There are plenty of costs and risks incurred by those of us brave enough to start our own businesses – which is precisely why we need to be savvy about the way we spend money on promotion! The way you choose to market your business, however, will depend on what you want to achieve, how much cash you have, and how much time you can dedicate to advertising. Whatever your plans, and however healthy your cash flow is, here are seven low budget marketing tips for your startup…

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  1. Choose your target audience

Does your product appeal to the masses? Lucky you! However, universal appeal also makes things tricky – it might be easier to narrow down your audience to a specific niche and spend your time, money and energy marketing to those particular customers. Find out what your target audience is and focus on reaching them first – something you could learn by conducting short surveys or by asking for customer feedback.

  1. Set up a business blog

Your startup needs a blog – it doesn’t have to sell your product in an obvious way, but it should make your customers feel like sticking around on your site, getting inspiration, unearthing knowledge and sharing it with their friends. If you can create compelling content, you’ll acquire more customers through Google searches and social shares. 

  1. Give a good impression

An inevitable problem shared by all startups is that you just haven’t been around long enough for customers to trust that you can deliver what you’re promising. And, whilst age isn’t the be all and end all, it will certainly help if your online and offline communication materials are trustworthy and on-brand. Consider letterhead printing and standardise your designs, logos and tone of voice while you’re at it. Ultimately, you need to give the impression that you’re established and know what you’re doing.

  1. Start emailing marketing

Email marketing helps you to reach a large audience anywhere in the world, any time, in a place most people visit every day – their inbox. In fact, email marketing is almost 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined when it comes to helping businesses win new customers. You can use a free plan from services like MailChimp, allowing you to reach 2,000 subscribes with up to 12,000 emails a month without paying a penny.

  1. Build a presence on social media

You need to be where your customers are, which just so happens to be social media. Interact with your existing and potential customers, share ideas that your audience is interested in (and not just your product!) and respond to their comments. Social media allows for a two-way conversation; done well it could strengthen your reputation and create a buzz around your brand.

  1. Optimise your website

You might not be able to afford an SEO technician right now, but you can take steps towards optimising your website. First, make sure your design is mobile-friendly; it’s predicted that 63.4% of mobile phone users will access online content through their devices by 2017. Second, check your website tells consumers what you do in a way that’s clear and memorable. And finally, if you’re running an e-commerce website, ensure it functions well and is secure enough for consumers to want to give you their payment details!

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