5 Effective Low-Budget Marketing Strategies for Startups

 

Go back to basics with these proven methods of effective marketing.

Startups operate under extremely tight budgets, which makes it almost impossible for them to set aside a marketing budget. With their tight budgets, they have to pay employees and rent, buy raw materials and cater to their huge overhead costs. Ignoring marketing and advertising becomes an easier option for them.

But then, without vigorous marketing strategies, startups do not stand any chance of growth or even staying afloat in today’s extremely competitive market. If you don’t market your products or services, you might not even have any revenue to budget for in a few short months to come. Advertising is more of a mandatory investment for the success of your startup than it is superfluous. That is why as a startup entrepreneur, you must come up with effective marketing strategies that give you 100 percent value for every coin you put into marketing, if not more.

As you will learn from this post, you don’t need to spend a fortune to market effectively. Here are five low-budget marketing strategies that will bring unbelievable visibility and consistency to your startup.

01

Content Marketing

Content marketing requires very little investment and gives unbelievable returns when done right. Note that this form of marketing has many sides and approaches, so you shouldn’t restrict yourself to only one approach. For a start, you can establish a company website where you share with the world everything about your business. You can add a blog section in the website where you add new content as regularly as possible, both to educate and entertain your audience

It will be helpful if you can present your content in easy-to-consume bits, e.g. in the form of videos, infographics, pictures and podcasts. Another approach would be to guest blog for high-traffic websites and then add outbound links to your website. If your website has compelling content, your brand reputation will greatly improve through

02

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is big these days, particularly with billions of people from all over the world using smartphones. If you can package your content well for social media consumption, you can be sure that it will go viral and shine the limelight on your business. Your new startup needs to come out as a reliable, reputable brand online if it is to become popular and attract its target clientele.

For a start, you can create a Facebook page and use it to interact with your potential clients. Facebook pages are free to create. Other platforms that will help you appeal to your target audience include Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. As your revenue collection grows, you can opt to pay for premium social media services such as Facebook Business and Facebook Ads.

Note that a skilled social media manager will help you grow your social media profile by posting the right, relevant and engaging content. You can use freelance platforms like Fiverr to find people with reasonable rates to do the heavy lifting for you.

Remember that posting compelling content is just a small part of the social media marketing puzzle. You must follow that up with providing the best services possible for your customers and making genuine efforts to attend to their online questions and concerns. A happy and satisfied customer will always be your startup’s unpaid brand ambassador. Negative comments from unhappy customers, on the other hand, can greatly harm your brand reputation.

03

Guerrilla marketing

Even with social media and the internet taking over the world, there still are many guerrilla marketing methods that will work for you. These marketing strategies involve creating a buzz around your products and services offline as a way of winning the target market’s attention. It involves creating entertaining and informative messages and then passing it to your local target market through the word of mouth. When people keep talking about the positives of your products, you get a better shot at new business opportunities.

04

Email marketing

Email marketing might be traditional, but it’s not entirely outdated. The key to nailing email marketing is creating an organic list of customers as opposed to buying a falsified, non-organic list. Ensure that your outgoing email blasts only go to people who are actually interested in your products or in reading your content.

05

Smartphone apps

As we mentioned, everyone is using smartphones today. That should tell you that there is immeasurable potential in smartphone ecommerce apps. These apps are inexpensive to create yet they can appeal to millions of customers in one go. Just ensure that your app has the best UX so that clients can easily use it to place their orders and to access customer support.

Source: https://www.ctpost.com/business/article/5-Effective-Low-Budget-Marketing-Strategies-for-15183966.php

Chobani took the $7 billion yogurt aisle and disrupted it with a new product, greek yogurt

Five Strategies Entrepreneurs Should Pursue To Purposely Disrupt Multibillion Dollar Industries

 

Would be entrepreneurs can take years trying to think of ideas or even problems that they could solve to potentially launch a startup. Most new startups though are based on iterations of an existing product or service slightly improved or innovated. Google was not the first search engine. Nike was not the first athletic shoe. Facebook was not the first social media company. Two out of the three companies (Google and Facebook) actually launched with a strategy of “free” to gain traction and disrupt their competitors. Even companies like YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and WhatsApp launched with a business model of free. They bet that if they were successful, they would figure out how to monetize the business later. Risky but it paid off for them.

So here is a thought. What if you strategically looked at industries that have risen rapidly or those that have stagnated and you purposely looked to disrupt them with a slightly innovated product or service that is only marginally better than the current offering but you changed the business model so that you could compete effectively?

A recent example of this is exactly what the brand Chewy has done to the pet industry and specifically, PetSmart and Petco. Those two firms are anchor bound to their hundreds of retail stores and all that overhead while Chewy is offering the same pet products online for less. Chewy did this so well that PetSmart acquired Chewy in 2017 for $3.3 billion as a defensive position. What will Petco do now?

Here are five strategies to fuel a startup and potentially disrupt an industry:

01

Target an industry that is ripe for disruption.

Some industries have already been famously disrupted: entertainment with Netflix, Uber with taxi services, AirBnb with rooms and houses. Blockbuster, regional taxi companies and hotels believed that their industry was immune to disruption because their regional market dominance created too high a barrier to entry, the business model or technology needed was too complex, the investment in required assets was too high and the old standby, it hasn’t happened yet, so it won’t happen. What large industry is just sitting on their heels and ignoring their current or potential new customers?

02

Identify a disruption strategy.

Disruption can come in many forms; you need to identify which strategy to take. The most obvious and well used strategy is to disrupt the business model of competitors by introducing a lower-cost version or a free/ freemium/premium product or service business model. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Dropbox were all initially free.

There is however a counter strategy: create a superior offering. Go into a highly commoditized marketplace with a product that creates new value. As mentioned above, Chewy did this in the pet industry. Silk did it in the milk aisle and Beyond Meat is disrupting the meat aisle with plant based meat substitutes.

03

Find a new tribe / new value.

Disruption doesn’t have to be about “stealing” someone else’s customers or putting people out of work. The airline industry has been routinely disrupted by new entrants that bring in low-cost business models.

Ryanair is a great example of this in Europe. There’s little or no evidence that they grew by stealing customers from Lufthansa or KLM. By offering better or short routes that no one else did at prices that competed with trains and buses they created an entirely new market of budget conscious travelers. So, an important step in disrupting traditional industries and marketplaces is to find new value that will attract new customers.

04

Fight from within.

Don’t try and disrupt a mature industry from the outside. If you are on the inside, then you work for an established organization and their mantra should be, “disrupt or be disrupted.” If they are not paying attention, then use your expertise to disrupt them. Or better yet, take insiders with you who are experts in the field to lead the disruption charge. I worked in the advertising industry, gained my experience and then co-founded an integrated marketing agency with an expertise in digital marketing that grew to $1.2 billion and disrupted the advertising industry.

05

Exploit your size.

Large organizations, despite them being full of smart people, are vulnerable to disruption because of the very things that have made them large and profitable: by focusing on shareholder return. They tend to repeat what is working and often hesitate to innovate for fear of losing existing customers.

Start-ups by comparison can operate with speed and urgency, make decisions with incomplete information, identify customer needs/problems and relentlessly seek-out product/market fit by pivoting rapidly. If you are the disruptor, you need to do all you can to make the most of this inherent advantage and scale as fast as you can. A great example of this is what Netflix did to Blockbuster.

If you are looking to create a disruptive startup, focus on industries that are large, failing to innovate or who believe they don’t need to offer their customers a better product or service. Pay attention to trends, do some research with customers and find the value-add that will disrupt the industry.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernhardschroeder/2020/01/06/five-strategies-entrepreneurs-should-pursue-to-purposely-disrupt-multi-billion-dollar-industries/#379cf26d4eea