We have all been there, budget is tight, and we can only allocate a small portion of money to marketing. In reality, small business owners usually can’t afford the extravagant marketing budgets that larger businesses take for granted. The good news is that there are plenty of useful marketing methods that will produce results for your business without costing you a cent.
Here are our top 5 effective ways to promote your business for free:
Start writing. Create a blog or write an article for your business, its free! There are many benefits of content marketing including brand visibility, creates a voice for your business, boost search engine ranking and client engagement. Consider yourself a blog-connoisseur? Writing your own blog is great, extend your reach by reaching out to your networks to get your blog promoted or start guest blogging so you can reach a broader audience.
Make sure you research and understand your audience so that your content is relevant to them.
Social media is a powerful tool. An inexpensive way to utilise this platform includes posting content/photos, product promotions and giveaways. However, it can extend beyond the obvious and allow you to engage in conversational marketing which facilitates a one-to-one, real-time connection between your business and potential customers.
Conversational marketing tactics like live chat and chatbots are relatively young, however regardless of industry or niche, conversational marketing will add the next level of service your customers seek.
Partnerships brings two company brands together. They are perfect for broadening scope, introducing new audiences and providing double the coverage.
Try guest blogging, joint promotions, referral programs, collaborative special event/workshop appearances or a partner competition.
When looking for a partnership, you need to align with a brand that delivers similar quality and most importantly will make sense to your business and to the consumer.
Connecting with community
Networking is crucial. A fast and effective way to promote your service or products is by finding a way to connect with your local community.
Whether its serving on your community board or volunteering, you can build some strong relationships with locals that can actively influence and encourage organic discussion about your brand and business.
Reach out to your local council or community centre and get more involved with the community activities, for example participate in trade fairs, sponsor a local event, advertise on a community board or get listed in your local publications.
Ask for reviews
Naturally, we all tend to share our experience with friends “the good, the bad”. There is no powerful tool than referral marketing and its 100% free. If you aren’t asking for reviews, you are missing opportunities.
So how do you approach customers for a reviews post service? Firstly, just ask! You can’t be shy about asking for reviews, it pays to be proactive whether you provide a survey, sending a follow-up email or contacting your customer directly and requesting a testimonial. Remember most people willingly provide a review if asked, but very few do it on their own.
To conclude, marketing is necessary if you want to grow your business, but most importantly survive. It doesn’t mean breaking the bank but does require you to be proactive in seeking, developing and distributing resources.
Little Steps Digital and Sonia Eyles Copy have teamed up to give one lucky business all this:
1. Go to Facebook or Instagram and like this post
2. Tag your business name in the comments field
3. Follow us
little_steps_digital and @sonia.eyles.copy
Competition closes Thursday 27 February
If we look at the below Health Insurance example, the top four results are paid ads and appear at the top of the page above the organic listings which are influenced by SEO.
The big question is can people tell the difference between paid and organic search results? The answer is yes and no. Around half are unable to recognise ads in Google's search results, some people surprisingly don't know the difference between paid and organic ads. Basically, this means that paid search in some perspective do work and worth the investment. However, PPC isn’t for everyone and based on your marketing goals and budget it is important to determine before leaping into a PPC campaign.
Let’s take a look at some advantages and disadvantages:
In conclusion, the common perception is that PPC costs money and it brings instant results, whereas SEO is free, but takes a long time. With so many companies competing for space in Google searches, your digital marketing needs to be strategic rather than throwing excessive money from your marketing budget to outbid other companies for ad space. The importance of a digital marketing strategy with defined short and long term goals are essential in making an SEO or PPC decision.
Want to know more about PPC or SEO for your business? Get in touch with Little Steps Digital, we offer one on one consultation and SEO auditing services.