At some point in your company’s lifetime, you might have thought (at least once) that marketing efforts are costing you a lot and you can not afford it. And you might be right, but failing at marketing will cost you a lot more than the initial budget. To optimize those costs to the maximum, we have put together a list of low-cost and effective ways to promote your business and pull the missing sales or leads.
1. Get out there and get the word out about yourself and your business
First and foremost, promote your business with every chance you get, no matter if you are sending a simple email or if you meet someone from your industry. Your message can get to the right person without even you knowing it. Make sure you use a concise logo, business claim, and social properties in your email, on your business cards or brochures. You might wonder if it’s better to present yourself as a regular person or as a founder of company X, well, I think you have your answer. Don’t think immediate benefit, think building trusty relations with people that will remember you and recommend you in the future. Attend events, host free seminars, get the word out about your business. Word-of-mouth still works, always be prepared!
2. Get involved in the local market
Are you targeting people from a specific location? (city, country) then you should also focus on local. Don’t be afraid to go a bit offline, especially if you have a service pertinent to people in a certain area. You can sponsor a local event, get your business listed in the newspaper or yellow pages, even spread leaflets in an area frequented by your target audience. This way you will raise awareness about your brand, and even if you don’t get immediate sales, you might generate some warm leads.
3. Find partners that can leverage your business
Partner up with influential people – that can amplify your message. It is good and advised to have friends in online. One category is represented by business partners, which can push your products because they trust you, and another can be your satisfied customers, which can become the greatest brand advocates you’ll ever have. If you want more exposure right off the start, make sure to involve bloggers or well-known internet personalities that have large groups of followers – they can relay your message straight to the heart of their fans, forming an early relationship with you.
4. Be present online and open conversations
Be online everywhere you can (without spamming of course). Yes, the website is not enough, and it will not get found on itself. You need to be present in any corner of the web where people are discussing topics related to your business. From comments on a blog, to fruitful interactions on a forum or Q&A websites, there are possibilities to take advantage of. Set up a monitoring tool that will let you know each time someone mentions your brand or product, or even a keyword from the industry. You can easily track and initiate conversations that might end with you as a winner. And don’t forget: list your business in every relevant directory.
5. Collect email addresses and send out newsletter
Email marketing – the second biggest revenue channel for some is still not taken into consideration seriously by a lot of marketers. How can you reach your customer if you don’t have his telephone number? Through email! This should be your first though! The strategy needs to be customized for every segment based on their preferences, but overall, have in mind that sending emails to people (sales or informative) can strengthen a relationship, can lead to increased revenue and higher retention rate. Set up campaigns to gather as much email addresses as you can, of people truly interested in your product, send them personalized messages or discounts, form a relationship with each and every one and this will last forever!
6. Architect a low cost per click – high conversion rate PPC campaign
PPC – Pay-per-click – It’s one of the most common form of advertising. A lot of companies do it because it gets them fast results. You might have heard that ppc ads are expensive and the fact is that it might be true, but not necessarily. Don’t be too quick to rule them out, because if you create your campaigns with prior research, targeting small groups of people interested in your business, service or product, you will achieve great results with less the money that you would expect.
7. Not familiar with Affiliate marketing? You are missing out
Not suitable for any type of business, however, Affiliate marketing has the potential of sending a lot of targeted traffic your way. The principle is simple: other websites will refer your products to their visitors and they will help you make sales in exchange of a small fee, usually a percentage of the sale. Once you have a good referring program and you motivate people enough so they will want to help you, you can actually make money sleeping. It is a good marketing model , and you end up targeting people that would otherwise be hard to do.
Do you know or use other low-cost high impact methods to advertise and promote your business? Let us know which one works best for your industry.
We’ll go first. For us, the best and cost effective way of getting new leads in is … Email Marketing.
Originally posted on the Start Teck Blog