One of the biggest challenges for startups is coming up with a way to generate new customers on a regular basis. While coming up with creative marketing strategies is the solution, limited budgets and lack of hired talent usually hinder efforts. That usually leaves the founders of the company and a small team to come up with a strategy that creates the best return on investment with the budget that’s available. There are several main points to focus on if this describes your situation.

The first is branding. Branding is no longer defined by taking out expensive TV, print, radio and billboard ads to engrave your brand into your audience’s mind. Branding in the modern age is about creating a story and conversation that is rewarding enough for people to want to spread the word to their network. To prove a point, there are examples of startups creating a viral video and getting millions of free advertising as a result.

While some of these videos use humor to get people to share their content or ad, there is often a strong brand identity and values that make everything work. Startups that have gotten free coverage through their content have 1) clearly presented their unique brand identity, 2) positioned their brand strategically, and 3) gave people an incentive to talk about them whether it was due to humor, interest, education or intrigue.

The second is customer experience. It’s not enough to bring in new customers. As a startup, you have to ensure that your customers have an outstanding experience. It’s not enough for them to have a decent experience. The reason why is because an outstanding experience is what gets your customers to become your fans, and consequently your promoters. Positive reviews will also increase the results of your promotions as prospects often seek them out before they make a purchase.

Of course, it all starts with your products or services. You want to make sure that your product or service over-delivers and do not have any problematic issues. It’s also important to provide your customers with instructions on how to use your products or services to get the most out of them. Last but not least, you have to have strong support system set up before you start big promotions so that all issues are handled quickly and easily.

Finally, you need to have a strong backend to maximize the value of each customer. If you don’t have other products or services to sell after the first sale, then you may want to partner up with a non competing company that has a relevant product or service to offer. It also helps to offer upgrades to the core product or service as an upsell.

Integrating the marketing of your next product or service should be part of the customer experience. You want to ensure that your customers are getting the most out of the initial product or service first. Once you’re sure they have begun to consume your product or service, you want to start introducing the idea of another product or service that may be of value to them and start the marketing campaign.

These three fundamentals will give your startup a strong foundation to build on and make everything else you do to grow the company easier. In the same manner, not having these foundations will make everything else an uphill battle whether you’re advertising on Facebook or building a search campaign. That’s why it’s wise to think about how to get the foundations right before your big promotions.