3 Low-Cost Marketing Strategies for Startups

As a startup business owner, you are well aware that marketing is essential to increase brand awareness and drive sales, but creating and implementing effective marketing strategies requires time and money. With zero or little cash to spare marketing can seem impossible, but there are low-cost marketing strategies for startups that can effectively begin growing your business.

Why are low-cost marketing strategies for startups vital for success?

Even if your business has the potential to be the next Apple or Amazon, your startup will never grow if no one knows it exists. 

Prioritizing marketing strategy differentiates brands from their competition, from early-stage companies to the most influential global brands. 

Hiring a dedicated marketing professional or acquiring marketing services from an agency does not exactly fit within an early-stage startup’s budget. Although this should be a future goal, your business cannot afford to wait for this to be possible. 

We have identified the top 3 best marketing strategies for startups to follow while working with an average startup marketing budget.

Identify your target customer to drive marketing strategies.

Because marketing and advertising costs for a startup business have to remain minimal, you want to make sure every project, initiative, and marketing campaign is highly targeted.

The most effective approach for sales and marketing for startups is to determine your startup target market so you can make an educated decision on what marketing strategy is the best fit for your business. We recommend to only focus on your top Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

Beginning by choosing one clearly defined ICP rather than going after multiple at once allows you to allocate 100 percent of your focus on your most significant target. Doing this increases your chance of driving revenue early on, which makes your marketing efforts more effective. Examples of low-cost strategies that become more effective when using a well-defined ICP are Inside Sales and Account-Based Marketing.

Inside Sales sells a company’s products or services via phone, email, or other online channels, typically from an office-based environment. 

By following an Inside Sales strategy using a clearly defined ICP, your startup can primarily benefit from low costs (you only need access to a phone and internet connection) and the high potential for sales growth if appropriately executed.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a B2B strategy that targets select accounts with higher growth opportunities and turns them into customers through tailored marketing and sales activities. 

By following an ABM strategy focusing on your identified ICP, your startup will generate revenue more quickly than if you spread your resources across several accounts. Gaining startup marketing metrics is sometimes challenging in the early stages, and ABM is a way to see ROI. Revenue earned from ABM can be used to reach other accounts that require more complex marketing strategies, such as digital marketing.  

Insides Sales and ABM are solid strategies for many startups to follow, but they are not going to work for every early-stage company. How to determine what the best strategies are to effectively target your ICP can involve many variables, and you may want to consider asking for guidance from an experienced business professional or a startup incubator. 

Grow faster with collaborations and co-marketing.

Launching the best startup marketing campaigns on a limited budget can be done when collaborating with other businesses. Co-marketing, the sharing of audiences and resources between two complementary brands, opens up tremendous opportunities to hit marketing objectives for startups and experience overall growth.

Co-marketing helps by: 

  1. Generating more creative marketing ideas for startups
  2. Producing more premium content such as guest blogs
  3. Reaching a larger audience to attract more leads
  4. Offering a cost-effective alternative to solo marketing 

Focus on SEO to build brand awareness. 

You may have heard of Search Engine Optimization or SEO, but it can be daunting how to do SEO and see its results when you have little money to work with.

Websites constantly compete to earn top positions when content is searched for online, but it is difficult for a startup to be in the running with a limited budget.

We recommend choosing keywords that:

  1. Speak to customers that are at the bottom of the marketing funnel. In other words, they are ready to buy. Later in your marketing journey, you can expand to target leads near the top of the funnel by creating valued content.
  2. Don’t have a high number of searches every month so you are not competing with the content Goliaths of the internet. 

One of the best digital marketing tools for startups that is free is Google Trends, which can help with your SEO strategy. 

How to set your startup business up for long-term success 

If ‘how to market my startup’ was one of your most pressing thoughts before reading this blog, following our top 3 low-cost marketing strategies for startups will provide you with a starting point to begin your marketing journey.

Following low-budget marketing strategies is not meant to be sustainable for a long time but rather provide a jumping-off point to achieve larger goals.

Every startup is different with varying marketing needs especially as it grows and evolves. Finding a mentor, coach, or startup incubator program that can provide advice, support, and expertise is a great way to keep learning new knowledge and skills to set your startup up for long-term success.