Best cheap marketing methods for a startup?


Video marketing - make a video talking about a typical problem your niche faces and post it on youtube. Choose the key words carefully. Make sure your phone # is in the video title.

Forum marketing - find forums which your target market is gathering on. Answer their questions. Develop a reputation. Have a signature or profile page that leads them to talking wtih you.

Linkedin/Facebook marketing - Get into groups your target market is in. Engage with them. Develop your rep as the expert.

Each of these costs your time, but you can generate leads and sales with them.

Answered 8 years ago

Assuming cheap means not $$$ but time. Here's the best ROI.

1. Content Marketing: Blogging & Video - The reason this ones the best is that it has a long lasting effect (SEO). You can build up a following of potential customers, and even if you pivot your product, the customers should stay the same - so you can re-direct them to the new product. It always continues to drive traffic after you stop blogging. If you through in some guest post on top of that - it can be quite effective (ex: KissMetrics blog, BufferApp blog, Hubspot, etc for great examples). Marian knows best

2. Press / Media. This is the second best but it's very much a hits thing (sometime it drives qualified traffic, some times it doesn't). The key is to start with smaller outlets, then work your way up to getting covered by NYT, CBC, etc. Ryan Holiday is the master at this:

P.S. Those are the only 2 in my mind that are "cheap" although they do cost time (which is money $$ in my book). However, even better then both of those is a relentless focus on building a great product or service that people can't help but talk about. That's the cheapest in my opinion.

Answered 8 years ago

Cheap isn't what you should be going for. Marketing is an investment, not an expense.

You should be looking to increase your RETURN... not cut your costs. What is better: paying 10 dollars and getting back 100, or paying 5 and getting back nothing?

If this makes sense to you, feel free to set up a call.

Answered 8 years ago

I agree with Dan. I also think that in most situations it is better to try "cheap" methods first. You need to know what you are up against before you put your chips all in. Many times using cheaper or free methods of marketing can spark new ideas on how to tweak your products or services. I always say that if you are not walking on the edge then you are taking up too much space. However, I don't like the thought of walking tight ropes without nets either. This is especially true for your own self-esteem and keeping your support system (family, friends, and investors) on board and your momentum going forward.
The number one place you should start is with making your website full of interesting and useful content and using a physical address for Google and Yahoo places.
Michael Irvin

Answered 8 years ago

Agree with Dan -- Guest blogging has a high ROI as it will drive folks back to your site, increase your visibility AND help your SEO over time.

Answered 8 years ago

Assuming your website is not brand new, I would recommend first analyzing your existing analytics platform to identify what is currently working well, and what is no working in terms of driving qualified website visitors to your site. From there, you can follow the pareto rule of identifying the 20% of efforts that are driving 80% of results, and focus all future efforts around that 20%.

I've written about this much more in detail here:

Answered 5 years ago

Start-ups face many challenges, but none as precarious or life-threatening as the struggle to remain cash positive. The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) estimates the average cost to start a business to be in the neighbourhood of $30,000; and there’s significant variance in this figure, with some businesses starting out for just a few hundred dollars and others requiring upwards of millions. However, here is the thing: Effective marketing does not have to cost a lot of money. Sure, higher-budget marketing strategies might bring more visibility and consistency in their eventual returns, but there are plenty of highly effective and low-cost marketing strategies you can use to help your start-up grow. Here are a few noteworthy ones:
1. Referrals: One of the best ways to market is to avoid marketing altogether; instead, create a system that lets your customers do the marketing for you. Consider the fact that people are four times more likely to buy a product when it’s referred to them by a friend. Despite tech publication reviews, we still trust personal recommendations more than anything else. What is more, establishing a referral program does not cost much, and depending on how you structure it, might be entirely free. You could offer your current customers a discount on their subscriptions in exchange for referring a new customer, or offer a cash reward, if you are really invested in this strategy. Just make sure to get word to your customers.
2. Press releases and news features: People read the news regularly, and if you have something newsworthy to report, most news outlets will gladly report it for you. Press releases are an inexpensive way to get your brand mentioned in major publications, and possibly pick up some inbound links along the way. If you do all the work yourself, hunting down and emailing journalists, press releases can be a free marketing strategy.
3. Content marketing: Content marketing takes many forms, but none require significant investment. The simplest approach is to manage an on-site blog, adding new content a few times a week that informs or entertains your readers in some unique and practical way. Infographics, videos, and podcasts all belong to the content-marketing category as well. Reason? All these content mediums have the power to improve your brand reputation, increase your inbound traffic and complement the multiple other strategies you draw from this list.
4. SEO: If you are spending time writing articles for your content-marketing campaign, you might as well invest in improving your search engine optimization (SEO). New to SEO? It might seem technically complex, but the reality is, with a bit of reading and dedication, you can easily understand the basics. You will use online tools like Moz’s Keyword Explorer to identify relevant keywords that could attract high traffic to your site with low competition; you will then tweak your site to include those keywords. You will also need to make structural changes, write consistently high-quality content, and attract backlinks to your domain. It is a lot of work, but if you do it yourself, your only cost will be time -- which is worth it, because the long-term benefits are enormous.
5. Social media marketing: Social media marketing is not something you can do casually, but it is freely available, and it is something you can master if you invest the time. Start by establishing profiles for your business on major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Flesh out your profiles; and start syndicating content that your target market would like. Reach out to individuals, and make sure to stay connected. In time, you could grow an audience of thousands, representing an anchor stream of traffic to your site.
6. Email marketing: Email marketing remains one of the most cost-efficient marketing strategies around, with some sources claiming a return on investment (ROI) of 400 percent or more. As long as you have a good list (organically curated, rather than bought), and a steady but non-invasive stream of outgoing email blasts, you should be able to see a significant return on any time or money you put into it.
7. PPC ads: Pay-per-click ads can get expensive if you are targeting high-traffic head keywords, but there are niches and platforms that are friendly even to the most budget-conscious start-up entrepreneur. For example, on Facebook, you can pay as little as $1 a day for certain ads.
8. Personal branding: Personal branding works much like corporate branding; except it’s going to apply to you as an individual. You will promote yourself and your expertise across social media, and possibly on a dedicated blog, earning new followers and a separate source of traffic and interest. The value here is that people tend to trust other people more than corporations, so eventually, you’ll have a separate, powerful outlet you can use to syndicate your content or attract new leads all without paying a dime.
9. Forums and groups: Do not underestimate the power of lurking on public forums and social media groups. You might see someone asking a question that you can answer (with your expertise) or catch wind of a local event you can use to promote your business. The more involved you are with your respective communities, including your local neighbourhood as well as your broader industry, the more you stand to gain. Best of all, it usually does not cost anything to become a member of these communities, so you can reap the benefits with nothing more than a few hours of your time.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 9 months ago

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