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4 Low Budget Marketing Tips for Social Startups Advertisement does not always mean pumping in a lot of money, it can be done elegantly in less money as well

By Vanita D'souza

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Social entrepreneurship is gaining pace in India and the game is more than running an NGO. Social entrepreneurs are experimenting with new age technologies like AI and IoT to helping people to make their lives better.

However, from cash crunch to scaling it up, challenges of running a social enterprise continues. How do you solve this? Effective marketing here is the likely key which can help you and your product or service to make some noise in the market.

But with budget constraints in hand, one also cannot afford a full-time senior marketing resource and entrepreneurs are likely to run a one-man show.

Worry not, because the word impossible itself says 'I am possible'. Entrepreneur India evaluates four low budget marketing tips that can help you gain traction.

Public Relation

PR influences the influencer and it is one of the marketing communication tools that bring credibility to your organization within the niche segment that the social enterprise and implementation agencies cater to.

"There is no one better in narrating your story than a reliable journalist, though it's not a cake walk. Identifying the right set of publications basis your target group, identifying journalist as per their interest level and building a rapport with them is a must," adviced Vidhi Mehra, Content and Communications Head, Fiinovation.

It may be a little time-investing strategy, however, it sustains for long. Having said that, your social welfare programs need to be worthy enough and must have benefited the intended beneficiaries at the grass-root level as journalists have an eye for every detail.

Website

Kokila Deshpande, Founder, Avyakta believes a website speaks volumes about one's work and helps spread the word much faster in today's digital age.

A well designed and updated website also gives a holistic perspective to your story, process, people and ethos.

"It is critical for a social enterprise to reach out to people who align with your mission, build a community larger than yourself and start a movement," she added.

Build Relations

Personal relationships result in long-term associations which help ride through the volatile market. Constructive criticism helps us build better products. This sharing of values has resulted in customers offering to collect deliveries from our warehouse to keep logistics costs low and environmentally sustainable.

"Talk to anyone and everyone, anywhere and everywhere at all times about your work and mission. Many times these conversations lead to business, references, relevant stories or much-needed motivation and encouragement, which is a valuable fuel for a young enterprise," Deshpande points out.

Digital Platforms.

Owing to the digitalization, in the past few years, social media platforms have proven to be imperative and revolutionary for efficient mass communication.

For Fiinovation, some of the tools to achieve a good social media engagement are quality content, visuals, presentation, case-studies and mobile-shot on-ground case videos. To your benefit, these platforms provide real-time intelligence on your target audience's behaviour without the need for expensive and time-consuming market research.

"Acknowledging its wide reach, these platforms establish your voice in key issues, enable your organizations to connect with people directly while helping you reach those who may be socially excluded from traditional marketing and advertising," Mehra said while adding that, "On the other hand, it is also important to reach the masses by going vernacular with social media networking. Choosing a local language over English, while communicating on platforms that are popular in a particular region is equally crucial considering India's geographical diversity."

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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