Marketing may not seem urgent when you’re a young startup trying to build and define your product.
Contrary to popular belief, marketing is cheap and scalable. There are plenty of examples of good marketing regardless of business size or media budget. Marketing early in a startup has many proven benefits, including knowing which channels are most effective in customer acquisition and sales. It’s critical to figure this out early because startups grow quickly. You’ll soon have a sizable marketing budget. Here are five cheap marketing ideas for startups.
- Content Marketing is free
- Using keywords to reach customers
- Set up free social media campaigns
- Set up geo-targeting elements
- Paid marketing: Start small but early
Content Marketing is free
Content marketing is free but can be as effective as paid advertising. Begin blogging now. Using long-tail keywords can help you rank without paid search. Create a blog on Medium, LinkedIn, or another industry-specific content publisher if you don’t already have one.
Using keywords to reach customers
For every brand, there should be a list of keywords. Because there is so much content online now, some businesses use long-tail keywords to reach customers.
Keyword research takes time. Businesses must first identify the keywords, and then monitor their ranking on the search engine results page for each keyword. For example, a yoga studio uses keyword research to reach a larger audience. The studio is in Denver, Colorado, and classes can be booked online. Every week, the studio would Google keywords like “Denver yoga” and “yoga classes in Denver” to see where their website ranked. If their website is in the top five search results, they have a good SEO strategy. They can keep tracking these keywords on Google and recording weekly rankings on a spreadsheet. “Denver yoga” and “yoga classes in Denver” are evergreen keywords. For COVID-19, seasonal keywords could be “outdoor yoga classes in Denver” or “Zoom yoga classes”.
Set up free social media campaigns
Use all of the free tools on each social media platform. Facebook has free tools for small businesses. For example, automating FAQs on Facebook Messenger could speed up customer service and help them get the information they need to buy.
Set up geo-targeting elements
Local customer attraction is critical for brick-and-mortar stores. Did you know that geo-targeting is equally important for non-local businesses?
Like an edtech company that matches college students with high school students for tutoring. As it is new, they are looking for teachers who are enrolled in American universities. To help recruit teachers, the company wants to share testimonials from existing users.
On the landing page of the recruiting campaign, you could use geo-targeting to show a University of Pennsylvania student’s testimonial and a University of California, Berkeley student’s testimonial. This is just one example of geo-targeting.
Paid marketing: Start small but early
To start using paid social and paid search, you don’t need a big budget. It’s fine if you don’t have the funds yet. As you may be aware, setting up a business account on social media is completely free. Start with natural social media posts to learn about your audience. Continue to A/B test and find your business’ sweet spot — the most effective channels, content types and target demographics. So, if your company grows rapidly and you suddenly have thousands of dollars to spend on marketing, you’ll know exactly which strategies to use to maximize your ROI.