As a startup, your business faces many challenges with the greatest being staying cash positive. Considering it costs about $30,000 to start a business today, you can understand why this is so important. This isn’t the only cost you’ll acquire though. You’ll also find yourself paying thousands a month in team salaries, leasing fees, raw materials, and ongoing operational costs. When you get caught up in this delicate, financial balancing act, you may be tempted to let go of some things like marketing and advertising. Unfortunately, neglecting these will stifle your business’s growth, make you less money, and create an even more restrictive budget. However, since only about 80% of entrepreneurs know how to measure their marketing strategy’s effectiveness, it’s no wonder it’s so quickly abandoned. Fortunately, effective marketing doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. While higher-budget marketing strategies bring more visibility and a higher return on investment (ROI), there are many low-cost, highly effective marketing strategies you can and should use.
1. Build a Social Media Presence
Shane Barker says social media is a powerful marketing tool in and of itself today. This is something about 90% of businesses conclude and about 89% say social media has given their companies increased exposure. As if this wasn’t enough, you’ll also appreciate some other great benefits, including:
- Increased exposures
- Higher traffic
- Loyal customers
- Improved search ranking
- More leads generated
- The establishment of thought leadership
- A higher volume of sales
While more businesses are taking notice of this, not all of them are properly adopting social media marketing strategies. There are some fatal mistakes you should avoid making, including:
- Choosing the wrong social media marketing channel
- Not developing a social media marketing strategy
- Going along with the crowd – Just because one business is hugely successful on Twitter, doesn’t mean you’ll get the same results. You need to focus on where your customers are.
2. Don’t Forget About SEO
Once you’ve built a great website that contains service pages for all your products or services, visitors won’t start flocking to it. You need to make sure your website stands out among your competition. The best way to do this is through search engine optimization (SEO). This is also a great way to build trust – something that happens when your website ranks high in the search engine results pages (SERPs) because people then start to believe that you’re a reputable company. Of course, this only works if you follow the best practices and stay up-to-date with what’s going on in the world of search engines. Another option is to simply hire a good SEO company.
3.Use of Cloud Technology
New Gen Apps says you should use a cloud-based phone system for communication. There are some great reasons for this, including:
- It’s relatively easy to use and will scale with your business since it’s designed with these features in mind. This means you can start with a small budget and pay as your resources grow.
- You can start with a minimal investment, which is great since you have limited capital resources that you must invest wisely.
- Scalability is built right into the cloud. This is important because you can’t predict when your business will take off, but you must be prepared for when it does so. This means you can’t afford for your server to crash because you’ve used too much bandwidth. If this happens, your customers will leave angrily, you’ll lose credibility, and you’ll need to get more servers and bandwidth anyway. None of this ever happens with the cloud though.
- Cloud computing can meet everyone’s needs. There’s Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for you to choose from. There are also a variety of service providers available – each of which offers different services. With these customized on-demand service offerings you’ll be able to find something that works for you.
- You’ll no longer need to worry about technology keeping up with you so you can instead focus on your core job.
4.PPC ads and Email marketing
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing allows you to pay for search engine advertising that brings visitors to your website. There are many practical advantages here, including:
- Reaching your customers at the right time with the right ad
- A high ROI since you only pay when an interested person clicks on your ad
- Control over your spending
- Almost immediate results
- Receiving information and insights that will help you sharpen your other marketing strategies
While this sounds great you should proceed with caution because PPC campaigns can quickly exhaust your budget. Instead, you’d do better focusing your efforts on email marketing. Some marketers have said this form of marketing is dead, many people have found that it delivers a handsome ROI – about 122%, which is four times higher than paid search, direct mail, and social media marketing channels. To run a successful email marketing campaign, you’ll need to:
- Create a catchy, engaging, and benefit-rich subject line
- Write in plain, persuasive language instead of using jargon
- Break up your text with bullets and subheadings so it’s easy to scan
- Talk about the benefits you offer
- Optimize emails for mobile devices
5.Invest in the Best Tools
Mentionlytics says you must have the right tools to create a strong digital presence or you’re bound to fail. This includes having a marketing plan for your social media campaigns from day one. It needs to sync with your SEO and help you get the most out of technological advancements. This is where carefully choosing and using the right marketing tools is important. Fortunately, many of these tools are free of cost today.
6.Engage Your Targeted Audience
Growth Hackers says you need a content strategy that engages your audience and which you can consistently follow. As part of this strategy, you should focus on how your products or services benefit your users. At the same time, remember that SEO depends on the keywords used herein.
7.Forums and groups
The entrepreneur says lurking on public forums and social media groups is powerful because you never know when someone will ask a question you can answer or you’ll hear about a way to promote your business. This is a free way to truly benefit since it only costs a few hours of your time.