You’ve no doubt heard about businesses generating leads, sales and new customers online and chances are you’ve always associated these businesses with having large online marketing budgets. You however live in the real wold and you don’t have the budget needed to compete online. It is however possible for you to market your business online inexpensively, I know I do it, constantly.
You can market your business for almost free if you know what to do. This is why online marketing is so much fun, because the smallest of companies can to some extend complete with the largest. The barrier to entry is low, and even the learning curve is relatively small which means that you, and anyone else can market your business effectively online with no real budget whatsoever.
Content marketing should form the backbone of all your online marketing efforts, it’s the single most effective form of online marketing you can do. It also provides much of the content you need for types of marketing including every single inexpensive way we are discussing today. Content is needed that educates, engages, informs, excites and ultimate that sells. You need content for all aspects of marketing, up to and including customer service.
Social media like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ all have a place in your online marketing efforts. One of the biggest mistakes I see is businesses trying to be the best they can be on all social media channels, unless you have lots of staff that can devote lots of time to social media you are much better to do one or two social media platforms well, than three or more poorly.
You have to try and determine which social media networks work for you, what are you passionate about? It also depends on your niche and your audience. Where do they hang out? Be there. Let me put neck on the line and say that you should be on Twitter, in my opinion every single business should be active on Twitter, it generates much more website traffic and audience engagement than any other social media platform.
Every single business website should incorporate a blog, it shouldn’t be an external link to an external blogging platform it should actually be part of your website. Blogging regularly is a great source of website traffic, and in many instances this is the only source of traffic.
Blogging not only attracts traffic, it is also a great way to get your message out to your audience, building your authority in their eyes, while you are not spending much money on it. You can write the posts yourself or you can outsource. Most people write them themselves when starting out. It can take time to get used to doing it, but writing a post a day can help you gain momentum, but it’s a long term game, so don’t expect instant results.
Search Engine Optimization
If you are not familiar with SEO (search engine optimization), it’s important to learn. SEO changes constantly and is how you optimize your website for search engines. If you combine basic SEO techniques with content marketing / blogging than your website will start to generate much better SEO results.
Send Out a Press Release
The good, old-fashioned press release is still exists, believe it or not and better still it continues to work. You can get a lot of value out of sending out free press releases if you know how to do it. The trick is to have contacts to which you can send the press release in hand, and better still to have engaged them previous and understand how your press release can meet their own needs.
Unless you have an irresistible product or service and I’ve yet to see one, the chances of selling to someone on their first visit to your website is slim to impossible. This means you should try to build your email subscription list, because once someone is on it, you have the chance to convert them to customers over a much longer period. This is why you need a newsletter, unless you have a large subscription base you can run your newsletter from your website with little or no additional costs.
Perfect Your Website
Your website is your store front, and even if you have a bricks and mortar store front, your website is the store front your customers will almost certainly see first. If it doesn’t look great, why would anyone purchase from you? And if you expect people to find you, having a static website that is never updated isn’t going to work, incorporate that blog and post something regularly if you want visitors to your website.
Get Involved In Relevant Communities
Online communities are a great way to get your name out there and to be seen in the right company. There are communities you can join on Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as self-hosted and owned “inner circles” and mastermind clubs that you can join. They can help you get known as an expert, as well as help you get more links to your website. You can also join communities with your competitors and share and learn from one another, I’ve found this extremely useful and of great benefit.
Finding inexpensive ways to market your business online is a great way to help you get started. But even if you have a great business, you’ll want to keep using these inexpensive ways to market your business, simply because they are so effective. As you can see, much of it forms the basis of content marketing, with the content you create being used across multiple marketing channels to maximize results.
Should you have any questions, any further tips please share them in the comments area below, let’s keep the discussion going.