Online marketing strategies for bootstrap startups
1) The first and most important step is to have a website. With just a few dollars a month, you can create your own website at web development sites like Netquist. A website is your brand for your new startup. A website is important for both offline and online businesses. A website is used to gain leads and spread information for your new start-up restaurant, furniture shop, DIY hardware store, car outlet, and almost any business you can possibly think of. It is the base of any marketing strategy online. A website is your identity online.
2) Facebook allows you to create a page for your new start-up. A page allows you to receive likes and post updates about your start-up. With Facebook, you can easily post new promotions, launches, notice and latest news. If you are running a restaurant, you can post food pictures, new culinary skills and menu of the day. If you are running a furniture shop, you can post the latest designs, discounts or warehouse sales. Facebook also allows you to boost a post. This feature will further publicize your announcement within Facebook to a bigger audience. A more than a billion people are connected through Facebook, this is a marketing strategy you definitely do not want to miss. Facebook also allows you to create events. Set the date, time, event particulars and begin inviting people.
3) Instagram is one of the tops and social networking sites that is a must-have. On Instagram, set your post to public and use relevant hashtags. If you are selling yellow chairs, then you can set the hashtag as #yellowchairs #furniture. Instagram allows you to post beautiful creative pictures of products your start-up is selling. If your start-up is related to beautiful products that crave photographic attention, Instagram is your best bet.
4) For news based start-ups that needs to spread short and simple words , then use Twitter. For example, radio stations that frequently need to make announcements, an advertising company that has the latest limited time offers, a stock market analysis team that post price updates and the list goes on, you get the idea.
5) The best thing about online marketing is that you get to engage a fairly large crowd of audience within a short amount of time, and gain valuable feedback and insight instantly.
Freebies are the most common online marketing strategy. Set aside a few freebies such as t-shirts, umbrellas or mugs with your company logo on it. Then make a post, such as the first 50 likes and comments are entitled to receive a freebie. This encourages people to engage and like your page. The freebie will then continue its long-term marketing as people begin to wear that t-shirt of yours or use that mug with your company name on it.
Voting and contest are the most widely use marketing strategy online. Let's say you are an owner of a new furniture shop start-up. And you want to promote the new best selling yellow chair. You could ask people to sit on that chair and make the best pose. Give 50 people a chance to participate in the contest. Then post the photos online to your Facebook page or Instagram account.
The contestant with the most likes wins the contest. This is one of the most cost-effective and brilliant marketing strategies as I have seen pages receive thousands of likes within just a few days. Contestants will go around asking their friends, family and Facebook friends to like their photo on your page. You in return receive a huge amount of exposure.
To add an even bigger impact, you can create a new promotion for the new fans on your page. Such as getting the yellow table now with this chair at 50% discount. This will further boost your sales and move your inventory quickly.
The above strategies might seem simple and basic. But with more than 50 start-ups that I have consulted, these simple strategies work like a charm.