Entrepreneurs need effective marketing to turn their ideas into viable businesses. With these low-cost or free marketing ideas, you don’t need to fork out for an external agency. Especially when you’re starting out, marketing your own business can be just as effective.
Engage with people on social media
Social media is the obvious choice for marketing because it is free, at least up to a point. But if you don’t want to pay for social media advertising, how best to make it work for you? Social media’s secret lies in interactions and being active on your chosen platforms.
Always reply to comments and messages with information that subtly promotes your product or service. Create posts that will trigger a conversation which will give you even more opportunities to engage with your followers and promote your brand.
Run a competition
Running a competition is a great way to draw media attention and to get people talking about your brand. They do require a little bit of funding, but you can keep costs down by partnering with other companies or getting sponsors.
Be sure to keep your own brand as the focus though. You run the competition and offer the main prize, which should also be related to your brand. Offering your own goods and services as the price also contributes to marketing your business.
Create educational or helpful content
When creating content, the aim is to be useful but also to be shareable. You want viewers or readers to want to share your blogs and videos with their friends. A good way to do this is to create educational content such as tutorials.
Even a simple how-to video will get shared on social media more than something less informative. Just make sure it refers to your own product or service. As a bonus, Google likes authoritative content that will improve your search ranking.
Host a workshop
Hosting a free workshop can position your brand as an authority in your field. A one-day or evening workshop held on your own premises will cost next to nothing and will spread the word about your business.
If you don’t have an office, partner with another company and share the marketing opportunity. This is also good for networking. Just ensure the topic is something you know well and relates back to your business’ offering in some way.
Networking doesn’t just happen at arranged networking breakfasts. Whether it’s online, at conferences, in Meetup groups or at workshops, always be on the lookout for ways to connect with other people and businesses.
Just don’t become that person that’s always pushing their services on people at social events. No one wants to go to a party to be sold something by a pushy entrepreneur. If it comes up naturally though, be ready with a succinct pitch and a business card.
Partner with other businesses
Businesses often partner up on a campaign to benefit mutually from the same marketing. A simple example of this is mentioning each other in social posts and sharing those posts with their followers. This essentially doubles the reach on social media.
A business might also promote the services of another business if they offer something that is beneficial to their clients. For example, a moving company might partner with a packaging company and they would then promote each other.
Hold charity events
All businesses should strive to give back to their communities in some way. As a bonus, charity events are a good marketing opportunity, for both your business and the charity organisation you’re supporting.
A great example of this is a quiz night. It can be held in a willing restaurant with sponsored prizes where everyone involved gets an opportunity to market themselves. Funds are raised from entry fees and the event can be used in marketing content on social media and blogs.
Create guest content
A number of blogs will allow guest posts with a by-line that promotes your expertise through informative content. This is particularly useful for entrepreneurs who practice as freelancers, rather than a business because you get to promote your own name.
Guest blogging also creates legitimate backlinks to your own content which is good for your Google ranking. If blogging isn’t your forte, try to position yourself as an authoritative guest on podcasts or in videos related to your field of expertise.
Use free online tools
There are plenty of online platforms that will help you promote your business for free, from social media such as Facebook to email marketing tools like MailChimp. Some of these tools will help you create professional content while others help with distribution.
Keep an eye out for platforms that often get overlooked, such as Quora, a site where you can answer questions posed by users. Quora can help you position yourself as an authority in your field and will give you opportunities to link back to your own content.
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