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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.