Skip links

Bootstrap Marketing: How to Market Your Startup without a Marketer in 2020

Bootstrap Marketing refers to strategies that market your product, service or project through existing, and often limited, resources. Even if you’re a founder with no marketing experience, through the adoption of bootstrap marketing, you can do a lot more than you think.

2020 is the year of digitalisation, thanks to COVID-19’s push towards digital transformation across businesses and processes. There is literally no better time than now to explore how you could market your product, service or even yourself better digitally within resources.

In a world today that is filled with start-ups and entrepreneurs, everyone is trying to differentiate themselves. Quickened technology advancement and constant innovation have made it so that there is no brand absolutely unique and no service entirely new. The number of startups are growing and teams are getting leaner with less resources. Now is the time to be resourceful.

Bootstrap marketing refers to leveraging on existing resources to generate as much marketing as possible and achieve marketing objectives. With numerous free tools available out there, you can be the PR manager, designer, content creator, video editor, social media manager & more – all in one.

Bootstrap Marketing Checklist

1. Know Your Objective: Awareness/Users?

As a marketer who has helped many startups through the process of identifying their USPs (Unique Selling Propositions) and determining their budget, many are lost in the thought that spending more equates to achieving more. While this is true to a certain extent and only applicable in certain aspects, the key is in being crystal clear with the objective for each campaign.

Without knowing the objectives of your efforts would be nothing but a wasted campaign. Let’s keep things simple and just ask yourself one question: Through this campaign, are you looking at generating Awareness for your brand (people knowing who you are and what you stand for) or Leads/User Acquisition for your product/service/brand (potential clients who may help generate revenue)?

Many business owners I’ve consulted want to achieve both – which isn’t wrong, but this dilutes the message and purpose of a particular campaign. Knowing your objective and being realistic helps you to craft a campaign that is targeted at your needs and actually achieve objectives effectively.

The reason why both are different is due to the narrative being sold in the campaign. Brand awareness relies on repetitive narratives to make users associate a particular brand with specific ideas and keywords. Generating leads or acquiring users rely on emotion-driven narratives that nudge users into completing a purchase, or filling up a form (think offers, promotions, etc.).

Just imagine having both of the above in one copywriting or content, the audience will not be able to remember the focus of your brand.

2. Achieving an Optimum Social Media Presence

The truth is that there will never be enough presence, but the key in the success of marketing is sustenance and what is feasible based on your existing resources. There are two parts to getting your answer:

  • Who are your target audience?
  • What social media platforms should you be on?

Identifying Your Target Audience

If you’re a new startup with no prior traction, your business model would likely have included research that determined your target audience (TA). When you have already generated revenue, garnered interest and closed some deals, look back at your historical data on who these people are and the majority is who your TA should be.

However, in the situation that you are still unsure or unable to identify your TA, speak with us and we’ll help you evaluate through a free consultation.

Through the identification of your TA, you will be able to gather more information and insight on which platforms your startup should be on. Unless you’re running a marketing team of 5, I would recommend not to cover every single social media platform possible. Pick one and bank on it.

Choosing Your Platform

The choice of platform is determined by one key factor – your TA (consumers or businesses, and for consumers, what the age range is).

If you’re doing B2B, you should focus on LinkedIn. Otherwise, every other platform is for you to connect with and build a community of consumers. As for age, a quick Googling will help answer your question.

Ultimately, there is no “right platform” to be on as social media evolves and changes so quickly it’s hard to keep up. Be on top of the updates and frequently look back on your social media engagement and statistics to optimise.

3. Sustainable Content Creation Processes

In general, when tasks look difficult or laborious, we give up even before trying. And this applies to most startups when it comes to content marketing despite it being one of the most important ways to generate organic interest without having to pay a cent. Here’s how you can create content without spending too much time or effort, or even hiring a marketer to do so:

As the founder of a startup, either you or your partner would have knowledge and information on the industry or your solutions – i.e. Why your solutions work. Use this knowledge and turn it into a long-form content.

A streamlined content creation process would mean for you to create a long form content once, and reusing parts of the content across different platforms multiple times.

Here’s an example:

You may be running a business consultancy and know how to launch a startup. Write an article on “How to Kickstart a Startup” which includes pointers such as “Perform Market Research”, “Analyse Competitors” and finally, “Craft a Unique Strategy“. In this case, your long-form content would be this article that consists of all pointers and explanation scheduled on Monday to be published on your website. For the rest of the week, take parts of your article and post them on Instagram and Facebook – for Tuesday, you could do up a square poster with the title “How to Perform Market Research” on Tuesday and caption it with the know-how under “Perform Market Research”. On Wednesday, you could similarly do up another poster with the title “Analysing Your Competitors” and caption the post with relevant snippets from the article; this can keep going on until Saturday.
And this is how you craft a week’s worth of short-form content from just one long-form content.

4. Know Your Free Tools

When you have limited time, manpower and finances, you learn to be resourceful. Look out for free plans and tools you could use to optimise your processes and make up for skills you’re lacking in.

Here are some free tools you may find useful:

Logo Maker: HatchFul Shopify
Business Name Generator: Namelix
Branding, Poster & Video Maker: Canva
Stock Photos & Videos: Pexels, Unsplashed
Cross-Social Media Listening Tool & Scheduler: Hootsuite
Meta Tags Crafter/Checker:

In the next article, we will be showing you how to go about utilising these tools. Follow our website and Facebook to stay updated.

If this article has been helpful and you would like to learn more about bootstrap marketing for your startup, schedule a free consultation with us or simply drop us an email. 😉

Leave a comment