Let’s get this straight, right from the start. Marketing a startup is not easy. In fact, it’s really tough. The resources needed to implement any sort of marketing strategy are very scarce in the early stages of a new business.
But it doesn’t matter how busy you are, you can’t afford to ignore marketing.
And it can be done on a low budget. Here’s how.
1. Understand your target audience
Establish exactly who your target audience is. Only then can you devise a marketing strategy to appeal to the people who will pay for your product or service.
Work out who is looking for the kind of products or services you offer. Ask yourself how you can solve their problems. Study your market and competitors. Finally, create customer personas which will serve as descriptions of your potential customers’ psychographic and demographic data.
2. Share your expertise for free
You’re an expert in your industry, so share that knowledge with others in a helpful way. You could offer free seminars, webinars, blogs, guest posts, or even a video.
3. Engage with social media
Don’t just use social media to advertise your startup. Your social media pages can be used to provide value and to connect with your followers. Make an effort to find and share useful information to engage your customers.
If you encounter criticism, don’t be hostile. Use complaints as an opportunity to exhibit your startup’s commitment to customer service – start as you mean to go on.
4. Email marketing
Successful email marketing is not about spam. Good campaigns are well-scheduled so that people will know when to expect emails and updates. You also need to focus on your target audience when deciding on the emails’ themes, templates and content to ensure what you send them will be helpful.
5. Network like crazy
Networking is still hugely important. So be sure to carry your business card with you and be ready with your elevator pitch at all times.
Seek out opportunities to talk about your startup – this will help build awareness. Conferences and networking events are fantastic places to connect with key influencers, spread the word about your company, and learn more about your industry.
6. Use video
YouTube has more than a billion visitors every month. Facebook users watch 100 million hours of videos a day. The maths is simple – you need to use video. But it needn’t be expensive. Think about which type of video would be helpful and informative to your audience. Can you make a professional, informative video sitting in your office? Smart phone video capabilities and free video editing software should make it possible.