When you’re running a small business, you know you’ve got to look after the pennies to make the pounds grow, but marketing is how you’re going to expand your business, and marketing costs money.
So if you have a tight marketing budget, not to worry, because there are plenty of ways you can affordably market your business, without having to spend too much (if any) money.
1. Use Google My Business
We’ve spoken about this before, but GMB is one of the most effective (free) marketing tools available.
Simply sign up for a GMB account, create a free listing for your business that shows up on Google Maps and in the local section of Google Search, and have a dedicated section about your business in the knowledge panel.
Don’t forget to optimise your business profile too, this is Google after all, and make sure you have verified ownership of your business – you do this through your GMB account.
2. Harness the power of social media
Social media marketing is an easy way to grow your brand, expand your audience and showcase your small business. Pick your favourite social platform and express your personality in a quick and free way, while building trust with your audience.
Easy wins for social media marketing for your business include:
- Sharing links to your blog posts
- Directly engaging with your following
- Running polls and seeking feedback directly from your audience
- Showcase your brand
- Creating a community page around your business or Facebook group
- Use your channels for delivering customer service
- Use hashtags – a mix of custom and trending hashtags
3. Do local SEO
Google’s algorithm is designed to provide the searcher the most accurate, high quality, relevant content for their particular search query. And because Google isn’t pay to play, even as a small business, you can top the search results purely through organic SEO.
Remember though, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to get traction, but the benefits are worth it when it takes off.
Easy wins for local SEO include:
- Add your location keywords across your site – your audience (and Google) need to know exactly where you are. Include them on your page titles, your headings, and sporadically in the content body of your text.
- Getting listed in online directories. Make sure the information is the same in every directory.
- Publish blogs about the location you serve. The more knowledgeable and relevant you are about your location, the higher up the search results you’ll rank.
4. Email marketing
Email marketing is one of the best ways to build and engage with your audience. It’s a fantastic way to showcase your personality in a more personal manner, and it can be incredibly lucrative.
Capture email addresses from your target audience however you can: run a competition, ask for email addresses during check out, create a freebie to attract new eyes.
Once you have your email list, make sure the subject lines of your emails are knock outs. If they aren’t, people won’t open your email. Make them funny, shocking, or pique the reader’s interest with a question or a statistic.
Just don’t go hot and heavy with the selling in the first email. Warm up your audience, nurture them until they’re ready to trust you and become a customer.
Every email has to have a call to action, i.e. end with what you want the reader to do. If you can, create an offer for each email that encourages the reader to take the next step.
Just like social media marketing, you can monitor email marketing, so make sure you’re tracking your efforts and run A/B testing to see which subject lines get the best open rates, which CTA get the most follow through, which day gets the most eyes on the email etc.
Data is your best friend.
5. Create great content
How do you get your business in front of your ideal audience? By giving them what they want. And one of the best ways of doing that is by creating and publishing great content.
Not only do you get to demonstrate your expertise in your area, but what you’re giving your audience genuinely helps them out, making it a win-win for your audience and Google.
You don’t need to be a copywriter to get your content ranking on the first page of Google, just remember to keep your audience in mind when you’re writing and use language that resonates with them, and answer the questions they’re likely to ask.
Don’t know what your audience is searching for? Ask them in your email newsletters or on your social media channels!
6. Start a blog
Not sure where to put all that great content you’re creating for your audience? Set up a dedicated blog to showcase it.
Your blog will help drive traffic to your website, it’ll increase your user engagement, enhance the user experience, improve your online visibility, and boost your SEO efforts. Plus, it’s completely free (unless you pay a content writer to write it for you).
7. Repurpose your old content
Think you have to constantly be thinking up new and innovative ways to showcase your brand? Think again. Make the most of the work you’ve already done by repurposing all your content.
- Turn your blog posts into social media posts
- Share your blog posts in your email newsletter
- Turn your podcast episodes into blog posts
- Turn a collection of blog posts into an e-book
Don’t be afraid to mash up and reuse your old content. The chances are, with the social media and search algorithms, a large swathe of your audience never saw the original content first time round anyway. So it won’t hurt to reshare it, and even if they did see it, you’re simply reminding them you’re still there, and still awesome.
What are your favourite affordable marketing tricks and tips? Don’t forget, if you want help with any aspect of your digital marketing, Market Jar is the affordable digital marketing agency. Get in touch with us today to find out more.