When you’re bootstrapping your startup, finances can be tight. And that means you very likely won’t have much cash to tell the world about your amazing new product or service. Startup marketing can seem daunting but luckily there is a plethora of marketing tools available. And the good news is that many of them are free, or at a very low cost to suit your budget.

With the tools available these days, it’s possible to get the word out about your new product or service in a way that’s simple and effective – perfect for startup marketing. Just a few years ago it was only possible to market a new business by spending a whole lot of money. And that’s not cool. So, that’s why we’ve rounded up the top 5 tools for marketing your startup which won’t break the bank.

Keeping up to date with the industry

You need to know what your competitors are doing. Use Google Alerts to keep updated on what they’re up to and what’s happening in the industry. You’ll be able to input the names of every business, including your own, and select how often you’d like to be updated. This is imperative to know what is being said online about your industry.

Manage your social media

You know that as a business owner, it’s essential for you to promote your venture using social media. It’s up to you, of course, to figure out whether your audience and customers are on Twitter or Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram.

Once you’ve done that, it’s important that you begin sharing content to your profiles. And the simplest and most time-effective way to do this is by automating your sharing. Do this by signing up for tools like Hootsuite or Buffer. They’ll allow you to connect your social media profiles and schedule content to be shared. This is effective because it allows you to create and curate content at the same time and then schedule the posts for the next few days.

Understand what customers want

The goal of your online presence is to drive leads and sales. But how can you do that if you don’t know what your customers want? A solution is to use Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to see what people are searching for. This will allow you to see what they’re interested in, and how that interest has changed over time, and also allows you to answer the questions they’re asking about your content.

Find influencers and engage with them

It’s important that you know who is actively online in your industry. You need to know who’s already talking about finding the perfectly sized computer mouse for small hands, or whatever your product might be. Try using a tool like Klout to find the influencers in your industry. Next, find out which of them has an engaged audience who respond to their messages. Now is the time to engage with those influencers. Begin by liking and commenting on their posts. When you’ve established a relationship, you can share content with them and even tell them about your venture. A good idea is to keep a close eye on the message boards of Quora and Reddit. When a question is asked or topic discussed you can jump into the conversation, showing that you’re an expert in the industry.

Harness the power of SMS for your startup marketing

And, of course, no list of marketing tools could possibly be complete without mentioning SMS. The reality is that ignoring the power of mobile is going to hold your new venture back. Once you’ve launched and started marketing your business, it’s essential that you find the best ways to communicate with your customers. As we’ve mentioned before, consumers spend their days with their phones in their hands rather than at their ears. They want to communicate with you on their own terms. And very often this means that they want to send and receive text messages. An added bonus is that using SMS is an extremely cost-effective startup marketing tool that offers a reliable and easy way to communicate with customers.

If you’re interested in the power of using SMS in your business, read our recent article. It details how marketers, which include startups and small business owners completing marketing tasks, can and must improve their SMS marketing this year.

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