When you're bootstrapping a new startup, it doesn't always come with a large marketing budget. Add to that the digital marketing budget, and it's possible you're not left with more than pennies to spend. Until you make more, that is.
If you're starting with a tiny digital marketing budget, here's where you should spend your time...until you have the money.
1. Content Marketing
Business owners know their own market, and more often than not, you are the one with the information and knowledge potential customers and clients want.
Put it in a blog. Add it to your website pages. Answer their questions online, and you'll foster trust with your customers and clients in a way your competitors don't. Why? Because you answered their questions and they didn't have to ask.
The other benefit to updating your blog frequently is that blog content is generally crawled and indexed much faster by search engines than regular pages on a static website. Adding a link to your new blog post through social media will get it discovered faster by the search engine.
2. Social Media
Increase your brand recognition and visibility by using social media. It's important because it makes you more accessible for new customers, and more recognizable for existing customers. Those same existing customers can become brand ambassadors and spread your message - by linking to you on social media.
Your search engine rankings will benefit from social media, too, Because links in to your website count toward improved search engine rankings, having your website link found on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube, increases your website's presence.
Social media is also another opportunity to convert, however best practices tell us social media should be more focused on brand recognition, credibility, and information sharing than selling.
3. Networking on Social Media
Use social media to network, not just shout about your brand. Whether it's a Google+ or LinkedIn group, offer answers to questions, or advice that could be helpful to the group. Join a twitter chat and build yourself up as an authority, it's bound to lead to a guest expert opportunity in future Twitter chats.
4. Referral Program for customers to bring in new customers
The best way to bring in new customers? By letting your existing customers tell them about you. Set up a referral program, and let your customers refer other customers by word of mouth. Offer them something in return for sharing your brand, whether it's free product or shopping discounts. Incentives can give customers that extra push they needed to take action.
Don't let a small budget stop you from starting. Spend your time, and soon enough you'll be able to spend the money.
See you in the social sphere!