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What’s the biggest challenge facing new start-ups? Reaching that critical point when there’s enough cash flowing into the business to allow it to stand on its own two feet. Before that, you’ll be ploughing cash in for very little return – so your promotional efforts at this critical early stage need to be both cheap and effective. Read on to find out just how you can push your start-up to the next level without breaking the bank…

Top 12 tips for promoting your start-up

At this stage, a glossy advertising campaign is out of reach – but there’s plenty you can do to build your brand on a tight budget.

  • Know your target audience – if you don’t know who you’re selling to, you won’t be able to target them effectively, so do some research about the sort of people most likely to buy your product or use your service.
  • Niche PPC ads – pick a high-traffic keyword for your advertising and it will cost a lot, but target a more niche corner of the market and you can make inroads with a much smaller budget.
  • Social media – you won’t need budget for this but you will need time and dedication. Pick one or two platforms that are big with your target audience and make sure the content you share has some value to them. Don’t, however, spam them with constant messages about how good your product is.
  • Attend relevant conferences and exhibitions, and try to get speaking gigs at them.
  • Content marketing – start your blog and create content that will have value to your target audience. This could be either information and instructional pieces, or something more entertaining. Infographics, videos and podcasts are a great way of building traction.
  • Encourage referrals – offer discounts to customers for referring new customers and encourage them to review your business or service on review sites.
  • Issue press releases and pitch story ideas to journalists. It won’t always guarantee you coverage, but when it happens, a mention in the local or national press can do wonders for raising your profile.
  • SEO – this one is definitely worth the time you’ll need to put into it. Adding high-quality content and keywords to your site will bring in more traffic.
  • Email marketing is one of the most effective tools for a small business to use. Start building a mailing list as soon as you can and then use it to tell people about your business, update them with news and run competitions.
  • Online networking is a great way to build up brand awareness of what you do and where your area of expertise lies.
  • Join free start-up platforms to promote what you do and add your company to free listings services.
  • Explore the possibility of cross-promotion with another business that complements your own – in that way, you’ll reach their audience and they’ll reach yours.

These are some great ideas to help get your business on its way. However, a lot of them are time consuming and most start-up owners are as short of time as they are of cash. Inside Creative can provide you with a bespoke combination of SEO, social media and content marketing at competitive prices – if you’re interested, get in touch with us via the contact page.

Photo by Chris Knight on Unsplash

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