6 Creative Ways of Marketing Your Startup on a Budget

Businessman New Bright Idea

 

 

There are endless ways to finance your ideas, but there’s nothing like marketing a startup with a modest budget. Limited funds give you an excuse to flex your creative muscle and truly share your vision with the world.

Don’t rely on the same old banner ads and Google reviews. Instead, try these seven marketing strategies to place the spotlight on your business.

  1. Share your story

Instead of just introducing yourself as an entrepreneur, develop a narrative that differentiates your company from others and sparks conversation. Does your startup support a certain cause with every sale? Say so. Did you come up with your business idea during a troubling life event? Mentioning it may inspire those around you.

  1. Don’t just sell – engage

With social media, it’s easy to engage your target demographic without looking like you’re just trying to advertise. Build brand trust by showing your support, whether of your community or your online following. Sharing someone else’s content doesn’t necessarily mean losing your audience’s attention.

  1. Carve out a niche and build credibility

Your startup’s shoestring budget can’t keep you from carving out its own niche. A blog can offer laymen the chance to understand your trade with a new perspective. A webinar or a podcast can help viewers (or listeners) feel like experts in your field. Speaking at an incubator, expo or niche event can put you in the role of the teacher and allow you to share your groundbreaking ideas with a captive audience. The small business convention you attend every year is probably in need of a few more keynoters; why don’t you try speaking instead of observing?

  1. Help people find your content

If your startup is fit for the twenty-first century, it maintains some sort of online presence. In fact, you may be satisfied with just a website, some social media pages, a blog, or even a pre-launch Web page. Just because your content is online, though, doesn’t mean it’s easily discoverable by your target audience.

With every post you publish, use keywords specific to your niche, to improve your Google rankings. You can also use these targeted keywords to power your social media-based audience acquisition.

Next, help people find your content by practicing a few SEO techniques, starting with your website. Title your pages with phrases unique to your business so they stand apart from other sites.

A tool like 40Billion.com specializes in promoting your content online and helping your business to get discovered by a large network of several million users across the most popular social networking sites – including Twitter, LinkedIn, 40Billion, and even Facebook. Innovative services like tweet ads, future retweets and promoted company listings were created for entrepreneurs  and marketers to tap into a growing, active network online without spending thousands on pay-per-click ads or traditional advertising.

  1. Negotiate a quid pro quo

If you’re just starting out, you may have a hard time introducing your company to the public. A great way to build a niche and generate word-of-mouth is through samples and giveaways.

Try reaching out to eager members of your target audience and offering up your product (or a sample of it) in return for a review and shares on social media.

  1. Co-sponsor an event

Every industry hosts its special events. Unless an event is owned and managed by a single company, most planners seek out sponsors to help fund the event.

This provides you with a fantastic niche marketing opportunity. Ask whether you can present there (or otherwise spotlight your company) to further engage attendees. Aside from giving you a good name, co-sponsoring a niche event allows you to meet and greet with your target demographic, as well as network and generate new leads.

Viral Video Marketing 101

Hand holding tablet with Viral marketing word on wood table

 

Video is rapidly growing and quickly becoming a staple of marketing strategies. If you have not yet incorporated video marketing then you are simply behind the curve. Not only that, but you are losing out on the various benefits that having a video strategy provides.

Importance of Video:

The reason video is such a powerful medium lies within its ability to engage, educate, and influence potential and existing customers. It’s a quick way to show brand personality and spread your company’s message in a compelling way. Unlike other media, video has the ability to make the audience feel something; and feeling something generally motivates action.

Social Media:

There are many ways to utilize video from a marketing standpoint, so let’s talk about a few. Social media platforms are the perfect place to showcase pre-rolls and teasers to create buzz or start a conversation about your brand. Find a creative way to make a short form video that will be share-worthy and reach large groups of people. With millions of people interacting on social media, creating good video content can be a vital tool in reaching the masses, and making your brand’s content go viral.

Social media platform 40Billion.com makes this easy by broadcasting and promoting your video content to its large network of several million users across the most popular social networking sites for businesses – including Twitter, LinkedIn, 40Billion, and even Facebook. Innovative services like tweet ads and promoted company listings were created for entrepreneurs and marketing professionals to tap into a growing, active network online without spending thousands on pay-per-click ads or traditional advertising.

Testimonials:

Now, lets talk about the value of a video testimonial. Video testimonials can be a great asset to your marketing plan as it allows your clients to sell the product or service for you. A genuine video testimonial can be just as powerful as hearing about a brand or service through word-of-mouth. With websites including a comment or review section under a product, people now more than ever are relying on others to let them know if their purchase will be worth it. Video testimonials take that experience to the next level by making it more personal and building more trust.

Search Engine Optimization:

Video can also help expand your SEO. Website owners can allow people to share their video content, creating backlinks that are registered by search engines. This can greatly increase your search rankings. Also, having a video on your landing page is key because video converts better than any other medium.

Video Blogs:

Video blogs are another important type of video to consider. Content for video blogs could include getting to know key members of a company, interviews with the CEO and executives on a professional and personal level. It helps people connect and feel good about their relationship with your company. Simply put, it humanizes your company. Video blogs are also easy to promote on social media and can help you stay relevant.

In conclusion, every business has a brand identity. There’s a reason why we choose some products over others. There’s a reason why we do business selectively. You need to showcase your passion and give consumers a reason to choose you over the competition. The possibilities with videos are endless, and the results can be gratifying and game-changing.

How would you sell Hair combs to Monks?

This is a great story, which taught me how to multiply my results in my sales career. I have often shared this with my students, to demonstrate how a shift in mindset and attitude can make a significant difference.

The Story:

3 sales professionals applied to work for a huge company. As they were all evenly qualified, the interviewer decided to set a sales challenge and the person who sold the most would be awarded the job.

The challenge was to sell combs to monks of any temple up in the mountains. “You have 3 days, and the person who sells the most will get the job” said the interviewer.

After 3 days, the 3 applicants returned, and reported their results.

Candidate 1 said “I managed to sell one comb. The monks scolded me, saying I was openly mocking them. Disappointed, I gave up and left. But on my way back, I saw a junior monk with an itchy scalp; he was constantly scratching his head. I told him the comb would help him with his scratching and he bought one comb”

Candidate 2 said “That’s good, but I did better. I sold 10 combs.” Excited, the interviewer asked “How did you do it?” Candidate 2 replied “I observed that the visitors had very messy hair due to the strong winds they faced while walking to the temple. I convinced the monk to give out combs to the visitors so they could tidy themselves up and show greater respect during their worship.”

Candidate 3 stepped up “Not so fast, I sold more than both of them.” “How many did you sell” asked the interviewer.

“A thousand combs”

“Wow! How did you do it?” the interviewer exclaimed.

“I went to one of the biggest temples there, and thanked the Senior Master for serving the people and providing a sacred place of worship for them. He was very gracious and said he would like to thank and appreciate his visitors for their support and devotion. I suggested that the best way would be to offer his visitors a momento and the blessing of Buddha. I showed him the wooden combs which I had engraved words of blessings and told him people would use the combs daily and would serve as a constant reminder to do good deeds. He liked the idea, and proceeded to order a thousand combs”

You got lucky,” one of the other candidates said bitterly.

“Not really,” the interviewer countered. “He had a plan, which was why he had the comb engraved prior to his visit. Even if that temple did not want it, another one surely would.”

“There is more,” the third candidate smiled. “I went back to the temple yesterday to check on the Master. He said many visitors told their friends and family about the comb with the Buddha’s blessing. Now even more people are visiting every day. Everyone is asking for the comb, and giving generous donations too! The temple is more popular than ever, and the Master says he will run out of the combs in a month… and will need to order more!”

Conclusion:

The three different candidates show us the different levels of sales performance:

Candidate 1 displayed the most basic level, which is to meet the prospect’s personal needs. The monk with the itchy scalp had a personal need; it was specific to him only.

Candidate 2 shows the next level – anticipating and creating new needs for the prospect. Perhaps the monk doesn’t have an obvious need for the comb, but how can it still be beneficial to him? When you can educate the prospect on new possibilities and benefits for his business, you are already outperforming your competitors.

Candidate 3 demonstrates the best level of all; an ongoing relationship resulting in repeat sales and referrals. Everyone was a winner, the monk, the devotees, the 3rd candidate and the interviewer. Help your prospects benefit their prospects, to create maximum value. View each prospect not as individuals, but also their contacts and network beyond them. See each customer as lifetime clients instead of one time sales.

Our beliefs and thoughts shape our actions and ultimately, our results. When faced with a challenge, how do you respond? And how big do you think?

How can you create new needs for your prospect and benefit their customers?