It is pretty common for startups and small businesses to have a limited budget in general, not to mention marketing. However, marketing is incredibly important in reaching the target audience and selling products or services.
Student-owned startups struggle because of a lack of time and money even more. College is a good time to try entrepreneurship, yet it comes with certain difficulties. Particularly, students have to balance academic workload with managing a small business, which is hard given the number of college assignments. Luckily, this issue can be solved with the help of a dissertation writers online. Such an expert can assist with writing, editing, and proofreading any type of college paper in a short time. This is a great opportunity to keep up with deadlines and to have more time for your startup.
Professional academic writing services help students polish their work and maintain great academic performance. At the same time, they offer guidance and advice to build advanced skills and become a better writer.
As for the limited budget, there are many marketing tools and strategies one can apply with little to no investment. Here is what you can do to boost your student-owned startup.
Focus on SEO and Content Creation
SEO is a free way to boost traffic to your website and attract a new audience. It is a set of practices used to gain a higher ranking on search engines. If your page ranks among the top 3 results on Google, it gets much more clicks and visits.
To achieve that, you need a strong content strategy (company website or blog) and SEO practices. Some tips in this regard are:
- Focus on local SEO. It is easier to rank high for and more effective for small companies than global reach;
- Add location-specific keywords;
- Opt for long-tail keywords as they are easier to score for;
- Create unique and helpful content;
- Diversify content with various media (video, graphs, pictures);
- Format it according to the best SEO practices.
Of course, developing and executing a content strategy is time-consuming. But it is low-budget, and evergreen content will keep your business going at all times.
Create Google My Business
This is a free and fast way to appear in searches more. With this account, your startup will appear on Google Maps in local and global searches. Make sure you verify your account and optimize it.
Responding to reviews promptly is another great opportunity to showcase that you care about customers and their feedback.
Utilize Social Media
Social media are very powerful when it comes to building brand awareness and engaging with your audience. And they are free to use, so there is no reason not to add them to your strategy. Select the platforms where your target customers are and create the company’s accounts.
This way, you can grow a following, share important news and releases, and build a strong community around the brand.
To make your social media marketing successful, try such tips as:
- Post regularly;
- Keep the brand voice and visual style consistent;
- Share content from your website to drive traffic;
- Answer comments and messages from users;
- Run polls or ask for feedback;
- Create informational and useful pieces;
- Tag other people and brands;
- Repost user-generated content;
- Try giveaways or challenges to attract new followers.
Social media also offers opportunities for paid promotions. Those are much more affordable than traditional marketing campaigns. One of the most budget-friendly is Facebook. However, if you do not have money for that, free tactics work great as well.
Try Email Marketing
This is not a completely free yet affordable strategy. Email marketing is quite effective and can be managed easily with WordPress sites. This keeps visitors engaged, offers them deals, and helps to separate the audience into specific groups. For instance, you can create specific offers to students around the holidays or reach out to professionals with another deal.
It is important to craft letters carefully with some creativity when it comes to the subject line. Also, do not forget to include a call to action – something you want a reader to do upon getting the email (go to a website, subscribe, or buy a product).
Try A/B testing to evaluate how your campaign performs and what practices work most effectively.
Consider Guerilla Marketing
This type of promotion can be extremely powerful. However, success is never guaranteed, as it is all about creativity and grabbing attention.
Guerilla marketing means cheap and easy ways to unconventionally interact with people in the real world. For example, putting a QR code sticker on a traffic light post. Or making graffiti art on an abandoned building with a link to your website. Urban décor and stickers are usually among the top choices.
Host and/or Attend Events
Hosting an online or offline event is an opportunity to offer customers some value besides your direct products or services. Those could be industry-related webinars or master classes that people can sign up for.
Offline events can take place in cafes, ed centers, colleges, or libraries. Make sure you can offer some insights and actionable tips to others.
Another amazing way to make connections and boost brand awareness is by visiting industry events like seminars or conferences. Here you can meet potential customers, partners, and vendors. You also get the chance to establish your expertise and reputation by taking part in such events. There is always something to learn from others, whether it is a new marketing strategy or a new product opportunity.
Create a Referral Program
This is a simple yet effective way to attract new clients. Create a referral program that offers benefits to your current audience and new members. For example, by signing other people up, your customers can get a discount, a free product, or access gated content.
For instance, Dropbox used such a tactic when it was a startup offering people free storage space. And a personal recommendation from a friend or acquaintance usually serves as a guarantee of quality in the eyes of the public.
Marketing is a fundamental part of business success, whether it is a startup or a huge enterprise. Fortunately, with the internet and lots of digital opportunities, marketing strategy doesn’t have to be expensive. A lot of these practices are free or budget-friendly. Try them out for your startup.