Source | Entrepreneur : By Syed Balkhi
Do your products sell themselves?
Having a great product is essential, but that alone isn’t enough to make your startup successful. Aside from your fantastic product, you’ll also need a stellar marketing strategy to grow your startup. But for many entrepreneurs, it’s simply not realistic to spend a lot of money to acquire new business.
Instead, consider a few of these cost-effective marketing strategies that can help generate early successes.
Affiliate marketing is the most cost-effective marketing strategy that works. I believe all businesses — regardless of size — should adopt referral, or affiliate, marketing. I’ve used it with a good deal of success and put it to work in all my online businesses.
Here’s how it works: Encourage people to recommend your products to others, and pay a commission only when someone purchases your products through those referrals.
Start by setting up an affiliate program though networks such as ShareASale or ImpactRadius. You then can promote your affiliate program by featuring it prominently on your website and inviting customers to join the program. Additionally, you can choose the right reward structure — one that’s compelling enough for your network’s members to engage.
Email outreach also can serve as an efficient tool when communicating with influencers:
- Create a list of influencers and experts in your industry,
- Send an outreach email requesting they try your product for free, and
- Explain the monetary rewards they could earn by referring a user.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, nearly 90 percent of brands use content marketing to grow their businesses. It’s the perfect marketing strategy for startups and small businesses because it works within the confines of limited resources.
Even though content marketing is extremely popular, not everyone finds success with this tactic. Lack of a documented content strategy is one of the primary causes. Without this crucial piece, your efforts will be less effective. As a result, you could face significant challenges when you attempt to implement content-marketing tactics.
Streamline your content-marketing process by creating an editorial calendar. Identify any bottlenecks and evaluate your content planning. Measure your strategy’s progress, tracking how well your content is performing to attract the audience.