As a start-up, funds are limited – especially when it comes to marketing budgets. Every little you spend needs to bring in ROI. You can’t really afford to make countless tests on your ads, get someone to manage your social media marketing full time, or spend a small fortune on traditional advertising.

Thankfully, though, the Internet brings in plenty of opportunities for start-ups who want to get the word out about their business – and generate better results, quicker. In this blog, I’m going to share 3 marketing tips and tactics to marketing your start-up on a budget.

1. Start a business blog

I have to start with blogging, as it’s been one of the keys to my success as an entrepreneur. Creating and sharing content helps you reach a wider audience, improves your websites’ SEO (to give you an idea, websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages, on average), and perhaps even more importantly, it helps you generate leads and nurture them at a faster rate.

Basically, it’s an amazing way of promoting your business.

The concern here for many start-ups is, where do they find the time to manage a blog? How can they afford to hire someone to create and promote the blog?

A simple solution is to hire an outsourcer. Browse outsourcing websites to find candidates, and make sure to ask for sample writing before, to make sure you’ll be getting quality content.

You don’t need to post something every day, at least not to start with. But by publishing quality content on a regular basis, you’ll be able to increase your traffic to your website and give people a bigger reason to stick around.

Maybe your product hasn’t convinced them yet; but, if they stick around and read your blog, subscribe to your newsletter, and keep coming back for more, you stand a better chance of converting them into customers.

That brings me to one of the biggest draws of blogging and content marketing, at least in my experience; a blog gives your website visitors a much better reason to join your list.

Written articles aren’t your only options; you can also create all kinds of other content to post on your blog, such as images, videos, infographics, or interactive content.

2. Leverage Facebook ads

Facebook ads are some of the most effective online ads at the moment; if used right, they can bring in a great return for your business.

For example, in a test conducted by the Agorapulse Social Media Lab to find out which ads convert better between Facebook or Google Display Network, the results were overwhelmingly in favour of Facebook.

Google Display Network has huge online reach – as many as 90% of all Internet users in the world. Which is why it generated 85% more impressions than Facebook, and quite a few more clicks. And yet, even with these numbers, when it came to conversions, it was a whole different story: the Facebook ads used generated 500% more conversions, and their cost per conversion was 84.4% cheaper than with Google Display Networks.

The beauty of using these types of ads as a start-up is that not only can you actually get results without spending a small fortune (like you might’ve had to with a TV ad, for example) but you also have complete control over your spending.

Not to mention, it can all be adjusted as you go along; you’ll be able to better understand what gets your audience to act, as well as who to target in order to get the best possible results.

3. Create a social media contest

If you already have a bit of a following on social media, you could try holding a social media contest to get people excited and engaging with you.

Plus, contests can help you generate leads for your business, boost your social media following, and increase your engagement. Plus, it will help generate some buzz about your brand name.

One of the most important aspects of your contest is the prize you choose to give away. The reason why is that, by using the right prize, it will help you generate better quality leads for your business.

Think about it this way; if you were to give away a generic gift (such as a tablet, or a holiday, etc.) so that you would attract a large audience, while you might be getting lots of people participating, that doesn’t mean necessarily that your contest was a success.

The goal shouldn’t be to get as many people as possible; it should rather be a way of getting actual potential customers (your target audience) to participate in your contest, give away their relevant info so that you can keep sending them your marketing materials, and ultimately get them to convert.

So, if you’re going to hold an online contest, use your own products and services as a gift, or, if that’s not possible, a product or service that complements your business well.

This way, the people who join the contest will likely be interested in the types of products you sell; so, once they give away their information, use marketing automation to nurture them and turn them into your customers.


These are just a few ways of promoting your start-up online, on a budget. Social media and content marketing, in particular, offer a lot of possibilities, so it’s worth investing in these 2 right from the start.

In fact, they’re 2 of the most effective forms of digital marketing – and most importantly for start-ups and small businesses, they don’t have to be a huge drain on your overall budget.

Lilach Bullock
Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle.