Bang for Your Buck: 4 Online Marketing Tips for Startups on a Budget

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Get started with simple, cost-effective strategies to sell your product without bankrupting your company before you even get off the ground.

You have created a product that will excite the public. Now for the challenging part: creating buzz and selling your product without breaking the bank.

There is an incredible amount of information on the Internet pertaining to marketing a startup.

These four online marketing tips will get you started with simple, cost-effective strategies to sell your product without bankrupting your company before you even get it off the ground. 

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1. Facebook Marketing   

First, create a business account describing the name of your company and the products you have available. Include where your passion for the product came from and how your product works. This is called your brand story. 

Provide your email, phone numbers and pricing information for your products. You may want to attach an order form with an area for customers to recommend a friend and add their email. This is a great first step towards building an email marketing database for your company.  

To keep your audience engaged, you can do weekly updates on product development and specials. Update your followers weekly with pictures of your products, or updates on new business developments. Regular updates increase traffic and amp public excitement; if framed correctly, positive updates can even improve employee morale in the office. Explore a variety of strategies for showing off your product; your audience will be diverse and respond to a variety of styles and messaging. 

2. Guerilla Marketing, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram 

One of my favorite strategies for making a splash and creating excitement about a product or brand is with something called guerilla marketing. The premise of guerilla marketing is that you are going to do something so crazy and exciting that you’ll earn a ton of free media. Trump’s approach to his 2016 presidential bid could be described as a case study of guerilla marketing.  

He makes outrageous, inflammatory statements on Twitter and during his rallies. In return, the media plasters coverage of his statements in their regularly scheduled programming. Trump isn’t paying for this coverage, but his bombastic approach earns him “free media”. Some estimates place the value of the free media he’s earned so far at nearly $1.9 billion. 

Another strategy that some companies use involves creating a sensational ad that is shared across the internet. For example, Android released an adorable YouTube video titled “Friends Furever”. The message was simple and played to the “awe how cute!” in all of us. They managed to hit nearly 24 million viewers. 

Other advertising sites, like AdsWish, allow companies to list products and services for sale in localized, targeted markets. No matter where you advertise, make sure it’s the right mix of crazy and informative. If you can get your information to go viral, you’ll be in a strong position to grow your business.

Related Article:Online Marketing Basics for Start-Ups

3. Google AdWords and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

Google and other PPC advertisers capture vast amounts of information that can help guide your business’ marketing efforts. Google provides free tools, like their Keyword Planner that will help you choose keywords or phrases specific to your business. There are ad campaigns available for almost any budget.  

Whether it’s paid advertising, or old-school SEO, developing a strong presence on search engines like Bing, Google and Yahoo is a great way to get more traffic to your company’s site. To earn top rankings for keywords relevant to your industry, you’ll need to optimize your website for search phrases that your potential customers are using to find information about the products and services you offer.  

4. Does Your Company Really Need a Director of Marketing?  

Creating an optimized website that performs well on Google, while developing a marketing plan that can help your company explode as it opens its doors for the first time makes many founders wonder if bringing on a director of marketing is a good idea. For startups, the focus needs to be on selling and creating amazing products that generate revenue.  
 
Bringing in a director of marketing can be an expensive drain on a startup’s limited resources, even if it allows the team to focus on the things that generate revenue. For most startups, it makes the most sense to promote, or hire a director of marketing once there’s a steady cash-flow that can support expanding and specializing the team.  
 
Whether you feel the benefits of hiring a DoM at the outset outweigh the expense, or you are experiencing some success and need to continue the growth and success of your brand, a DoM will need clearly defined responsibilities.  

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Your startup will already have an excellent team in place that has valuable abilities to help your company grow; a DoM (especially an outside hire) needs to dovetail with the existing sales team and understand the value in learning from them what is and isn’t working. If your DoM is willing to listen, and seek to provide better support to the team in place, you’ll greatly benefit from a DoM’s experience and constant attention to your marketing. 
 

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