Going Online on a Shoestring: Startup Marketing Tips

March 25, 2023

Going Online on a Shoestring: Startup Marketing Tips

The internet is a great resource for small businesses, but it can be difficult to navigate. The sheer number of tools available can make it tough to know where to start when trying to market your business online. Here are some tips on how to create an affordable marketing plan and make the most of your limited resources:

Key takeaways on startup marketing on a budget

  1. Create a website and social media presence: A website and social media presence are essential for any startup, as they provide a platform to showcase your brand, products, and services to potential customers.
  2. Focus on content marketing: Content marketing can be a cost-effective way to build brand awareness and generate leads. Create valuable and informative content that resonates with your target audience, such as blog posts, videos, and infographics.
  3. Optimise for search engines: Search engine optimization (SEO) can help your website rank higher in search engine results pages, making it easier for potential customers to find you. Use keyword research and optimization techniques to improve your search engine rankings.
  4. Leverage email marketing: Email marketing can be an effective way to reach out to potential customers and keep them engaged with your brand. Build an email list and send targeted, personalised messages that provide value and build trust.
  5. Collaborate with influencers and other businesses: Partnering with influencers and other businesses can help expand your reach and attract new customers. Look for opportunities to collaborate on content, promotions, and events that align with your brand and target audience.
  6. Measure and analyse your results: It's important to measure the success of your marketing efforts and analyse the data to make informed decisions about future strategies. Use tools like Google Analytics to track website traffic, social media engagement, and other key metrics.

By following these key takeaways, startups can create a strong online presence and build effective marketing strategies on a shoestring budget.

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Be Authentic

When you're starting out, the most important thing is to be yourself. Be honest and transparent about who you are and what your business is about. Don't try to pretend that you're something else or that your customers will like something they don't actually want just because it's popular at the moment. If they don't like what they see when they visit your site, they won't stay long enough for a sale or conversion anyway!

The best way to do this? Showcase some personality! When people can see themselves in what you do, it makes them more likely to make an emotional connection with both their own needs as well as yours (and thus buy).

Tap into Your Strengths

When you're marketing online, it's important to know your strengths. If you can leverage those strengths, they will be an asset in helping you reach your goals.

Here are some examples:

  • If you have a great voice and can speak well, record audio content that would be helpful to others. You could create podcasts or use YouTube videos as another way of getting in front of people who might need what you have to offer.
  • If writing comes naturally for you, write articles or blog posts as part of your marketing strategy. This works especially well if there's some type of promotion involved (e-book giveaways, etc.), because people will want access to information from someone who is credible and knowledgeable about what they're talking about!

Find Your Tribe

Once you've found the right people to engage with, it's time to make sure that they are the right people. This part is key: if they're not interested in what you have to offer and/or aren't a good fit for your business, then there's no point in spending money on them. You can use social media ads or other targeted advertising platforms (like Google AdWords) to find out more about who would be most likely to buy from or work with you.

For example, if I were trying to sell my product "Cat Food Bowls" online through Instagram ads directed at cat owners who like pictures of cats eating food out of bowls and have posted images of themselves doing just that... well... maybe this isn't my target audience after all!

Engage with Customers

The best way to engage with customers is through social media, but don't just post content and hope for the best. You have to be prepared to respond in a timely manner and answer questions that your followers might have. If someone asks you a question on Twitter or Facebook and you don't respond within 24 hours, they're likely going to think twice before posting again--and that means fewer opportunities for engagement!

If you're not comfortable answering questions in public forums like Facebook or Twitter, consider using customer service software such as Zendesk so that all customer interactions can be handled by an employee instead of leaving it up to chance whether anyone will read them (and respond).

Make Time for Content Creation

  • Content creation is the most important part of your marketing strategy. It's what will bring in new customers and keep them coming back for more.
  • To start creating content, you need to make time for it in your schedule. Figure out when you have an hour or two each day (or week) where you can sit down and focus on writing something valuable for your audience. If possible, try scheduling these blocks of time at the same time every week so that they become habitual instead of something that only happens when inspiration strikes--and then maybe never again!
  • If it helps, set up reminders on your phone or computer calendar so that no matter what else happens during the day, this task gets done without fail.

Leverage email marketing

Email marketing is a great way to grow your business, but it's also one of the most underutilized methods for startups.

Here are some ways to get started with email marketing:

  • Have a strong call to action. Don't just ask people to sign up for your email list; tell them what they're going to get in return. For example, if you have an ecommerce store, offer discounts on new products or sales as an incentive for signing up.
  • Get people excited about what's happening in your business by sharing exciting news and updates on occasion (and make sure those updates don't sound like spam).
  • Use images and videos! They help break up text-heavy emails while making them more visually appealing--and they're much easier on mobile devices than plain text emails are!

Measure and analyse your results

The most important thing to remember is that you should be measuring and analysing your results. It's not enough to just spend money on ads, or make changes in your marketing strategy, without knowing whether those efforts are paying off. Without measurement and analysis, you're basically flying blind--you don't know what works or doesn't work!

Measurement is just as important as the actual marketing itself: if you can't measure it properly then what good is it? The first step in measuring any online campaign is by setting goals for each campaign (what do we want people doing when they see our ad?). Once those goals have been set up then we need some way of tracking how many people have reached them so we can see if our campaign has been successful or not at achieving its goal(s). There are lots of different ways this could be done but one popular option would be using Google Analytics which allows us access into information about where visitors come from (where did they visit from before visiting our site), how long did they stay on the site before leaving again etc...

Use Your Core Competencies to Leverage Partnerships

  • What are your core competencies?
  • How can you leverage your core competencies to find partners?
  • How do you know if a partner is right for your business?
  • What are some examples of partnerships that work well for small businesses?

Take Advantage of Free Tools and Social Media

Social media is a great way to get your message out there. There are many free tools that can help you market your business, including:

  • Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/) - A social media platform for connecting with people and sharing content
  • Twitter (https://twitter.com/) - A microblogging service where users post short updates known as "tweets"
  • Instagram (https://www.instagram/). This photo-sharing app allows users to share images from their mobile devices

A shoestring budget doesn't have to mean a shoestring marketing plan.

A shoestring budget doesn't have to mean a shoestring marketing plan. In fact, it's often easier for startups with small marketing budgets to get creative and make their money go further than it is for bigger companies with bigger budgets.

Start small: what are your goals? What do you want to achieve in the next six months? A year? Two years? Think about how much time, effort and money it will take to reach those goals, then set yourself up accordingly. If all goes well and your business takes off like wildfire (which we hope!), then later on down the line when things are going well financially we'll come back and talk about how best to scale up your marketing efforts!

But first let's start by looking at some ways in which you can use less cash while still achieving results...

FAQs on budget-friendly marketing

For many small businesses, the idea of having a Facebook page or tweeting daily might seem like an expensive and time consuming venture. Yet with some planning, you can create great marketing without busting your budget.

How to create a great social media strategy?

Social media marketing is a great way to get your brand out there and connect with potential customers in a way that feels natural. But it's not enough just to create an account on Facebook or Twitter and start posting photos of your products or inspirational quotes. You need a carefully thought-out strategy that takes into account all the different ways you can use social media platforms, from content creation to ad campaigns. So how do you create one?

To get started, think about who your target audience is--and where they hang out online: Are they mostly on Twitter? Or maybe Instagram instead? Once you know where your ideal customers live online (and off), start thinking about how best to reach them using each platform's unique features: Is there anything unique about Facebook ads compared with other places where people might see them? Or maybe video would help tell your story better than text alone could ever do?

What are the best ways to grow in social media without using ads?

Social media is a great way to reach customers, build relationships with potential customers, and build brand awareness. It's also a great way to generate leads and create content.

In short: social media has the power to help you grow your business without spending any money on ads at all! But there are still certain things you need to do in order for this strategy to work for you--and some of them might surprise you.

Is TikTok a good platform to promote my business?

If you're looking for a free and easy way to market your business, TikTok may be the platform for you. With more than 1 billion users worldwide, it's one of the most popular apps on the market. But is it really worth investing in?

The answer is yes--if you know how to use it right! In this article we'll go over some key tips for getting started with TikTok marketing:

What are free tools that I can use to market my business online?

There are so many free tools that you can use to market your business online. These tools are great for saving money and getting started, but they also have a lot of other benefits too:

  • They'll help you test your business idea before spending any money on it. If you're not sure if there's enough demand for what you're selling or if people will be willing to pay for it, using these tools will give you some useful insights into whether or not there is any interest at all in what it is that you're offering up as a product or service.
  • They can serve as sources of feedback from potential customers who may end up giving more valuable information than any survey could ever provide since they're actually being asked questions directly related specifically towards them (as opposed to having someone else ask generic questions about themselves). This kind of data helps refine exactly what features/benefits customers want most out of whatever type product/service might ultimately become available after further development work has been done based off initial findings obtained through this process."


So, what are the key takeaways? We know that you don't need a lot of money to market your business online. There are plenty of free tools and social media platforms that can help you reach customers and grow your business. You just need to be smart about how you use them!