As a small business you want to save as much money as possible in any area of your business. Marketing is one of those areas that can easily get out of control, due to most activities costing somewhat close to an arm and a leg!
But fear not small business owners, there are free marketing tools you can utilise that’ll save you a heap of time and money. Let’s take a look…
If you haven’t heard about Facebook, you’ve been living under a rock since 2004. Facebook, even with all its new changes, is free and opens your business up to over 800 million users. You should create yourself a business page on Facebook and encourage your customers to ‘like’ you. How do you encourage them to ‘like’ you? Easily! Just by telling them you’re there.
If you have a retail storefront, you can post signs to tell your customers to ‘like’ you, or you can add a ‘like’ button into any newsletters or emails you send out. Competitions are also a great way to attract new ‘likers’ to your page.
Facebook is great if you can network with other businesses as well. For example, by searching and interacting with other related pages and businesses, you can attract more fans by being seen by a wider audience. You can also make great Facebook Business connections this way!
Pinterest is a brand new social media site, but it’s definitely worth getting onto. It’s growing faster than Facebook, and that’s saying something! Pinterest is basically a photo board that you ‘pin’ images too; people can then follow your board or comment on your photos.
Pinterest is great if you have products you want to sell; you simply ‘pin’ them to your board for people to view, but ensure you include the price because people can buy via Pinterest too.
Pinterest is also gaining popularity due to the great backlinks it provides websites. Backlinks are links back to your website, and they help improve your ranking in search engines thus improve traffic!
Pinterest is free and is the new trendy social media tool to be using. It’s so simple to use, so if you sell products online, get on it pronto.
LinkedIn is the professional network, unlike Facebook being a social network. LinkedIn is where other professionals come to meet, chat, and exchange information with other related professionals. It’s also perfect if you sell within the B2B market.
It’s a free tool, unless you choose to upgrade your account, which starts around $20 per month. However, in my opinion, the basic free account is all you’ll need.
Within LinkedIn you can get involved in related groups and start posting your blogs and links or drum up conversation around a similar topic to your business. This enhances your profile, as well as your businesses profile, amongst other professionals.
LinkedIn is easy to setup and maintain, so I suggest if you’re not on it you should go setup your account right now. And if you are on it, then you should try utilising its abilities a little more to your advantage.
Use YouTube to publish videos related to your products/services and embed these into your website. Video is 50 times more effective than text on your website so it’s a very powerful tool in your arsenal.
You can also link it to your social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook and generate interest/leads that way as well.
If you’re confident enough then use yourself in the video as this can create a sense of empathy with the viewers and create a connection before they even meet you. YouTube is a free tool for you to use and very good for generating traffic.
Online Directories are websites such as Yellow Pages, Hot Frog and True Local. These are great to go through and list your business in; it generates traffic back to your website and can help boost your ranking in Google.
Online Directories are becoming less popular but don’t let this bother you; people still use them, and the more times your website link is seen on the net, the better your Google rank is! Also… listings are FREE!
Google Places is a great site you should list your business on also; this is a big one for you to get instant ranks, an it’s free also!
Keywords are the words that your customers are using to find products and services like yours on search engines like Google. If you can rewrite your website copy, or even your home page, to include these keywords, then you have the potential to improve your rank in the search engines.
Without keywords, search engines like Google won’t recognise your website and therefore won’t rank your website when people search. Implementing keywords on your website is free and the Google Keyword Tool can help you find what keywords are right for you.
What you have to do is:
- Go to Google and search ‘Google Keyword Tool’
- Enter in your website URL which it will then bring up some possible keywords related to your website.
- Export these to Excel and start giving them a score as to how suitable they are based on volume and competitiveness.
- Narrow it down to your top 10-20 keywords then assign one to each page of your website and start optimising your pages so you have a higher chance of getting found.
See our SEO for Beginners Guide for tips on how to plug these keywords into your site correctly. If it all seems too hard for you and you do have a marketing budget, you can outsource your SEO work to a credible SEO company – it can be very worth the while.
What’s blogging you ask? Blogging is basically writing in an impersonal manner (like this) about certain topics or events that have influence on you or your customers.
The purpose of a blog is to keep your audience attentive to your website, as well as to keep your website content fresh and if done right, will position you as an expert in your field giving you a great competitive edge over your rivals.
Blogging is a great way to increase traffic to your site. Using your blog, you can setup numerous lead generation sources and utilise them all at once without spending a fortune on paid traffic. If you do have a blog, just remember that you must be disciplined in making sure you have at least one new blog a week.
Blogging is a free resource, and is a great feature to add to your website.
I’ve just introduced/re-introduced you to seven marketing activities that will cost you nothing to implement. None of the above activities have to take much time either and are all easy to implement so you now have no reason not to market your small business.
Got any other great and cheap marketing ideas for your small business? Tell us below in the Comments section. We’d love to hear what you think.