Generating buzz and revenue for your startup isn’t easy. When your budget is small and your advertising experience limited, many of the traditional methods of public relations and customer acquisition simply aren’t possible.
Luckily, it’s still possible for startups, consultants and small businesses to achieve their advertising and public relations goals without a big budget. In fact, all it takes is the right combination of strategic thinking, personal networking and creativity.
In this guide, we’ll share four advertising and public relations strategies that your startup, small business or consultancy firm can use to generate buzz, get coverage from popular bloggers and make the most of your limited advertising budget.
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Master the art of the cold email
Don’t you hate getting spam? Many would-be public relations experts feel scared to email important people – from media influencers to potential mentors – since they feel their emails will be rebuffed or deleted as unwanted spam.
The reality is that there’s a huge difference between a carefully crafted, personally appealing cold email and a spam email. In fact, the only characteristic the two have in common is that they’re both electronic messages.
Learning how to cold email people, from journalists to investors, will help you get lucrative press coverage for your startup. It will also help you rapidly expand your personal network and access future opportunities for marketing and growth.
When you start writing an email to a stranger, what’s your first instinct? What do you write in the subject line? Do you start with a friendly greeting or something a little more formal?
These are all questions that are answered in our course, Crack Cold Emailing to Increase Sales and Grow Your Business. From journalists to investors, the email tactics in this course will help you reach new people and publicize your startup.
Use social media to your advantage
When it comes to marketing your startup, there’s no tactic better than using social media. Popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter put you in touch with an audience of hundreds of millions of people, completely free of charge.
As a startup marketer, your first step in executing your new advertising and public relations strategy should be creating a Facebook Page. If you can’t afford to spread your Page using advertising, invite your friends or post on your company blog.
‘Seeding’ your page with a small audience of passionate users will help you fuel its growth over the long term. A dedicated audience of 100 true fans combined with a great social media strategy can grow your Page into a valuable marketing asset.
There’s far more to social media marketing than Facebook Pages. By using Twitter strategically, you can connect with influential bloggers and business writers to ask them if they would be interested in writing about your startup.
That’s social media and public relations synergy in action! Using social media as a creative marketing tool like this lets you build a huge audience of followers, clients and customers without having to pay for Facebook Ads.
Would you like to become a social media master? Learn creative strategies to grow your Facebook Page, Twitter account and social media presence in our Social Media Marketing for Business course.
Design your ads to make an impact
Do you have a limited advertising budget? When you only have a small amount of money to spend on ads, you need to focus on creating ads that are so eye-catching and iconic that they spread on their own.
Iconic clothing brand American Apparel has built its reputation on designing racy, controversial ads that are impossible not to notice. Since the company’s ads are so eye-catching, they’re constantly discussed on blogs and message boards.
This isn’t a mistake, but a deliberate strategy. American Apparel’s marketing team spends very little on ad impressions, yet generates massive amounts of free media exposure and organic buzz from the conversations people have about them.
When your marketing budget is limited, creativity pays dividends. Learn how to get more from less with your marketing budget using provocative ads and other useful tactics with Growth Hacking: Learn Marketing for Startups.
Use services like HARO to get press
Did you know that thousands of journalists want to talk to you? It might sound like a dream, but there really are journalists out there looking for startups and consultants to write about in their articles.
It’s called HARO – short for “Help a Reporter Out” – and it’s a free service for startup founders, hobbyists, marketers, public relations gurus or anyone else with helpful knowledge to use to connect with writers at the world’s leading newspapers.
HARO distributes a daily email of requests from reporters for quotes, opinions and other information from business owners and experts. With a quick reply and great content, you could be featured in the New York Times or on ABC News.
Services like HARO make traditional public relations – which would have required a reporter calling hundreds of people in search of a source – easier for both reporters and marketers interested in generating buzz through the press.
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Discover other creative advertising and public relations tactics
Just like using the right materials can help you build a better product, using the right tactics can help you develop a better, more cost-effective online public relations and advertising campaign.
Whether you’re marketing a great new online application or a hot new product, the four tactics listed above will help you make the most of your marketing budget and generate serious buzz and, with the right product, serious sales.
As well as the tactics listed above, there are hundreds of traditional advertising and public relations tactics that can be used to generate buzz. For more ideas, read our blog post on building a balanced, actionable digital marketing plan for your startup.