21 Ways to Promote a Startup With no Extra Money

21 Ways to Promote a Startup With no Extra Money

Nowadays, it seems like we’re experiencing a startup boom, where everyone with a bright idea, a good team, and hard work can become the next Steve Jobs. It wouldn’t even be an exaggeration to say that startup has been one of the most used words in recent years! But what is a startup, exactly?

According to Investopedia, a startup is a company in its initial stages of development, founded by entrepreneurs who aim to develop a unique product or service.

what is a startup

The question is, how to start a successful startup?

You might think that all you need is a creative brand and a good product/service. However, in today’s marketing-driven world, having a good startup marketing strategy is essential, and following marketing trends adds quite a few points to your success. Your startup marketing has to be powerful, but it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Promo campaigns must support the constant growth of your project. With the use of the right startup marketing tools and a solid marketing strategy, you will ensure your business survives the competition and other challenges on its way.

Now let’s dig deeper into the marketing plan for the effective promotion of your startup. Here are the 21 most efficient and cost-effective ideas for your startup marketing campaigns.


  1. Target Your Audience

While increasing the visibility and user base of your startup, remember one simple thing — you can’t engage nor please everybody. Not everyone will like your product, and that’s fine, as you’re not aiming for that, anyway. You have to know who’s going to be interested in your product or service and focus on them.

target audience of your startup

First things first,
define your target audience. Then study them, learn their age group, gender, location, concerns, wants, and needs. Only after that, can you develop your product in a way that will satisfy them. Next, organize the promotion, keeping this particular group of people in mind. This group should be your priority. Remember, time and energy are valuable resources, don’t waste them!


  1. Develop Your Startup Marketing Strategy

Many beginners promote their company without having a clear plan of action. This can kill the product and startup quickly. Make sure you conduct in-depth research to organize your promotion in a better thought-out and informed way.

startup marketing strategy

Start with your marketing plan and identify your big vision and business goals. Then, research the market inside out. Learn about your market’s specific demands, possible risks, your competitors, and your client base. Set defined long-term and short-term goals.


  1. Create a Website for Your Startup

Many would argue, having a website is not an option but a necessity for a successful business. In our information age, it’s essential to have a strong online presence. Your website will serve as a reliable information source for your customers, where they can learn about your business.

Contrary to popular belief, creating a website doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of free ready-made templates for any type of website. You don’t even need any coding, technical, or design skills. All you need to do is add your content and set the website color scheme to your brand colors.


website templates Renderforest


Recommended Reading


  1. Optimize the Organic Reach of Your Website

The next important step of a promo campaign is Search engine optimization (SEO). It can’t be ignored in the Google world. The idea behind SEO is to increase your website’s visibility and traffic. It’s a free and efficient way to attract more potential clients.

Hierarchy of SEO needs

Source: Moz Pro

SEO has 2 main branches: on-page and off-page. The former takes action directly within your website, like optimizing your content, meta descriptions, titles, URL, and so on. It helps you rank higher on Google search results. Off-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to outside factors, such as backlinks, social media shares, etc. It’s less popular but still equally important. 

We highly recommend you read how-to-guides and statistics on SEO to improve your marketing campaign.


  1. Start a Blog for Your Business

You’ve probably heard that content is king. Content marketing is powerful, so consider starting a blog for your business. You can use free blogging platforms like WordPress, Medium, Blogger, or even Tumblr. Update your blog often to keep it relevant. Don’t forget to post video and audio content to rank higher on Google search results.

start a blog with WordPress

Source: WordPress

Utilize social media marketing to advocate your blog. Sharing your blog on different networking platforms will help your content not get lost or, hey, even go viral. A good blog is crucial for building your digital brand.


  1. Email Marketing for Startups

An email marketing campaign is another great way of promotion. It helps reach out to more people and create a long-term client base. To build an email list, use pop-ups on your website, suggesting visitors subscribe to your newsletter. Another good way is opt-ins, where you offer your subscribers something free in exchange for their email. It can be a free ebook, pdf file, excel formula, etc. You can also use tools to search and verify emails. This will help you filter out unnecessary non-existent emails.

Email pop-ups

Source: Wishpond

News about product updates, special pricing offers, discounts, corporate news, and even cold emails should be sent to your audience and potential customers. Videos are another great tool to use in email marketing. Choose a relevant and simple email subject line that sparks curiosity. Keep your text short and informative. Always respect your readers’ time. Spamming is a quick way to lose their trust.


  1. Free Startup Platforms

Join startup platforms to promote your company effectively. They are a great place to find investors and mentors for your startup. You can also meet fellow startuppers, exchange some experience, or even decide to collaborate. 

Nowadays, there are many resources for startup promotion with affordable payment or for free. Y Combinator, AngelList, WeFunder are a few examples.


  1. Three Big Listing Services

Another great way to promote your startup is by registering it on Google My Business. This will let your company easily be found on Google search results and appear on Google Maps. You only need to fill in the form, register and get verified through confirmation, which is done with mobile or email. Yahoo! and Microsoft’s Bing own a big database of businesses too, so you can also register your startup there.

Google My Business

Source: Google


  1. Social Media Promotion for Startups

Nowadays, our lives are built around social media. With two and a half hours per day, the average social media usage time is insane. So, if you want to have a successful startup, better take advantage of this. Be active on various social media platforms, update your posts, engage your audience in a conversation. If you’re in your users’ sight often, you’ll be in their minds as well.

engagement on social media platforms

If you find it difficult to create blog posts very often, you may share relevant information or updates in your field from trusted sources. Also, share special offers or put ads on your social accounts. This increases your reach and builds a huge potential customer base.


Recommended Reading


  1. Guest Blogging and Collaboration

To put it simply, guest blogging is link-building that brings traffic to your website. When the websites are carefully chosen, guest blogging can be a good way to grow your audience. Keep an eye on other blogs related to your field. 

You can increase your domain authority by using external links to other relevant sources. Start by joining guest blogging platforms like MyBlogGuest to interact with other bloggers. HARO is another useful sourcing service that connects journalists and bloggers with reliable expert sources.


Source: HARO


  1. Buddy Marketing (Cross-Promotion)

Buddy marketing means collaborating with other businesses and uniting your resources for promotion’s sake. This enables you to reach a whole new audience of potential customers. 

Buddy companies often use affiliate links or referrals to earn commissions from each other’s sales. They also offer discounts or promo codes to their partners. To get started, you can join digital marketing platforms, such as Buddy Marketing, LoyalBe, Powerlinx.


  1. Promote Your Startup Through Videos

In our fast-paced world, people prefer auditory and visual experiences over reading texts. So, promoting your startup via an explainer or company introduction video is a smart choice. Explainer videos tell your company’s story in a more engaging and concise way.

Hiring a special company to shoot a promo video can be expensive. A much more affordable and faster option is to use ready-made, customizable promo video templates.

Create Now


  1. Host Webinars and Live Sessions

Webinars have recently become quite popular. They are a free and easy way to connect with your audience and introduce them to your startup, talk about your products and services.


Source: Zoho

Host your webinars on GoToWebinar, Zoho Meeting, ClickMeeting, Zoom, or start a live stream on your preferred social media. Make sure to share your webinar on as many platforms as possible, so more people show up. The more, the merrier!


  1. Give a Seminar or a Presentation

If you have got ideas, experience, or knowledge that you’d like to share with others, then giving a presentation or a seminar is the way to go. Share your valuable experience and promote your business while you’re at it. This will help you meet new people, grow your client base, and extend your reach. 

Don’t forget to make your presentations more engaging for the audience by including informative videos and photos. People tend to digest new information easier when it’s presented in visual forms.


choose a presentation template


  1. Reviews and Feedback are Vital for any Startup

All kinds of feedback and reviews you receive for your product whether positive or negative are of great importance. Positive feedback is a sign that you are moving in the right direction. Negative feedback signals that your product needs some tweaking and improvement. Plus, online reviews are another way to get people to talk about your startup. 

Renderforest reviews

You can contact bloggers with a massive follower base and ask them to write a review of your business or a particular product. Most people tend to trust bloggers’ product reviews.


  1. Outsmart, Not Outspend Your Competitors

Outspending your competitors is not always the smartest thing to do to get good results. To be successful, you need to have a better product. A good product sells itself. When your product is well-developed, you cut down on marketing expenses. So focus on outsmarting your competitors.

Find your niche and make it your point of focus. Our world is more competitive than ever before, so you need to find a way to set yourself apart from competitors. What can you offer that others haven’t? Why did you create your product/service? How will it help to improve people’s lives? Answering these questions will set a strong foundation for your startup. 


  1. Use Q&A Sites

There are a bunch of Q&A forums, such as Yahoo! Answers, Answers.com, Quora, Reddit that can be used for marketing. Use keywords to look for questions related to your field or business, then answer them.


Source: Quora

It’s a win-win: you provide your followers with valuable information and gain their trust in return. This will help to grow your authority in your field and become a reliable source of information.


  1. Talk Shows and Publicity

Talk shows can be a useful tool for spreading awareness about your startup. Try to find relevant programs on your local radio and TV channels, where you can tell about your company. It’s a low-cost way to promote your brand. Choose a program, find out who the host is and contact them. In most cases, the best way to do so is via email. Share some background info about your business and request to be featured on their program.


  1. Free Ad Sites for Startups

Post your ads on free ad sites, like Craigslist, Amazon, eBay, MerchantCircle.com or Gumtree. These websites have very high rankings and attract millions of prospective buyers. Take advantage of them to give a boost to your startup promotion.


Source: eBay


  1. Interviews, Live Chats

Manage a meeting or an interview with a professional in your field, host them in your blog. Traffic from such content can be pretty big, depending on who you interview. This is a good way not only to bring new visitors to your blog but also to diversify and freshen up your content. Choose an interesting relevant topic, do some research and start a discussion or have a live chat.


  1. Socialize, Socialize, Socialize!

It’s a no-brainer that the more people you introduce yourself and your startup to, the more you’ll grow your client base. Don’t be shy, go to meetings, attend events, join groups, approach people and start a conversation. Get to know like-minded people, exchange ideas, experience, and inspiration.



As an aspiring entrepreneur, it’s vital that you get your startup to be heard and noticed. In today’s highly competitive world, it can be quite challenging to draw attention to your brand. That’s why you have to get creative and diversify your promotional sources. Luckily, there is an abundance of inexpensive and efficient ways to promote your business.



Renderforest Sing-up


User Avatar

Article by

Dive into our Forestblog of exclusive interviews, handy tutorials and interesting articles published every week!

Read all posts by Renderforest Staff

Create Professional

Presentations, Logos,
Videos, Websites, and more

with Renderforest
All-In-One Design Platform.

Presentations, Logos,
Videos, Websites, and more Sign Up Now. It’s Free!
Related Articles
Close icon
Search icon