5 Tips for Marketing Your Small Business... for Free!
Small companies that are just starting out may have tight budgets for marketing. It is wise to set aside some budget to promote the business, especially toward tactics that offers a high return and brings in more business. The best digital marketing planning includes using some free ways to get your brand out there (though it will cost you a little time).
Here are 5 Free Ways to Improve Your Marketing on a Tight Budget:
1. List on Google My Business
A Google Business Profile is an easy and effective free way to get eyes on your business. This free listing allows your business to show up on Google Maps and the local section of Google Search.
Verify your ownership of the business through a free google my business account to optimize your business profile and get a higher ranking.
2. Engage on Social Media
Give your brand a personality! Create business accounts to build a community that will increase awareness to help your small business grow. Consistency is key here, so start with one or two key platforms and consider how much time you can devote to social media posting and engagement. Not sure which platform to use? Check out How to Choose Social Media Platforms for your Small Business
Here are a few ideas for posting:
- Drive traffic to your website by promoting blogs (see start a blog below).
- Respond to comments to increase engagement with your brand and comment on other relevant posts.
- Run polls and request feedback.
- Repurpose content by smaller excerpts from blogs or downloadable guides.
- Post images of products or share infographics pertaining to useful information to your industry.
- Tag people and other brands that you collaborate with to gain visability from their audience. A good rule is to make sure it’s relevant and having to do with what you are posting.
- Use hashtags! A good mix of your own branded hashtags plus hashtags that are more broadly identify industry (example: #yoga #yogapractice #dailyyogaposes #DreamYogaStudio #MiddletownYoga) can help you increase your reach
Whatever you decide to post the key is consistency and collaboration so make sure you are not over stretching with too many platforms and are able to put aside a little time for social engagement.
3. Start a Blog
Tell your customers what you are about with great content that can inform or help them in some way. Not a writer? You can create a short video or even a podcast and post that with a transcript. Here are a few ideas:
Offer some advice: If you are a professional service write about some free tips or good information regarding your industry that offers some guidance.
Show Proof of your Performance: Seek out success stories that shows how your product or service helps real people. Write an article about or interview a customer that had a great experience with your product.
Get personal: Highlight the people that work for you or give the audience an inside look at who you are and what you do. Are you an artist or crafter? Show off a new offering by talking about how it’s made or talk about your inspiration. Be sure to add a few photos or (even better) a short video (you can repurpose Tik Tok or Youtube videos)
4. Work on your SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization basically it’s making sure your website is seen as relevant and informative to the visitor. Google is especially geared to serve the most high-quality and relevant content for a given search. This helps level the playing field between big businesses and small businesses. It takes time to build up good SEO but starting off right is key.
Here are a MUST DO tips to start you off:
- Use a free keyword research tool for ideas on words that should be included in your content. (answer the public has a great free tool for ideas)
- Concentrate on a few subjects and use tags to organize them. This creates good structure that search engines love.
- Make sure you are adding alt text to images for accessibility. Not only is it the right thing to do but google will bump you down if your website is not compliant.
- Use location-based keywords if your offerings are local. For example: “Middleton spas” or “Greenville yoga studio” narrows down your service area and will get you more relevant clicks. Be sure to add these to titles or headlines on you front page and write business relevant blogs about the towns you serve.
5. Create an Email Strategy
Despite what many think, email is not dead and it is a great way to maintain relationships with your existing customers. A free email marketing service like MailChimp can help you start designing campaigns to keep in touch with your clients.
Here’s how to start building your email list:
- Collect email info for each customer before sale or service. Be sure to write that they will receive occasional offers from you.
- Offer a discount or bonus content download for signing up to a newsletter
Once you have the list, consider your frequency. This will depend on your product and the type of audience you have. Here are some ideas for marketing by email:
- Make sure every email has an offering or “call to action” that encourages the reader to take a next step. Having one clear thing for them to do next is best.
- Put thought and creativity into your subject lines.
- Slowly nurture your subscribers via email until they are ready to become paying customers. A newsletter of monthly offering is an easy way to keep clients interested without over doing it.
- Track your performance to see what works well and what doesn’t.
There is a running theme here of putting the client first. That is because nearly every algorithm is designed to show people the most relevant content. Quality is always better than quantity so if you only have time to post once a week or write a a good blog every other week, that is better than putting out low quality.
Keywords are great but your content must be useful, relevant, and authoritative. Think about who your clients are and create content and offers that they will find useful, and you will build a reputation that keeps your audience coming back to you for your expertise.
Need help getting started? Contact me for a consultation on your business marketing needs.