A lot of companies that are just starting out tend to face the same problem; they don’t have a lot of money. After covering overhead costs, it’s easy for the marketing budget to get pushed to the backburner, but it doesn’t have to.
If you’re looking to market your small business, but you don’t have enough resources to launch a full-fledged campaign, don’t worry. We’ve put together a guide to help you acquire clients without having to shell out a dime.
1. Newsletters and Contests
Email marketing is at the top of the list in terms of free marketing. While you may think it’s outdated, newsletters are the bread and butter of any small business communications strategy.
There are many tools online that can help you build a strong email marketing campaign. That said, you have to start out by collecting the email addresses of your current customers. You can also reach out to anyone who visits your website by including a lightbox encouraging them to signup.
Another way to reach a broader audience is to launch a contest. You can do this on social media and offer a wide range of products and services as a giveaway. Either decide to use a free random name picker to choose the winner or an award based on likes or shares.
You could also use this contest to encourage current followers to tag their friends. This will help to get people actively engaged with your brand.
2. Referrals and User-Generated Content
If it doesn’t make sense for your company to have a contest, then it might be a good idea to consider a value-added offering. When customers refer a new client to your business, they can receive some sort of discount or promotion.
One of the most notable referral programs is from Dropbox. They offer expanded storage in return for referrals. Since starting its campaign, the company has grown immensely.
A lot of apps prefer this form of marketing, and it can be a great way to bring more visibility to any company. Think about what your company can offer your customers in return for sharing content.
Another great way to extend your reach is to encourage current followers to create user-generated content. This cost-free marketing strategy is a straightforward way to curate your social media pages.
Create a few posts calling for your current customer base to share images online. They should add a product-specific hashtag to their photographs and videos. With their permission, you can share them on your company’s social media accounts.
Video marketing is not only cost-friendly, but it’s a sure-fire way to engage your audience. According to Forbes, over 83% of marketers believe that videos are essential. The article states that among millennials, over 70% of users engage with brands after viewing video posted on social media.
You don’t have to spend any money to produce quality video content. Start with short videos that are five minutes or less, and use simple editing software like iMovie to piece them together. Once your marketing budget increases, you can focus on hiring a professional team.
As long as you have a website, you can have a blog. By having content that’s SEO-optimized, you can build your web presence for free. This will improve your placement in search rankings which will help potential clients find your business.
It can take a lot of effort to create a blog. Luckily, there are many tools to help you to produce content that is natural, relevant, and helpful for potential customers. Check Google Search Console and Answerthepublic.com when you’re conducting keyword research.
Marketing on a small budget is possible. To acquire more clients, you need to be strategic and creative. The internet is rich with tools to help you launch your campaign for little to no cost.
Wendy Dessler is writer and creative marketing expert on social media and content marketing.