Many startup companies and solo entrepreneurs are often strapped for cash when launching a new venture. They may not want to spend their limited funds at first doing online marketing until they start to get more customers. Promoting a product or service online doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are five tips to help you begin your digital marketing campaign on a tight budget:
- Decide on a Budget
Whether your budget is large or small, there are a lot of creative ways to promote your business online. If you don’t have a large budget, you can begin by choosing just one social media platform and using that primarily to engage with followers and also build your follower list. Set aside a monthly budget on what you are willing to spend for the month. If you have zero budget, you will have to do most of your online promotions yourself. Also make sure you prioritize each month where you are willing to spend your money. For example, you can choose one month to use PPC ads like Google and Bing, another month for Facebook Ads, another month on paying bloggers or copywriters, and another month on paying to have Youtube videos created. Whatever content you create, it can be shared on social media and you can use scheduling tools like Buffer or Hootesuite to keep sharing your content.
- Use Guest Bloggers
You can also save money on content marketing buy utilizing guest bloggers who may write for free in exchange for getting free promotions for their site. Often, these guest bloggers will want you to include their name, website URL and a link to their social media profile. This can be a win-win situation for both your business and the blogger as it encourages cross promotions.
- Offer to Guest Blog Yourself
If you are a small startup company who has very limited funds, you can offer to be a guest blogger and offer your expertise on a subject area that you think your potential leads would be interested in. This is a great opportunity to share a link to your website or social media page. If you are able to find a blog that has high visibility, this can help your website tremendously.
- Create Interesting Content
Content marketing involves creating content that will draw people to your website. This can be in the form of blog articles, ebooks, how to guides, videos and infographics. Whatever content you do create, make sure its not fluff, boring or repetitive, otherwise you are wasting your money. Your content should serve a specific interest of your target audience and be helpful. Creating “how to” articles is one way to engage potential leads. Create free ebooks or guides to get people to sign up for your mailing list. Use infographics occasionally to visualize your points in blog posts and share these over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- PPC Ads: Bing Vs Google
Currently Bing Ads are a bit cheaper than Google Ads. You can use this service to pay for PPC at first. However, this may not last too long as Bing Ads increase in popularity. If you want to start out with Google Ads, choose a reasonable daily budget you can live with. Test out different ad copy to determine which one brings in the most visitors.
- Promote Yourself Offline
Attend networking events in your area. Pass out your business cards (that have your website URL). Let your contacts know about your website. If you meet someone offline and then follow-up through email, make sure that you have your website URL within your signature. Email signatures are very powerful. Make sure that it is colorful, professional and simple.
There are many ways to use a wide variety of online tools to help promote your business without spending a ton of money. Startups especially need to conserve their funds at first. However, as your business grows you may want to increase your online marketing budget. Also, consider hiring a professional. Some digital marketing companies offer reasonable rates for startups and smaller companies.