The vast majority of startups have optimism in abundance and very little cash in the bank in which to turn their business dreams into a successful and profitable enterprise.
This means that many of us have to be frugal with our marketing strategy and need to find ways to get the best return without breaking the bank.
Social media is a great place to start when considering your marketing options and reading an Instagram blog as well as other similar resources, will quickly lead you to realise that there are ways to get noticed online even if you have a tiny marketing budget.
A platform for growing your brand
Few would argue that social media can be one of the most cost-effective ways to market your startup and it not only provides you with an ideal platform for growing your brand quickly, but it also works well for promotional opportunities and good customer service.
The main trick to using social media sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is you have to ensure that you are frequent and consistent with your postings.
Getting the balance right is not always that easy and there may be an element of trial and error involved until you find the level. Too many posts can turn-off an audience and a lack of uniformity to your posts is also something you should try to avoid.
As a general guide, consider somewhere between five and ten Facebook posts per week whereas it is good to tweet about five times a day and update your Linkedin and Google+ accounts once a day or at least every 48 hours.
Engage with your customer
If you are launching a startup you want to start learning about what your potential customers want for you as quickly as possible, which is why you need to take advantage of social media to engage with your followers.
Too many brands tend to use social media accounts as a way of promoting their products and services but the fundamental issue with this strategy is that it does not provide any value to those that are following the feeds.
Your aim should be to find and subsequently share the information that your customers are indicating that they want to see, which will then also give you the chance to periodically mix in some promotional content, without turning off your followers.
Getting an acceptable ROI
Whilst there are plenty of initiatives and ideas relating to social media that have a greater emphasis on your time rather than money, there are also opportunities to invest some of your marketing budget into selected platforms.
Facebook is rapidly evolving into a so-called pay-to-play marketing network and this is not pleasing everyone for sure, but if it is a strategy that achieves a good ROI for your marketing budget, it may well be worth considering.
All of these social media sites are looking at ways of generating cash from the strength of position that they have but regardless of what you think of this shift in direction, you may find that experimenting with small investments in the various platforms, might allow you to identify where you can generate a viable return for your sponsored tweets or whatever works the best.
Use other blogs to promote your business
If you are looking for a free way to try and capture a larger audience, you might want to consider posting comments on other blogs.
Take a look at which blogs already have a large audience and a good reputation and see if you make an interesting comment or observation that prompts that audience to consider checking out your profile and content.
It will take a bit of work and you need to ensure that your comments are unique in order to attract interest, but it can work as a frugal marketing strategy.
Offer to help
Blogs that help and educate are becoming an increasingly popular and successful ways of increasing web traffic and winning over customers.
Focus on providing useful information and guidance on a suitable topic without trying to sell to your audience. This will help to generate a relationship built on trust and value, which has a great pay-off as customers feel they can buy from you with confidence.
If you are launching a startup on a frugal marketing budget, there are still plenty of strategies that can help you get your business off the ground, especially if you embrace the use of social media.
Issa Asad is a marketing and social media strategist, entrepreneur and best-selling author from Miami, Florida. He has been working in the technology, marketing and telecommunications industries for over 18+ years, and has led various multimillion dollar companies in the South Florida tri-county areas.