After crossing the hurdle of a business plan, financing, and setting out for a launch, one major challenge that entrepreneurs battle with in the first year (or more) of their business is how to effectively market their products and services to the world.
The business owner must have a good strategy and every necessary structure and material needed. And even with all of these, there is no guarantee that the business won’t struggle for some time after launch.
And of course, a lot of effort is required to nurture a small business. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered as you are going to find low-cost but effective marketing ideas to create awareness about your new business and to get new and returning customers.
The ideas you will expose to in this post include:
- Free Online marketing ideas
- Free offline marketing ideas
Free Online marketing ideas for business promotion
By online marketing ideas, we mean the promotional ideas you can make that require internet access. In today’s business world, it is the most effective because it goes beyond borders irrespective of location.
If you have been searching for inexpensive but effective means to jumpstart your marketing strategy as a business owner, these methods will be helpful in getting your message out to your potential clients.
Have a Business Blog
Research published in April 2022 reveals that only 19% of shoppers don’t research a business online before making a purchase. This is a great piece of news for businesses that are online, they are most likely going to benefit from the 81% of potential buyers that search a business online before shopping.
The Zippia report also reveals that 71% of entrepreneurs have their own business websites. It concludes that more than 80% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses.
One important point to bring out of the research is the relevance of having a blog for your business. Many businesses found success with blogs. One of the best things you can do is to have a blog that is dedicated to the business and must be operated with expertise.
Having a business blog for your products and services comes with a lot of benefits, they include:
- A website makes you look professional as it enables you to showcase your products and services
- It gives you unlimited access to get new customers through Google, Bing, Yandex and other search engines on the web.
- On your website, you can utilize the contact us page to get feedback from new and returning customers.
The cost of maintaining a blog depends on the standard of business and tools you want to integrate into your business website. Through this low-budget marketing strategy, you can turn your readers into paying clients.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is an ethical way of writing good content that search engines would be glad to show to searchers online.
A business owner that has a website must be familiar with SEO. If you can’t be found by prospective customers online, you may reap the benefits of your presence online. In implementing this method, avoid keyword stuffing so that you don’t penalize by the Big G.
If you can come up with creating creative content to post on your social media handles, you will be amazed at the extent of the results you will record without having to spend too much money resources on ads.
Certain small businesses are adopting this clever pathway, and you can silently observe what they are doing so you can replicate too.
Direct Mail Marketing
You can bring new customers to your business by sending newsletters to their mailboxes. It is still cheaper than several other traditional marketing methods.
Nevertheless, you should be very strategic with this for effectiveness. It is advisable that you should always offer a promotion or a discount in the mail aside from the introduction of your business. The goal is to convince potential customer as soon as they come in contact with your offer.
Additionally, to get better results with direct mail marketing, make sure you have a clear call to action and don’t make things difficult for the recipient.
Organise Social Media Contests
One of the easy ways to bring attention to your social media business handle is to organize a contest (this is now so easy on various social media platforms). A lot of people still crave free prizes, and they will usually participate if the prize is of interest to them.
So, you can simply announce a contest that revolves around liking and commenting (and sharing) your posts, where the most consistent people will get a particular prize.
Think about prizes that will still add a lot to your business directly or indirectly. For instance, you can decide on branded items with your name and logo on them (such as pens, shirts, and so on). As you do this, think about the most affordable gift that will not culminate into a financial burden on your budget because the goal is to avoid debt in your business.
Establish Rapport with Influencers
There are various good reasons you should give great priority to utilizing the services of social media influencers when it comes to promoting your business in this digital age. The average social media influencer has a lot of followers who trust their judgments.
Therefore, when a social media influencer promotes your product or service on their online space, it gets to many people, and some will be willing to try you out solely because someone they greatly admired (the influencer) is talking about your business.
Hence, it is always advisable to only opt for influencers with a formidable reputation (you don’t want your brand to be associated with nasty things). Also, be sure that their followers match your potential new clients.
Share Content and Products on Twitter
The global microblogging platform Twitter has 206 million daily users, according to a comprehensive Twitter stat compiled by Brian Dean of Backlinko.
The report also revealed that Twitter is most popular among users aged 25 to 34. If your product isn’t for senior citizens and pensioners, sharing your products and content on the microblogging platform would worth the effort.
One of the great ways to get results from marketing your business on Twitter is by using the top-of-the-trend Hashtag with Tweets. As of 2017, around 125 million hashtags are shared on Twitter, according to social pilot.
You can tap into this power of Twitter hashtags to reach thousands of people who might be interested in your products and services. Using this method cost you $0, it only requires a little effort.
Have a Presence on Google Business
Google has a lot of resources for small businesses to skyrocket their marketing strategy geared towards business growth. One of such is by listing or creating a profile for your business on Google Business Profile.
This allows your business to show up in Google Maps result whenever a potential buyer search online, as is usually the behavior of buyers.
Make it easy for buyers to find and contact you when you list your business on Google Business Profile. It is the cheapest marketing idea an entrepreneur can use to reach thousands of customers around them.
Listing your Business Directories
Some of the inexpensive platforms that have business listing features are LinkedIn (LinkedIn Company Directory), HubSpot (HubSpot’s Solutions Directory), Apple Maps, MapQuest, and Yelp are some of the ways to kickstart
Though you are most likely going to get the best result from using the premium service, it’s worth trying to list your business on Yelp for free and other platforms.
One of the ways to promote your business for free is by utilizing the potential of Facebook Group. One effective strategy to start with FB Group is by making the group public and solving problems your members might be facing. Through this, you can turn them into buying customers when you share your product or services you render with them.
Caution: Make sure you don’t violate Facebook’s T&C
Contribute on LinkedIn Group
LinkedIn is more than a place to connect with recruiters. Over time, it has become a platform where users share ideas and make contributions to life-changing discussions that revolve around business and investment.
No wonder users create groups and allow users with like-minds to join to share their ideas. When you constantly contribute to discussions on the LinkedIn Group, you are most likely going to become an authority.
If you make this a habit, other members and participants might check your profile and find out more about your business if your LinkedIn profile details what you do.
Best practices: Don’t always promote your business or product or website links. If you make a valuable contribution, they will check you out.
Create Engaging Video Content on Tiktok
The short-form video sharing platform TikTok has millions of Daily Active Users (DAUs) and overwhelming Monthly Active Users (MAUs), you can tap into this to freely promote your business.
According to DemandSage, there are more than 30 million active monthly users on TikTok with not less than 15.4 million DAUs.
Creating engaging video content is an inexpensive marketing strategy to get your products and services in front of millions of daily users on the platform.
Content Sharing on Social Media
Sharing your content on your social media platforms is an effective marketing strategy that shouldn’t be underrated. You may not begin to see the result immediately, but it creates awareness and cost you nothing.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and forums like Quora, Reddit Craigslist Discussion Forum, IGN Boards, Stack Overflow, and Something Awful are some of the platforms you can use to freely promote your business.
Caution: Don’t only share content on social media and forums when you want to promote your business. Make a habit to share a useful article that will impact the everyday life of your followers.
Offline marketing strategies for business
By offline marketing ideas, we mean the efforts put in place by business owners to harness the potential in their local community. That is one on one meetings with neighbours, friends, and town hall meeting attendees.
If you are going to implement this, you will have an edge over several others. This is because, many new businesses simply opt for core digital marketing due to its ease, and ignore other effective traditional marketing methods like the usage of local media.
For instance, press releases have been neglected by some new business owners, as they feel it is obsolete and ineffective. The average media outlet is still using press releases for content ideas.
They can give you free publicity in your community if your press release is good. Therefore, be ready to explore other ways when crafting your press release and ensure it stands out from the crowd.
Attending trade shows and industry conferences is a smart way to market your small business. These events bring together business minds from all industries who want to find new marketing strategies to grow their business.
It’s also a way to network with like-minded people and develop new B2B contacts. In addition, these events have exclusive seminars designed to sharpen your skills in sales, social media, advertising and other contemporary ways of promoting your small business.
For a big spender, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, and Yelp Ads are some of the marketing strategies they explore. Still, for a starter who doesn’t have the budget for advertisement, the aforementioned low-cost marketing strategies will be useful for them.
The free market ideas discussed in this article require consistency, the timing of post,s especially on social media and your ability to bring your creativeness into the headline of content you share with your audience. Make sure you don’t make an empty promise.