How Not To Die : Using Marketing in a Startup

Dont Die : Marketing with no budgetYes, I am using an intentional link baiting headline for my point – but across several conversations I had with startups, gurus about “0$ marketing of business,” it was clear that the real successful startups are all thinking beyond the traditional idea “content spraying” that is, creating a blurb and distribute it across all kinds of media platform and.”HOPE” that somebody will pick it up!!! (super meh!)

If you are reading this,  by this point you must have noticed that ALL seem to be repeating the same general concept, that is “content is key”.  While that’s totally true But it doesn’t do much good if the content isn’t getting syndicated beyond your current circle of influence.

To really have “Sharable” stuff that People will get motivated to pick up, you need a Remarkable product. Please remember a Remarkable thing/stuff/product does not need marketing !, its only shared. So i suggest, before thinking of “marketing” you need to do a thorough research about your product and do a comparison with your competitors from usability and features standpoint to take a call on whether you are ready to “share” or not.

Every company & startup I’ve worked with created content – video, blogs, whitepapers, social networks, etc.  But in my experience, marketing a startup with little to no budget is entirely dependent on good old fashioned networking-

See who’s already socially influential on related topics, if you don’t know bloggers – try tools like Kred or Klout to see who’s influential on social networks instead! But nothing beats personal research.

  1. Find out which of them has an engaged audience that responds when they speak.
  2. Then, reach out. Share their relevant social content, participate on their blogs, etc.  In other words, get the big players to know who you are (even if you don’t know them yet), then give them something worth sharing and talk to them about it. Letting them spread the word is a lot more cost-effective than trying to promote your own content to a large number of (probably less engaged) viewers.
  3. Specific Blogs/places to reach out:
  • Twitter curators like @startuped
  • More importantly, though, industry specific sites – in your case you’d be looking for more niche sites that try & find new and unique web pages.  Posting an unofficial press release on some LinkedIn groups has proven successful for me.
  • Go manual – you’re obviously already here on Quora, but check out related forums too, it’s a quick way to meet bloggers.  Throw in a few Squidoo lenses, too,  about…eh, say, ‘learning from mistakes’ or the like, that link to your site as well as have useful info.
  • Kickstarter or IndieGoGo:  You may have already considered this, but with a good campaign these sites can actually work really well for startups – with the added benefit of raising capital.

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