Being a startup means you have to start many aspects of your business from almost zero. That’s not bad because it gives you more opportunity to study your niche, understand the market, and experiment on various approaches to making your business succeed.
Apart from product research, another one of the more vast and open facets you can look into is your customers: your revenue source. Through marketing strategies, you can gain better reach, and in turn, better profits. Here are some cost-effective marketing strategies you can get started on.
Word Of Mouth Is as Powerful as Ever
Even in the world of online and digital marketing, word of mouth remains as powerful as ever. However, the platform has received an upgrade: no longer does word of mouth spread through face-to-face conversation. Instead, it can happen between any interaction. An individual might post something connected to your products or services, so it pays to do your best that it’s positive.
However, leveraging word of mouth is somewhat tricky as there is no guarantee that folks will say positive things about your business. However, one way to increase the chances for that is by making sure that you release high-quality products or provide top-notch services. While that in itself is something, many businesses should aim for, incentivizing yourself to do that can motivate you more. Another idea is to provide “friend discounts” if your clients refer their friends to your services. This encourages them to utilize your business.
As mentioned earlier, word of mouth primarily happens online nowadays. Mainly on platforms that allow for casual conversations, like social media. And businesses nowadays use social media not just to advertise their products but also to understand their clients’ perspectives. Many companies fail to leverage their social media. Instead of just using it to promote, use it to communicate and connect with your clients.
Collaborate with Other Businesses
Many small businesses have either a meager marketing budget or no marketing budget at all. However, they do have manpower and resources — just not the ability to shell out money for a campaign. Instead of a full-fledged marketing campaign, businesses instead can organize an alliance or partnership with other companies, either of similar nature or location. They can then use their pool of resources or even share funds to power a marketing campaign.
While this may sound somewhat idealistic, it’s very much feasible. As a matter of fact, groups of service providers coming together for a joint marketing campaign isn’t exactly new. Business conferences are very much that: a platform for a group of businesses to show their services and products to an audience. A group of small to medium enterprises can do something quite similar, although with a much more relevant theme or thread.
Get To Know And Understand Your Customers
All your efforts to market your services will be moot if the ones seeing the effort are those without any need for your services. Put your effort and energies towards those most likely to become paying customers. What this essentially means is to know who your customers are and what they are like. This is often a part of market segmentation and targeting tactics. It allows businesses to execute cost-effective marketing plans by appealing to those already looking for a product or service they’re selling.
But even before you can target your ideal customers, it’s best to define who they are first. They most likely share similar qualities, such as age, location, buying power, and interests. Finding your target segment is always relative to your business. Thus understanding what your business offers will lead you to those who need your services the most. Take the time to fully comprehend your own services, and soon you’ll realize the qualities of people who will be interested in it.
Networking Never Ends, but Be Careful
Here’s a simple truth: people are more likely to do business with friends or people they already know. This is amplified in our world today: we use social media sites to make business connections and acquaint ourselves with a broader network. We can then use these contacts to either do a project or even gain more contacts. Marketing is networking, and to a business owner, networking is something they must constantly do.
However, it’s also essential to be wise with how you grow your network. It’s best to create a network of reliable individuals and businesses. After all, reputation is vital, and being linked with rather sketchy establishments can affect your business. Learn to figure out where you should network the most and leave when something is amiss.