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6 Low Budget Marketing Strategies For Startups

India has more than 61,400 recognised startups. And this number only keeps increasing with each passing day. This implies that a startup that seeks to succeed should beat the immense competition in its field. Startups cannot effectively generate enough brand awareness and sales without marketing. 

The thing is, marketing often requires a large budget, which is often not available for startups.  However, with a little creativity and determination, you can successfully market your startup. That’s why we’ve provided some low-budget marketing strategies for startups. 

6 Low-budget marketing strategies for startups

Here are six ideas to market your brand efficiently on a tight-budget. Read along to get inspired. 

1. Create a strong brand image

You work using a small budget but this doesn’t mean that you have to look cheap. Make sure that your business appears trusted, professional, and successful. Create a professional brand identity so that you look more like an established brand. Here’s some techniques you should use-

  • Develop a brand identity: Picking colours, fonts, tone, and imagery that would best suit your brand. For instance, when someone says “Coca-Cola”, immediately you’re able to visualise its calligraphy, red and white colour combination, enjoyment tone, and its logo. So, choose the right mix of everything to best represent your brand such that it resonates well with your target market
  • Maintain consistency: Be consistent with your brand identity across all your marketing collaterals. That is, use the same logo, tone, font styles, colour combination, tagline, etc. on your website, letter pad, social media profile, packaging, and more.
  • Establish your value proposition: Tell the world what makes you unique in your niche, in order to stand out from your competitors. Also keep an eye on your competitors to understand which techniques work better than others in your industry.
  • Know what to avoid: Certain things that you need to avoid are giving mixed messages, losing consistency between online and offline branding, and copying your competitors. For, doing these can falter or fail your brand.

2. Referral marketing

One of the best ways to market your business is through referral marketing. It involves getting your existing customers to spread the word about your brand. 

Here are some more things you need to take into account while running a referral program.

  • Run a referral program: Create and launch a referral program using a referral program software like InviteReferrals. It can help you automate everything that goes into managing your referral campaigns.
  • Reward your customers: Reward your referrers to encourage them to make referrals. Choose from rewards such as cash, discounts, gifts, free products, product upgrades, etc. Your reward should be something that they’d value. 
  • Two-way rewarding: If it’s affordable, reward both the referrer and the referred. This way both the parties will be happy to take actions that are favourable for you. 
  • Time it properly: Ask your customers for referrals at the right moments. These are the times when they’re happy with you. For instance, soon after the items they’ve purchased from you have been shipped to them or right after they post a positive review about you. 

3. Pick your marketing channels wisely

Plenty of marketing channels exist today. Some marketers believe that the more channels they use, the better their chance to succeed. However, it is not so. For, by marketing across many channels, you’ll be laying out your resources faintly. Therefore, you’ll be gaining only a low-level presence with no strategic direction.

So, choose the marketing channels you use wisely. These should be the ones that bring you the highest returns on your investment. One easy way to find this out is by looking where your competitors are marketing. They’ve done the groundwork for you and the platforms they’re marketing are those that your target audiences are using. Once you’ve found this out, evaluate those channels to filter out those that are the high performing ones with respect to lead generation. 

Once you establish yourself on one of those few selected platforms, spend money on the next. Besides, make use of some of the numerous free tools available online. There are tools for social media scheduling, post designing, real-time analytics, content idea generation, blog topic generation, market research, and more. 

4. Focus on content marketing

When you’ve initially launched your startup, you’ll have more time than money. Put your time to good use by focusing on content marketing. There are various types of content pieces to choose from. Those you choose should be according to the marketing channels you’ve chosen.

However, it would be good to begin an on-site blog. It’s a great way to increase your start-up’s exposure. According to stats, a business with a blog gets 126% more leads when compared to those without one! 

The key to a successful blog is the consistent posting of content that’s informative, interesting, and useful to your readers. The more value your content provides the better will be your search rankings. Further, through your blog, you can boost your brand awareness and build your community. 

Other than blogs, you can also post videos, podcasts, infographics, guides, e-books, social media posts, email content, case studies, images, and more. Additionally, you can conduct live streaming sessions to interact directly with your audience, if it’d help them.  

5. Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is another efficient yet low-cost marketing strategy you should employ for your startup. It involves putting in the effort to rank your website higher in the search engine page results. This is vital as it can help in increasing your site’s visibility, and thereby, boosting your website traffic.

SEO involves a little technical know-how. However, it isn’t rocket science. Here are some tactics that go into SEO.

  • Enhance your site’s user experience by increasing website speed, simplifying navigation, and improving your content’s readability.
  • Make sure that your site loads on HTTPS.
  • Find the right keywords in your niche and use them in your site in their appropriate densities.
  • Make your site mobile-friendly. 
  • Identify those pages that have declining traffic (content decay) and refresh the old content in them.
  • Be in accord with search intent by answering all related queries.
  • Target local searchers with landing pages and listings.
  • Link your site both internally and externally.
  • Redirect URLs to fix “404 Page Errors”.

6. Partner up

Partnering up with a complimentary business is a low-budget and straightforward marketing strategy. For, it helps you both get all the benefits that a marketing initiative brings. Besides, you get to divide the effort and the expenses associated. 

So, find businesses in your niche that aren’t your direct competitors but compliment yours in some way. For instance, if yours deals with fertilisers, the one you choose can be a plants seller or a gardening equipment seller. This way, you both will be targeting the same market in a complimentary manner.

Such partnership marketing can broaden the reach of your marketing. For, you’ll share your existing audience with your partner and your partner will share his audience with you. Besides, since your audience already trusts you, they’ll be inclined to trust your partner too, and vice-versa. 

There is yet another benefit of partnership marketing. That is, both of you can reach out to new, untapped market segments by stretching your limited budget. So, collaborate with a partner to cross-promote your services and products. Besides, you can also jointly host events, fairs, etc. 

In Conclusion

Low budget availability doesn’t mean that you can’t successfully market your startup. This article has offered six marketing strategies to help you in this regard. Do follow these to boost brand awareness, increase sales, and generate revenue flow. 

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About Shivani Goyal

Shivani GoyalShivani is a content writer at InviteReferrals, which provides referral software that allows businesses to attract new customers from existing customers through referral campaigns.

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