6 tips on marketing your business for free
Marketing your business is vital if you want it to be successful and grow, but it can be costly.
We would all like to hire the very best Graphic Designers, PR consultants, and buy advertising space in the most popular magazines, but for small or new businesses this is just not realistic. But there are other ways for businesses to promote themselves at very little cost. By implementing these 6 tips to market your business for free, you will ensure that you reach the widest audience you can for nothing but a few hours of hard work.
As you have probably heard before, SEO or search engine optimization, is important if you want your website to be found by potential customers. There are many ways to improve your SEO, firstly consider what key words bring customers to your website. Think about the services you offer and the information you provide. Use these words frequently throughout your site.
Make your website easy to share with links to your social media pages. The more traffic and shares your website gets the higher it will climb up Google’s ranking system. Having your site linked on other websites will also help with this. Exchange your web links with relevant businesses and help each other achieve better SEO.
Join the online community
Getting active in the online community is probably the most effective method of free marketing. Make sure you are signed up, and actively using, all of the popular social media sites. These include; Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Each of these sites has its own benefits, so do your research.
Don’t put the same content on every platform, customers will get bored of seeing similar posts repeated. Try putting a different member of staff in charge of each social media platform, this will ensure varied content.
It is important to utilize the strengths of specific sites. Facebook and Instagram, for example, are great for competitions, whilst Twitter provides a better way to communicate directly to customers.
Be sure to incorporate the positive comments you receive from clients, via social media, into your site. Whilst retweeting praise is beneficial, it will only be seen by a limited audience. Ask permission to put the comment on the testimonials section of your website for all visitors to see.
Social media is not the only way to connect with customers online. Try joining a forum specific to your business, and promote yourself as an expert in your field. By sharing your knowledge and directly helping your customers and peers, you not only market yourself but also your business. Be sure to link your website in your signature when posting on forums.
There are online tools that can help you attract customers to your business in person. One such resource is Google places. Listing yourself on this site lets local people find you. Encourage them to leave comments and ratings of your business.
Blogging is a great method to further demonstrate you own, and therefore your businesses, expertise in a field. By presenting yourself as a source of free knowledge via blogs, you will not only keep customers coming back to your website, but they will also be more inclined to use your business.
In order to attract further customers, that would otherwise not visit your site, try submitting guest blogs to larger information websites. If you can prove you know your stuff, potential clients will have more faith in your business. Linking back to your own website during the blog enables readers to find you.
Communities don’t just exist online, do some research to see if you can find any local free events. In an increasingly online focused world, these meets are becoming more and more popular. Most people are more trusting of businesses that have a face, so be your own marketing. Make sure you properly represent your business. Consider wearing tastefully branded clothes.
Attending free events will help you to share ideas, connect with your peers, and meet people that may require the services your business provides.
To many, writing a press release can be a daunting prospect, a task usually handled by PR professionals, but when you know what to include they are very simple and probably the best source of free advertising.
Firstly you need to consider what your business does that is newsworthy, this can be anything from creating a community of shops in a local town, to a small coffee shop supporting a bean grower on the other side of the world. What ever it is it needs to be current, journalists call this a hook. Look into anniversaries or event coming up that relate to one of your products or services.
Write a few short paragraphs about your business regarding the chosen news hook. Remember to keep to the point and only include relevant information. The press release should then be sent to local newspapers and magazines. If it’s picked up your company will get a mention in the local press.
Sending emails containing promotions and new products to customers will guarantee they are constantly reminded of your business. Newsletters have great potential and can be helpful in promoting client recommendations, which increases consumer knowledge of your site via word of mouth. Addresses of potential customers can be collected via a landing page on your website.
The key to free marketing is organisation. Don’t try implementing all of these tips at once. Each needs to be given time and energy to make it work. Try a new marketing technique every one to two weeks. Drop the ones that you have found are less effective, this will give you the time and resources to focus on the options that bring in new customers. Be creative, the best marketing campaigns are the ones that people remember, it is worth spending the money on an attractive and innovative leaflet, even if it means you have to hand them out yourself.