Let’s face it! If your marketing plan is not as good as your product, your offering stands to fail. There is not much point in devising a service if your target audience doesn’t even know why it’s so great! Several critical considerations go into creating and deploying a promo strategy, and the cost is one of them.

There are three parameters a good marketing strategy must suffice 

1. It should be authentic and well-planned.

2. It should be valuable to the target group.

3. It should be cost-effective.

Sooner than later the first two parameters are met, but when it comes to executing a marketing strategy smoothly, cost-efficiency is often a problem. Several established corporations run like well-oiled machines with deep pockets but, if you run a startup, marketing budgets are modest at best.

But, does this mean you cannot launch an effective marketing campaign? No! Here are four low-budget marketing strategies that don’t require you to spend a fortune on spreading the word around.

1. Generate Value through Content Marketing

Allow us to delight you with a few statistical figures before we even begin talking about the tools for content marketing. According to a report by Demand Metric, this medium costs 62% less than outbound marketing but generates three times the number of leads. As per another study by ImpactBND, startups that blog achieve 126% more lead growth than small businesses that don’t.

When done right, content marketing demands abysmal investment but offers unbelievable returns. To begin your journey of marketing through content, make sure you have a well-designed user-friendly website. Now add a blog section where you create and post online material related to your industry. These blogs don’t need to promote your brand explicitly but must stir interest in your category of products and services.

For example, if your startup develops CRMs for different industries, you can run a blog educating marketers and other business professionals on the relevance and benefits of a CRM software application. Your blogs can or cannot include your brand’s name towards the end of the piece.

You can also offer niche gated content through blogs. For instance, if you run a small political magazine, your blogs can feature thoroughly researched opinion pieces that can only be fully read in exchange for a reader’s contact details. Asking people to sign up in return for high-quality editorials will help you create a prospective client base that can be encouraged into paid subscriptions. Remember that content marketing is beneficial regardless of whether you operate in a B2B  or a B2C space.

2. Offer Personalized Experiences through Email Communication

Offer-Personalized-Experiences-through-Email-Communication

This classic and inexpensive approach has been around for many years and works very well, even today. Emails to date continue to deliver a strong return on investment (ROI). No wonder why 81% of small businesses primarily rely on this method to acquire customers, while 80% use it for retention (Emarsys, 2018).

3.9 billion netizens actively use email today, and this number is set to soar up to 4.3 billion by 2023. This statistic clearly shows that half the world’s population is receiving emails. Now, how do you get them to open yours? The key lies in personalization. Emails with personalized subject sentences lead to 50% higher open rates (Yes Marketing).

So, customize your email communication by greeting your prospect by their name and offer them something they genuinely need. Alternatively, if you know that a particular client has encountered a challenge that you can solve with your offering, start your conversation with the solution.

3. Engage through Social and Professional Media Marketing

Engage-through-Social-and-Professional-Media-Marketing

This medium needs no introduction but deserves special mention. Whether you own a B2B or a B2C tech startup, you absolutely must reach out to potential clients on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Social media marketing is a big deal, especially now when upwards of 3 billion people use smartphones around the world, with an average user spending 3 hours and 15 minutes on their device daily (Statista, 2020).

In addition to this, there are 3.81 billion active social media users, of which 3.46 billion users interact with said platforms on their smartphones. Now that you know where your prospects are, how do you make your move? By producing and packaging high-quality content that stands to go viral.

If you operate in a B2B space, begin by creating a complete LinkedIn profile, with your logo and brand values. Attract prospects to your page by publishing SEO-optimized articles on said platform. Your tech startup needs to come across as a reliable player, so get past clients to endorse you by writing a testimonial on your company page.

You can also hire a social media manager or employ a third-party to handle your digital marketing needs. Social media managers work at reasonable rates and share engaging content with the right prospect at the right time. But, bear in mind that posting immersive content is just a small part of digital marketing.

You must have the goods to back your promises made on these networking portals. After spending some free time on various social media platforms, invest in sponsored ads that will award your brand high visibility. All social and professional networking platforms cost nothing, and the sponsored ads come at throw-away prices, but with high efficacy.

Invest in a Referral Programme

 

An exciting way to market is to avoid marketing altogether! Let your happy clients spread the word of your offerings around. Consider the fact that 92% of prospects trust friendly recommendations over other forms of marketing (Neil Patel). Even if you have a handful of happy clients who swear by the quality of your tech, incentivize them into referring your product. Come up with a referral system wherein you offer your existing customers a substantial discount or a valuable freebie in exchange for referring your company to a new prospect.

You can also offer cash rewards if that doesn’t pinch your pocket too much. This inexpensive concept sounds like an undeniable part of any marketing strategy, but it is often underused. Design a referral system that gets your customers interested to share the news of your brand with their friends and family.

For instance, check out what Dropbox did for their referral program. To gain traction, this online storage company began a referral campaign by offering 500 MBs of extra space for free to both the advocate and the referred. This strategy worked wonders, and they saw a 60% hike in signups. They understood the needs of their target audience to the T, which was a never-ending need for digital storage.

Your Turn

Here is the bright side! Expensive marketing cannot trump creative marketing! Think of your shortage of marketing funds as an opportunity to think outside the box. Identify your prospects, make valuable connections, and engage them by catering to their need gaps through the right channels.

Remember that just because the tactics listed above come at a ridiculously low price, it does not mean they can’t offer your tech startup a breakthrough.

Author - Mukundan A P
Mukundan A P Author at Span Global Services With having spent over 17 years with the Champions group leading the APAC territories in the data domain, Mukundan has a reputation of helming some of the most formidable projects in the B2B sector. He is known for his ability to build relationships and make headway for his clients using his expertise in data driven solutions. Having worn a plethora of caps in his vast career he is not an individual of singular talents. Mukundans ability to handle multiple roles and his immense success makes him one of the finest leaders that this industry has seen.

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