Startup Stories

Promotion Tips and Tricks for Startup Owners

Is your business just getting off the ground? If so, you’re probably always on the lookout for clever, economical ways to promote your brand. That’s understandable. But, in addition to paid advertising, what are some of the most effective ways of getting your company’s name into the public consciousness? Here are several tried-and-true methods for promoting a startup. They don’t cost a fortune and are all relatively easy to implement.

Low-Cost Techniques

Some of the oldest, least costly promotion techniques still work well. They include printing and distributing business cards, making 10 or 20 cold calls every day to prospective customers, using social media sites spread the word about what you do, contributing guest posts to high profile blogs, joining local organizations in order to build out your professional network, forming a power breakfast group with several other entrepreneurs (not competitors) who can support each other informally, and hosting open-house events for local residents and nearby merchants.

Smart SEO

You can do simple research to discover long-tail keywords that don’t have a lot of competition but are ideal to use in your company’s website content pieces. SEO, as a marketing tactic, has never gone away, but it has changed quite a bit in the past decade. For larger companies especially, it’s essential to use new, smart techniques that are effective at the enterprise level. You might be small now, but it pays to understand how enterprise SEO works for larger businesses. For instance, your marketing effort will need to be focused on short keywords that are highly competitive once your web presence includes dozens, or even hundreds of sites. You can review an informative guide about what enterprise SEO is and how it works at many online locations.

Ethical Copycatting

Using promotion tactics that work for your competitors is called ethical copycatting, and it works well for startups. Even some of the world’s largest corporations do it, primarily in the fast food, retail consumer goods, and apparel industries. Simply put, you begin by spending a few hours studying your competitors’ websites. Observe how they market themselves, set up their pages, arrange their shopping carts, and reinforce their brand via advertising and promotion. Make it an academic study of sorts. Repeat the process with several other competitors, making sure to take notes as you proceed. In the end, you should have at least a few pages of fresh ideas. And the best part is that it’s all completely legal and ethical. There’s no copying or plagiarism involved, just good, old-fashioned opposition research.

Giving Has Its Own Rewards

Never underestimate the value of getting connected with a local charity. Don’t try to work with a half-dozen at first. Just pick one charitable organization that meshes will with your company’s goals, identity, or both. Choose an entity that you would personally feel comfortable supporting. Then, decide on ways your business can support the cause. You can make small cash donations, sponsor fundraising events, host a lunch for the charity’s management team, etc. Eventually, you’ll become publicly identified with a community organization that’s doing good things for local people.

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