A business cannot succeed without customers. That simple fact is the reason marketing is paramount for daily operations. You have to make your brand known to potential customers before they can even visit your website or walk through your door. There is one big problem: A new business may not have funding for a professional marketing strategy.
Luckily, there are ways to market even if you don't have a million-dollar budget. Marketing on a shoestring budget takes some work but it is doable. Better still, your marketing efforts can be wildly rewarding if you use one or more of the following six tips.
1. Make content marketing a priority
Content marketing shows your customers that you offer value even when they aren't buying a product. You give potential clients a reason to continue visiting your website and/or social media pages when your content is interesting or educational.
The beauty of content marketing, from a business standpoint, is that you do not have to invest a lot of money into the program. You will need a content provider and a location to showcase that content, both of which are low-dollar investments.
The right content marketing provider can help you pinpoint the type of content you need. They can then provide it for you with a short turnaround and almost instant results.
2. Display expertise through blogs
There are plenty of sites that already exist where you can show would-be customers that you have the knowledge they need. Sites like Quora and Yahoo! Answers may have multiple questions that you could sift through to provide insider tips. Unfortunately, that may take a lot of time and have a reach that is smaller and not worth the effort.
Another option is to provide guest commentary on high-traffic blogs. Reach out to the site owners to let them know you are willing to provide content in exchange for plugging your product. This is an excellent value to you and the blog owner who may have a need for blog posts with new, dynamic content.
A third option is to start your own blog. Ideally, you will be able to do all three to ensure your message reaches as far as the internet will allow.
3. Craft a strong social media presence
Social media is a great place for marketing that is low cost with high reward. There are numerous social media platforms at your disposal. Each has its own unique audience, which only serves to widen your potential customer base.
Digital marketing often starts with reaching customers through these social media portals. Create fun, engaging content. Interact with customers. Invite them to ask questions. Host contests. Use the social media sites for marketing your business, product, or service. At the same time, build relationships with customers, which will keep them coming back time and again.
Make sure you continually reassess your social media presence. New trends are happening all the time. It is important to keep up with the changing landscape of social media rather than to rely only on what has worked in the past.
4. Return to email marketing
Email marketing is still a very powerful tool that has low overhead and big returns. You can purchase an email list or build one by crafting expert content and asking for potential customers to opt-in. Once an email address is provided, you then have an avenue to regularly reach customers with product information and new deals.
You can put together lists and content yourself, but you will get more for your money if you choose to use an outside marketing firm or consultancy. They have methods of compiling email lists and creating dynamic content that is already tried and true.
Email marketing must be unique and interesting in order to keep users engaged. Offer something new with each email to lower the number of unopened emails sent.
5. Optimize your content for search engines
Small business owners particularly benefit from online marketing. Site engine optimization, also known as SEO, involves creating content that is recognized by search engines. It is as old as the internet, but it is just important today as it was more than 20 years ago. Using the appropriate keywords in your content will guide users to your website, blog, or social media page.
The most difficult part of SEO is knowing which keywords to use and then tracking those keywords to learn which are leading traffic to your website. There are tools that will help you study the keywords, including where your site is ranked in specific searches and which links are most likely to drive unique users to your site.
SEO content must be naturally woven into the site. You cannot simply make a list of words and expect to reach the top spot on search results. This is why an expert at content creation and SEO should be used to help you with this endeavor.
6. Tame your to-do list
It may not seem like a marketing tactic, but taming your to-do list is one of the most important steps you can take in crafting a successful marketing strategy. Don't allow yourself to become so overwhelmed with all that has to be done that you cannot carry out any of your important tasks with effectiveness and expertise.
Arguably, the best way to pare back your duties is to hire employees or an outside firm who can take care of these things for you. A marketing firm can analyze cost options and come up with marketing strategies while allowing you to function as a business owner rather than a marketing executive or social media marketer. This allows you to save time, money, and headaches.
E-marketing associates will help your small business make the most out of its marketing budget. Contact our business website developers to learn how marketing on a shoestring budget can still give you the professional results you need for success.