Whether you’re bootstrapping or have a reasonable budget, if you’re launching a business, you are considering smart startup marketing ideas. Have you considered word of mouth to market your startup? Here’s how…

3 Ways Encouraging Word Of Mouth Can Market Your Startup

The sad truth about the business world is many people assume that startups have to spend thousands of dollars on promoting their brands. Fortunately, that just isn’t true. When you launch a new business, the last thing you want to do is overspend your marketing budget.

There are many clever ways that you can empower your customers to market your startup for you. Several methods require little to no spending on your behalf. Plus, the best thing is … your customers do the “hard” work for you! They spread the word based on enthusiasm. In other words, word of mouth marketing.

Take a look at these innovative examples of how to get your customers to market your startup for you…

3 Ways Encouraging Word Of Mouth Can Market Your Startup

Run Regular Contests On Social Media

Let’s face it: Everyone likes free stuff.

If there’s a strong chance that someone could enter a competition to win something cool, they’ll happily follow the contest instructions. Keeping that in mind, it makes sense for your brand to run regular contests on social media.

But what types of contests should you be running?

You could align your competitions with specific public holidays or celebrations. Or, you could just run a monthly contest. The items you give away should be enticing enough for people to want them but inexpensive enough to easily cover the cost.

Whatever themes you choose for your contests, you should ensure the incentive for participants to like and share your competition posts on their social media. Doing so means:

  • Entrants get to look cool and resourceful with their friends
  • More people will see your social media posts
  • Your page or profile becomes more popular on the platform

A win-win.

Sell Branded Tote Bags To Market Your Startup

If you run a brick-and-mortar startup such as a retail store, one effective way you can get your customers to market your brand for you is by selling them tote bags with your logo on them.

Tote bags are popular because many people want to reduce their plastic bag waste. The advantage for your business is your customers will reuse your branded tote bags, making your brand visible wherever they go.

Especially at grand opening or project launch time, if you have some room in your marketing budget, consider using your branded tote bags to package up customer purchased items instead of the usual generic shopping bags. Your customers will appreciate the extra care given to give them something innovative and useful!

Offer A Referral Program

One of the oldest ways to get customers to market a brand is by offering them the opportunity to participate in a referral program. Put simply, each time your customer gets someone to buy products and services from you, they get a commission from those sales.

Of course, referral programs won’t work for all your customers. That’s why it makes sense to set up a referral program where the majority of your clientele will be more inclined to promote your brand in return for a discount or other incentive.

Referral programs do work well for online sales. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t create offline referral programs.

For example, assume you just opened a cafe and you also sell a range of instant coffee products for people to consume at home or work. Your referral program could invite both your customer and their referral to purchase future products at discounted rates.


These are interesting times. We should remember that some of the best startup marketing campaigns were created during recessions and times of global conflict.

The three examples above are just a few of the ways that you can easily get your customers to market your startup for you.