Creating a strong and effective PR or marketing campaign doesn’t always require a large budget – With research and a few DIY strategies, you can kick off your project with a small amount of money.
If there is someone who understands building something brilliant with a minimal budget, it’s startups and entrepreneurs.
Budgets are often reserved for the absolute essentials, which means activity like PR and marketing can be relegated to the second plan.
Luckily, there are a number of strategies and do it yourself tricks of the trade that can help you deliver great PR, at minimal cost.
In the digital age, social media is an important part of marketing any new business and the best part is, you can use it without spending a penny.
The total number of social media users in 2016 reached 2.64 billion, making it one of the most influential marketing tools available. While social media is key to a successful publicity campaign, it’s important to do your research before selecting your social media channels.
The social media platforms you choose for your startup will depend on the image you are trying to convey and the type of audience you wish to reach.
Different social media channels have different strengths and purposes. Establishing multiple channels, that might not be right for your business objectives, is a waste of your valuable time and resources.
For example, if your startup is a design business or you have an attractive product, social media channels like Pinterest and Instagram can work more effectively at showcasing your business because they are visual.
If you’re a white collar startup and want to reach a more corporate audience, LinkedIn and Twitter can work more successfully to target that specific audience.
Keep resourcing in mind when establishing your social media channels, as it can be counterproductive to create channels you don’t yet have the time and resources to manage effectively.
Create A Website
Creating an attractive and content-rich website is an effective way to get as many eyes on your business as possible and build your potential customer base.
Your website works in conjunction with your social media channels to help spread the word about your startup. Website building platforms such as Wix, provide the tools to create a free professional website.
Events And Seminars
Services such as Eventbrite and Meetup offer a variety of free events and seminars to help you build your business network.
Although, networking events are a great way to build your contacts, ensure you’ve researched the event before attending to get the most out of the opportunity. There’s little point attending an event that isn’t right for your business after all time equals money
Hint – After the event, it’s important to follow up with all the relevant attendees to maximise your business opportunities and relationships.
Hire A Student
If you’ve got a little money to spend, but not enough to hire a PR agency, a student or freelancer is a great alternative.
There’s a plethora of marketing and public relations students looking for work experience as part of their degree, so contacting your local university is a good place to start.
Often, students can help with areas such as content marketing (blogging, video content, etc.) or keeping your social media platforms active.
Freelancers are another great alternative if budgets are tight. They can be paid on a project by project basis, meaning that they can be cheaper than hiring an agency or in-house staff. They can also help you kick off your campaign until you have a structure in place and a budget to work with an agency.
Hire A Specialist Agency
If you’re at the stage where you have some budget to spend, consider hiring a PR agency that specialises in startups and fast-growing businesses.
Look for agencies that have a better understanding of the unique challenges startup’s face, for example, funding and beta testing. Often, specialist agencies are priced with startups in mind, offering a more budget-friendly option than large multinational agencies.