As a college entrepreneur, what is the best way to market internet start up launch with the most cost effective way possible? As my partner and I are coming to our launch date I need to find some clarity on how to market this the most cost effective way possible. I am a college student and on very limited funds. I do have experience in social media but as you guys know it does cost quite a bit to really get the traction you want. Not much has been spent being that my partner and I have the creative background to get this done and him being the technical guy to build this thing out. I have read in other forums to seek investment for marketing but I don't want to remove my focus to try and acquire funding. Especially when we don't have many users and know we can get this thing off the ground using free or low cost resources. I've made a list of potential collaborators and acquired a list of emails to shoot to all bloggers in the technical space. Is there anything else I can pursue when coming to the launch? Also in terms of content creation for social media. This is my first tech start up. Essentially it is brand and needs to have its own feel that people can relate to and notice. Is there any tips or examples that someone can give me on that? I appreciate all answers and look forward to hearing from everyone. Thanks!
How to best market your product will depend largely on what your product is, and how far along you are in having a 'minimum viable product' (MVP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_viable_product). For instance, word of mouth advertising at your college may be the best route, but below is a general description of the lean startup approach:
1) If it's a web-based startup, generally the cheapest way to start marketing is to set up a 'landing page', which is a simple page which shows the key features of your service, and gets people to sign up. Here are some services which make it easy to make a landing page:
Free photo resources: https://unsplash.com/
2) Once you have your landing page set up, set up tracking analytics for it. You can use:
- Google Analytics
- Mixpanel + Popcorn Metrics (easier than google analytics)
3) Once you have your landing page and analytics set up, start advertising on relevant platforms, e.g. Facebook (allows you to target very specific demographics), Google Adwords, etc. Look closely at your analytics to see how many people are going to your site, are they signing up, how deep down your sale / sign-up 'funnel' are they getting. To advertise on Facebook you'll need to make a little banner image to use as an ad. To advertise on google you just need a text description. If you set up a lot of different ads, it would be good to use UTM codes ("urchin tracking monitors") which will allow your analytics to track each individual from each different ad through your funnel.
In addition to Facebook and Google advertising there are lots of other cheap ways to advertise, including getting press (e.g. use HARO), and sending emails to blogs as you mentioned. If you'd like more in depth or specific advice relevant to your specific product let me know,