Here are my rantings on internet marketing. I've given some good advice in some articles, and others, well. Take a look for yourself.
So you’ve got a start-up business that you want people to know about, the only problem is your money situation isn’t exactly the best. You’ve got 50 bucks in your pocket and you’re trying to think of the most creative (and cheap) ways that you can get the word out on your business. Just because you’re short on cash doesn’t mean you can’t successfully market your start-up in a positive way. Don’t worry because there are a few different things you can do that won’t require you to take out a loan, but you’re going to have to be willing to get creative (in a fun, legal way of course).
Yup, that’s right. You know you’ve gone into a coffee shop and you’ve seen tons of people sitting on their laptops working, or just sitting at a table chatting with friends in the middle of the day like they’ve got nothing else better to do. So why not entice these strangers to try out your product, or buy a few minutes to let you explain your start-up by buying them a cup of coffee.
I’ve actually done this before as well as been approached with something similar and more often than not, it works. No one is going to turn down a cup of coffee just to test something out, unless they’re just so busy they can’t spare a few minutes, in which case they shouldn’t be sitting in a coffee shop anyway. Depending on what coffee shop you’re in, you could probably get away with doing this with at least 20 people while staying under your $50 budget.
Hear me out. There’s a convention in town, maybe it’s a marketing convention, maybe it’s a tech convention, but it’s definitely a place where a lot of people in your industry are going to be and you can’t afford to go. That’s ok because you’re going to get something out of it without even stepping foot inside. No, I’m not about to tell you to rent or buy a costume to sneak into said convention.
I’m not trying to get you arrested. What I am suggesting is that you buy or rent a costume and pass out flyers promoting your start-up outside the convention. Why the costume? Because why not? Costumes are fun and attractive and this way you don’t have to feel weird about people seeing YOU doing the promoting.
People will either be totally creeped out by you or intrigued by you, but it’s certainly possible they might think you’re actually part of the convention and whatever you’re handing out could be useful to them. As long as you’re not harassing people and you just stick to politely handing out flyers, you should be good to go for a few hours.
Who doesn’t love a funny video? We’ve all seen how a video can go viral in the blink of an eye. All it takes is a good idea and just ONE person to think it’s funny and before you know it they’re sharing it with their friends who are sharing it with their friends and so on.
Buy some funny props and come up with a clever way to promote your start-up that will intrigue people but won’t leave them wondering what the heck they just watched. Make it short, sweet, informative, and entertaining; something that you and your friends would find funny and would want to share. After you’ve completed and edited the video, watch it back and make sure you’ve mentioned the name of your start-up, where people can find you, and a little something about the purpose of your company. Again, you don’t want to waste your time making a video if people aren’t going to know what it’s about.
Even with your limited budget, you can purchase about 50-100 clicks through Google Ads so you can test the wording for a few different ads to see which ones people click on more. Do some keyword research to see what your competition is using and play off of that. This is one way to market your start-up that doesn’t allow a ton of creative freedom, but it’s certainly one of the more effective ways to get your company out there.
The data that comes with Google Ads can also be passed onto your future SEO consultant for analysis against market/tag trends and keyword research.
Not just any blogger. Don’t go buying lunch or dinner for Joe Schmo who just started a blog last week. He won’t be able to help you because he’s starting out just like you. Try to get in contact with an established, influential blogger who you might be able to persuade to write about the need you are filling with your product. It doesn’t necessarily need to be an entire blog about your start-up or product but obviously a blog with a mention of your start-up to just get your name out there.
Social media is an amazing marketing platform and it’s FREE! Use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or all of them to promote your start-up as much as possible. Ask your friends to help you promote, too. There’s nothing wrong with seeking help from family and friends. Kind of like when you’re moving and you ask for help, except this doesn’t require manual labor so I’m sure they will be more willing to pitch in.
See, I bet you didn’t think you’d have so many options for marketing your start-up with such a small budget. It just takes a lot of hard work and creativity, but it will pay off in the long run.
I'm a digital marketing and SEO consultant based in Sydney, Australia. I drink a lot of coffee and spend most of my time working on clients websites and improving their search visibility.