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Start ups can be tricky business models. Most are not flush with cash or profits, and yet have many of the same expenses as normal businesses. One such expense is marketing. Marketing is extremely important for your start up, not just because start ups have inherently less exposure, but also because the competition can be much more fierce when you are a small company.


Now, it is not uncommon for start ups to have some apprehension in devoting a significant amount of funds towards marketing. That’s okay! Some is always better than none, and we realize that sometimes funds must be allocated to more pressing needs such as paying your employees or investing in the latest technology for your team. 



Many of the strategies that we recommend apply just as well to start ups as they do to big businesses, and are aligned with general good business practices. We will go through these very quickly so as not to bore you!


  1. Set a budget. This one is obvious, and yet can be more difficult to follow than you might assume. You may be tempted to reduce or increase your budget while tracking your ROI, but keep your overall financial status in the back of your mind when doing so. More importantly, decide on how you want to divide that budget up within your various marketing channels. If you see great conversion rates through your email marketing and almost none through your Facebook ads for example, don’t force more of your budget into Facebook tempting as it may be! Play to your strengths.
  2. Choose your social media platforms carefully. In essence, don’t spread yourself too thin when it comes to marketing on social media. Just because there are a myriad of social media platforms to choose from nowadays does NOT mean you should be on every single one of them. If you are marketing a niche software for example, you may want to prioritize Facebook and LinkedIn over Pinterest or Instagram, platforms which rely on visual marketing and may not translate as effectively to a service based marketing campaign. 
  3. Utilize influencers where applicable. As we alluded to above, your strategies will correlate with the type of products you sell or services you provide. If your product allows it, make sure to use influencers. We hammer this home in almost all of our articles, but trust is one of the key components in converting a potential customer into a real one, as well as keeping your already existing customers loyal to your brand. It can take years to build trust with thousands of social media users…why not use those people who already have the trust of thousands? An endorsement from a credible figure is a powerful thing!


*Pro Tip: A good influencer isn’t always made by the number of followers they have. Research on how they engage with their followers, the comments under their endorsements, or the reviews they get. This qualitative data is something that won’t come up in an analytics report and yet plays a HUGE part in being a good influencer!


Marketing Agencies

Start ups can also benefit hugely from hiring an outside digital marketing agency rather than hiring a singular individual. Often times, businesses assign the marketing responsibilities to a team member who is not qualified to operate in such a manner and already have work tasks such as programming, customer service, and so on. More often than not, this results in a poorly managed social presence on behalf of your brand.. 


Digital marketing agencies provide many things that an individual can’t. For one, the agency is almost certain to have a wider skill set than any one individual. These types of agencies can provide graphic and web design, SEO optimization, videographers, expert writers, and much more under one umbrella. These services also usually come at a significant financial discount. Hiring several experts in all of these fields can rack up quite a costly payroll bill versus a third party marketing firm who has the resources placed in-house.


Agencies also have the benefit of a breadth of work across many different situations and industries. A scenario that you may not have foreseen within your company involving several companies could be easy work for the different skills, perspectives, and experiences of all the members of a digital agency. Oftentimes, marketing agencies provide a cohesion and efficiency that is understated and undervalued.



All in all, start ups share many similar challenges as big companies when it comes to marketing, with the added burden of financial constraints. Many of these challenges are workable obstacles, however, and a limited budget is no reason your company cannot have an effective marketing presence in today’s day and age.