The expense of print advertising, online and digital ad space and marketing literature can put a hefty dent in your budgets. Particularly when it comes to small businesses, every penny counts so we’ve identified some ways you create some wiggle room in your marketing budget.
Here is our top 10 list of the free (or virtually free) modes of advertising that you should be taking advantage of for your business because they are, quite literally, priceless.
- Networking events galore
Not so long back we outlined all of the wonderful and lucrative benefits of networking events for the freelance worker but they are equally as effective for all businesses, from small enterprises to big corporate firms. Word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing for, as the saying goes, you’re only as good as your last customer. Attending and holding regular networking events is a great way to circulate word of mouth about your business, positively influence what’s being said and make new connections. Don’t forget your business cards – you never know who you might meet while you’re there!
- Earn your sponsor stripes
Events are the perfect way of getting large numbers of people in one space so why miss out on exposing your brand to so many pairs of eager eyeballs? Sponsoring events doesn’t have to cost you a penny but can go a long way to building relationships with other businesses and getting your name out there for plenty to see. When you become an event sponsor, the event organiser will usually share your logo on their websites and social media as well as displaying physical branding such as banners and flyers at the event venue.
- Get blogging
A brilliant blog is one of the most important parts of a successful content marketing plan so it’s time to get blogging, buddy! Print news sources are taking a serious backseat in favour of online news platforms these days so make your website becomes somewhere your audience repeatedly return to, to get their industry update fix. An active, informative blog bursting with original content is something that the gurus at Google just love and it’s a sure way to help you climb the all-important search ranks.
- Get guest blogging too
As well as maintaining your own blog, it’s always worthwhile guesting blogging on somebody else’s. In case you’re unsure, guest blogging means writing a post via your own business, which then gets posted on another company’s blog. Aiming to get yourself published on a blog site with more traffic than your own is a good way to expand your audience reach and exposure your brand to a whole new pool of potential customers. Make it a mutually beneficial process by returning the favour and opening your arms to guest bloggers too.
- Reach out to other bloggers
Still on the hot topic of blogging is blogger outreach. This means reaching out to bloggers who have a prolific status in your specific industry. The impact of bloggers and vloggers (video bloggers) is still on the rise, with some of the most successful racking up millions upon millions of dedicated followers. Contacting these bloggers and sending them samples of your product for them to review is a great way to get your brand noticed by large volumes of potential customers. Select your bloggers carefully to ensure your marketing tactics remain focused and on brand.
- Take to social media
If you haven’t got a Twitter and Facebook account (at least) set up for your business already then we insist that you bookmark this page, drop everything you’re doing and get it done immediately. Having a strong online presence is absolutely paramount for business success in this technological day and age and we can guarantee that someone somewhere is talking about you via their social channels.
Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+ are all completely free to use but are invaluable when it comes to customer engagement and brand growth. We have put together a useful guide to social media for small business, which you can find right here. Twitter and Facebook are great for communicating with your customers directly and sharing updates while LinkedIn and Google+ are perfect for nurturing your B2B bonds.
- Embrace competition time
There is nothing more that bloggers and social media followers love more than a good giveaway so hosting the odd competition is something that you should consider to increase your brand visibility. Identify a prize product that your audience would be excited by, announce the giveaway on your blog and social channels then ask them to share the post and follow you to be in with a chance of winning it.
Competitions create a buzz around your brand and give something back to your followers while enticing new ones but remember, the prize needs to be something worth having or they won’t engage.
- Get a press release in the post
Although press releases may seem a bit like a dying art in this digital age, pitching your story to a local or regional new platform or radio show could be just what it takes to give your brand a good boost. There are plenty of useful guides and detailed templates that you can find online to help you compose an engaging press release that could buy you some valuable time in the mainstream spotlight.
- Capitalise on your email signature
You probably tap out hundreds of emails every single day that get sent across to hundreds of different recipients, right? Well why not capitalise on that handy little space below your sign off then? Rather than leaving this areas dry and blank, fill it with clear and concise information about your product as well as links to your blog and social media channels. Be careful not to overkill it though. When it comes to a marketing tactic like this, less is definitely more so keep it short and sweet.
- Join the YouTube generation
As we mentioned earlier, the world of vlogging is a pretty big deal at the moment and it is a bandwagon that you should definitely be jumping on whatever sector you’re from. Webinars and how-to videos are the new seminars and attract a great deal of digital attention and social sharing. Offering your audience free advice won’t detract from your services but rather keep them engaged with your brand. Starting up your YouTube channel also opens up opportunities to collaborate with other businesses and in turn, potentially double your demographic.
So now we’ve opened your eyes to the wonderful world of free advertising and your marketing budget is breathing a sigh of relief, you’re all set. You can thank us later by sharing this article on your Twitter page and tagging us @Pandlecloud because that’s how this thing called business works, right?