Let’s be realistic. Marketing is often expensive, especially these days with such a strong emphasis on digital marketing that it may seem like the only way to success is buying ads or paying for SEO services.
But for the solopreneur or small business with very limited, sometimes non-existent budget, they are not necessarily going to be the first port of call. The good news is that there are a number of marketing strategies that are cheaper or even free!
The following four cheap marketing strategies not only generate organic traffic and provide exposure to your business, but are all focused on your most important marketing factor: the people you target.
Networking is still one of the most effective marketing strategies that everyone has at their disposal, and there are many ways to implement it.
Networking is a way of thinking and an approach that puts emphasis on people instead of positions and businesses. By putting people first, you can determine who is most important to you to meet and what you can do for that person. You can then present your business to a wider audience in a less obvious but more effective way.
The best part of networking is that you can do it anywhere, anytime, with anyone.
Investigate your local area to discover networking events or business associations that hold meetings? Nowadays, there are still a mix of online and in-person events. Maybe ask any other business owners that you know, if they can recommend any networking events. Start using every opportunity that brings you in touch with new people.
I recommend Business Buzz. They hold various meetings around London, South East, and East Midlands, and the best thing about Business Buzz is that there are no monthly membership fees and no lock-outs.
Where can I find out about networking events
LinkedIn is a platform entirely dedicated to networking. As a rule, you should add approximately all the people you have shaken hands with or talked to, including customers, similar companies, and so on. By building a personal brand through LinkedIn, you can also promote the brand of your company.
To make networking even easier, it is possible to create a group page for your company or join a local business group and increase the exposure of your company through collaboration with existing members and the audience.
2. Build partnerships
Have you ever heard the proverb: “Hand washes hand”? This is exactly how partnerships work.
Let’s say you own a car dealership and have a car repair shop on your street. If you partner with that car repair shop, you can refer customers to them for maintenance and keep their business cards or flyers in your dealership. The car mechanics can, in turn, refer customers to your dealership when they need to buy, sell or replace a vehicle and can keep your business cards or flyers in his workshop. Clients may also receive a discount if they mention that they have been referred by one of the partners.
Building a partnership can present your company to the clients of another company and vice versa. This is especially beneficial for local businesses as it fosters a sense of community and support within the community. People are extremely receptive to recommendations from companies they already trust and with which they have had positive experiences, and this can also benefit you through partnerships.
It is also a cost-effective and marketing-smart approach that will help you further build your reputation.
3. Ask for reviews
The only thing people pay more attention to than what Google has to say about you are the reviews previous customers have written about you.
We all do it. Think about that product/service you found that looks amazing, but after searching for reviews and discovering bad reviews about that company (with a very low rating on Yelp or TrustPilot), you will, no doubt, think twice and maybe even warn friends about it solely based on those reviews.
And when it comes to business, what your clients have to say about you is the best indicator of possible future clients ’experiences with your company. By asking users who have had positive experiences to write a short review on Facebook or Yelp, you can begin to gather support and recognition. Additionally, if someone is willing to take the time to write a review, they will probably recommend your company to their friends and family members in the future. All this is possible at minimal cost and allows your customers to do marketing for you.
However, you have to ask! It’s the one thing business owners are notoriously bad at, asking someone to give them a review!
Carlos Fearn, a marketing consultant for Rankology, claims that “Consumers trust online reviews almost as much as they trust friends’ recommendations. In today’s online business community, it is crucial to encourage your customers to write reviews on major social networks and portals to express satisfaction with your business. ”
4. Keep a blog
Helping people before they really need anything from you is a marketing strategy that is very cost effective.
The easiest approach to this is to add a blog component to your company’s website, where you can offer helpful tips and insights on the areas your company covers.
This approach will only cost you time, and by writing a blog about topics you are already familiar with, you can create a friendly and credible reputation that is in the interest of the client. For example, if you’re a bakery, why not share a few simple recipes during the holidays or offer cooking tips for people with food allergies.
By providing true value to those customers who need the information you offer, you create a relationship that your company finds useful and relevant. People usually value help more than intrusion, and if someone has used tips or recipes from your bakery’s website, you’ll probably be the first to think of something sweet when you want a lunch break.
Of course, if the thought of writing something fills you with dread, why not get in touch with Kook Content and we’ll take the pain away and write you some amazing blogs.
Kook is a copywriting and content creation agency. They work with SME businesses and large start-ups creating copy and social content.