The most successful small companies know how to promote themselves.
Good items are the barrier to entry, but advertising is what will get you the cash. Unfortunately, most business owners disregard marketing their company. They believe it will be costly and time-consuming, leading to the belief that “if you build it, they will come.”
However, nothing could be farther from the truth.
A lot of the promotional advice you’ll discover suggests spending money on Facebook, Instagram, or Google advertisements. However, you can’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to advertising—diversification is essential to avoid declining returns over time.
You must lay the groundwork for your internet presence and concentrate on getting in front of the correct individuals as fast as possible.
This tutorial will show you how to market your business for free or at a cheap cost, with examples and tools to help you get started right away.
It takes more than merely posting photographs on social media or buying advertisements to promote a business. It’s a method for assisting you in achieving quantifiable company success. Here’s how you may market your business for free in order to increase traffic and sales:
- Blog posting as a guest
- Obtain product feedback.
- Make a gathering of experts
- Find affiliates to help you advertise your company.
- Include yourself in gift guides.
- Purchase an infographic.
- Obtain media attention
- Begin your email marketing campaign.
- Become seen in Google Search
Blog posting as a guest
For new websites, free traffic (as opposed to paid traffic from things like sponsored adverts) is generally difficult to come by. You can start blogging to increase traffic, but it will take time to see benefits. Guest writing allows you to get in front of someone else’s audience as you expand your own. Not only will this increase traffic to your site, but the links will also aid in search engine optimization.
Locate and connect with bloggers who have the audience you’re looking for. Offer to write a guest article that will be well-received by their readership. If the topic you’re writing about isn’t linked to your business, you won’t get any traffic.
Obtain product feedback.
Getting your product evaluated might help you spread the word and increase sales. Use a blogger outreach effort to get the ball rolling instead of waiting for someone to evaluate your goods.
Offer to deliver new items for free in exchange for an honest review to bloggers with relevant, interested readership. They’ll enjoy it and tell everyone if you have a superb product.
Make a gathering of experts
While blogging is an excellent strategy to increase traffic to your shop, it may be time consuming. This is especially true if you don’t feel very competent about the issue you’re writing about or if you’re not used to writing in general. One method to get around this is to get the help of other bloggers or experts.
Seek out specialists on a topic and ask them to contribute an idea to your blog article, such as a tip, recipe, or tale. Then, make a list of all of the answers you received. You’ll be offering valuable material from relevant specialists to your audience, and the contributors will want to share the post with their own audiences, extending your reach.
Find affiliates to help you advertise your company.
Consider launching an affiliate programme if you want to take product evaluations a step further and get even more people to advertise your product. Similar to referral schemes, affiliate marketing incentivizes others to bring attention to your firm by paying a commission on each transaction.
Take, for example, BarkBox. Many prominent dog accounts on Instagram, such as @henrysworldtoday, will feature a BarkBox affiliate code in their bio.
If you don’t have a well-known brand, finding your first affiliates might be difficult. To get the ball moving, use an outreach effort to discover and attract your first few affiliates. Look for affiliates that already write about your sector and have a large readership.
How to Set Up a Profitable Affiliate Program for Your Company
Include yourself in gift guides.
A gift guide is a list of suggested items or gift ideas, usually based around a festival (such as Christmas) or a specific individual (like your dad). If you’ve ever Googled for gift ideas, you’ve probably come across various gift recommendations, such as The New York Times’ Valentine’s Day gift guide.
Getting your product featured in the proper gift recommendations may help you boost sales and drive attention to your website. Inclusion in these recommendations, on the other hand, does not happen by accident and involves some work. Business owners and marketers frequently fight for their items to be listed. Make contact with gift guide publishers and request that your product be featured.
Purchase an infographic.
Investing in a professionally made infographic is one approach to increase traffic and maybe develop backlinks, both of which are beneficial to SEO (SEO). Quality infographics can cost a lot of money, depending on what you require and the skill level of the individual you employ, but they can be well worth it.
Do you need an infographic concept? Visually is a good place to look for ideas. After you’ve decided on an idea, investigate the subject and make a list of the elements you’ll address in the infographic. You may provide this outline to a professional designer as direction for what you want the infographic to cover (or use it as a guideline for yourself if you’re pursuing the DIY route, in which case Canva or Piktochart are helpful).
Assume you sell bicycles and related equipment. You might make an infographic highlighting the environmental advantages of riding. Some points or numbers you might include in the infographic include the amount of gasoline emissions saved by a daily commute, as well as a comparison of the overall number of automobile and bike owners.
That message is not only relevant to your target audience, but it is also captivating enough that numerous blogs and even news sites may wish to highlight it and link back to it.
Obtain media attention
Rather of employing a public relations firm, take charge of your own publicity. Put it out there if you have a wonderful narrative or an interesting product that others will want to write about. Make contact with bloggers and journalists who cover similar industries and let them know what you’re up to.
PR is costless and brings you in front of an audience you would not otherwise reach. Some of the males in my demographic are 45–50 years old, and neither they nor their spouses are on Instagram.
Begin your email marketing campaign.
As a small business, email marketing is an excellent approach to acquire and keep clients. On your social network accounts or ecommerce site, you might encourage potential consumers to join an email list. With an average return of £42 for every pound invested, email is one of the most cost-effective ways to sell a new firm.
You may offer them promotions, new releases, or information once they’ve opted in, which can help you create a connection and improve sales. Email is used by brands like Cat Caboodle to greet new customers:
What’s the best part? You may deliver the messages automatically using automated email marketing campaigns. It’s a tremendous help for small company owners who don’t have much time or money to devote to marketing.
This email marketing guide will give you with insights and ideas to help your business expand, whether you’re just getting started or planning your next major campaign.
Become seen in Google Search
When it comes to advertising your online business, SEO is one of the most effective methods for generating long-term traffic and sales. According to research, search engine results pages account for 35% of overall traffic and 33% of income for online enterprises.
The aim is to get to position one so that buyers can find your brand first when they type in a certain term. These customers are referred to as “high-intent,” which implies they are more likely to purchase your items than those who see an advertisement or find you on social media.
Small firms, on the other hand, frequently lack the time or finances to perform search engine optimization. The bright side? Simply following the basics will put you ahead of the competition. To get started, use the following introductory tips:
How to use social media to market your business
It’s no secret that using social media to sell your company is a good move. But what are the most effective marketing strategies? Take a look at the following list:
By now, you’ve probably heard about TikTok. According to the most recent TikTok data, the social media network has over 689 million monthly active users and has been downloaded over two billion times from the App Store and Google Play. TikTok for business is also the simplest approach to attract younger groups like as millennials and Generation Z.
Why should you get on board? Whether you have 10 or 10,000 followers, TikTok employs a patented discovery algorithm to help your videos become viral. It assists businesses in expanding their social media presence and achieving rapid development.
SendAFriend, for example, grew from nothing to $5 million in two years because to its TikTok marketing campaign.
TikTok is a fantastic tool for increasing brand recognition. A link-in-bio feature that drives users to a landing page, on the other hand, can help you increase purchases. It also includes free advertising options like as AR filters and lenses to help you market your brand online in a creative and engaging way.
Create your own YouTube channel.
Did you know that every day, YouTube viewers watch over one billion hours of video? However, just 9% of companies utilise YouTube to advertise themselves. YouTube is a great marketing opportunity for you to take advantage of as it continues to develop and get more viewers.
A YouTube channel can be beneficial:
- Establish credibility with your target audience.
- Encourage participation and loyalty.
- Boost your social media visibility
- Increase the number of visitors to your website
- Engaging video content is great for gaining new clients and keeping current ones engaged. A simple YouTube marketing approach may help you express your brand’s identity while also connecting with your target audience in a new and engaging way.
Solicit the help of Instagram influencers to advertise your goods.
You don’t always need to invite others to evaluate your product or write a guest article. A simple mention on Instagram may go a long way when you discover the appropriate fit for your company. This is especially true for fashion items, where a single mention or stunning photo can result in a significant increase in sales.
Connect with Instagram influencers—whether they have a blog or not—and organise sponsored posts using an outreach campaign. Find Instagrammers that have audiences who might be interested in your product and ask them to include it in a snap. To allow someone to tag you, make sure you have your own Instagram account set up.
Post engaging stuff on a regular basis
It’s critical to provide material on a regular basis if you want to increase your social following over time. According to studies, audiences respond differently based on the frequency with which you publish, so make sure you test to find the optimum cadence for your company. You may also compare the frequency and engagement rates of your posts to those of your rivals.
You may upload different sorts of material throughout the day on networks like Instagram. Single picture posts, Reels, and IGTV material are all used by @kyliecosmetics. To keep followers interested and engaged, it posts a combination of product-related and user-generated material.
Many businesses have studied the best amount of times to publish on each channel, and it’s important to note the potential hunger of viewers on each platform. However, as expert Jay Baer points out, your daily or weekly cadence is insignificant in comparison to having a marketing plan and a procedure in place to consistently produce truly interesting content. There are no “neutral” reactions, so don’t submit anything if it’s not positive.
Hootsuite and Buffer are two useful marketing platforms for scheduling future content. You may use them to plan posts and measure interaction metrics for your social networks by integrating them with your browser and hundreds of other applications. These tools might help you save time when it comes to putting your internet marketing strategy into action.
Make micro-content for your social media accounts.
Consider the situation in which the majority of users access social media. Perhaps they’re on their phone throughout their commute, taking a little mental break at work, or passing time while waiting for favourite show to resume after the commercials.
One thing all of these scenarios have in common is that social media users frequently scroll in between other jobs. Bite-sized material is a great method to keep your audience’s attention. This social media marketing tactic is especially effective on sites that are designed to provide brief experiences, such as Snapchat.
Let’s imagine you’re in the business of selling things to football players. You create an article titled “7 Training Exercises to Improve Your Soccer Skills” on your blog. The material is then repurposed into seven pieces of micro-content for usage on social media, one for each practise. That would be far more effective than cramming a whole essay into a much smaller social media experience.
Organize a Twitter discussion with your followers.
Engagement is essential for any online community to thrive. Hosting a weekly Twitter chat is a terrific way to develop your Twitter following and increase online sales.
You may join an existing Twitter conversation or make one of your own. When you co-host, you can tap into an established audience, but if you hosted on your own, you’d have to spend more work advertising it. Others in the space will eventually join in, and you’ll create your brand as an authority in the sector.
Choose a hashtag linked to the Twitter discussion and encourage your followers to use it in their tweets. This helps with branding, familiarises individuals who choose to participate in the practise, and allows you to search the conversation for material and recaps afterwards.
Make it simple for others to share your stuff.
Social share buttons are an important part of improving your site’s “virality,” which may increase traffic and sales. Make sure the popular social media buttons—Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest—are easily accessible to consumers.
Like Culture Kings’ product pages, you might desire buttons that complement your store’s visual appeal.
Use the appropriate #hashtags.
What role does a hashtag play in your marketing strategy? The hashtag has helped to organise a large portion of the social web into dialogues, making it simple to participate in topics and events by posting under hashtags that are relevant to your business.
For National Turtle Day, use the hashtags @havertysfurniture and @havertysfurniture in your feed and Instagram Stories.
Use hashtags on Instagram to market your business.
Hootsuite, a social media monitoring tool, may help you identify, like, retweet, and comment to posts with multiple hashtags. You may use a programme like Hashtagify to look for hashtags that are similar to the one you’re looking for.
Keep in mind that hashtags should not be treated the same way across all platforms. Here are some broad best practises we’ve gleaned from numerous studies:
Tweets with just one well-placed hashtag tend to get more interaction than those with three or more.
When utilising several hashtags, even ten or more in a single post, Instagram posts receive the maximum attention.
With a limit of five hashtags, LinkedIn postings perform better.
Without hashtags, Facebook postings perform better.
If you’re aware of a high-profile event approaching, you may plan ahead of time to ensure you’re ready to participate. The more precise the target, the better. Consider live-tweeting or covering high-profile events and commenting on what celebs are wearing if you’re a fashion business.
Most events include hashtags that you may use to join in on the conversation. However, the secret to successfully hijacking a hashtag is to avoid hijacking it at all. Instead, try to provide value to the dialogue in a natural and relevant way.
Create interactive content such as quizzes and games.
The thought of a quiz would have elicited moans in school. Quizzes, however, have made a significant resurgence owing to Buzzfeed.
These types of interactive material perform exceptionally well on social media—that is, if they can persuade quiz takers to publicly display their findings. To accomplish so, you’ll need to build a questionnaire that reveals something about people’s personalities or their knowledge levels, so they feel obliged to share it in order to reflect themselves.
If you want to make your own, I recommend Playbuzz, which is a free and simple application for producing interactive content.
Turn on Instagram shopping.
Linking is one of the most difficult things for companies to do on Instagram. And when the primary aim is to increase traffic and, eventually, revenue, this may be a significant barrier to overcome. Adding merchandise to your Instagram posts and Stories is one method to get around this and increase online sales.
As an example, consider Instagram Shopping.
In essence, you “tag” your product images with virtual “tags” (and stickers in your Instagram Stories). Mobile users may then touch on these tags to learn more about a product and make a purchase by clicking on it. It’s one of the easiest methods to combine Instagram with ecommerce.
Experiment with retargeting advertisements.
Paid retargeted adverts on social media have become a critical component of many websites’ marketing strategy as it becomes increasingly difficult for company pages to achieve traction in the News Feed organically.
You also have greater control over who sees your material, as contrast to your organic efforts, which are confined to your existing audience. The best thing is that you can get started with just £50.
You distribute retargeted adverts to visitors who have already visited your website. These adverts may be tailored to their preferences.
Make a Google My Business account.
Google My Business is a simple listing tool for managing your Google Search and Maps presence. It’s the most cost-effective approach to advertise on Google for free and reach out to potential clients.
According to Amy Falcione, CEO of local marketing consultancy Big Picture Marketing, “Google My Business provides local companies a different online presence other than their website.” “Your listing provides a succinct yet thorough overview of your company’s services and who you are.”
Customers may learn a lot about your company in a short amount of time by using Google My Business. You may include images and videos of your store, as well as connections to your website or appointment scheduling software. You may even give potential consumers a peek into your firm to establish trust and confidence.
If someone wants to contact your company, they may find your contact information, website, and business address right there in the listing. People may simply contact you via email or in person.
Participate in local activities.
Any event that draws a local audience is referred to as a local event. Small companies can promote themselves at local events such as artisan markets, craft exhibits, trade shows, and festivals.
“At the moment, many local companies meet online. “They’re using live streaming and online gatherings to show off things and reach out to a large number of people,” Amy tells Shopify. “However, when neighbourhoods begin to reopen, we don’t want to underestimate the impact of local in-person activities.”
Small company owners may meet clients one-on-one and form personal connections at local events. People may interact with your items through touching, feeling, and smelling them.
“Workshops and talks are another method to market your business locally,” Amy explains. “If you operate a candle-making business, for example, you might hold local workshops to educate others how to manufacture their own candles.” It’s a fantastic method to improve your community’s perception of you and raise brand recognition.”
Local delivery is available.
People are increasingly purchasing from small enterprises. During the first three months of the epidemic, roughly a third of purchasers bought something online and had it delivered to their house, according to our consumer trend data.
Taking advantage of this trend by providing local delivery is a wise move. When a consumer places an order on your website, you may personally deliver it to their home. It’s a creative method to market to worried customers, and it’s an alternative to standard carrier delivery and in-store buying.
Obtain local media coverage.
Getting local newspaper attention is another excellent strategy to advertise your business locally. Getting an article in the local paper is not only free, but it may also bring thousands of additional visitors to your website or store.