Looking for a few tips on advertising your product or service... for FREE? Take a look at this list of 10 and you'll be on your way to marketing :D
Distribute a press release once a month
It’s important to keep in touch with your local newspaper and submit press releases which have the potential opportunity to get you in print for free. These could be about anything from taking on new staff to winning a new client – it doesn’t have to be big news, just something to let local businesses know you are there.
If you build relationships with editors and journalists this will help ensure that your press release is read and hopefully published. As will our quick, 30-second guide to writing a powerful press release!
Use email marketing software to help increase sales
This method is fast, effective, immediate and easy to design. You can also track and understand exactly how your email marketing software is growing your business and see how individual customers respond so you can increase sales over time.
To get full value from your email marketing, ensure that you update and grow your database regularly, and try to get people to opt-in by signing up on your website. There are many self-service email platforms available (such as MailChimp), or you may decide to get help from a specialist agency.
Start using videos to market your business
YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, so it makes sense to create a YouTube Channel and leverage proven video marketing tactics, like ‘how-to’ style video content and response videos, to improve search visibility and potentially drive leads.
One idea is to make individual video interviews on local news-makers in your niche using Skype. Once you’ve recorded the video, to maximise its benefit:
Post it on YouTube.
Embed the YouTube code on your website.
Transcribe the video with a cheap tool.
Post the transcribed content on your blog for search engines to find.
Or you could host an online seminar and share it on your website and via social media networks – a perfect opportunity to gain exposure.
Use the three big local listing services
Registering your business with Google Places allows it to be found more easily on Google searches and it shows up on Google Maps. All you have to do is fill out the form and register, then get your business verified through their confirmation process, which can be done either with a phone call or snail mail. Yahoo! also has a big database of businesses called Yahoo! Local. It's free, and is certainly worth the few minutes it takes to set up. Microsoft's Bing has a similar service that's easy to sign up for.
Embrace social media
Social media isn't just a tool to gain exposure—it has now become a necessary time investment for every business to make. You can tie in ads and offers on your Facebook page and have a direct channel with your customers on Twitter. Networking on LinkedIn—both at the personal and company level—can be another way to help your startup.
Start a blog
A blog not only helps your company get its name out through followers, but is a way to connect with your consumers more directly. But remember that one of the major keys of blogging is to keep your stream updated as frequently as you can. A dormant, abandoned blog is worth nothing.
Coupons are a good way for many businesses to attract new customers. Research shows that people will go out of their way to use a coupon, proving that this method is successful in expanding your customer base.
Coupons can also generate return visits. For example, if you give a customer a coupon for a discount to use on future business, there’s a high probability they’ll be back.
Give it away
If someone has the opportunity to experience your product or service, chances are they will want to purchase more.
Don’t be afraid to give someone a free trial or a sample. In today’s economy, people are more comfortable purchasing something they have been able to experience first.
These ten, inexpensive marketing strategies will help you engage customers, build relationships, and ultimately keep your brand top-of-mind. It’s not always about the money you have to spend on marketing, it’s about the time and effort you put into it and above all, the relevance it has for your customers.
Adding a section to your weekly or monthly newsletter featuring your upcoming event is a great and cost-effective way to promote it. Remember to add the link to the event page and use an impressive image that will catch your audience’s eye. Establish the information you want to convey to your audience, spend some time writing the event information into short but engaging copy and make sure the message is conveyed
Join Facebook groups.
While most people think of LinkedIn first when they think online networking, Facebook groups actually offer a similar opportunity for professionals. There are any number of Facebook groups dedicated to various industries, professions, and interests. You can use your personal account to join groups of colleagues, as well as groups where your target audience is likely to be found.
The more you contribute to the conversations taking place in these groups, the more your name will become recognized – and synonymous with industry leadership and expertise. The only thing to watch out for here is never to come across as salesy in your discussions – the quickest way to turn off this potential stream of leads and connections is to start promoting your business instead of offering genuine advice and thoughts.
You can customize your search for groups based on various keywords – and Facebook also makes suggestions, based on your profile. Here are some groups Facebook has to offer in the field of “Leadership”