Free Marketing: Six Ways to Take the Pressure Off Your Marketing Budget
I believe that there is no such thing as cheap marketing or expensive marketing. There is only marketing that works and marketing that doesn’t work, and any investment in even a low-cost strategy that doesn’t yield results is a rather expensive mistake.
But for some marketers, particularly when a new venture is being formed, marketing budgets are limited to investments in time rather than cash. The good news is, if you have time on your hands, you can actually do a hell of a lot.
Here are six ways you can market your business for free:
A blog should be considered the beating heart of any content-led marketing strategy. Content management systems (CMS) like WordPress or even Blogger enable you to share engaging, informative and actionable content with your target audience. Remember, every blog post should have an objective and a clear call to action. It’s also good practice to include an email subscription form on every page of your blog (and wider website). If you cannot convert a visitor to a paying customer on their first visit, an email subscription will give you multiple opportunities to attempt to sell to them again in the future, as well as help drive extra traffic back to your blog.
YouTube represents an amazing opportunity to reach your target audience and build your own personal brand. Advances in mobile technology mean you have in your pocket the resources to shoot high-quality video (your smartphone), and most computers come pre-loaded with free video editing software. Let’s face facts: The only thing that is stopping you from launching your own YouTube channel is fear (the same kind of fear that stops you from speaking in public). The only way to combat this fear is to start doing it. Yes, you’ll make mistakes with your first few efforts — but by the time people start landing on your videos, you’ll be a pro.
Note: One of my clients recently told me he has generated more than $100,000 in eCommerce revenues in less than a year from a daily YouTube show he spends approximately an hour per day making.
If the thought of standing in front of a camera is too much for you, podcasting is the next best option. The great thing about podcasts is that people engage with them when they cannot read or watch anything else. Podcasts are consumed in the car, on public transport, while exercising at the gym or while working on something else. Check out this post to discover how I fell in love with podcasting.
Take the time to build your audience by sharing great content (via your blog, vlog or podcasts) and remember that the very best social media marketers take the time to listen and engage in conversations rather than just broadcasting. If you don’t have the money to boost your “traditional” text and image posts on Facebook, consider producing a live video via Facebook Live. As Facebook attempts to expand into live broadcasting, it is actively helping marketers build their audiences via live video. This won’t last forever — so jump on board now and get the free boost your business needs.
Nothing beats a little real-world networking to oil the wheels of commerce — so get out there and speak to people. Websites like Meetup.com provide a great opportunity to network with like-minded professionals based on interest or geography. Remember, when networking, the basic rules of marketing segmentation apply. It’s better to be in a room with 10 engaged prospects than to trawl around for leads in an unfocused setting.
Tough love time. Pick up the phone and speak to people. Don’t think of it as cold calling. If you’ve been proactive in your blogging, vlogging, social media and networking strategies, your call will be received with warmth. People buy from people they like and trust — so take the time to build real relationships. Once a relationship has been formed, technology solutions like email marketing, marketing automation and social media will help with some of the heavy lifting.
What’s your best advice for a business with no marketing budget? Share your comments below:
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.