Three colleagues collaborate in an office in front of a laptop computer and written notes
Creating an inexpensive marketing strategy for your startup is possible when you repurpose content and use tools to automate and streamline your efforts. — Getty Images/kate_sept2004

Marketing is one of the necessary costs of launching a new business. There are upfront marketing needs, such as creating a logo, designing a website and creating social media channels. There are also ongoing costs that come with advertising your brand and bringing in your first customers.

Launching a startup requires minimizing your expenses until you have a steady stream of sales — and, marketing is necessary for making those first sales. Here’s how to find the right mix of inexpensive marketing tactics that reach high-value (and high-paying) customers.

Know your target customer

There are many ways to reach potential customers. With so many different channels and tactics, it can be hard to know where to start and where to spend your valuable budget. Should you invest in Facebook advertising, sponsor a blog post, or hire an influencer?

The best way to determine your best strategy is to work backward. Develop a solid understanding of your ideal customer before you start spending on advertising. By creating a customer persona, you can target your messaging more effectively, work with relevant media outlets or influencers, and decide where to share your marketing campaigns to make the most impact.

[Read more: The Best Online Marketing Strategies]

Customers who find you on Google My Business are 70% more likely to visit and 50% are more likely to make a purchase.


Take advantage of free tools

There are tons of free tools that you can drive attention to your startup. Start by getting your company set up on Google My Business. This tool lets you create a free business profile that shows up on Google Search and Google Maps. You can share your location, hours, website, logo, images and more on this profile. You can also respond to reviews, create offers and post answers to FAQs.

Google My Business is just one powerful way to start recruiting customers. According to Clover, “Customers who find you on Google My Business are 70% more likely to visit and 50% are more likely to make a purchase. Companies that have photos on Google My Business are also 42% more likely to get requests for driving directions than those without photos.”

For other free tools, check out this list from Hubspot with free and affordable tools for different marketing purposes: social media, SEO and more.

Use what you have

Great marketing requires content, and content can often be expensive. But, with a little creativity, you can make use of what you already have to save money while showing your startup’s value proposition.

Start by finding the best fit for your brand and your audience. For example, if you are starting a business that offers tech support, you may decide to launch a series of videos illustrating how to install basic computer programs, like Microsoft Office or security software. Those videos can be shot using free online video recording tools like Loom.

You can post those videos on social media and create transcripts that can be shared as blog posts. You may also decide to bring those blog posts together in a long-form e-book that is available only to your subscribers. With a little creativity, you can generate content from one or two ideas that can be repurposed multiple times.

[Read more: How to Repurpose Your Marketing Content to Save Time and Money While Driving Revenue]

Automate as much as possible

There are many ways to automate the labor-intensive parts of running a marketing campaign. Social media, email marketing and even managing a landing page can be automated with the right tools.

“Start by focusing on the customer journey, rather than on the needs of your business. Identify potential touchpoints that could benefit from marketing automation and build processes that ease the customer from touchpoint to touchpoint,” recommends Hubspot.

Marketing automation tools can put a dent in your budget, but they’re often more affordable than hiring a second person or trying to run your marketing alone. Data from Marketo shows companies that use marketing automation are more likely to report faster growth than those that don’t use marketing automation.

Consider scheduling posts and newsletter emails ahead of time. You can also set up a series of emails to encourage someone to complete their online purchase once they’ve visited your webpage.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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