity in your company and force you to come up with unique ways to market your business.
Here are five tips and strategies you can try to boost your start-up’s marketing.
“Oh what does your start-up do?”
It seems like a simple question but knowing how to answer this properly can change people’s view of your company and possibly generate some substantial word-of-mouth marketing for your business. You don’t want to be too vague by simply replying that you’re a start-up neither would you want to downplay the importance of what your company offers.
You should develop a narrative and an find that is unique about your company so that others will take notice of it. How did your start-up come to be? Are there any social causes it supports? How did you get inspired to go on this journey? By figuring out what your story is, you essentially begin to define some key values and principles for your company and have better understanding of your company’s purpose and targets. By understanding these points, it will be much easier for you to approach future marketing campaigns now that you know what your brand is and what it stands for. It will also serve as a great conversation starter at networking events and parties!
The easiest way to market your service or goods online is obviously through social media platforms. Your first step should be to have a Facebook account to promote your startup to your immediate connections: friends and family.
However, building your online presence is not that simple. While having social media accounts is useful, you would also need to improve your company’s visibility on the Internet by having a sophisticated website with multiple roles. Start a content blog or launch a mobile app! This will enrich your customer’s experience and also make it a lot more convenient for them to connect with you.
Your content and structure is also as equally important as your outlet. Make use of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to boost your company’s website on the Internet. Embed your blog articles with relevant keywords, visual elements and links in order to boost your SEO and get your company to the top.
You can hire professional web developers, content marketers or SEO consultants to help you out with that.
It is incredibly important that your current and potential customers believe in what you’re selling. Don’t just whip out your entrepreneur instinct and start selling your product or service to everyone. Be sure to participate in forums and discussions that are relevant to your business. Engage with businesses and potential customers in the similar industry. Share your valuable insights on topics you are well versed in and support other local businesses as well. By building a genuine and trust worthy air around your brand, other businesses will lend you some support as well. This will add to your credibility as a company and draw in potential customers to your business.
Another way to establish credibility is also through content marketing. Creating a blog and publishing relatable and useful articles will reflect the knowledge and expertise within your company. You can also offer some advice an expertise to like minded individuals and small businesses on online forums such as Quora.
Use promotions and e-coupons to attract more potential customers. Though some start-ups might be less drawn to offer promotions, it could help generate the initial attraction for customers to review or try out your product or service. Send e-coupons to existing customers to retain some customer loyalty or offer similar promotions if potential customers sign up to your website or joing your mailing list.
Your existing customers will thank you and potential customers will be more inclined to engage your company.
Every industry will have special events for businesses in the community. Most of which will seek out sponsors. If your company is able to, sponsor the events that are relative to your company. This will get your name out to the many people who are attending the event and allow for great networking opportunities. Additionally, if an opportunity arises, you should try to participate in some of these events by presenting there or participating in a forum.
Alternatively, you can also organize your own event. Source for vendors or call on your contact to see if you could collaborate to launch an event for your industry or a forum. While this might cost a little more, it would certainly attract more direct interest to your company. Call on the media to cover your event and you could potentially see your company featured in the news!
A low budget should not deter you from adventurous marketing campaigns. Take advantage of your connections, and communication skills to reach out to customers and improve sales.