A typical startup has a miniscule budget and a small team of friends having an ambition to nurture and sell a new business idea. The challenges are many for a new company.
But the toughest challenge is to take the business to an entirely new audience which is different in many ways from the existing one. But traditional marketing methods are expensive for startups.
A big marketing concern faced by startups is that products or services are new and unproven. So, now it’s time to explore these 10 innovative ways to promote your startup which are free of cost.
“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.” –Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO`
Profile your ideal customer
Before you conduct any PR outreach, first figure out exactly who your customer is. Knowing what type of customer you need to reach makes all the difference in your promotional efforts. It might be app developers, young moms or shoelace manufacturers. The point is, know your target. Then you can effectively aim.
Focus on Your Target Customers
Do not waste energy and time on addressing entire gamut of audience in your startup’s marketing campaign. This implies that you should avoid attracting the masses. Your efforts instead should focus more on loyal customers who will return to buy your products or services again. For example, send emails of thanks to customers who have already bought from you and encourage them with incentives. Try to turn them into your brand ambassadors.
Create Effective Content Marketing Plan
Content is king, but only when it’s marketing has a purpose and design. Blindly posting your content on plethora of online platforms will not yield desired results. A clever and desirable way to content marketing is to create blogs that address customer’s specific queries. Try to create more lengthy blogs so that each piece delivers sufficient relevant information to customers. Google is more likely to rank a lengthy piece of information for search results.
Patience and Belief
I like to call it ‘The Failure-Success Cycle”: In order to get valuable traction, you must be patient and understand it’s a trial and error process that includes A/B testing, measuring, willingness to learn and optimize. In order to draw real conclusions,it is highly recommend using a tool that would allow you to see trends and developments, and understand the data review.
Make personal connections with brand advocates
Start looking for those who are talking about your area of expertise or are thought leaders in your product’s space. Then get to know them. If possible, meet them offline, but if that is not an option, strike up a conversation online. The goal is to build a relationship with those who are tweeting, writing, blogging and otherwise spreading the word about products like yours.
Use Power of Video
Nothing matches the power of visuals for convincing and engaging an audience. Amongst a variety of visual content, videos are the most effective for driving viewers to a business. Startups can explore videos for making a quick rapport with potential customer’s .Videos are actually entirely affordable for startups. So, create your video channels for business promotion.
Maintain a Good Online Reputation
In this age of cutthroat competition, rival businesses will generate bad publicity about your business. You should keep a close online watch on bad reviews of your company created by your rivals. To counter rivals efforts, set up Google Alerts. When you track a slew of bad reviews, target them by creating many positive reviews and good word of mouth publicity on social media for your company. That will bury bad reviews deeper in the web.
Creating graphic design
Another way is to create your graphic design items such as logos, business cards, websites, stationery etc. by keeping your customers’ profile in mind. Remember that logos, business cards etc. convey your brand’s message. So, they should be carefully designed for an impact on target customers.
Make Use of Offline Marketing
While focusing your means on online marketing ways, do not ignore offline marketing. In fact, a successful marketing campaign will combine both methods. Offline marketing includes handing out business cards on the sidelines of a major event, distributing leaflets to passersby, meeting influencing people to generate good word of mouth publicity and so on.
For better results, startups should explore local networking events. A presence on local platforms will help in landing your first bunch of customers.
Stand on the shoulders of your customers.
Satisfied clients can be a business’s best marketing tool. Actively engage pre-existing clients through PR, social media and email.For example, pitching your business and a satisfied customer to a writer can be mutually beneficial for both parties. This tactic generally leads to a more compelling story and a stronger relationship between you and your customer.
Once you have a customer army of spokespeople, let them share positive experiences and tell your company story for you.