When you start a new business, you will have a lot of expenses to cover. One unavoidable cost to your startup is marketing. After all, you need to tell people about your brand and why they should spend their cash with you! The trouble with marketing is that it’s inherently expensive. At least, that’s what most people assume.
Today I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to market your brand on a shoestring budget. You don’t need to spend thousands telling the world about your awesome new brand. Quite often, you won’t even need to spend hundreds! Here are five hacks to help you promote your brand for less:
1. Set up a website
The first thing you need to do is set up a website. You might think that you’ll need to spend lots of money doing so, and that you will need to pay someone to do the work for you. Of course, neither is true nowadays!
It doesn’t cost much to register a domain name and host your own website. Plus, there are plenty of cheap templates you can buy to make your site look professional and appealing.
You can then refer people to your website – both online and offline!
2. Set up social media accounts
Getting social isn’t just a way to pass the time when you’ve got nothing better to do. Social networks help you to connect with people likely to have an interest in your brand and what you do.
Creating accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram is free for businesses. You can then grow your audience using organic and affordable pay-per-click marketing.
I recommend using an outsourced marketing agency to help you curate your profiles. That way, you’ll have the best chance of success.
3. Buddy up with other businesses
There’s nothing wrong with running joint marketing campaigns with other businesses. This way you can get exposure for both businesses and slash costs by 50%!
For instance, let’s say that you run a Web design business. You could partner up with a hosting firm and offer a package that appeals to customers of both companies.
Of course, you should avoid partnering up with potential competitors. Or even those where there may be a conflict of interest! Look around and be creative in your approach.
4. Sponsor local events
Another classic way to market your brand is to sponsor a significant local event. First of all, you will get to “piggyback” onto someone else’s marketing campaign. Second, if you sponsor a good cause, it elevates your brand reputation in the local community. And, third, it will help you to get plenty of positive exposure for your brand.
Quite often you will find that such sponsorships can offer sales leads just through word of mouth. It’s a great way of reaching out to new audiences without spending a lot.
5. Jump on the hashtag bandwagon
Although this relates to social media, it’s worthy of its own section in this list! Twitter and other social networking sites use “hashtag” keywords to group messages and topics together.
If your business relates to a trending hashtag, feel free to use it as an opportunity to market your brand! People often search and read posts by looking for hashtags, and it’s a good way to gain free exposure for your business.
Make sure that you are using relevant and timely hashtags if you decide to opt for ones that are trending and that you are also using them in good taste.
If you are using Twitter the easiest way to find trending hashtags is directly on their site. As soon as you log into Twitter you will see what is trending on the left hand side of the screen. The only downfall is that it only displays the current top ten trending hashtags. If you want to look for more relevant hashtags for your business and brand then you are going to need to use third party apps. A few good ones to try out are Trendsmap (which will provide trending hashtags by location), RiteTag, #tagdef, hashtagify.me, and Twitonomy which can help you identify the hashtags that other influencers use.
When using hashtags on Facebook, I recommend only using 1 or 2. And if you are currently using them for your Twitter campaigns then use the same ones for Facebook and Instagram as well.
Some basic hashtag tips:
- Write your hashtag as a single word and without any spaces.
- Keep your hashtags short and sweet.
- Capitalize the first letter of each word in the hashtag.
- Numbers can be included, but not punctuation or special characters.
What ever you chose to do to help get the word out about your business and brand be sure to go make an measure the results afterwards. Make changes to your strategy if necessary and fine tune your approach. You will eventually find the right mix that works for you and it doesn’t have to cost a lot to do so.
Photo credit: Pixabay