Although every business has its own characteristics when you decide to start your own company you face a group of challenges that are common to any entrepreneur. The challenges are even greater when you are bootstrapping your own project, and in these cases the investment in digital marketing is usually sacrificed.
Now, if you do not make a budget investment in marketing, how will you start your business and your brand start to be recognized? In this article I will review some low cost digital marketing strategies that you can apply to boost the small budget you have to invest. You will realize that initially it is important to be online and that this can be significantly cheaper than applying traditional marketing tactics.
I’m sure that what your venture really needs are some ideas that will help you lay the foundation for your digital marketing campaign to differentiate you from your competitors and get customers to come to you. Saying this may seem easier than doing it, but surely after reading this post you will be clearer what to do to get started:
Focus on your key audience
When you consider introducing your business into social media, and you begin to hear so many terms usually, it is usually overwhelming and it is easy to get lost in the tide and want to reach everyone at once, all the time, and with all the strategies available. However, it is important to keep the focus and put it on the target customers who are the ones who initially will help you establish yourself as a brand.
It is easy for entrepreneur’s founders to believe that everyone will want their products. After all, they eat, sleep and breathe their mark. The reality is that only a small part of the population is interested in them. The same is true for digital populations. When it comes to digital marketing, it becomes fundamental to segment audiences and channels to “talk” to the right people through the networks these people consume.
If you try to promote your business by covering the entire universe online, what you will do is lose a lot of time and money. The key is to identify a target market niche and aggressively seek market share.
Social networks 2017
How do you choose a market? There are four main factors to consider:
- Market size – Is it targeted at a regional demographic? Male? Children? You know exactly how many potential customers are in your target market.
- The purchasing power of the market – Does this market have the money to spend on your product?
- Competition in the market – is the market saturated? Are your many competitors?
- Value proposition – Is your value proposition unique enough to cut through the noise generated by others?
Once you are clear on the above, determining your key market will be much simpler and will represent the key to giving way to your digital strategy.
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What do I do once I have the audience defined?
Once you are clear to whom you are heading we must define through which channel you will communicate with them. As you already know who you are going to speak to, it is important to select the digital channels where that audience moves.
Entrepreneurs tend to choose social networks in which they participate without much strategy and so they make two of the most common mistakes: they try to dominate all networks and try to dominate certain networks simply because the competition is doing it. If all your competitors are on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you must be yourself too, right? Maybe, but maybe not.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat are some of the most popular social networks. All of these can be a great tool for content promotion and community development, but they also have unique features.
As we are talking about businesses that start with bootstrapping it is important to focus efforts on networks that will generate more performance in less time.
Consider the demographic situation of the social network itself. Take Tumblr, for example. Tumblr caters to a younger, relaxed audience who likes to share inspirational quotes and fun pictures. If you are interested in this audience, do not waste your time and resources on LinkedIn.
Establishes alliances and strategic partnerships:
Aligning with an established brand will help your venture gain credibility. Choose a business that excites you – ideally one that has complementary services so they can refer customers to each other.
When you begin, or even when you are a consolidated brand, it is not bad to make alliances, in fact this can bring benefits that surely you have not raised.
Marketing by association or partnership is a very common practice that usually consists of sharing advertising, but now, thanks to social media and online marketing that has changed, and now it is about sharing audiences.
What is the added value of your business to appear on a larger brand website or social networks?
A very large glass of Google juice! Small business cannot afford that kind of exposure alone. Despite the benefits, you must choose your partners carefully. It is very important to align yourself to know the demographics of the partner and what is your promise of value as well as the likeness of your audience with your brand.
A good option to start synergizing with other brands, and also help you reduce costs, is to initially establish your business in shared workspaces. In Spain this trend has been growing because there are many successful cases that are known thanks to this practice. There are multitude of sites and types of offices that you can find; from co-working to business centers that offer all the necessary amenities to have the privacy of an office of your own, with the services and business possibilities and synergies of a shared office. A clear example of this type of sites is Gran via Business Center Barcelona, which offers private offices with common spaces for networking.
How else can I build alliances?
One of the best digital marketing techniques is to influence those who have influence. It looks like a tongue twister, but it is. Developing a very influential relationship with thousands of people is a job that will take a lot of time and resources. Instead, you can focus the connection with people who already have that influence.
For example, if the target of your maca is mothers with children between 4 and 7 years, you can contact a famous mom that develops within social networks. If that mom likes what you’re doing and finds it useful to families, tweets about your product that she makes will reach thousands (if not millions) of loyal followers, that will at least help you get a huge increase in the two followers and the traffic of your networks and your web. Do you see it? Influencing the influencer with the benefits of your brand and general alliance with them is key in your digital marketing process.
Encourage people to share:
If you want people to talk about your product or service on the networks or there is a better way to do it than to encourage them to do it:
Create incentive campaigns: In these types of proposals you can stimulate the consumer by offering discounts or more products as you share your publication. In exchange for sharing the customer can win a digital coupon with a discount percentage.
Offer them something exclusive: Offering something special to share can be a great motivator. For example you can offer a free song to download, a specialized ebook or an online course about your product.
It appeals to your altruism: People are inherently good, if you make it simple for them to help, they usually will and your brand will gain an excellent reputation. For example, you can make a fundraiser for some cause associated with your brand; this will not only raise awareness about your brand and help others, but will generate a very positive image around your product.
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It makes consumers part of the brand:
While listening and monitoring your customers’ involvement are vital tactics in each and every one of your digital marketing campaigns, this time what we are really looking for is to raise the bar and make them feel as part of the team.
For this it is very well valued to offer the consumer proposals associated with the brand that also bring added value. We return to the theme of alliances, for example, if your product is a healthy food, the use of free training in conjunction with health guilds to offer lifestyle talks, or free training on some topic of interest that is related to your product may be an excellent idea.
Training classrooms – Bootstrapping
This may seem challenging, starting with the fact that you probably do not have the facilities to concentrate a group of people, but there are options for overcoming these kinds of barriers. The Training Classes in Barcelona have emerged lately as an option to solve the space problem. And as this has become a common practice, many companies of this type have been emerging in all communities, so it is only a question of investigating your area a little.
The scope of this type of events is not only limited to the moment in which it occurs, through various digital tactics you can boost it exponentially:
Encouraging sharing: As we said earlier when someone shares your message, it spreads through digital communities; a good idea to stimulate the diffusion of your message is by raffling through a contest in social media the tickets to the event.
Live webinar: Through social networks like Periscope you can distribute live the event, so that those who cannot attend have the possibility to see it and, best of all, share it. If you do not have a very large community in this network, Facebook offers the possibility to broadcast live, which will surely expand the scope of your message?
Share videos and material: The material that is being distributed can serve as an input to nourish your networks in the future. You can share videos on Youtube, content capsules in your networks and in your blog, and testimonials or experiences of the participants through your networks.
Starting a business by doing bootstrapping is quite complex, however it is not impossible, it is just about being creative and making the most of each initiative. If you can make your marketing budget work by applying flawless and successful strategies and at the same time taking advantage of digital opportunities successfully, you will surely be able to improve the visibility of your brand without sacrificing a big budget.
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