Startups face numerous challenges, but the struggle to remain cash positive can be precarious. The average cost of starting a business is approximately $30,000 according to the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). But this can greatly vary, with some businesses even starting at hundreds of dollars.
These companies have to pay salaries, raw materials, office leasing fees, and other operational costs. At the same time, they must struggle to remain afloat. Caught in a financial balancing conundrum, most entrepreneurs often abandon investments seen as superfluous, like marketing.
Sadly, that decision deters growth and reduces the amount of revenue collected. If you’re in this situation, don’t give up. Instead, try the following pocket-friendly marketing strategies.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is free to some extent. You can create your business page and start engaging your target audience. However, if you want to succeed on social media, you must be willing to spend a few dollars, and Facebook is a popular platform.
According to Pew Research, over 60% of American adults are Facebook users. There is a good chance therefore that your target audience is using the platform. In addition, over 40% of digital marketers feel that Facebook marketing is positive.
There are different marketing options that can make you reach a wide audience or customer base. For instance, try to buy Facebook likes and increase your following. A huge social media following has a way of attracting more fans.
Compared to other digital marketing strategies, Facebook marketing is cost-effective and can help you reach a wider audience. Other social media platforms to consider include:
Guest posting is an SEO strategy where you write an article for another website and get a link to your site or blog. Therefore, you must find a website with a significant number of visitors or subscribers.
If you post engaging and helpful content on a site that does not have even a single follower or visitor, you will be like someone who makes food for 100 people only to eat alone. Guest posting gives you a platform to fish for visitors and customers.
So look for an established website that falls within your niche and creates valuable content to post. At the end of the post, you can create a bio line that shows readers who you are and directs them to your new website. You can also employ other creative ways to get more subscribers.
Google is one of the biggest search engines and they offer marketing. Like Facebook marketing, Google offers targeted marketing where only a specific group of people searching a specific keyword are often directed to your website.
If your business ranks high, your chances of succeeding also increase. Over 90% of searchers online choose businesses that appear on the first page of the results. So, you must also invest in SEO. With Google AdWords, you can kill several birds with one stone. You can earn revenue, improve your ranking and boost your marketing.
Email marketing helps you retain the few customers who come your way. It is a way to keep your customers engaged, inform them of new products or services and to help with solutions to their problems.
Email marketing can be automated with the right tools, making it great for a startup. Whenever you add a new product, service or content, an email goes to your subscribers. If you have a few subscribers, you are good to go.
These few subscribers can market your business to their friends and family members and this grows your subscription list. However, you have to treat these customers right and offer unique products or services, and any other valuable information.
Word Of Mouth Marketing
In this digital era, word of mouth advertising does not sound like a good idea, but it is. People believe in your products if they hear of them from a third party or the horse’s mouth.
One way, the easiest way to market through word of mouth is to ask friends and family to pass a word on your new business- literal tell-a-person-to-tell-a-person. That way, you are able to grow your subscription list and your customer base.
You can also offer products to online review sites. Blogs that review products are always interested in new products. Spot one blog in your niche and offer a free product to the blogger to review your product. If they review it positively, you grow your numbers. Most importantly, get out of your store, and meet your customers in community events and trade fairs.
Consistency is key for all business owners, whether you sell products online or offline. Your products or service quality has to be consistently good. This will get people talking and your customer base will expand exponentially. What other strategies can you share with startups?