Plenty of marketing solutions are expensive, but there are also heaps of low-budget ways for business owners to grow their businesses online. Many of these marketing ideas are free, but companies should expect to invest a few man hours each week on several of these marketing efforts.
1. Join an Online Community
Companies that sell products or services that appeal to a specific niche should join an online community that caters to enthusiasts of that activity. By offering valuable information, the company becomes a trusted resource and the first place some community members look for gear for their favorite activity.
2. Create a Video Tutorial
Video tutorials that offer smart in-depth information can easily garner hundreds of thousands of page views on YouTube. Companies may have to publish several videos in order to gain a following, but the following is more likely to be interested in the products or services the companies sell.
3. Write Guest Posts for Blogs
Guest posts for well-respected sites can drive substantial traffic to the company website and help the business build a solid reputation that doesn’t affect a low budget. Small businesses that don’t have the marketing staff to write posts can hire ghost writers, who can help identify potential guest-post sites and write the necessary content.
4. Offer Free Products for Review
Plenty of bloggers will review a product or service in exchange for a free sample. Popular bloggers will expect payment for a review, but smaller bloggers may be content with free samples for a review on their blog. Companies can offer additional free samples and a coupon code for the blogger’s audience to sweeten the deal.
5. Write a Press Release
Many businesses write press releases, but few yield any significant exposure for the company. However, a press release that’s written like a newspaper article and provides truly newsworthy information can help a company get some free exposure. Businesses that don’t feel they have something newsworthy to report can conduct and publish the results of a survey of their customers. Then, the company can report a few of the interesting statistics in a press release and link to the complete survey results.
6. Start Referral Relationships with Other Businesses
Referral relationships with existing customers can help companies expand their reach, but referral relationships with businesses in a related niche can also help. Before agreeing to a referral exchange or any type of cross promotion, companies should investigate any potential partners to make sure they have a good reputation within the industry.
7. List the Business on Review Sites
Every business should have a Yelp, Google My Business, and Yahoo! business page. Service businesses can list their business for free on Angie’s List as well. Each listing should have the correct hours and content information, and each company should designate someone to respond to reviews. Encouraging existing customers to review can also help a business increase its visibility.
8. Cultivate a Twitter Following
An excellent Twitter account can take the place of a blog, and it requires less time to update regularly. A business Twitter account should follow other notable businesses within the industry, engage with noteworthy people within that industry and link to important information that could affect potential clients. Twitter is also a great way for businesses to offer exceptional and fast customer service in a budget-friendly way, which can boost a company’s reputation.
9. Start Email Marketing
Many email services, such as MailChimp and Constant Contact, offer free accounts for small email lists. There are also dozens of free marketing tools that can help companies refine their message, code their emails and test their effectiveness. Businesses that collect email addresses and send regular, useful emails to customers will help build a staunch following.
Grow your Business Today!
These nine ideas are only a sampling of the ways a business can increase sales on a small budget. Of course, before implementing any of these ideas, every company should have the basics covered. An attractive and content packed website is essential, and at least one social media account (usually Facebook or LinkedIn)non-negotiable for all businesses in the digital age.