Author: Adrienne Erin
No matter what size your business is, everyone knows the value of developing a web presence. But like most investments, online marketing can be risky and expensive, especially if you’re a small business with a tight advertising budget.
Investing in online marketing doesn’t have to be a gamble; there are plenty of marketing strategies that are cheaper than you think, and plenty of businesses have succeeded using inexpensive tactics.
Marketing doesn’t have to be difficult, either – in our digital age, there’s an abundance of tools to measure and focus your marketing efforts. It’s easier than ever to gather valuable information and quickly switch up your campaigns.
If you’re willing to be proactive and get involved in the industry, you don’t need a large advertising budget to market your business successfully online.
There are plenty of tools on the Internet that are free or less expensive than the big names – and they can help you make the most of your budget.
- Create profiles. Almost every social media site is free, and these are great tools to help you market your business and generate a following. Create company profiles on multiple social sites as well as professional business sites.
- Look for free trials. A lot of marketing tools will offer free trials, which can lead to profit before you spend a dime! Google Adwords often gives users a coupon to begin their paid search engine advertising campaign, if you know where to look.
- Advertise on specific sites. If your budget won’t allow you to have a large search engine marketing campaign, try running ad campaigns on specific sites. For instance, Facebook advertising is less expensive than a lot of other marketing campaigns, and it allows you to target specific locations, age groups, interests and more.
When it comes to your website, one of the main ways to increase traffic inexpensively is to communicate with other blogs and websites.
- Comment on blogs. If you make detailed, insightful comments on a blog, people that read your comments will not only want to keep reading them, but they might want to learn more about you by checking out your website.
- Give advice. While message boards sound a bit outdated, there are still millions of them on the Internet, as well as other ways to interact with members of your industry. If you can give sound advice, or answer questions about your products and services, you can gain new customers and drive traffic to your website.
- Use video. Videos now appear in Google search results, and they also appeal to the many users who are attracted to multimedia. Leverage your YouTube account in creative ways to show the benefits of your products or services. This is an advertising tactic that could gain you more sales!
Become an Author
Content is one of the biggest forces in online marketing right now, and the good news is, it won’t cost you anything but time to write. Internet users are always looking for information, and if you can provide it, you’ll be more likely to gain customers and traffic.
- Write guest posts. Most blogs are open to the idea of guest authors, and if you can give them fresh content to post, it’ll help both of you. Being published on other sites will not only improve your traffic and branding, but it will help your search engine optimization because of links.
- Start your own blog. All businesses can profit from a blog, because content is what drives traffic and improves SEO efforts. Try not to sell your company in every post, but instead give valuable information to your readers. You’ll create a community of loyal followers, which you can reinforce by frequently responding back to their comments!
- Give thorough content away for free. We’ve all seen “beginner’s guides” like the infamous one by Moz, and the reason content like this is so successful is because it’s thorough and relevant to everyone. If you can create guides that help other readers, you’ll get links, traffic and recognition – three indispensable parts of your marketing campaign.
Care About Your Customers
Turning interested users into customers doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Attracting users is an important part of Internet marketing, and if you’re creative, you can use your website to do this.
- Do giveaways and contests. All users want to feel part of a community, so if you can engage them, they’ll visit your site more frequently – and be more likely to become a customer and refer you to friends. Even if they’re small, contests and giveaways related to your business can help users remain interested in your site.
- Ask for testimonials. If you’re making your customers happy, you should have no problem finding individuals to star in video testimonials or to ask for referrals. This can be one of the most effective marketing strategies, since human beings naturally want to use a business or service if they see their friends excited about it.
If you’re a small, local business with a tight advertising budget, don’t be intimidated by companies paying a fortune for online marketing. The web provides endless ways to promote your business successfully and inexpensively.
Keep yourself informed with the online marketing industry, since it’s always changing. If you remain knowledgeable, you can use the Internet to create viral content, communicate with blogs, websites and companies in your industry, and build long-lasting relationships with your customers.
These tactics don’t have to cost a fortune, and they’re worth a lot to the overall success of your business!