Startups face the unique challenge of lacking brand recognition and lacking the cash for a major marketing campaign to get that cash. The first choice for many startups is the viral video, since they are affordable relative to a TV commercial, and can go much farther than a TV marketing campaign would. But, making a viral video might not work for you, so here are three original ways to promote your startup on a dime.
One way you can do this is to create funny videos showing unusual uses of your product or funny people hawking your product. A few groups have managed to do well creating funny response videos to industry problems, direct criticisms of their organization, or customer complaints. An alternative to this is looking for the “strange bedfellow”, the spokesperson or influencer that is attention-grabbing because no one expected it.
Marketing efforts cost money, whether you’re using social media automation or paying for ads both in print and online. You can save money by finding the very narrow niche where your ideal customers are and then saturating them.
For example, a drone antenna company could put ads up on the social media sites groups or dedicated forums for drone enthusiasts. They should be simultaneously paying someone to answer technical questions from that group while referencing the company product and or brand; you can do this with a well-crafted signature line with backlinks to your company and a company logo as the user picture. The answer is to put your name out there and prove your value to your targets repeatedly, while still managing to seem as if you are coming from different directions.
If they see your personnel answering questions on the site, especially answering one of their questions, they see you that way. And then it gets reinforced with an online ad when they sign on to a social media site and see mentions of the brand on user-specific groups. Or, find the few people seeking what you’re offering; you can use a service like zoomthelist.com to find someone in search of what you’re selling to make your first few sales.
Real world examples include putting ads up all over a small geographic area while handing out t-shirts to locals with incentives if they’re caught wearing it.
A cheap way to get attention and traffic to your site is to promote your expertise. You could find influencers whose audience overlaps with your desired customer base and answer questions their audience has in an interview. This has the benefit of helping the influencer build engagement with their audience by providing clear value and giving them content for an episode instead of having to hunt for something new to say.
Another option is hosting webinars to address topics while building up your credibility. If this takes too much time or you don’t know how to reach your audience, consider joining a panel discussion with other industry leaders and sharing that presentation as a webinar.
Promoting your business can be done affordably and creatively to get the maximum results. Don’t be afraid to use comedy, identify your targets and promote your expertise to your likely customers through quality content and by providing answers to their problems.
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