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10 Marketing Hacks For Bootstrapped Startups

Did you know that many bootstrapped startups with unique ideas failed in the past? 

It happened due to a lack of innovation, creativity, and experience, with firms like Call9, Laurel & Wolf, Fab, MySpace, and many more having the same issue.

Having a great-unique idea, team, and funds is not enough to grow your startup and make it stable and profitable. You need more customers, sales, and profits to grow your business, which can be possible with Startup Marketing Hacks.

There are many marketing channels that you can use for your startup. But not all the marketing strategies are the same and give you the same profit. Some give you promising results, while others do not.

The risk even goes higher with a bootstrapped startup as your loss is yours, unlike VC-funded and external investment startups. 

You should select the appropriate marketing strategies for your startup to get maximum output. It depends upon your niche, target audience, and many other factors.

With this, we learn the ten best marketing hacks to thrive your bootstrapped startup in the market.

Let us start with the most crucial and an easy marketing hack.

1. Start your brand with the Social Media Channel.

In this era, your audience is almost living on social media. Social media platforms have changed the way businesses influence and communicate with their market. 

For instance, If your niche is food, fashion, beauty, and entertainment, then Instagram is your platform. Facebook works best when your target audience is in the age group of 30-50 years, as they are comfortable with it and barely use Instagram.

But to increase the reach in social media, you will have to resort to both organic and paid methods. For organic searching, it is crucial to 

  • develop a voice that matches the branding image of your company
  • knowing exactly when to post 
  • Share the valuable content more than you promote your products and services

As for paid methods, you must 

  • first know your market well – demographics, market location, age group, etc.
  • Compare search engine marketing (SEM) tools and select as per your budget, market requirements, and niche.

Also, it is highly advisable to mix the use of social media platforms. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have different specializations, which make them unique. 

Once you start using all of them, you will analyze which one provides you with more engagement.

Now that you know your social media platform, the time to understand what to upload has arrived.

2. Use The Magic Of SEO

According to statistics, organic search leads have generated an average 14.6% close rate. Over the years, Google has improved its algorithm in favour of websites that provide the best user experience. This trend has forced the web owners to adopt a mobile-friendly site and have high-quality content to empower their niche. 

But to get organic traffic on your website, your website needs:

  • SEO friendly content
  • Relevant and informative images
  • User-friendly navigation
  • Eye-catchy visuals

But with this, you need to maintain consistency and engage with your customers online, and eventually, it will build you a loyal customer base.

In terms of cost, SEO is also cost-effective. It is considered 61% cheaper than outbound marketing. 

Even if you build quality content, you should not hesitate to knock on the doors of your customers to make them aware of it.

3. Create Personalized Emails For Your Target

Many startup entrepreneurs may hesitate in using email marketing, given the engagement on social media. But did you know that 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers? 

Startup entrepreneurs should understand that email marketing remains a proven effective online marketing strategy. 89% of marketers believe that email marketing is their primary channel for lead generation. As far as the cost goes, emails are free! 

To get noticed, you need to understand the needs of your target audience, and email them the solution with a human touch. It means, you can virtually talk to them through your email and make them believe that you are what they were looking for.

There is another shortcut to reaching your target audience – Influencers.

4. Hook Your Influencers To The Brand

Influencer marketing is relatively new in the range of effective online marketing strategies. However, in terms of concept, it is a modern means of word-of-mouth advertising. Influencers can range from bloggers to famous people on Instagram and even YouTube celebrities. 

A startup entrepreneur can manage to increase the reach of their startup company once they have the right influencer, or you can say your influencer. It is also a low-maintenance and cost-effective marketing strategy.

But you need to keep your website updated.

5. Design A Responsive Website

There is no reason for you to ignore redesigning an outdated website. It is no secret that with improving technology, we have witnessed an increase in traffic from mobile phones and tablets.

Your website will reflect what your company is all about in the eyes of your market. According to a survey conducted by Google, almost 57% of users think that the company does not care about their business if they lack a responsive website.

Moreover, isn’t it good if you get brownie points too? Well, you need to show yourself on camera.

6. Create The Visual Presence Of Your Brand On Youtube

You already have proof of people getting famous in a day on Youtube. YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world. There are more than 467 million active users on YouTube in India. Many brands use YouTube to reach out to their target audience for the same reason.

But startups are not considering YouTube as a part of their startup marketing. However, you can get promising results in startup marketing. Flipkart, Hyundai, Asian Paints, Pepsi, and Coupon Dunia have grown their businesses with YouTube Marketing.

It is the best platform to reach your target audience, especially for self-funded startups. 

Also, your customers themselves can lead you to new customers.

7. User-Generated Content Should Be Your Regular Hack

Did you know that 72% of consumers believe that reviews and testimonials submitted by customers are more credible than the brand talking about their products? 

User-generated content means marketing content created and uploaded by the users on their social media pages. It sounds so exciting that your users are marketing for you, saving up your marketing costs too. 

It is another cost-effective and most effective digital marketing practice to lead your startup to success.

And last, but another most crucial digital marketing practice for self-funded startups – Freebies and Contests.

8. Engage Your Audience With Freebies And Contests

Who doesn’t like free products and winning games? None.

It should be one of your digital marketing practices to attract more traffic and convert them to customers. Well, you cannot be lenient on distributing your freebies as it counts as a loss till it gives you revenue. 

Let me make this easy for you:

  • Design creative contests for your users
  • Shoot out the names of the winners and their prizes
  • Collaborate your online quizzes with the common interests of the users
  • Quiz them about information related to your products

9. Build Valuable Partnerships With Established Brands

You can build a strong brand and align partnerships with an already established brand as it will help your startup to gain popularity and credibility. 

Select a business that you like – ideally a setup that offers complementary services so you can refer them. Or you can also opt for applying a referral fee on both sides so that there is a financial benefit to both the setups that brings in more business.

And the most crucial factor for the success of your bootstrapped startup is customer reviews.

10. Make Customer Reviews Your Main Post

It doesn’t matter what you think about your product but what the customer accepts. Follow these tips to ace this hack:

  • Listen to your customers
  • Address their issues
  • Connect with them in a kind professional way

This will help you not only build trust with your startup but create a faithful customer base for your products and services.

And there you have a perfect way to ace your startup digital marketing.

Check out – Hubspot Marketing Agency


Bootstrapped startup businesses can reach their marketing goals with any content marketing agency despite having a small marketing budget. By using the above marketing hacks, it is possible to not only get more people to look in your direction but also increase your sales.

Also, let me know what challenges you are facing with your startup’s digital marketing. Also, how are your customers responding to the hacks you followed above?

Author avatar
Mayank Gulati