Startups have a lot of expenses to cover, such as raw materials, production, packaging, creating an online presence, establishing a warehouse, and much more. And all of this would be for nothing if customers are not aware of your product. Marketing is key to a successful business and with the advancement and visibility provided on the internet, every business can benefit from it.
But startups don’t have the budget that every other enterprise-level business has and this can complicate things. You want to stand out from the competitors, but you have a limited budget and thus limited options. That does not mean you can’t compete. Social media marketing has made it easier to market your products almost for free. And the results are tremendous. In 2020, there were around 3.78 billion users active on social media and the numbers keep increasing.
Even besides social media, there are many ways you can effectively market your products on a budget. And we have curated a low-cost marketing strategies list for you so you can grow your business successfully.
Let’s get started!
Low Budget Marketing Techniques;
One of the most important and effective ways to stay on budget and make sure you are competing against the top in the game is by optimizing SEO. SEO is utilized by every business, no matter how big or small, to rank higher on search engines. SEO can change the game if it is maintained properly. Besides just writing good content, you need to make sure it is relevant to your market and contains keywords that can help your audience find you easily.
The first step of optimizing SEO involves keyword research. There are many tools available for this, such as Ubersuggest, Keywordrevealer, etc. Keywords help you attract the right audience, increase conversions, and sales. Keywords also provide content ideas and competition analysis to see where you stand.
Engage on Social Media
Around 73% of marketers believe that social media marketing has been very effective for their business. Social media has the power to take your marketing to the next level. All you have to do is engage with your audience and showcase your expertise in the area.
For this, the first course of action is to create your business profiles on selected social media platforms. We say selected because it takes time and effort to create a reputable image and you also need to see where your related audience is most active. Once you have picked the platforms, post relevant content, be consistent, join community groups, and engage in comments. This helps in improving customer engagement, opening conversations, and building trust among your audience.
Use Infographics and Visuals
Infographics are a form of visuals that are eye-catching and help in gaining customer attention. Around 40% of content creators have determined infographic visuals as the biggest contributor to increasing engagement. That’s a huge percentage and thus infographics could be the next big marketing trend.
You can either hire a designer or use software to create an infographic. Infographics are available in different layouts such as a flowchart, timeline, road map, mind map, etc. Infographics are a great way to generate links and increase traffic.
Utilize Email Marketing
Email marketing has a higher ROI than social media marketing. For every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect a return of $42. It is one of the oldest and most effective marketing strategies to date. Email marketing requires constant effort and a good strategy to make sure it works. For this, you first need to create an email list, an organic one. You can do this by making your customers sign-up for newsletters and segment them. Segmentation helps in sending targeted emails to your customers to increase the conversion rate.
Moreover, email marketing doesn’t mean you send unnecessary emails to your customers constantly. That could lead to unsubscribing. Instead, focus more on creating attractive headlines, adding visuals, giving coupons to make sure your customers open the email. It is also important to do A/B testing and track your performance to see if it’s working or not.
Use Social Proof
If you want to be successful, you need to keep up with the times. And enabling social proof on your site is a budget-friendly and effective way to do so. Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that people tend to follow the masses, assuming that what the majority is doing must be the right thing to do. And this works magically when you incorporate it into your marketing strategy.
Customers are uncertain when dealing with a new business or in general looking for a product and not sure which vendor to choose. Social proof helps in persuading the customers to your business and removing doubt about the quality. Social proof has many forms and can be displayed through customer reviews, trust badges, user-generated content, testimonials, celebrity endorsement, or expert opinion. You can add these features to your site by using WooCommerce Social Proof plugins.
Around 87% of the consumers read online reviews before making a purchase, that’s how powerful social proof is. You can either do this for free manually or use plugins to automate the process. Either way, it builds trust, awareness, and credibility.
Another cost-effective way to market your online startup is by generating backlinks. Despite what your business type is, having good content on-site can help you rank higher on search engines, as we mentioned before. But if you want to increase your visibility, even more, you need to guest post for other famous blogs. Why? Because it is a ranking factor for search engines like Google. If multiple sites link back to your content, this means it’s worth reading and other websites trust your blog.
Generating backlinks is a tedious task. It requires extensive research and effort. The extensive research involves searching for blogs that are relevant to your niche. Competitive analysis is also important to see what keywords your competitors are ranking for and to which sites.
Enable a Referral Program
Do you know that 80% of consumers trust their friends and family recommendations rather than online reviews or any other marketing tactic employed by the business itself? That’s why enabling a referral program on your site is beneficial because you can use your loyal customers for organic marketing.
Referral marketing is effective only when carried out properly. First, you need to market your referral program, don’t be shy, and send emails to your selected customers. Second, make the sign-up process very easy. And lastly, provide powerful incentives or rewards to make it effective. Referral awards could be gift cards, discounts, coupons, or a free subscription month.
Host a Giveaway
Giveaways are a tried and tested cost-effective marketing strategy that helps bring in organic traffic. Many businesses are using this strategy, where they choose a product as a giveaway and define few rules for customers to enter. Giveaways help you gain attention and attract followers and subscribers to your site.
Giveaways can be a hit and miss, but they do work. Some might be able to achieve a higher follower count, while others will result in multiple sales.
For an effective giveaway strategy, clearly define the rules, the audience, and the product. Next, choose the channels where you want to promote the giveaway (presumably the platform where your customers are most active).
Be active on Forums
Sometimes all it takes is responding to queries and engaging with your audience to gain customer attraction and market your business. There are many platforms available such as Quora, Reddit, etc. You can also join Facebook groups related to your industry and try to create authority by helping others.
The results are not instant and it takes time to become a known figure in such groups. But it is a good way to gain organic traffic and gain brand awareness.
Influencer marketing helps in creating a buzz around your brand that cannot be achieved through traditional marketing. As stated before, people are more likely to buy something or trust someone they already know or follow. That’s why choosing influencers to market your brand is not only brilliant but also cost-effective.
There are few websites available that can connect you to influencers in your niche, but besides that, you can also run extensive research on social media platforms like Instagram through hashtags. Some influencers work for free in exchange for a free product or discount while others charge for their services. But trust us, this investment is worth it.
Run an Affiliate Program
Don’t confuse affiliate marketing with referral marketing. In affiliate marketing, influencers add links to your website or product in their content in return for a commission, if a sale is made through their links. This is better because the links are secured in content rather than ads which are mostly ignored by visitors.
You can create a complete affiliate program and advertise it on your site. Although it might eat up some of your profit, it helps in increasing sales volume.
It is very important to evaluate your old content and recycle them. All content creators are aware of how difficult it is to write and rank your article, so why not get the most out of it. For recycling content, first its important to analyze which content is popular and which needs to be updated.
When editing, add relevant content according to the current era, increase value, add images and videos, or simply give your content a new format. For example, turn a video into an article or create a booklet out of your articles. Whatever you do, recycling helps to retain the SEO value the blog earned previously and make it visible again for your new audience.
You don’t have to invest tons of money to properly market your products. Yes, paid advertisements might make the process faster and hassle-free but with a little effort and dedication, you can achieve similar or better results with low-budget marketing techniques. SEO, email marketing, and social proof are some of the most effective tools that can gain you the attention you need easily.