10 Creative Marketing Strategies for your Startup Business
Marketing is crucial - we all know this, but how do you do it on a budget that works for your startup without sacrificing the areas that need financial assistance? Well, I'm about to share all the neat little tricks I came across and some I currently use to grow my business.
Your website may not be big enough to gain affiliates, PR recognition or endorsements as yet, but getting smart about growing your audience will make all the difference in a few months.
Let's act fast and smart - here are my top 10 tips:
- Create relevant content on your website. This can be in the form of a blog, videos or valuable articles that your audience will want to digest.
- Get your articles into magazines or trade newspapers. This move can carry much more weight than a simple blog post - you will still target your audience, but across a wider field. The power of guest blogging is still rather important.
Build a referral network. Creating referrals and word of mouth are two of the most powerful marketing tools. This will result in other businesses referring their customer base to your business - complete win, win.
- Create partnerships for co-promotion. Having a network of relevant businesses who are not necessarily direct competitors. This tip is valuable and an important step, because B2B networking does work, if done well. An example may be a printing business, networking and teaming up with a marketing agency or even a PR firm. Both businesses can refer clients to get banners, business cards, stickers or any other brand related products printed. They may be a kick-back for the companies involved in doing the referral. Possibly some form of percentage being given, but sometimes, there isn't at all. It's simply one business owner supporting the other.
- Network. Become a people person - network as much as you can. Take time to join in with the conversations, follow up any leads that cross your path and don't be afraid to pick up the phone or respond to an email. Building a strong network is important! Although key, its great practice not to burn yourself out trying to get to know everyone. Networking is supposed to result in genuine relationships, so although there may be a business related benefit, the important elements are genuine connection and communication.
- Listen to your customers. For good market research and feedback on your product or service keep your ear to the ground. For genuine feedback use social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter - customers tend to be very honest here. It may also be helpful to create a survey, with Survey Money, to find out what your target audience really think. You can then use that information to make improvements to your business.
- Be as connected and accessible as possible. Use as many platforms as you can manage to be where your customers are at all times. The internet is steaming with platforms such as Youtube, Pinterest, Disqus, Twitter, Snapchat etc. Communicate via email, blog comments, fun chatty videos that allows you to answer their questions. But, don't overdo it. A lot of businesses make the mistake of trying to be everywhere, but not being able to genuinely and effectively make use of the platforms. Each platform require a different way of communicating. I've noticed for certain, that communication on Facebook is very different compared to communication on Twitter. This means, you will need to really look into what style of posting to use and combine that with your brand and voice.
- Create a loyalty scheme. This is very popular right now, all the big players are using this tip to drive sales. It creates a rewarding scheme for customers, which encourages them to purchase more and win more free products or extra services. Never feel too small to use this - there could be more to gain than lose here.
- Write an ebook. Books carry more value than most form of content - it allows you to showcase your knowledge and expertise. You can give this away for free or sell for a small price to new or returning customers.
- Sponsor a local competition or team. Sponsoring in your community can vary depending on what picks your fancy and what aligns with your business. You may have a small football team in your area that you like - get your logo on their uniform and show-off their upcoming games to your customers. This shows community spirit and has to be genuine to last, so choose something you connect with.
Marketing doesn't have to result in using Google pay-per-click to achieve high returns - it can be free and enjoyable. Being a startup is all about tactics and compromising to save and grow at the same time. Yes, one day you will need to pull out your cheque book and hire a marketer, but for now utilise your time and money in the right way.