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  • Tina White Potter

Limited Budget? Generate Marketing for Your Startup Company

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

Marketing for a startup company may initially seem expensive; however, there are steps that you can take to generate revenue. Obviously, resources will dictate what can be spent on marketing. What is important is how you get your message to the right audience and do it effectively.

An important start is to create a consistent message across your branding of the company. The logo, color used, tag lines, the website, emails, and printed materials need to be consistent. Decide on the branding image that fits with your company and consistently apply that across the company. Don’t forget the email signature-be consistent.

Next, ensure that the company has a website and social media presence. There are free resources to create a website. Here is a list that you might consider. I personally like WordPress and Wix. Don’t be afraid of creating a website. Today it is much easier than in years past.

Reaching your target market on a limited budget can be challenging but it can be successfully accomplished.

Referral Marketing

Referral marketing is a valuable tool that can reap positive results. From research, at Nielsen they found that 92% of people trust a personal recommendation more than all other methods of marketing. You should first reach out to those who are you currently connected with on LinkedIn, and other social media platforms.

Include a short description of your product or service offering and let people know you are open for business. I have found that people want to help others but do not want to be sold to, instead provide information about what you can do and let them know you are available.

Grassroots Marketing

Another economical tool is to use a grassroots approach. Create a 2x3 card that can be passed out to friends and family. The card should provide information about the company along with an offer. It needs a call to action (CTA). You need a call to action that convinces people to act.

If you are introducing a new product the card could be a coupon with a percent off the first purchase. If the business is service focused, consider offering a free consultation or e-book. Direct potential customers to your website so you can obtain their information and begin engaging with them.

Print enough coupons to pass out to friends and family. Don’t be afraid to pass those out wherever you go. The goal is to get the word out about your new company and build brand awareness.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is also a cost-effective way to engage potential customers. It is difficult when a company first starts as it usually does not have a list of customers. In my experience purchasing a list of potential customers rarely produces customers.

Instead, you should create social media posts that invite a customer to your website. The goal should be to sign up for a newsletter, blog, or even join a loyalty program. You want to build your email list so you can begin communicating with your customers.

Make sure potential customers sign up for the email as you want permission to email them.

Effective emails will move potential customers to customers. It is important to include quality content in your message. Engage the customer with a fun, interesting message. Think about all the emails you receive each day. Which ones do you open? Why? Your customers will think the same way. Make sure your message is engaging and provides the customer a reason to act.

Posting on Social Media

Today, 3.81 billion people are using social media worldwide, so it is an area that must be considered as you start your business. Establishing your presence on social media is the first step. The posts on social media must be engaging and provide relevant content. Remember social media is two-way communication. You want to hear from your followers.

Social Media is a good way to build your company’s business and followers. When setting up your social media account be sure to create company accounts. You want followers to easily join your social media account as opposed to asking to join.

It is important to know your target customer and which social media platforms they are using. If your target customer is never on Pinterest, obviously you do not need to spend time with that medium. However, if they are using Instagram or Facebook it is imperative that you have a presence on those sites.

Most social media platforms allow businesses to purchase advertising. This can be very targeted to your specific customer or look-alike customer. Social media uses the information from those engaged in its platform to target relevant messages based on the user’s interaction. When the customer demographics are aligned to the target customer there is a much greater chance of converting the person to a customer.

Facebook is one of the primary social media platforms used today. It is estimated that over two billion people use Facebook. Typically, Facebook has rather accurate information on a customer’s location and other demographics. A custom audience can be targeted based on the persona of your target customer.

Using Paid Search Advertising

Once a startup company has started to build its business, it makes sense to include paid search advertising from one of the search engines such as Google or Bing. Google AdWords and Bing Ad are primarily paid search networks. Both networks feature keyword targeting with cost-per-click (CPC). You will only pay for the ad when someone clicks on that ad. An advantage is that the ad could be seen by potential customers but not clicked on. This can increase customer awareness of the startup.

We have reviewed only a few of the ways a startup company can begin to successfully market to a target audience. Developing a solid strategy and beginning to execute the plan can put your company on the right road to success.

Want to learn more? Do you need help with developing your marketing strategies?

Dr. Tina White Potter is the Managing Partner at Retail Consulting Services, working with retailers, small businesses, and startup companies to develop successful marketing plans that generate sales and business growth.

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