Low Cost Marketing Strategies for Startups

Are you an SME owner looking for low-cost marketing strategies for your business? Of course, you are. Most startup founders operate on a very tight budget at the beginning of their business. And this makes it difficult for them to budget funds for big marketing.

Startup owners can be creative when it comes to marketing their business to reach a wider customer base. There are low-cost marketing strategies for startups to apply to their business to reach their target audience and keep the business growing.

Low Cost Marketing Strategies for Startups

Here are 6 low-cost marketing strategies you can use to help your startup grow.

  1. Content Marketing

This is one low-cost marketing strategy that requires little investment but comes with big returns in the long term. This has to do with creating and distributing content for a targeted audience on the internet.

Content marketing comes in many forms. Blog posts, infographics, podcasts, and videos are all forms of content marketing capable of improving your startup’s reputation. They all have what it takes to increase your on-site blog inbound traffic as well as complement all other low-cost marketing strategies to be identified subsequently.

Create content that is relevant to your audience, engaging, and shareable. If you want to reach a wider group of your target audience, you can do a guest post on a blog or website with high traffic and add outbound links to your website.

This is one way to reach your target audience who don’t know your business exists and what your business can do for them.

  1. Attending Trade Shows and Events

You can bring exposure to your business by attending trade shows and events where businesses like yours gather to sell their products and services. You don’t only get exposure for your business with trade shows, you also get to network with other business leaders, sell and generate revenue for your business.

Seek out conferences and events where they allow vendors to display their products or services. This low-cost marketing strategy applies to any kind of business.

  1. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing cannot be ruled out from any marketing strategy. All successful businesses leverage social media marketing for brand awareness and marketing of their business.

Social media platforms are one of the most efficient ways to get your message out to your target audience. It is the best way to build a solid online following that will be an anchor stream of traffic to your website.

Although social media as a medium of marketing your brand is freely available, it is not something you can casually handle. You need to invest your time in it to master the art. With patience and consistency, you will get there in time.

Start by creating profiles for your startup on major platforms — Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — and make sure to syndicate content your target audience would find relevant to them.

Stay connected by posting relevant content like post promos, giveaways, and educational content. Upload your latest products, run a brand awareness campaign and respond to comments on your posts to connect with your audience.

With consistency and commitment, you will grow your fanbase to thousands of followers that will be engaging with your posts, patronizing your business, and even referring their friends.

  1. Search Engine Marketing

If your website has a blog that is updated regularly, then you should focus on optimizing your content for search engines.

Search engine optimization can help you capture those who are searching for information, products, or services related to your business. When you know the keywords your target audience is typing into search engines, you can optimize your content with these keywords to be able to get a higher rank on search engine result pages (SERPs).

With a tool like SEMrush, you can identify keywords your target audience is typing and keywords that could attract high traffic to your website and increase your business visibility.

You can focus on local SEO if you are targeting people in your neighborhood or your locality.

  1. Referrals Marketing

There is no better way of marketing your business than letting your customers do it for you for free. Word of mouth is one very powerful form of marketing that is unbeatable to this day.

Potential customers are more likely to give your business a try because a friend referred them to you.

Findings show that 92% of people place their confidence on items personally recommended to them than all other marketing tactics combined.

So, if you are in dire need of a low-cost marketing strategy for your new startup, you might want to look into the concept of referral marketing. This marketing strategy is very simple. Depending on how you want to structure it, it can be done for free.

You can come up with a program that allows current customers to help you heavily market your products to their friends and family to win a prize or get a discount on their next purchase or subscription.

This strategy increases the reputation of your business. And when new customers are satisfied with your product or service, they will surely come back and also refer their friends and family members to your business.

  1. Online Forums, Communities, and Groups

Don’t underestimate the power of online forums and communities. They are very effective for tech startups. The more you are involved with your broader industry groups, forums, or communities, the more you stand the chance to gain attention.

You never can tell when someone might ask a question that you have the relevant answer to, or even catch wind of a relevant event you can attend to promote your new business.

You can equally create and specifically target content towards these communities. The more you can target these forums, the more effective and efficient your marketing campaign will be.

The founder of Dropbox used this low-budget marketing strategy to move from 5,000 people to 75,000 on its waiting list in one night. Wonderful, right?

So, if you stay tuned with a large but relevant online community and forums, you can consciously and unconsciously market your new startup and go viral with future launches.


You can never tell which marketing strategy will give your startup that massive success you desire. The strategies covered above are low-cost marketing ideas that have worked for other SMEs. You can apply them to your business to increase your customer base and boost revenue for your business.

Which of the marketing strategies covered above have you tried for your business and what was the outcome?

Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is a Social Entrepreneur and an experienced Disaster Manager. I love discussing new business trends and marketing tips. I share ideas and tips that will help you grow your small and medium business.

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