four Marketing Methods Any Startup Can Afford

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You don’t have to outdo your competition. You just have to rethink and revise them.

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December 29, 2017 4 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.

Do your products sell themselves?

A great product is essential, but that alone is not enough to make your startup successful. In addition to having your fantastic product, you also need a great marketing strategy to grow your startup. However, for many entrepreneurs, spending a lot of money buying new business is simply not realistic.

Instead, consider some of these low-cost marketing strategies that can contribute to early success.

Affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is the most cost effective marketing strategy that works. I believe that all businesses, regardless of their size, should be referral or affiliate marketing. I have used it with great success and have used it in all of my online businesses.

Here’s how it works: Encourage others to recommend your products to others and only pay a commission if someone buys your products through those referrals.

Start by setting up an affiliate program through networks like ShareASale or ImpactRadius. You can then promote your affiliate program by prominently posting it on your website and inviting customers to join the program. Additionally, you can choose the right reward structure – one that is compelling enough for members of your network to get involved.

Related Topics: Top 10 Platforms For Affiliate Marketing Tracking Software

E-mail contact can also serve as an efficient tool when communicating with influencers:

  • Make a list of influencers and experts in your industry.

  • Send a contact email asking you to try your product for free

  • Explain the financial rewards they could earn from referring a user.

Content Marketing.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, nearly 90 percent of brands use content marketing to grow their business. It’s the perfect marketing strategy for startups and small businesses as it works within limited resources.

While content marketing is very popular, not everyone will find success with this tactic. The lack of a documented content strategy is a major cause. Without this crucial piece, your efforts will be less effective. As a result, you could face major challenges when trying to implement content marketing tactics.

Optimize your content marketing process by creating an editorial calendar. Identify any bottlenecks and evaluate your content planning. Measure the progress of your strategy and track how well your content is performing to attract audiences.

Related Topics: How To Create Content That Double Your Sales Funnel Conversion Rate

Do-it-yourself PR.

More than 540,000 new businesses are formed every month. That means you face some serious competition to get your target market’s attention. If you want to generate cheap and frequent PR mentions, build quality relationships with the journalists and bloggers in your industry.

Be prepared that you may not get an answer every time you pitch your pitch. You can increase the likelihood of reporting if you differentiate your pitch so that the tone or angle of each pitch is reserved solely for the journalist and his publication. Research which authors or videographers cover which aspects of your industry. Then adjust your press release, teaser, or pitch to match the beats by phone. Free tools like Help a Reporter Out can help you get access to the email addresses of journalists looking for interviews in your field.

Related: 5 Tips On How To Set Up Your Startup To Get The Press You Need

Piggyback a popular platform.

When starting a bootstrap startup, the real challenge is creating a marketing strategy that requires little to no funding. Piggybacking another well-grown platform is a great strategy for introducing your product to potential customers. Airbnb’s integration with Craigslist is a perfect example of ad hoc integration for user acquisition.

Craigslist does not allow integration with third party services that post entries on the site. To create a backlink and attract users, the Airbnb team reverse engineered how the Craigslist forms worked and then made Airbnb’s own website compatible with this workflow. With just a few clicks, users can easily post an entry on Craigslist while also placing a backlink pointing to their own website.

The general rule of thumb: find the right platform to grow your startup and develop a strategy to attract customers.

Related: 5 Ways To Think Like A Growth Hacker

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