Startups need to face a number of challenges. But none of the challenges are as life-threatening or precarious as the struggle to maintain the constant flow of cash. As per estimates by the Minority Business Development Agency, the average cost for starting a business is $30, 000, and this figure can vary significantly, with certain companies starting at just a few 100 dollars to others that need even millions.
But these are just initial business startup expenses. Other costs can add up, including office-leasing charges, paying team salaries, operational costs, and the cost of availing of raw materials.
An estimated 80% of the entrepreneurs do not have any prior idea of such costs, and therefore, they are unable to maintain a good financial balancing act. Hence they give up marketing.
But here’s the thing: top-quality and effective startup marketing does not need to be expensive. Of course, high-budget marketing campaigns will bring more awareness and visibility, but startups can use many effective, low-cost marketing strategies for their growth.
They are as follows.
Define Your Key Goals and Analytics Clearly
You are working with less money. Therefore, you must be detailed and clear concerning your business objectives. Your main goal is to make money, but all your marketing endeavors will not bring you money.
Therefore, you must determine the prospective results you want from your marketing campaign. What is it that you consider success to be? Is it more subscribers, lead generations, or traffic on your site?
Combined, these things mean more awareness about your startup, eventually resulting in more money.
You will be able to determine your success only when you understand where you are heading to. Collect website statistics and analytics for establishing your finances. Once you finish measuring the key baselines, it is time to measure your hard work.
Know Your Budget
This is a complicated yet simple step. Knowing your budget means clearly understanding the amount of money you can spend on marketing your startup. In other words, what amount of money you must spend to reach success. Here, considering the time factor is also very important.
Determine the amount of time you can spend on planning and managing your startup marketing campaign. Managing time and money to market a startup can be confusing since you do not exactly know the amount of time and money it requires to get the desired results.
Essentially, no magic number exists here. For the majority of the startups, this time and money boil down to putting aside only as much as they can afford.
Make Effective Use of Videos
Your objective is to create a maximum level of customer engagement and shareability, and what better way of achieving this objective than using videos. Videos are great at sparking strong emotions in the viewers, inspiring them to take the right action based on their emotions and not on facts.
Nowadays, creating marketing videos is no longer expensive, considering a large number of video-making tools available in the market. Get a good quality video maker and launch your products and services like never before.
Take the example of the inexpensive but professional and polished marketing videos of Airbnb. This community marketplace for people to list and book accommodations worldwide is known for its fantastic video campaigns.
The company’s video campaign called “Made Possible by Hosts” highlighted the wonderful experience that hosts bring to guests. Airbnb used real photographs and videos from guests to create this campaign and guess what. More than 3 million individuals from across the world have created content, engaged, and even spoken about the campaign.
Be Consistent in Presenting Your Brand Image
Changing your brand image to attract different audiences is a major mistake. Always try presenting a consistent look and feel, so you and your consumers remain crystal clear about who you are.
Branding is one of the most critical aspects of your startup that you can control 100% right from the beginning. For instance, use the same headshot image and logo across all the social media platforms.
Also, try keeping your brand’s colors consistent both online and offline. This includes your online directories, website, stickers, signs, menus, flyers, t-shirts, and brochures. The tone of your marketing should also be similar across your social media profiles, blogs, and videos.
Learn the secrets of consistency from Starbucks, the American multinational chain of coffee houses and roaster reserves. The company knows the significance of brand consistency and thus keeps all its outlets looking and smelling exactly the same.
Not to mention, any Starbucks you visit, its logo and storefront will immediately make it recognizable as your local Starbucks.
And yes, do not forget to make your employees aware of your branding standards. That’s important because your startup can be a mess if you are the only one sticking to branding consistency rules.
Target the Influencers
As a startup entrepreneur, you must know that people only buy what they know and from people, they rely on. That’s the reason why influencer marketing is gaining huge momentum these days.
Influencer marketing has become the new marketing trend, especially for startups considering the large number of digital channels out there. This makes it easier for startups to promote their services and products to a large number of followers with just a click of the button on their systems.
Experts suggest focusing on quality over quantity when looking for the right influencers. Look out for influencers with a high engagement rate instead of falling for those with huge followers. Additionally, you must ensure picking an influencer specific to the industry you are serving.
Offer free products and services to your influencers in exchange for their product reviews. This is one of the most popular marketing strategies used by YouTube influencers. And believe it, this will also work for your startup.
Chances are, initially, your startup marketing efforts will not be an instant success, and you might even fail in your marketing efforts. But instead of getting discouraged, try learning from your mistakes and getting right back on track.
Remember, successful marketing is about refining your techniques to determine what’s working best for your startup. So, evaluate every step of your marketing campaign, determine the areas that need improvement, and analyze whether you are targeting the right clients. Persistence is what will help you grab success ultimately.