I know I don’t have to tell you how expensive marketing your small business can be. I consistently have business owners asking me about the most inexpensive marketing tips for their small businesses. While there are ways you can market your business for cheap, there will still be some investment necessary. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. BUT, let’s look at some inexpensive marketing for small businesses.
The only investment video marketing requires is a cell phone and some time, both of which most people have. Video marketing can be anything from a video about your product or service, to a video introducing your company to the world. Your video should be short, sweet and to the point. Don’t drag on and on about a topic. Tell the folks what you want to tell them and be done. You don’t want a long boring video; people won’t watch long boring videos. Keep it upbeat and entertaining. Don’t stress over it, just have fun! Take a look at my videos for some inspiration — and subscribe to my channel while you’re over there.
Email marketing will require a bit of monetary investment and a lot of time. You will need to give your mailing list time to mature. Just placing an opt-in form on your website doesn’t mean people will automatically sign-up. You need to offer some sort of incentive. Whether that be a free downloadable or some member-only content, provide an incentive for your website visitors to join your mailing list. Once you have a mailing list of potential and current customers, it’s important that you keep in touch with them as often as once a week. Try not to contact them more than once a week, otherwise, it feels spammy. Provide quality content when you do contact them. This could be links to your website content, news about your business or coupons for products or services. Remember to stay engaging and light hearted. Avoid being salesy.
Visual Marketing (Pinterest, Instagram)
Visual marketing is another tactic that won’t cost you anything but time. Visual marketing is the art of using images to tell a story to your potential customers. The best platforms for this are Pinterest and Instagram. Both platforms allow you to use various modes to offer content to followers. You can post images of your products or pictures of yourself serving a customer. Your photos should be clear and quality. You want to show your business in the best light possible. Using hashtags can help your content get found quickly by potential customers. The key to visual marketing, besides beautiful imagery, is consistency. Setup an editorial calendar and get to posting on a regular basis.
It takes two to make a thing go right. Sometimes, you just need some assistance. Have you thought about partnering with another company to increase sales. It’s ok to reach out for help and it’s ok to give help to other business owners. Find a business that compliments your products or services and figure out a way to work together. This could be a gift basket with both of your products in there or a collaborative set of videos that encourage visitors to visit both YouTube channels. There are tons of ways you can work with other businesses to promote each other. Just get creative.
I think webinars are the best way to showcase your expertise. And you can run webinars easily and free on Facebook. Yes, Facebook. Using Facebook live, schedule a time and place where you will jump online and begin talking to the camera about what you know best, your industry. If you’re a baker, host a 15 – 30 minute webinar on how to properly cut and serve cake or offer some great party planning tips. Your webinar doesn’t need to be long, but watchers should leave knowing something they didn’t know before. It’s a learning opportunity. Play around with times. Sometimes, webinars are great to be held at lunch time, but your customers may prefer Wednesday evenings. It just depends on the audience. As, I said, play around with some times to find the best day/time combo for you.
Connect with Bloggers & Influencers
Bloggers and influencers are always looking for people to work with. Why not enter into a partnership where you offer product or some type of profit sharing in exchange for some publicity. This wouldn’t require any money out of your pocket immediately and you can begin to build clout in your industry or community using the social proof from the influencer or blogger.
Search Engine Optimization
This is a no brainer. If you have text on your website, you should be optimizing it for search engines. As I’m sure you already know, search engine optimization is the only way to get your website ranked in search results. Google could be a strong driver of traffic to your website, if your website was properly optimized for the Google search engine crawler. Pay close attention to the keywords you use. Be sure to be consistent when posting content and use your keywords throughout your content and headings.
Content can be recycled and created as other modes of content. You can easily turn a blog post into an infographic or even a video. When you take content and recycle it, you are saving time and energy taking one topic and developing multiple pieces of content from it. Content is king, that’s a given, and we’re all aware of the massive amount of content it takes to be successful on the Internet today. So why not make things easier for yourself and learn to recycle content.
Customer Referral Program
Lastly, create a customer referral program and have your current satisfied customers sell for you. Get your customers to bring their friends and family members to your website in exchange for something like free products or a discount on services. This is a great way for you to stay top of mind with your customers as well. While this list is by no means a complete list of inexpensive marketing for small businesses, it does offer some great beginner steps to get your started. If you are interested in having your website redesigned as the first step in your marketing process, come checkout my services. I’d love to help you with your web design project.