Effective strategic marketing is vital to building a brand, gaining customers, and ultimately, growing a business. However, marketing can be expensive, with a 15 second advertising spot on TV easily costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Very few startups have big marketing budgets, so, they need to be careful not to burn through all their cash resources before getting the chance to break even. For this reason, it’s important to know how to effectively market your business on a budget. Here’s how you can set about marketing to win customers, without breaking the bank.

Online communities. From forums and message boards to blogs, there are countless online communities that you can tap into to market your business -. It’s important to take care in how you approach marketing and promotion in these spaces. Overt marketing is not only unappreciated, but it can also attract negative attention that harms your brand. To win over communities, position yourself as a helpful expert who provides wanted advice on topics and issues that relate to your business. That way people can both appreciate the information and learn about your brand. 

Content creation. We all know that content is king and as such, plays an important part in most marketing plans. One easy way to maximise your marketing through content is to set up a blog on your website. Your blog should include information that allows people to get to know your business, and understand and appreciate the products and services it provides. For example, a startup that has built a new fitness app could write a blog about the importance of goal tracking in fitness. Whenever you post a new blog, be sure to maximise reach and readership by sharing it on your social media platforms.

Media releases. The tried and tested way to gain coverage in media is through sending media releases to journalists. This begins with building a media database. Make a list of all the media outlets you need to send media releases to in order to reach your target customers. For instance, a technology startup should target national media as well as niche technology and business media. Ensure your releases include all the key information - the who, what, when, where, why and how, as well as your phone number and email, so journalists can easily get in touch.  

Email newsletters. Email newsletters are a great way to gain both new and repeat business. However, not all email newsletters are equal in marketing power. Dull, long-winded emails, or those with spelling and grammatical errors, will see you lose subscribers and potentially business. Aside from vigilant proofing for errors, you want to make your newsletter unique and, most importantly, valued amongst your target market. Be imaginative, provide useful information, inject your personality, and add personal touches where appropriate.