5 Top Tips for Marketing Your Startup on a Budget

In contrast to popular thought, 'doing more with less' is as much about innovative thinking as it is analytics – Ruth Saunders

Unlike established companies, most start-ups lack the funds to market their new product to as large an audience as possible.

The inability to place a product in front of the right eyeballs is a major reason why otherwise great start-ups fail to take off or are unable to eventually scale to a profitable venture.

Marketing a new business on a shoestring budget is not easy but it is achievable with strategic allocation of funds.

Read on to find out how to successfully market your start-up on a budget.

Conduct ROI Analysis To Determine What Works

case_02_300x250A major mistake many start-ups make is creating large, expensive marketing campaigns all at once. Established businesses have a greater capacity to do this. This is not a good approach for a start-up and can be a waste of precious marketing funds.

Yes, there are numerous marketing channels available but not all will bring in maximum bang for your buck. It’s important that you conduct an ROI analysis for the different channels to see what works and what does not work.

For example, invest smaller amounts in social media ads, display advertising, SEO or video to determine the channels that bring in maximum returns, before you can scale.

Invest in content marketing

Content marketing is probably the most cost-effective way to create awareness, generate leads, convert and nurture customers for your business. It’s huge and is set to continue for the foreseeable future.

Generating the right content to suit your audience is the secret to getting maximum returns. This will probably take up a lot of your time and effort, but a consistent content marketing campaign is well worth it in the long term.

Alternatively, you could work with a content marketing agency using a smaller budget to help you generate high quality content as you focus on the core aspects of your business.

Spend on social

thumb-1188492_1920Many small businesses cringe at the thought of spending money on social media—it’s supposed to be free, right? Well, you could go the free way and not see any meaningful results to write home about or you could allocate a budget and reap the benefits of social.

What’s really great about marketing on social media is that you can control the budget limits and scale as you see results. You are also able to test different strategies using smaller amounts of money.

Social media marketing has come a long way and there are plenty of tools and platforms on the various social media sites to help you launch a successful social campaign.

The good news is that many agencies offer reasonable priced social media marketing campaigns. It’s also possible to have a go yourself.

When planning your social media marketing campaign, think about the cost of:

  • Acquiring and retaining a talented social media team
  • Engaging with influencers
  • Creating engaging content
  • Scaling and diversifying the social networks
  • Creating mobile optimized social campaigns

Generate excitement through PR campaigns

The democratization of media has made it so much easier to access journalists, editors and other gatekeepers of mainstream media. With just a single tweet to a journalist, you can get them to lend you an ear to make your pitch.

Well, it may not be as easy as a tweet, but the truth is it is entirely possible to get in touch with journalists and PR professionals to generate buzz for your product without forking out thousands of dollars.

Smart use of social media will certainly help you find a journalist who can cover your story. Other platforms such as Help Out A Reporter (HARO) and well-known online PR platforms will help you generate buzz for free or at a very small cost.

Leverage the effectiveness of influencer marketing

7037129-fashion-model-girl-cara-delevingneSmart marketers are quickly realizing that they cannot go at it alone and are tapping into the impactful sway influencers have on consumers.

Here’s a fact: Just because you build it does not mean they will come. In a noisy and highly competitive business space, it is important to do things differently to generate awareness and interest for your product.

According to figures from Tomoson, the leading influencer marketplace, for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, $6.50 is generated in revenue.

Evidently, influencer marketing is currently one of the most cost-effective ways to generate the right buzz for your start-up.

What makes influencer marketing a great option for marketing on a budget is that there is a large availability of eager and impactful influencers and there are innovative ways to gather analytics and track performance so you can quickly learn from your mistakes.

Influencers can move the masses and effectively engage target niches better than an unknown start-up owner can—work with these individuals to build a community of loyal fans and customers.

Marketing on a Budget

Perhaps the biggest secret to market your new business successfully is starting small and scaling gradually. A small and gradual marketing approach will keep you from making costly mistakes that could sink your business. Scaling slowly allows you to test what works, to correct your mistakes quickly and to maximize opportunities to create buzz for your business, as fast as they arise.

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