When it comes to building a customer base for your brand, marketing plays an immensely major role in it. With the trend of entrepreneurship spreading like wildfire new brands claiming to offer superior services than their competitors are springing up in every nook and corner of the world. Now, whether they offer superior services or not is a question that you cannot answer unless you try the services out yourself. But how they manage to attract the initial attention of their potential customers heavily relies on how they choose to market their brand. Most of the times when you are starting up a new business venture you only have enough finance to spare for marketing after investing in setting up the basic infrastructure and gathering the necessary resources. In such a situation resorting to traditional marketing tools like television, radio, newspaper and magazines can be a quite heavy blow in the pocket. Also, these sources are quite static. For every change that you need to introduce in your advertisement, you need to set aside a separate budget for it. Despite all the efforts, time and money you put into this can you be sure of getting the attention you intended to get? Rhetoric question!
As opposed to these earlier practices that were designed to dig a hole in your bank account there are some marketing techniques that you can easily adopt while going soft on your budget. These practices are not only pocket-friendly but also make sure that your message reaches out to the audience it is meant to reach.
1. Blogging- Blogging is the newest super-trend that everyone, from students to professionals are following. And why not? It is the most effective marketing tool out there. In the long run, blogs turn out to be quite effective in marketing your brand. Therefore, it is beneficial to start a blog as soon as you have had the idea for a startup. By the time you have started up your business you already have an initial audience who is looking forward to the newest developments and give your brand a chance to see what the fuss was all about.
- Maintain a casual, conversational tone while writing a post because that is what attracts attention. People don’t even want to study their course books, what makes you think they’ll read your posts if they sound academic.
- Instead of stating facts try and talk about the novelty of your venture.
- Teach something new with every article you post.
- Guest blogging is also a great way of getting attention.
- Try to understand the gimmicks of blogging. Instead of detailing about just your product you should have information leading to it. It is one of the best ways of generating free traffic through search engines. Research shows that blogging can lead to a rise of up to 126% in your business.
Try to keep your content SEO optimized. SEO optimization is necessary to obtain a high rank on the search engines. Few of the many ways to keep your content SEO optimized is to:
- Title your post with words that people are most likely to type while searching for related posts.
- Use the title in your post at least 1 or 2 times.
- Have clean URL
2. Ensure that people find you easily on the web- This tactic may seem like a very obvious one, but this is where most of the startups collide headfirst with a thick wall of miscommunication. When people look at your ads, hear about your services or see your products the first thing they do in this digital age is to open their favorite search engines and web services to look you up. Once they do that, you have to make sure that they can easily identify you.
Make sure that there is a direct link to your business, there is information like contact number, an email address and a physical address of the location of your business.
3. Ask for reviews- People have a tendency to go for services that have been tried and tested and have more positive reviews and customer feedback than others. You are more likely to buy a product you heard was good from a trusted source than a product that is similar and much better but has no feedback on it. It is tough to gain the initial grounds for attracting customers but not impossible considering the other marketing strategies you must be using.
- Once you have those initial customers, ask them to leave a review about their experience with your company and what they felt about your product.
- Their feedback will be helpful in attracting more customers, and the cycle will continue. Platforms like Yelp, Amazon, Goodreads, TripAdvisor, etc. all have the feature of leaving a customer review.
4. Partnered Giveaways- Giveaways are great but only if you have a popular brand associated with it, at least that is what the people think. When you are new to the business world teaming up with a popular brand to generate large contests with tempting prizes is always a better option than organizing one on your own.
The partnership doesn’t just help you share the cost but also gets you the attention of the customers of the other brand you have teamed up with.
5. Pitch your story- If you have a product that is different from all others of its kind, or you have an idea that has never seen the market before then you can make use of mediums like social media, popular blogs and websites to advertise it. With a little research, you can easily get to know about popular websites that promote startups such as www.24-7pressrelease.com, prlog.org among others. These websites are useful in building your links.
You can also reach out to well-known writers or journalists and get them to write about why your product is different and how does that difference make a difference.
6. Encourage customer referrals- A great way of marketing your brand is by involving your customers into it. You can do this by offering discounts, incentives, added benefits or other perks to your customers if someone buys your services or products through their reference. Such practices will encourage them to advertise your brand to their family and friends. Brands like Airbnb and Uber are great examples of how customer referrals worked out in their favor.
7. Social Media- In this age of social media, there is hardly anyone who doesn’t have a Facebook or a Twitter account. You have to use that to your advantage. Setting up an account on both of these social networking platforms costs you nothing and instead gives you a medium to attract more and more customers.
- You can also use the Facebook advertisement feature where ads for various companies are for display in a column on the home page of Facebook.
- You can share valuable content and keep your followers updated with latest developments or inform them about a new service or product that they should look out for.
- You can also use the Reddit Ask Me Anything Service. This service enables Reddit users to ask any question they have related to your services. A direct interaction with your potential customer is very useful in gaining his loyalty on the basis of personalized attention that he gets.
Gaining full momentum can take up to a year. If you use social media effectively, then it can form a major source of gathering traffic for your services.
8. Brand Ambassador- People often associate a brand with its representative. Therefore, it is imperative that you hire an experienced interactive person as the brand ambassador for your company. Brand ambassadors represent your brand; they spread awareness among people about what the brand offers and how it is going to benefit the target audience.
Businesses like Amazon and Lyft hire university students as ambassadors to advertise their products and services in the university campus. Travel businesses like makemytrip.com hire their customers to become holiday ambassadors to advertise the incentives they offer to people if they plan a trip through makemytrip.com.
9. Participation in relevant forums- Forums are an amazing platform to discuss and advertise your ideas through discussion with others interested in services similar to the ones your business offers them.
All you have to do is search for these on social media and join them.
- Once you join a discussion, you can add value to it by expressing your point of view.
- Try to become a part of the community and establish relationships to make people believe in you and your outlook.
- Don’t make it obvious that you are there on the forum to only advertise your business.
Open Google and search for forums and discussions relevant to your business.
10. Filter your advertisements- Any advertisement that is marketing your service is taking your money, irrespective of whether it is brining you any traffic or not. So it is important to stop wasting your money on ads that are not performing well. There are more than 46 percent ads that go unseen which only suggests that how much money a business spends on creating and broadcasting advertisements that audience do not even see.
Be aware of which advertisement is driving traffic and getting more clicks than others and modify accordingly. Every investment must offer you a return.
11. Super Users- Creating super users for your business is the latest and most innovative trend that has been catching up.
- Suppose you are a new company that sells foot wears then you need to look up on popular social media platforms like Twitter for people who love foot wears and talk a lot about them. You can also search for blogs about footwear and contact the person who writes them.
- Someone who blogs or tweets or posts about something that is related to your company could be a potential client. Approach them and offer them a discount of say 25% to come in and check out your collection. Not only will the discount lure them into buying a product they love but they will also talk a little about it on their blogs or profiles.
- If they do then maybe you could send a complimentary pair to them with a note thanking them for talking about you on their blog.
This type of external marketing is amazing for your company. When you hear about an amazing service from someone, who is not a part of the company or related to it in any way, then you know that they have nothing to benefit from advertising it. You believe them more and think of trying the product or service out. Getting your brand advertised on a popular blog that talks about related products can give your business the much-needed boost it needs.
Marketing is a tough business. More so when there are limitations in terms of resources but you shouldn’t let that discourage you from going ahead. With the diversification of the digital age, money is not the only way to market your business. There are many others that require minimum to no investment. The beginning is always the hardest!