A small budget doesn’t mean a small presence. With a little creativity, foresight, and know-how, your business can compete with any of the big guys online.
If you’ve been struggling to figure out how a small business can effectively market its goods and services in an increasingly saturated and competitive digital-marketplace, consider low budget digital marketing strategies that will help you attract more new customers consistently for little or no money.
Here are some suggestions for how to get started without blowing your entire marketing budget:
1. Create accounts on social media sites and post constantly
Invest time in building your brand’s personality on social media. Get creative and show off what makes your business unique. It will make for more engaging posts, which is the easiest way to grow followers and fans.
Create a catchy description of your company on each platform and use it when sharing updates to help build a shared identity among all of your channels. Be active online by posting often, responding to comments, and keeping track of relevant hashtags or discussions within your niche. Regularly post or share influencers from within your industry for maximum reach. Optionally offer exclusive deals only available through social media.
2. Develop an email marketing plan
Email marketing is still an effective way to get your message across, even in an era where many people prefer getting their information from other sources like social media or blogs. Email marketing is a cost-effective strategy for generating new sales and engaging with current customers.
Email marketing is a great way to let your customers know you care about their interests, even when they’re not specifically thinking about your business. There are many unique ways you can use email marketing to grow your business and get in front of your ideal customer.
3. Blog about topics that interest your audience
Attract and retain your audience by offering content, information, or courses that are relevant to their needs. Connect with people and provide information and insights through comments and articles. Make sure your content is up-to-date and relevant to your audience.
Keep in mind that search engines analyze content and not just the words on web pages. Information in images and it’s placement in the page affect the rankings of websites. You should be publishing articles with keywords in the titles, as well as for SEO purposes, include keywords in your article body.
Blog about topics that interest your audience: The strategy behind blogging for search engine optimization is to build links back to your website that point towards pages that contain suitable keywords. By doing this, you are attracting relevant traffic from a credible source which will ultimately increase your rankings.
4. Join Q&A sites such as Yahoo’s Answers or Quora
Joining Q&As sites is an excellent low-budget way to market your business because they provide direct access to potential customers. In addition, you can also get valuable feedback from other users on your idea. These websites could be difficult at first as they require practice and patience in order to learn how to effectively answer questions.
The tricky part about joining an online community is not the following the rules. If you go there, they demand that you have your own account and to be respectful. The most difficult part is interacting with others and gaining exposure for yourself. This is hard work but if done right, this simple strategy can bring a lot of traffic and customers for your business.
5. Join forums built around your niche and participate
Blogs are considered as a marketing tool, and joining forums is one of the best ways to promote your site. It’s not just about marketing but also about giving back to other community members. Joining forums will give you access to new people in the industry and broaden your knowledge on a given niche in general.
The key is to just participate – that’s all that’s required. If no one knows who you are or your business site, then you might feel awkward about how to start a conversation. Just remember that its ok to start small and then gradually build up your confidence. Participating in forums will help increase your fanbase and also the number of visitors to your business site.
6. Focus on SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective forms of online marketing available today for any size business. SEO helps businesses rank higher in search results so their content will be seen by more people who are actively seeking information on those topics.
Optimize your website for search engines – The first step is to ensure that the site you want to rank on search engines has all the components that make it very keyword oriented. This means you need plenty of related keywords in headings, body content, and page titles so that your site can be found by people seeking those services or products.
7. Use #hashtags
Hashtags are a free way to spread a message quickly on social media. They have been around since 2007 and are used by millions of people on everything from Instagram to Twitter. To us, they represent a great way of getting in front of people who may be looking for what you’re selling without having to make much time or effort in the process.
Hashtags are often used in conjunction with other forms of social media to reach a wider audience. They have the versatility to do what traditional promotional methods cannot. You can be in front of hundreds, even thousands of people at a time using very little effort.
The most important thing to remember is that hashtags need to be relevant and if so, then you should make sure that they are used with caution. If you use too many hashtags, then your post will end up looking messy and spammy and could appear as a nuisance to your followers.
If you don’t already use hashtags effectively in your social media marketing, it’s time to start doing it! KeyHashtags is a valuable tool that can help people in all industries gain better exposure for their social media posts.
8. Don’t sleep on LinkedIn
You’ve probably heard of LinkedIn before either because it’s such an effective marketing tool or because it has been used by many businesses as a way to build contacts and networking opportunities. Linkedin is probably one of the best ways to market your business. You can target specific industries, companies, or people.
Create a profile that targets exactly what you want to do: sell products from you company, provide services to companies etc.
Use the groups section of Linkedin. Join groups that are related to your business or industry and post updates related to what’s happening in the group. Create discussions by posting interesting questions or articles that would be of interest in the group.
9. Create data-rich infographics
Data visualization is the graphical representation of data, information, or knowledge. It has been used extensively throughout history to provide a pictorial representation of abstract numbers and statistics such as time-series data. Data visualization is becoming an invaluable marketing and communication tool in an increasingly digital world.
There are many ways to go about designing your own infographic for promotional purposes: from finding interesting data sets to deciding what type of visualization will best suit your needs.
There is a very simple reason why data visualization is so appealing: people love the past. We are hard-wired to remember the past and data makes it easier to both remember and predict what will transpire in the future.
10. Perform keyword research
Keyword research is essential for your marketing strategy as it enables you to understand what your target audience is looking for on Google.
Performing keyword research will be extremely useful to your business. If you have no idea how researching websites that use specific keywords help your business create effective content and advertisements, then it’s time you get started.
The struggle of finding the right keywords that will not only lead your website traffic but also brings in plenty of money has been one of the biggest struggles that most businesses have been facing ever since Google got into existence.
However, thanks to the recent emergence of free tools that provide effective keyword research tips, businesses have found it much easier to find keywords related to their business.
In other words, these tools are of utmost importance if you want to generate leads and profits from your business. These tools will also help you establish which keywords are most likely going to lead traffic back to your business website.
11. Create a Facebook group / Reddit subreddit
There are tons of benefits to having a Facebook group or Reddit subreddit, and many businesses have already taken advantage of them. For those big brands, this is an excellent way to interact digitally with their customers and also advertise their products. But what if you’re not a big brand?
You don’t need to be well-known for your group or subreddit to be successful – all you need is good content. Building engagement will come naturally if you can offer value to the members in the form of interesting topics or even contests they might find entertaining.
12. Comment on relevant content
Be smart about this: don’t go to an article on the latest technology and start posting about something that you don’t know anything about. It’s obvious and looks spammy.
Comment on other articles and sites with useful information that is relevant to the article. I’ve seen this work hundreds of times in a long tail niche. And get ready for some ‘thank you’ comments from readers of the article you commented on! Especially if your comment is helpful.
If you do this enough, other commenters may eventually follow your links; further increasing your link popularity. Don’t post offensive comments. It’s a quick way to be banned from the site and get flagged by the moderators. And yes, it is a quick way to have your account deleted as well.
Use your own unique name in the comment section. Use a name that is similar or identical to your own website or blog name (if applicable). Think of it as an opportunity for SEO, not spam-ish content.
13. Post classified ads
Posting classified ads is one of the most low-budget yet effective ways to market your business. With so many different options for free online classifieds, this method can pay off in big ways! For around $10-$15 you can post an ad in countless cities and run it for as long as you want. You could even purchase premium listings which could be very beneficial for your business.
You can offer a discount to those who call, text, or email your business. This is a great option and can gain you even more customers. You could offer free shipping, free consultations for that day only, or even low prices for the special day. All of these options are sure to attract more clients than usual.
14. Guest post on relevant blogs
Guest blogging on relevant blogs is an easy way to grow your blog traffic and get new readers on board. It takes little time to do. And most importantly, it can be a powerful way to build relationships with other bloggers.
Look for blogs that seem like they would have the audience you’re targeting. Next, create an email pitch that states why you want to write for the blog and how it will benefit both parties. Thirdly, send the email pitch and wait patiently until they respond back with either acceptance or rejection (hopefully acceptance). Be sure to write on time and follow up with other bloggers who might be interested in your content.
Lastly, you will also need to write compelling content that makes regular readers want to click through from one page to another and spend more time on your site.
15. Register on freelancing platforms
Registering on freelancing platforms enables your company to take on digital marketing clients with a minimum upfront cost for all the members involved. This kind of contract is usually billed by the hour or project and it can be especially worthwhile if you need funds to cover business expenses like office space or equipment upgrades.
You also save time by outsourcing some of your workload to freelancers who are often faster at tasks like… giving a few examples: keyword research, web design and video editing than employees who might not have as much experience in those fields.
16. Add your video content to YouTube
Branded content is where you start. It’s an easy way to increase your brand’s image, and it also increases your customer’s trust in your company since that information is coming from you – not someone who could be part of your competition.
Branded content can be formed into a video series, around a topic. Brand engagement is one of the best ways to increase traffic to your social media account – and that in turn increases the revenue of your business. With YouTube, you can reach millions of people with just a click of a button.
To get the most out of a video, make sure that you have a clear message. Make sure that anyone who watches it knows what you’re trying to tell them and why they should care. You might have an excellent product or service, but that’s not enough for people to want to buy from you – they also need to know WHY they should buy from you.
17. Automate marketing tasks
One really common way that businesses use to better their marketing ROI is to automate some of the marketing tasks.
You can automate your social media posts with scheduled posts or you can automatically send out a newsletter to your email list.
There are tons of ways that you can work more efficiently using automation. This also includes saving time for yourself so you can focus on what’s really important in running your business. Don’t get distracted by just trying to keep the lights on or try to be everything yourself.
Automation is a great way to get things done and be more productive while keeping your marketing tasks simple.
18. Send free samples of your product to influencers
By sending your products free of charge, you are able to build a rapport with the influencers who will then be willing to review your product.
You are not asking them to pay for it, so you’re not putting any extra pressure on them. You are able to build trust and excitement around your product and expanding your brand on a cost effective level.
19. Create an affiliate program
The affiliate program is a low budget marketing strategy that provides you with an easy way to earn money. Once you set up the program, the affiliates will promote your business and increase sales for you with a low price point.
In order to create an affiliate program, there are some things that need to be taken into consideration such as what products or services will be offered to affiliates, how much commission they will receive, your affiliate dashboard and tracking system and your affiliate program terms.
What are the advantages of having an affiliate program? There are many: get traffic from your affiliates’ websites; get exposure through their blogs; have them link to your website so that you can benefit from SEO or increase SEO ranking when they link to your site; and lastly and most important, gain new customers.
All these methods will provide you with an effective way of marketing your business – in a low-cost, sustainable way.