Anyone who runs an online business knows how tough it can be to promote and market their company. Many try their hand with online ad platforms like Facebook and Google Adwords to help spread the word. Unfortunately, the lack of experience causes their ship to sink before it even has a chance to float. It's like throwing money out the window, and it's something that you can't afford to do when you're running on a tight budget.
The good news is that a proper marketing and promotion plan can be put together without spending a boatload of cash. There are a variety of low-cost marketing methods available. You might have to roll up your sleeves and do some grunt work, but the potential to grow your business makes it all worth it.
To help you get a better idea of some low-cost promotion methods, take a look at these 5 marketing ideas below. Thousands of companies have used these methods to market their company and boost growth, so why not give them a shot and see if you can produce the same results?
#1 - Brand Your Biz with Social Media
Social media is a necessary beast. If your business goes without it, you are missing out on the opportunity to expose your brand to millions of potential customers. Nearly every major business is heavily involved in social media. That alone should be enough proof to show you that it works, plain and simple.
In order to brand yourself successfully via social media, you need to make sure you do the following:
- Participate in as many active platforms as you can afford to keep up with.
- Stay consistent with your efforts. The more active you are, the easier it is to gain attention and attract followers.
- Be a person first and a business owner second. It shows that you are a human just like everyone else. That type of warmth will break down barriers and allow people to connect with you on a deeper level.
- Encourage others to get involved. Show your followers that you value them. Put them first above everything else and beautiful things will start to happen.
It's not easy and takes a little bit of work, but using social media as a marketing tool for your business is a great way to build followers and find new customers. Make sure to follow the tips above if you want your business to thrive like never before.
#2 - Build an Email List
If you're running a business online without an email list, you are leaving a ton of money on the table. An email list can help increase customer retention. Once you get an email from a customer (or prospect), you are able to keep in touch with them for as long as that particular email remains active. That customer can then be marketed to multiple times, which makes email marketing the best bang for your buck.
Marketing via email has numerous benefits, such as:
- It allows you to increase your reach for pennies on the dollar.
- Your email subscribers are extremely targeted and already interested in what you have to offer.
- You remain in control throughout the entire process.
There are plenty of email services out there that offer low-cost options for your business. A simple search for "email marketing services" will yield plenty of great options for you to choose from. Those starting out and looking to get their feet wet may be able to find a few free services to try as well.
#3 - Blog Your Way to Success with Features
An online business can't grow if no one knows about it. Since you're not equipped with a large budget, you have to do a little grassroots marketing to make some noise. One of the best ways to do this is to secure a featured spot (or two) on the popular blogs in your market.
How can you work your way onto these top websites? Start by contacting reputable bloggers who operate sites in your market and figure out who is looking for featured posts (also known as guest posts). Pitch your story or idea to them by writing a post that is geared to their audience. If they like what you have to say, they will take your post and publish it on their blog, exposing your business to their followers.
Wondering how your business gets noticed with these featured guest posts? The concept is simple: Within the post itself, you may be able to reference your company and website via a hyperlink. If not, you can squeeze it into your byline at the end of the article. It's that simple.
If you make a good impression and would be willing to write on a regular basis, you may be able to work out a gig as a regular contributor. Of course, it all depends on the site owner and the way they operate. No matter how you look at it, getting your business featured on major blogs and websites is a low-cost option that can bring you excellent results.
#4 - Create Great Content and Give It Away
It's no surprise that great content rules all. Without it, the Internet would be a boring and uninteresting place. The better you are at providing top quality content, the easier it is to build an audience.
If you really want your business to excel, you need to not only focus on creating great content, but also be willing to give it away. There is an allure to getting something for free, but it's even better when that free item is so good that you feel like you need to pay for it. It's called creating value, and it's a terrific method of marketing your business.
Some examples of content you can give away are things like:
- Free eBooks or short reports on a subject that your customers are interested in
- White papers
- Instructional or tutorial videos
In order to make sure your business can capitalize from your content, you need to create a solid content marketing plan around it. If you do it right, you will be shocked at how much this can do for your business.
#5 - Make Great Videos and Encourage People to Share Them
The Internet has evolved into a multimedia playground. As a result, the popularity of videos has soared to astronomical heights. It's the new wave of the future and many businesses online are quickly picking up on the trend and turning it into a marketing machine.
With the combination of social media and a broad reach, interesting and entertaining videos have the ability to go viral in a matter of minutes. It's the dream that all marketers hope to experience. If you're creative and know what you're doing, the opportunity to expose millions of people to your business is there for the taking.
The biggest key to success is to make videos that relate to your business in some way, shape or form. Doing so will ensure that you're targeting the right people. With a little consistency, you can build an incredible following via video marketing.
All in all, creating videos can be a low-cost marketing tactic that can bring some amazing results. Give it a shot and see how much of a difference it can make for you and your online business.