Marketing is the life blood of any business.
What happens though if it is a new business, or cash flow is tight?
Traditional advertising, such as newspaper, radio, and television ads can be expensive and may produce little or even no return on investment.
Advertising online can be a better option. It has the advantage of being able to track the effectiveness of each advertisement and therefore control very tightly the amount being spent.
There are some options for online advertising that don’t cost any money at all!
If you are looking to leverage some of these free online marketing methods that you may want to consider for your business:
Free Online Marketing Methods
Consider joining forces with another brand, business or person. A combined offering could be of huge value to customers and be a win-win for both.
This exposes your business to a wider audience, thereby expanding your potential reach, as well as adding to your own email list. You are then able to use this email list for all future marketing.
Try partnering for a single campaign and if that is successful then it can be expanded for mutual long-term benefit.
Solicit user-generated content
If you can acquire user-generated content, your website will grow without you having to create your own content. This type of content is very natural and tends to be in 'customer speak' so future customers can relate. Enable comments on your website and contribute to the discussions.
You could encourage guest posts from related experts to help generate more content that will be of value to your site visitors, and potential customers.
Affiliate programs are a great way for others to spread the word about your offerings in return for a commission, usually after a sale.
If the affiliate program is managed through your own domain then an added benefit is to increase your back link profile from niche relevant sites.
Be active on social media
If you create a niche relevant page or group you can grow an audience who are naturally interested in the niche.
Use free online tools
There are plenty of tools online that can help your business. These tools include free surveys, email services, post to multiple social media accounts and more. The tools don't have to be perfect, which is why the free tier may be enough for you - use the 80/20 rule!
Rather than going through the expensive route of creating new articles with every marketing campaign, try reusing parts of an ad that worked well. This will save you time and expense.
Re-purpose the content into different media to get the most out of the original creative. Turn an article into a video. Turn a video into a social post for example.
Build an email list
If people are visiting your website, chances are good that they are interested in what you have to offer. Make a form available for them to join your email list and be kept in the loop about future product releases or special offers.
Once they’ve signed up to this email list, you can send emails to these prospects with news and further information about your products. Let them know whenever something goes on sale.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to drive sales. Treat your list members like gold, because that’s what they are to you and your business.
Create some video content
Video content is incredibly important nowadays as the younger generation would rather watch a video than read a blog post. If you can create interesting videos, you’ll create interest in your brand.
It’s certainly possible market online without it costing too much. As always there is no quick easy fix and some of these methods might take some time and effort to implement. However, as part of an overall strategy you should see results.
For example, it can take a while to build an email list. However, once you have a list, making sales can be as easy as sending out an email to your list. Once you’ve built a social media following, making sales can be as easy as making a post on your social media accounts.
For more immediate results, like a special promotion, you may want to consider paying for ads online. The downside to paying for ads is that these results stop as soon as you stop paying.
With longer term assets that require more effort the results can be more productive over the long term.