Starting out

How do you market a business on a budget?

You’ve started your new business and, now, you need to get the message out. You need to tell your target market about your offering, generate awareness and leads and draw in customers who can turn your startup into a thriving business

But when you’re just starting out, the marketing budget often tends to be on the light side. Here, we explore five low-cost and no-cost ways to help market your startup business.

Be concise and clear

Good communication doesn’t cost a thing and yet, it’s one of the most essential parts of marketing your business. Customers don’t usually buy things they don’t understand, so ensure all your messaging is clear and concise.

All it takes is investing some of your time to develop a distinct tone of voice, summarise what your business is all about and adapt information into marketing messages when needed.

Getting social

Social media helps spread your message to a global audience, starting at no cost at all.

The platform you choose should depend on your target audience. LinkedIn, for example, tends to be the go-to platform for connecting with other businesses, while private customers can be reached via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The key to social media success is to produce content users find inspiring, informative or entertaining, and actively engage them on the platform to build a loyal community of followers.

You can also put ad-spend behind your posts, which can help expand your reach to a wider, yet targeted audience.

Networking

Don’t underestimate the power of networking, especially if you’re looking to reach locals. Chambers of commerce often run useful events.

Alternatively, there are specialist networking groups like BNI or Fresh Networking which can help you connect with peers. These usually cost nothing to attend as a guest, but may come with an annual fee should you decide to join. 

Growing your startup is all about communication and visibility. The great news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it.

Try these low-cost marketing initiatives today and find out how they work for you.

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Search engine marketing

To further boost your website ranking and visitor count, you can use search engine marketing, for example, cost per click (CPC) and search engine optimisation (SEO):

Cost per click: Services such as Google Ads place your site at the top of the results for search engine queries relating to your keywords. You pay based on results, meaning per clicks on your ad.

Google provides a tool to show costs versus results and you can set a budget, which could start as low as $10 per month. However, some keywords in your industry may be more competitive than others, which can vary your cost.

Organic SEO: Based on relevance to the keyword, good SEO can help your website rank higher on search engines like Google. You can increase relevance by using appropriate keywords, ensuring your content is high quality and updating your site regularly.

You can DIY at no cost or pay a specialist SEO marketing company to do the job for you. Depending on your requirements, this could start from around $500 per month.

Website

One of the best ‘shopfronts’ you can have is a website, and the best thing is, you can get started on a budget. With template-based platforms like Squarespace, you simply drop in your words and images and pay from $12 to $46 a month for hosting.

You’ll also need to buy a domain name, which starts at as little as $10 per year. 

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