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Ideas on how to promote a startup on a budget

How startups with a limited budget can compete with larger players by using cheap but effective marketing strategies.

Successful startups have some things in common and top notch marketing is one of them. You might have come up with the greatest idea in the world or built the coolest application, but if other people don’t know about it, your idea or product isn’t worth much. Many young entrepreneurs get so sucked into the creation of the product, that they treat marketing as an afterthought. But as I said before, if users don’t know about a product they won’t be using it.

The immense popularity of the internet has leveled the playing fields, so someone with a small budget working from a garage can compete with big companies as long as they have a cool idea. In fact they might have a better chance in some niches because people have started to distrust companies. Below are few ways you can promote your startup – specifically tech startups.

Social Media

The starting point is creating a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Both are free to start and you have the potential to tap into millions of users. You can get the ball rolling by asking your friends to like and share the page.Business Networking in the 21st Century

Social networks are a good place to share your ideas and plans and get some feedback on them. Every little things count to successfully promote your product. If you have a product that is catering to a specific niche, then try joining a similar niche social network as well.

Contacting Leading Blogs and Getting Press Coverage

Once you come up with a working solution you can contact leading industry blogs to cover your product. Most major technology blogs like TechCrunch and Mashable have separate application forms for startups, so if you are confident about your product you can submit to them.

EDITOR NOTE: I must have misread, I couldn’t see Technology Bloggers among those ‘major technology blogs’! 😉 One day… – note by Christopher

Not only will you get massive exposure you will be able to get funding as well. Even if you don’t get published in major publications there are many other websites that promote startups and you can find many of them by doing a simple Google search.

Attending Conferences

Attending conferences and your local tech gatherings is another great way to spread the word about your product. Attending major conferences helps you network with people and pitch your product to industry leaders.

Local gathering are important because in most of these you will be able to present your product to an audience using a projector, which is far more effective than reading an article about your product. You will also get instant feedback on how you can improve your product as well.

Search Engine Optimization

Another promotion stream that is ignored by most startups is search engine optimization. Although most people in the technology field know about SEO, few actually try to leverage its power. This is especially useful if you are a global product catering to a non tech crowd. They won’t be reading Mashable and attending tech conferences, so the most probable way they will find your product is via search engines.

Even if you are catering to a tech crowd search engine optimization is a must. The long term benefits of SEO are immense. Although it is advisable to outsource your SEO work, if you have lots of content produced through your blog and website, it is better to hire your own SEO engineer. Be careful though, as black-hat SEO can be very damaging to a site, so if you do outsource, make sure it is to someone trustworthy.

Mentioned above are some major things you can do to promote your tech startup. Always remember that more people know about your product the better. The bigger your customer base, the likelihood is, the more money you will make/people you will help!

0 replies on “Ideas on how to promote a startup on a budget”

It’s pretty awesome to see that 3 out of the 4 (if not all 4) tips of low-budget marketing strategies of today are internet based. Shows us how important Internet Marketing has become for any start-up or for that matter, any company ! Undoubtedly, social media is the best technique as of today. And we can see how effectively you have used point No.2 here.
Enjoyed reading the post !

Yes Arun, also another thing to consider is that attending conferences is not feasible in all the the countries around the world. Glad you enjoyed reading the post.

That’s true Nishadha. But with the internet you don’t have to be physically present at the conference to attend it. Video conferencing and webinars have given people living even in remote locations, access to a bunch of resources right from valuable information to networking.
Also, my name is Arjun, not Arun. 🙂

Yes Arjun, webinars have make it a bit easier but it wont allow you to showcase your products like attending a seminar. With our experience on attending Atlassian summit etc. to be there and explain and showcase the product to potential customer reaps big rewards.

[…] How to promote your start-up on a budget – Since I work with start-ups I know quite a few ways to promote your start-up without breaking the bank. This post covers some of those methods like attending conferences, reaching out to tech magazines, social media and search engine optimization. Click here for my TechnologyBlogger profile. […]

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