6 Marketing Ideas Every Startup Should Consider

Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. So you’ve s...

Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. So you’ve started up your business and are not sure where to put your marketing budget? This article will give you a few ideas to consider with your marketing activities - even if you have little budget available. According to Chartered Institute of Marketing, Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.
 

Marketing also involves promoting your business so that people know about what you offer and engage with your brand whether that’s a sale or enquiry. It is also about telling your story and engaging and sharing ideas. If executed well, marketing can be very rewarding so you should consider setting aside some budget specifically for marketing activities as this will ultimately generate income for your business.
Here are a few ideas, which may be useful if you haven’t got lots of cash to spare:

Business cards

Get some business cards made. They don’t have to be a flashy design or printed on a thick glossy card but remember who your audience is you’re trying to attract and ensure that the design of your business card will engage with them or look appealing to them in some way. Many printers now offer bundle packages for start ups so do look into what options are out there and don’t be tempted to spend ££££s on printing lots of cards if you are unsure of how many you’ll need – 250 is probably a good starting point.
Don’t forget your call to action information, logo and company strap line on your business card.

Network to get work

Networking is a great way to build contacts and forge relationships with a range of people. Some marketing consultants might advise against attending lots of network events, but the only away to get your name about town is to mingle with other people, whether they be your potential customers, competitors or even suppliers. Find out what’s taking place in local, regional and national level and participate in as many events as you can.
Be sure to research the networking group or networking event before you part with any money! And don’t forget to bring your business cards along to every event – not to shove in people’s faces but just in case anyone asks. There are many events that are put on including InspireUrBiz  events.

Be seen on the World Wide Web

It's absolutely necessary to get noticed online. Set out to be visible, even if you cant afford a website - get a holding page or basic WordPress site up and running. By setting yourself up online, it’s your shop front for your customers to engage with you if you don’t have a physical premises or you work from home.
 
Your website doesn’t need to be pages and pages of online information and it doesn’t need to be all whizzy and flashy either – as long as its functional and people can understand in a few paragraphs what you offer and how to get in touch thats the main thing! However, do consider that your website can be seen by anyone and is one of the first places people may find you via an online search if you have the right meta tags and search optimisation in place. Remember key words on your website will come up on search pages and help you to get ranked higher on search engines like YahooBingAsk.com and Google.

 
Create a domain name that’s easy to remember (check if it already exists online before setting it all up) and make sure that you have at least one email address linked to your domain name for a more professional look.
Even if its only a holding page that you create as a DIY job until you can afford better, try and get something online. Include a basic Contact Us form with an open text box for website visitors to leave a message and don’t forget to ask where they heard about your company on the form if you have space.

Social media

 I cannot stress enough the importance of getting social and building your online community. Why limit yourself to only a small audience when you could be attracting a global audience. Yes, this largely depends on who you want to attract and the sector you’re in, but social media is beneficial to most businesses in one way or another.
 
If you’re planning to get to grips with social media properly then you need to educate yourself about whats out there and understand the different social media channels before trying to do everything at once. A good starting point is Linked InTwitter and Facebook, but remember social media goes way beyond that. Read the blog post about whether your business should be on Twitter as a starting point.

Make a video

It may sound like a big deal and maybe it is to you, but this is a fun and interactive way to engage with your audience and create a more FUNtastic promotional channel.
 
YouTube and Vimeo are two channels you can use to plug your brand using video and online communication. And it doesn’t need to be all polished and edited either. Just make sure you communicate your key messages, whether that’s using humour or just plain boring simple words. It’s another way to engage with the people you want to buy your product or service.

Printing

This one does depend on how much money you have in the pot but its a good way to get your message out there. I’m not just talking about posters and leaflets, I’m talking about all types of print materials – postcards, flyers, Zcards and more.
There are so many print options you can go with and many print companies now offer great deals on printing everything from business cards right brought to stationary and leaflets.
A useful piece of advice is if you want to have longevity of your print items, don’t refer to the date or any price information. That way if you print 5,000 ‘generic’ leaflets promoting your product or service, they have a longer shelf life and can be distributed for years! Remember to include a call to action so people know how to get in touch with you by phone, website or email.

And finally….

 No matter what marketing tactics you use when you first start out, be sure to evaluate your marketing spend, both in terms of time spent and money spent. You could generate money using sponsorship too (if you don't have access to funds). But whatever you decide to do, evaluate your spending - because, if you’re spending lots of time, energy and money to get something done, you need to see positive outcomes or increased sales as a direct result.
What are you doing to promote your business? Feel free to share your ideas and comments and questions below. 

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