The Internet is a great place in terms that it provides small businesses with marketing opportunities that allow them to compete with large companies. However, marketing services online can still cost you a lot of money and this can be a huge burden on your budget.
Regardless, there a number of inexpensive marketing methods for small businesses that allow you to reach your goal, and some of these even come free. We conducted a survey on a number of small businesses with the aim to discover the top ten marketing tactics they employ.
1. Posting videos on the Internet
The most obvious marketing problem most small businesses face these days is getting found on the Internet, and one tactic is to post videos online. A low-cost video can really boost your sales, and it has been demonstrated time and again that a video can help position a website on the first page of a Google search in as little as 30 minutes after it is uploaded.
A video can also aid your business even after a visitor is already on your site. One study claims that if you have a video on your website, customers will be 170 per cent more likely to purchase a service or product from you.
2. Consider posting case studies on your site
Having case studies featuring successful and satisfied customers on you website is one inexpensive online marketing practice. You don’t have to have extensive case studies but these must contain information that people regard as useful. You should explain a particular customer problem and how you were able to solve it. Do not forget to quote the customer’s satisfaction.
3. Use a blog as a tool to communicate with customers and prospective clients
Some businesses use a blog to post news related to their company or clients. The blog posts usually list the awards customers have won and also YouTube promotional videos.
If you don’t have a blog, it has never been easier to start one. WordPress makes it simple to create one after signing up a free account with them. Having a blog is a great digital marketing strategy to position a business. A blog will allow you to extend your reach to clients and media by combining strong social media presence with high-quality content.
4. Use Google Maps/Local to list your company location
It is very important for your company to be listed on Google Maps/Local, and at the same time it is free. When it comes to marketing for small businesses, listing your company on Google Maps/Local is very important for a range of reasons. It helps direct your customers to your business premises in the area, and it also helps your business appear higher in the search rankings of Google.
Furthermore, for the reason that clients can review the company’s products and services and comment, such a tool helps evaluate how successful the efforts of a company are and helps better understand customers.
5. Use forums to acquire more clients
Some sites like Omgili.com, BoardTracker.com and BoardReader.com have forum search services that let you search for people expressing interest in your services and products and respond to their inquiries.
6. Share useful information to promote your business
One great and inexpensive method for promoting the products and services of a company today is to share information. If you have completed a new project recently, inform people about it. Write about it on a blog or use Twitter and Facebook to talk about it. If you have taken a new photo, show it to others. If you have discovered something interesting and new for your client, post it to inform them about it.
While this may sound fruitless and crazy, quite the opposite is true. It will inspire people to discover more about you and your company.
This tactic will allow you to secure more clients without spending money on advertising. In fact, it helps you forge a much long-lasting relationship with clients than cold calling.
7. Drive interest in your products through the use of content curation
Content curation is a favorite marketing strategy of many businesses. One of these is Funtober, an e-commerce company that specializes in selling Halloween costumes. They are often collecting information about every corn maze, Oktoberfest, fall festival, pumpkin patch, ghost tour and haunted douse in the U.S because people are always searching for this kind of news. Although it costs time and effort to put together this kind of information, it helps them attract thousands of people to the website in autumn.
8. Employ marketing services to list products and re-target lost sales
Some businesses use services provided by specialized marketing websites. One such example is Lexity.com, a site where you can choose an application allowing you to advertise your business according to your specific requirements. Lexity offers and manages online shopping cart applications that grant you the option to list your products and services on sites like Shop.com, TheFind, Facebook and on Google. You will be able to start your own adWords campaigns and place incentives on your website for people to subscribe to your newsletter, follow you or give you likes.
9. Be generous
Consider sending your customers small gifts to preserve their loyalty. When they are member of a program, customers often expect gifts or rewards. Surprises improve retention and instill loyalty.
Thinking that promotional items are only for tradeshows or conferences are a mistake. Small promotional items become a gift when given out at a meeting, in passing, at lunch or with a business card. These don’t have to be expensive and if the item is branded, the customers will remember you.
10. Get the attention of the media by using online services
At HelpaReporterOut.com you can sign for free and answer a number of questions asked by reporters from renowned publications. The service sends you emails with reporter questions a number of times per single day, which makes it easy for you to spot particular opportunities for free publicity.
Not all of the aforementioned marketing tactics will be applicable to every company. However, if you are able to combine several of these strategies and adapt them to your needs, you will be on the right track.