Marketing is essential for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses. Even though you know you need to carry out some form of marketing, you may be concerned about the costs involved. Fortunately, there are many highly effective marketing techniques that can be done on a budget, and here are a few ideas to get started.
Focus on Creating Quality Content
The number one activity you should be doing whether you have a low budget or not is creating high-quality content. Content is essential for providing value, growing your reputation, building trust, and for search engine optimization purposes.
You can create content yourself for no cost at all. Then when your marketing budget goes up, you could hire out your content creation. Start by finding out what your competitors are creating, then go one better than them. Launch a blog and make publishing content a regular activity.
Go Beyond Text
Content is more than written blogs. Try out other forms of content like videos, for example. These could focus on interviews, answering questions, or creating product demonstrations. Post them to YouTube, then embed them on your website. People use YouTube as a search engine, so they may find your videos here, which could increase your traffic. And the great thing is you don’t need much more than a good smartphone to get started.
You could also create presentations and post them to SlideShare. Infographics can also be the perfect way to present information, especially if you have done some research and you want to make the results more interesting. These are easy to read and easy to share, so they can help to generate more traffic to your website.
Form a Presence on Social Media
Every business should have a presence on social media if it wants to take its marketing seriously. It’s free to sign up, so find out which platforms you should start with. Facebook and Twitter are the biggest, but there may be others where your target audience hang out more, including Pinterest, Google+, StumbleUpon, and many more.
Get involved in the conversation by answering questions, using it as customer service, and sharing your content across your networks. Encourage your followers to share your content further, and also share useful third-party content that you come across. Get involved and slowly build your community over time.
Build Your Email List
Email marketing remains one of the most cost-effective and successful marketing techniques available—but only if you do it properly. Emails are a great way to develop relationships and trust through providing value. The only cost involved is the platform you use to send out your emails, and all the rest you can do yourself if you have the time available. To get the most from your emails:
- always focus on providing real value.
- use a personal tone and speak to your subscribers one-on-one.
- don’t bombard them with sales pitches, but instead drop in offers from time to time.
- provide something free and of real value to encourage people to sign up.
- always make sure people sign up to your email list.
- encourage subscribers to add you to their safe list so your emails don’t end up in the junk mail folder.
Start Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is another completely free activity that you can do on your own. It involves creating content in the same way you would do for your own blog, but this time for another blog or website rather than your own. You provide the content for free, and when it is published you will get your name and a link to your site at the end.
Target the most popular blogs that your audience read, and think of it like an advertisement where you get to demonstrate your knowledge and skills. It is a great way to grow your reputation, and it can be particularly useful when you are just starting out and you want to get your name out there.
Get Your Budget Marketing Campaign Off the Ground
These days there is no reason to spend a fortune on marketing if you do not have the budget. You can easily start to market with very little money, and often the only expense is time. Even if you hire a firm to assist you with your marketing, you may not have to spend a large amount of money on this. So focus on some of the above techniques and enjoy the benefits they bring without having to spend much.