Big brands spend an enormous amount of money on advertising and marketing, but as a solo entrepreneur or small business owner, you don’t have to do the same. You can market your business just as effectively on a shoestring budget by utilizing some basic free or low-cost marketing tactics.
If you engage with your audience effectively and provide high-value content, you can achieve your business goals just like the big companies do. Here are five ways you can do your own marketing online with little or no cost.
Small Business Marketing Tips: Marketing on a Budget
1. Engage on Social Media
Social media is a great way to interact with your audience and build your brand. You can use it to communicate directly with your followers, share content, build a community, and do market research on your audience members.
Start by finding out which social media platforms your audience uses. The major ones now are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. LinkedIn is a social media platform specifically geared towards business-to-business and professionals. If you don’t know which platforms your audience uses, ask them directly, run a survey, or sign up to each and look for them. This information should be included as you identify and down your buyer persona.
Social media sites are free to use. All it takes is a small investment of your time for posting content and managing your account on a regular basis. But before you post anything, remember that your business account isn’t the same as your personal one. You can read more on How Personal is Too Personal for Social Media?
2. Produce Helpful Videos
People watch videos on YouTube to learn new things and find solutions to the problems they’re facing. YouTube is one of the world’s most popular websites and its user base spans every demographic. According to Cisco’s Annual Internet Report for 2018 to 2023, 82% of internet traffic will be video in 2022.
For YouTube, you can start by creating short videos that offer help on various topics. Take a simple tip and show your viewers how to do it or make one where you answer a commonly asked question or discuss trending topics in your industry.
You can use free video production and editing software, and it’s free to post on YouTube.
3. Build an Email List
Even in the presence of social media, email won’t go out of style just yet. Emails are a highly personal way to interact with your audience. People subscribe to email lists to receive useful content, the latest news, and exclusive promotions straight into their inboxes.
The best way to get people to sign up to your list is to offer a lead magnet. A lead magnet is usually an information product that you offer for free; all the recipient needs to do is enter their name and email address. In exchange, they benefit from your helpful email newsletter.
To get started with email marketing, sign up with an email autoresponder service. Some of these are free, while others can get costly – research the different options to find out what’s right for you. Always start with a free service or a free trial to test out the software and make sure it gives you what you need before investing.
You should also keep in mind to make it easy for users to subscribe to your email list. Read more about it in this post: How Easy Is It for You to Get New Email Subscribers?
4. Start a Referral Program
With a referral program, you can offer your customers incentives to tell others about your products and services. The incentive could be freebies, free trials, exclusive content, or discounts to people who spread the word. This is a great way to generate some valuable word-of-mouth marketing.
A referral program is a great way to multiply your marketing efforts. The key here is to offer something that’s valuable for your customer but costs little to nothing for you to produce. Some good ideas include free membership to your site, a deep discount on your products, or an information product that only takes time to create.
5. Leverage the Internet and Save Costs
With everything almost available on the Internet, adding on your customer data, and doing continuous research will help you cut costs in the long run. You never need to spend a great deal on paid advertising and marketing as long as you have an arsenal of marketing tactics you can put to use. Always focus on providing valuable content that meets your audience’s needs, and you can avoid spending a dime on advertising.
While having a huge marketing budget will have its advantages, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only factor for business success. As long as you can leverage these five tips, you can achieve your business and marketing goals even on a limited budget.
Let me help you get started with your digital marketing strategy. Reach out for a free consult!