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!
You're on the right track. Since you can't pay for advertising (and at this point you probably shouldn't), your idea of going after INFLUENCERS to create buzz about your startup is very good.
You didn't say what your startup DOES. That would be helpful to know.
For branding, you do need somewhere for interested prospects to GO. They need to be able to sign up to a list so that you can capture and track those leads, and continue to market to them. If you don't do this, you're throwing your lead generation effort away.
Get a designer you feel comfortable with. There are, yes there are, some on Fiverr but you have to try a bunch out to find 'your person'. I've found one that has a brain and does amazing work that actually has an idea behind it for $15. But I had to go through a few to find this person, and I've been using Fiverr for at least five years. Still, for under $100 I'm sure you can find someone who's a fit.
Video is a huge means of communicating your method. It's personal, and you can post it on YouTube which I'm sure you know the power of since you're in the tech space. Make videos. Talk about your ideal prospect's problem situation that your solution gets them out of. Get a Call To Action on the end directing them to the lead capture device. Don't expect instant sales. You could split test sending leads to the lead capture vs the sales page, but I personally would rather capture and continue to market to the lead rather than waste it on a one-shot attempt at conversion.
But key idea: get a well-known influencer to start talking about you, and make use of their network to create buzz for you. Yes, you might have to make a deal to get them to do it; however, I recall an article about someone who hired three bloggers in their space to create buzz and the investment do so was under $300 each. Amazingly low.
And finally, just because you built a better mousetrap doesn't mean that anyone will care. Nothing sells itself. Don't expect influencers to fall on their butts just because you sent them a notice about this thing. Remember "what's in it for them."