Need to promote your business but no money in the budget for Marketing?? Here are 10 FREE marketing Ideas that we recommend trying:
I often get asked by clients what they can do to get their business noticed that doesn’t cost a lot of money. There are actually lots of ways you can market your business for FREE, Here are our 10 FREE marketing Ideas:
#1 Social Media – The benefits of using Social Media for your business are increasing brand awareness, increasing your website traffic, delivering your marketing message, reaching your target market and finding out what your customers are interested in / Market Research.
Once you know which platform is best for your business it is far easier as you then can focus your time and effort in a certain area rather than spreading yourself thinly across a number of different platforms. Patience is a must as it takes time to build up a presence on social media, It’s not going to happen overnight – if you have the time and no funds then do the work yourself, however, if you have less time and some money in the budget then get someone who knows what they are doing to do it for you! 🙂
#2 Email Marketing – A lot of people think Email Marketing is a thing of the past, but the truth is it can still be very effective if done right! The key is making sure you reach the right people and ensure that they open the email.
Recipients must have given permission for you to send them emails by ‘opting in’ on a form on your website, it’s also important to make sure that you include an ‘opt out’ at the bottom of your marketing emails and to create a mailing group that sends in the ‘bcc’ field as it is illegal to reveal recipients details on your emails.
Tracking results of your emails will allow you to see what is working and what’s not. There are really easy to use services such as Constant Contact and Mailchimp. The best way to start building your subscriber list, is to ask all your existing clients and contacts if you can have their email address, it’s that simple!
#3 Blog -Writing a blog can help drive traffic to your website, increase your search engine optimisation and help build your online presence.
Blog posts are meant to be educational and inspirational. A blog post shouldn’t have an immediate sales objective, but it should have a marketing purpose and can attract potential clients to your business – by encouraging readers to sign up to your e-newsletter, you have an opportunity to send the occasional marketing email. (See Email Marketing above)
Once blog readers get to know you, like you, and trust you, it becomes easier to sell to them.
Your customers are your readers so blog to them, you should be aiming to answer any questions your customers may have or even updates to do with your business or Industry. Having a plan for your blogs is a great idea – a strategy will help keep people interested and will make great reading if one blog follows on from the other. Having a very good title to catch peoples attention also works well and remember Blog posts are not essays, so keep them short and include Images. People online are more likely to scan website content so it’s important to make every single word count. Use words as keywords in order for people to find your blog in Google searches easily.
#4 Email Signature -This might seem really obvious, but some people do forget that your email signature is the perfect way to catch peoples attention.
It is common to have your Name, Job Title, Telephone Number, and Website link in your email signature, but there are lots of other ways you can utilise your signature by adding links to Blogs, Social Media Platforms, A special ” Deal of the Week” Offer, A link to join “Email Newsletters”, and i’ve also seen Company Logos and customer testimonials in email signatures.
#5 Business Listings -Make sure you are listed on the online local business directories like Google, Yell, Bing, Yelp and others specifically for your local area. Google is really important as they receive over 6 billion searches every day! Listing your business can really gain exposure and help your website search rankings – if you are a business owner with a website, simply placing a link to your site in an online business directory can drive many leads to your business quickly.
#6 Work with local Businesses / Suppliers –Keep an eye on what’s going on in the local community, or your industry. Could you get involved in events and host a workshop, offer taster sessions, or even be a venue? If you can add value to their event they will promote you in return.
You could always ask suppliers for help with running promotions on a product – they could perhaps provide images that you can use in the press, samples you could give away, support for competitions, or help to host exclusive customer events that will make your loyal customers feel special.
Asking suppliers and local companies that you work with for testimonials is also a great way to strengthen your reputation and the creditability of your brand.
#7 Claim Ownership on Sites like Tripadvisor –If you are in the hospitality, tourism and travel industries then Trip Advisor is a must. It’s an extremely powerful referral tool and an ideal way to get other people to do the hard work for you. However it’s paramount if you go down this road that you are confident your business is delivering an impeccable service. It’s not the end of the World to receive a poor review – lets face it, it’s going to be pretty impossible to please every single customer to walk through your door, what is important though is the way in which you respond.
Potential customers will ignore reviews from tourists who have decided to put a poor review on your page because it was raining and the midges were horrific! (Yes I have seen these reviews!) Readers will be looking for a good response from the business owner to show that they are passionate and do care about their business.
#8 Enter Business Awards –I understand that most business owners don’t have time to fill out applications and look into which awards are going to be most beneficial, but I think making the time is important. A business award can be a powerful way of differentiating your company from competitors.
One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways for you to stand out from your competitors is to win industry awards. They are a way to gain recognition for yourself, your business and your company. Awards bring you prestige and more traffic, and they enhance your credibility as a business.
#9 Press Releases – Free publicity is a great way to spread the word about your business. If you can get your business featured in the local newspaper that your target audience reads, it brings your business to the attention of potential customers, and at no cost.
Press releases can be about anything from launching your business, relocating, rebranding, new product and winning awards – it doesn’t have to be big news, just something to let local businesses and potential customers know you are there.
It’s a good idea to build relationships with editors and journalists as it will give you contacts for future stories and show that you are approachable if they wish to contact you for any information regarding your industry.
#10 Networking –I love networking and meeting new people, but I am aware that not everyone is comfortable with chatting to people they don’t know, and a majority of my friends could think of nothing worse than entering a room full of people they don’t know. It’s all about pushing yourself, moving boundaries and surprising yourself by what you can achieve if you move out of your comfort zone every now and then! The networking events that I attend locally are relaxed, fun and informative, but at the same time still focused on making sure everyone has opportunities to make quality connections and form valuable friendships.
It’s important to remember that networking events are attended by people just like you. The main reason you are attending is to grow your business, and you’re looking for advice, support, contacts, interaction and opportunities in order to do just that.
Networking requires a time commitment and sometimes doesn’t provide instant rewards, but a strong network is one of the greatest assets any business person can have.
If you would like practical advice on where to start with your marketing, how to get more from your marketing, help with improving your marketing planning and social media strategy – then Let’s get started, what are you waiting for?! Contact Me…..