The Internet is a powerful place.
You can market anything if you have a clear idea of what you are selling and to whom. There are more than 3.6 billion people on the internet for different purposes, finding your audience can be difficult but it’s not impossible.
The number of users on interest is a lot and it keeps increasing. According to eMarketer estimates that by 2021, digital ad spends will increase from $83 billion to $129.23 billion.
Mobile users, Social Media, and Videos also play an important part in marketing the business.
However, targeting Google or Facebook ads have their own place.
But if you want to spend less or choose free ways to market your business, you got the options too.
Here are some helpful marketing techniques that are free of cost but you can use them for effective results for your business.
Does Your Business Need A Marketing Plan?
A business needs marketing and there is no denying.
It’s an important component for small businesses to promote their brand and to achieve the goals.
However, the challenge is to understand how marketing works, especially for their business. There are experts, different approaches, strategies, tactics, techniques, and ideas. Well, these things are helpful to give the marketing you are thinking.
But for a businessman who doesn’t know if it’s working or not, everything can be confusing.
Also, business marketing is not cheap. It takes a part of investment and effort.
To save yourself from getting into a mess, it’s important to take a step back and understand what and why you really need for your business marketing.
To Provide A Blueprint
Having a business marketing plan helps you in getting a blueprint and keeps your actions in one direction.
With the help of this, you and your team are on the same page too. The guide has some components that your plan should consider like-
The first and most important point is to understand who your target audience is.
This should be clear as crystal so you can make plans on how to approach them. The target audience can be broken down into important keys like location, age, demographic, sex, etc.
- Situation Analysis
This is a snapshot of what you do and where you are right now.
Situation analysis includes your product’s USP, strength, weakness, idea, and approach. The more clear you are about these questions, the better grip you have on the situation.
- Marketing Goals & Strategies
Without goals, there are no plans. And without two, no strategies exist either.
Marketing goals make what you want to achieve, what for and how early, etc like details. It keeps your mind clear about where to go and what to do.
Small businesses have a dedicated budget. Where to invest and how are important questions.
This helps to outline the investment and align to individual cash to plan as well as prioritize.
To Establish The Timelines
For those businesses who are procrastinators, a marketing plan is what you need to have for solving the situation.
When you plan the marketing, you set timelines for achieving the goals you established for the business.
It gives you a boost and a track of the whole process for you.
To Maintain The Focus
There is no limitation when it comes to opportunities.
However, the idea sounds tempting but it can be distracting if you have certain plans. you can end up losing sight of what you wanted to achieve.
With a marketing plan, you know what you are going for and the reference guide helps you to keep on track.
Also, you can use the marketing plan to understand what to change and what to add throughout the journey.
To Measure Success
The marketing plan establishes a benchmark for your business. This helps in understanding if your planning is going in the direction that you wanted or not.
The marketing plan helps find if you are getting your work done and going toward the success you wanted.
This will also help in determining the chances of winning in the end. Well, if it’s not working, you can change before wasting more funds and time on it.
To Set The Budget
Business requires funds and to use it wisely is important for any owners to find the loopholes or errors.
Marketing plans make sure that you are not investing blindly. Also, you don’t always need to invest huge money as there are lots of techniques which are cost-free and save time too.
For the marketing plan, the budget is the main component. You get an idea about where to spend and you stick with it.
List Of Free Marketing Techniques For Small Business
For lots of business. Marketing their brand is about spending a lot on ads and pricey strategies.
But, the numbers of digital exposures to different brands are increasing. Since more competition is joining the market, it can make you feel like you are fighting a losing battle.
However, you don’t really have to spend a lot on your marketing. There are plenty of effective techniques and ways to choose that cost nothing.
Here are some for you to try.
1. Work On Your SEO
SEO is important but it can be ignored by lots of businesses.
If you are doing online business, SEO should be your best friend.
Start with analyzing your current situation. Get tools that can help you in understanding how your websites are performing.
When you do the in-depth analysis of your website, here are what you will know-
- Which keywords are ranking on your website?
- What other competition do you have?
- How much organic traffic are you generating?
- What’s the frequency of the keywords you are using?
Pro Tip – Google pays more attention to these factors. To know how you improve your ranking on google, first understand which keywords have a good ranking. It will boost your stats as well.
2. Focus On Keyword Research
Keyword research is next important and you should do more keyword research.
You can use tools like the Keyword Planner Tool that you can get in Google Adwords.
Start with finding the keywords which can help you in the ranking. Search for the keywords that are related to the searches. Get an idea about what you can use and what people are searching for.
With keyword research, you can get more opportunities about what you can use in our favor. Also, it will keep you step ahead of your competitors.
3. Get Your Blog
Blogs are necessary for your marketing. It’s not costly but it requires some basic research and work done.
According to Worpress, there are over 409 million people who read more than 237 billion blog posts.
Since there are lots of blogs and written content, to stand out you are going to need a quality blog that can help people in learning new things.
Well, blogs are the 5th most trusted resource online and you can use them for marketing your business. It can help you in educating your audience and you can boost brand awareness too.
4. Join Groups Or Create One
Lots of marketers underestimate the power of groups. Especially on social media platforms like Facebook.
Image source: Hubspotblog
With the help of under administered public form, people with the same thoughts or interests can join and share their ideas.
Every group has their membership range which can be either between 1000 to 100,000 or bigger than that.
Create your own group on Facebook and invite people to share their thoughts.
You are not just getting a bulk of similar interest from people in one place but this can be your marketing place for introducing your new product or services.
5. Use Story And Add Date Or Milestone
People connect with stories. Espellay when you are using data and milestones for backing up.
You can use the surveys and get the numbers. People have more faith in such things instead of saying it.
For example, instead of saying that your customer loves you.
You can say ‘ We have more than 2.000 satisfied customers’.
Back up with testimonials and reviews. You can use storytelling about the purpose behind the brand and it will help you in getting more customer attention.
6. Participate in Discussion Or Forums
When you are looking for platforms, don’t just stick with Facebook only.
There are plenty of online forums that can be used for your marketing. Getting involved in these forums can do marketing for the brand and you can get more backlinks as well.
You can use Reddit, Tumbler, and Quora if you don’t want to limit yourself to social media platforms.
With the help of discussion forums, you can create a community of people who like your brand and have loyalty to it
7. Start A Customer Referral Program
Image source: business2community
Word of mouth marketing can help you in marketing your small business much effectively.
According to Neilsen, 92% of consumers believe the recommendation when it’s coming from their friends or family.
To promote your mouth of word marketing, you can use the customer referral program.
Use the program to offer something to your existing customers. Add benefit and give reasons why your audience should stick with you.
You can offer free samples of your product, a discount, a low-cost reward, or complimentary services.
Pro Tip: Rewarding your customers can help you in boosting the positive relation. It makes them more loyal and they would like to share your business with their friends.
8. Comment Relevant
The next includes commenting on published blogs. It’s an effective and free way that can help you in getting more backlinks for your business without pushing it too hard.
Well, make sure you are commenting and are valuable and relevant. Do not make it look spammy or too advertising.
Keep your comment informational and something from which people can get something.
Be open to communication and use the idea for networking.
Pro Tip: More comments can help you in improving brand awareness. It will help people to recognize it easily.
9. Make Infographics
Infographics are one of the underrated powerful tools that you can use for marketing techniques.
Infographics are visually attractive and it’s simple to share the information. The content is sharable. Also making the infographic is not expensive either.
You can either create the design for yourself or you can ask a freelancer for crafting one. Infographics are one of the visual marketing factors too.
It shares important information and saves the time of the readers as well.
10. Use One To One Marketing
One to one market is also known as 1:1 marketing, mostly focused on customer relationship strategy.
The aim is to improve the personalized interactions of your customer with your brand.
For example, You can send handwritten postcards on your customer’s birthdays. This adds a more personalized touch and people feel more valued than receiving email.
With the help of one to one marketing, you can foster loyalty and better return on marketing investment.
This is also good for the brand that wants to get more satisfied customers. This works more effectively when you are going for quality instead of quantity.
11. Host An Online Contest
The biggest myth you can find is having costly prizes to host an online contest.
You can offer free products or complementary services, anything that’s relevant to your customer. This is enough for your audience to take some time and participate in the contest.
The contest is a great tactic for gathering more information about your customers. Also, it works for spreading more about your business and getting interested customers for your brand.
12. Team Up Within Industry
Developing a partnership within your industry should be one of the must-have techniques.
Joining hands with the others in your industry can help you in gathering more attention. Also, people look forward to such partnerships.
It gives a much more friendly and positive environment. However, make sure you are not teaming with direct competitors. Go with someone who doesn’t share the same competition as yours.
You can do a partnership for a time being or an event. The partnership gives you access to channels and customers that another business has.
It can be costly if you are deciding to do it on your own.
13. Offer for HARO signup
HARO also means Help A Reporter Out. It’s a free press advertising that you can use for your business.
HARO is a platform basically for the reporters who are looking for help on the content. You can help them by answering their requested question.
Image source: Seohacker
The plus point of this, the answer you share and if it gets a feature in the article, your brand will also get free publicity.
If you have certain knowledge and you can help the HARO reporters, it can be your powerful way of using the platform for marketing your business without paying anything.
14. Consider The Guerilla Marketing
Guerrilla marketing is not that common but it is effective if you know how to use it.
For a small business, it can be scary but you can use it for making space for your brand using the public spaces.
It can be using sidewalks or well-trafficked intersections. You can use stickers or graffiti, make sure you have permission.
You can use different eye candy postures or something that can attract your audience.
Guerilla marketing is also the best way to use your creativity for marketing your small business.
15. Host More Of Webinar
Hosting a webinar is a powerful technique for getting more business owners to know about your brand.
You can collaborate with others and host a webinar that can help your audience is educating and knowing more about what you do in your field.
You can simply choose platforms like Instagram or Facebook. Host the webinar depending on the questions and comments you have. You can do interviews or you can decide the format.
This will give more insight into your business and potential customers will get to know more about your small business.
16. Host Classes Or Events
Educating your customers is one of the ways for promoting the brand and getting loyal customers.
You can use the classes or events as your promotional or advertising forms. It gives more value to what you are promoting and people who are interested in knowing more about the industry will likely to get in touch.
You can use the printout or flyers and post it in the public library, coffee shops, and restaurants. You can promote it offline.
Also, add the links to your classes and make sure you have recorded classes for those who are far away.
17. Offer Free Samples
People love having free stuff.
Offering them your product or services, depending on how you want to promote it. Free samples can help you to get more audience.
Lots of people are skeptical about using something new. Free samples are a good way that can help them in trying new things without investing first.
Also, free samples can help you in getting the attention of or people who want to try your product but are not that confident about it.
18. Invest In Creating Youtube Channel
Youtube is the second largest search engine growing and lots of brands are opting for it.
The channel is not just cost-effective but having a youtube presence can do a major boost to your small business.
Image source: Corporateye
Start with small and sweet videos about your business. You can share what your business is all about and what’s your ideas to do in the future.
You can choose topics related to your brand and share it with others. Also, you can share how-to videos and use it for advertising your new products.
19. Consider Craigslist Ads
Craigslist has a large audience and that’s something no brands want to ignore.
There are more than 600 million people who visit craigslist every month.
Image source: fastcompany
The platform is free and it’s perfect for small businesses even though you are looking for new employees or customers.
Alexa ranks Craigslist as 14th most popular website in the US. Also, the platform localized the marketing efforts and separated them according to geographic basis.
20. Use Facebook Live
Facebook is a grand social media platform for marketers. Not just you get a bulk of the audience but the features and services help you in marketing your business.
Facebook has 20% of their videos live. The platform launched live streaming so people can use it to their advantage.
There are lots of brands using live streaming, but you can take the example of LuLaRoe who stands out for their unique and different approach.
The brand successfully increased its sales through Facebook live.
They recently partnered with Disney that boosted the market. Now, the company’s value is over $1 Billion.
To your surprise, the videos are not shot by any professional camera. They are used on smartphones.
21. Guest Post On Niche Blogs
Creating a blog should be on your list. The next to add is to do guest blogging on blogs that have popular influencers.
Pick the websites that are similar to your niche and relate to your industry.
With this, you can create value and credibility for your backlinks. Also, Google pays special attention when it comes to adjusting the search algorithms.
Pro Tip – Instead of focusing on specialized blogs in your niche, you can post on mainstream media like Huffington Post, Forbes, Inc, etc.
22. Register Yourself On Freelancer Sites
Platforms like Fiverr are one of the famous freelancer sites. However, the technique is underrated but you can use it for marketing your business.
You can use Crowdsourcing for task completion and Fiverr is a great place where you can sell and market your service.
23. Make Strong Social Media Presence
The majority of people use their social media once, no matter how busy they are, people visit social media every day.
Social media have hundreds of millions of people using the platforms. This is what every business needs. A platform where they can get such a crowd.
However having a social media presence means being active, containing people, and having conversations.
Make sure not to overdo it. You don’t want to look like spam on the internet.
Staying active on social media gives your audience to connect with you and it boosts trust.
You can share the links, get followers, and share valuable content.
24. Consider Marketing Automation
Well, marketing automation is going to be the future. There will be a machine for everything that can be assigned to a human.
It will give more accurate, fast, and cheaper results.
There are lots of good tools that can be used for marketing automation like MailChimp, ConstantContact, etc.
With this, you can schedule your post, and even help you in a social media marketing campaign.
25. Respond To Reviews
Online reviews are an important part of how your audience is going to buy your product.
Reviews are also a major role in deciding your buyer’s journey.
You can search your company online and it will show the reviews given by the customers. People keep these ratings and reviews in mind when they decide to shop from you.
As a matter of trust, reviews are one of the sources that people directly trust.
The business needs to respond back to the reviews. Not just it shows that you are concerned about your buyer’s experiences but also it boosts the presence of your company.
Pro Tip: Respond to the negative reviews too. However, make sure to pay attention to the sensitivity of the situation and avoid the use of any rude language.
26. Free Samples To Influencers
Free samples are good for increasing sales.
You can offer directly to your customers or you can offer to influencers for promoting it.
The consumers believe 71% more on social media influencers. They are a great influence on what the audience will buy.
Image source: Swat.io
You can communicate with the influencers and send them the samples directly. You can either ask them to share the photo or a short video about it.
However, make sure you are targeting the influencers which are similar to your niche and have the same kind of audience.
27.Target The Foreign Market
Small business doesn’t restrict you to limit your efforts.
You can use your marketing for appealing to the foreign market. For that, you need to pick the traffic from outside of your current market.
If you are targeting China, you need to focus on RenRen. You are choosing another country, make sure to make your content-centric to that.
Pro Tip: Writing in the native language increases the traffic to your site. Also, you can use Google native translation app. However, it will do decent work but it’s better to have a native speaker.
28. Keep Business On Map
Lots of people based on the map to direct them to find the business around them.
Especially to those who are either traveling or living far away.
Having your business on the map will help them to find you.
Google My Business can help you in keeping your company easy to find.
29. Get Use Of Instagram
Instagram is another best stop for business. There are lots of businesses promoting their product and service using visual appearance.
For Instagram, you are going to need to make your Instagram look interesting and attractive. The brand should be presented in such a way that can hold attention.
Instagram depends on visuals, that’s why it’s important to choose the content smartly.
30. Get More Of UGC
UGC means User Generated Content, for business, it’s important to have more UGC as it shows that your audience is engaged with the brand.
Well instead of pressure, the user generated content that should naturally occur.
UGC is created as well as published by the fans or loyal audiences. It shows the people are liking the brand enough to share it on their behalf.
You can do weekly highlights, share the post on your social media, etc. Also to encourage the user to generate content, you can offer prizes and small discounts too.
31. Encourage More Testimonials
Testimonials are important for the business. Not just you get feedback on what your customer liked about your company but also you encourage more people to buy from you.
Testimonials are like an inside story shared by the previous or current customers.
For new people or visitors who are thinking about buying the product but confused about the final decision, this can be a helpful push to take final action.
Testimonials show the positive experience of your customers and it’s beneficial to boost sales. With this, you can also market your small business among potential customers and clients.
32. Keep Your NAP Updated
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. For business, having NAP consistency is crucial.
It’s a process to keep your information updated. You can search and find the details about your company online.
If you changed the phone number or something extra to add, make sure to do it.
Some chances people can’t reach because of your wrong information. It affects the results, so matter how much you do effects on the marketing, NAP is important to maintain.
33. Make Use Of Cold Calling
Cold calling or emailing is old but still effective for marketing your business.
Well here you don’t have to spend money but instead of that, you are going to use time.
There is more work than randomly calling or emailing people. Here are a few pointers that you can use for getting more success.
- Don’t keep your pitch all about the sale
- Conduct research to know the market
- Work on the opening statement
- Get your script ready
- Set up the calendar
- Keep your tone pleasant
- Add promotion item
- Take time and be persistent.
34. Make Your Pitch Effective
No matter if it’s a family function, a wedding, or you are in a meeting.
You can do the marketing for your business anywhere. Well to pitch your business, you should have everything ready.
It’s called elevator pitch which is mostly a few lines about what you do and about the business. It’s enough to get the attention, and you can continue if someone is interested.
The idea of an elevator pitch is to get the attention of the audience.
- To get the perfect elevator pitch, here is what you need-
- Understand what motivates the audience
- Add social proof
- Add story to show expertise and how you are going to solve the problem
- Insert questions to continue the conversations
To market your business, you must have a powerful pitch ready.
Pro Tip – Make sure you have a few scenarios in mind. This will give you an easy switch according to where you are and whom you are talking to.
35. Ask People To Referrals
Referrals are cost-effective and one of the ways to promote the business.
However, asking for references is quite awkward for lots of people. It’s important to not look desperate and it adds pressure too.
Well, if you are looking for more ways to ask the referral but without feeling weird or sound desperate about it. Here are what you can do –
- Ask directly via online, email, in-person, or invoice.
- Start with sharing referrals
- Focus on loyal customers or clients
- Offer gift cards, discount, or small gift
- Join the referrals group
36. Keep Your Content Top Notch
No matter where and what you are using, you are going to need top-notch content.
Content can help you in marketing your business, the bonus you get people interested in what you are selling if you know how to approach them.
Focus on writing skills, if you don’t write then it’s better to look for people who can do that for you.
Content is important for everything, google pays attention to what value your content contains.
Writing fluff is not going to help in getting more attention or ranking on search engines.
You can use tools online that can help you in constructing your content and avoiding basic errors.
37. Repost Your Old Content
Re-using your old content can help you in saving time. Also if you have old content, you can use it for recycling.
You can share the information for ebooks. Or you can use the podcast as your youtube content.
Content never gets old but stats can.
When you are reposting the old content, make sure it’s still valuable and the information is updated. Do the basic additional changes so it can be helpful for your audience.
38. Get Email Address
Email is one of the most preferred methods that is used by customers.
A business needs to grow and nurture their email list.
Focus on encouraging more people to subscribe and sign-ups. You can offer ebooks, discounts, promotions like incentives for boosting the rates.
Also, you can use the newsletter especially if you have a blog ready. Make sure you are offering something exclusive to your signed ups customers.
39. Join Face To Face Groups For Networking
Networking is an important key in business.
It’s the fastest and most effective option that can help your business to grow. With networking, you can establish healthy relationships which will do marketing for your business and bring more sales in the future.
You can also join face-to-face groups for networking purposes like the Local Chamber of Commerce.
Also, there are apps that can track the upcoming networking events around you.
There are lots of networking groups that can help you in nurturing your business. If you end up impressing others, you are going to get leads but also they will spread the good news about your business too.
40. Start Your Podcast
Podcasts are not expensive. You just need to have a microphone and hosting.
The podcast is going to be the future and there are lots of people who are either interested in understanding more or to knowledge purpose going toward this.
Podcasts have a wide audience and if you end up targeting yours, this will help you in boosting your business.
Also, you can ask other businesses to join you or make special sessions to attract more people.
The podcast is one of the ways that you can consider for marketing and boosting your brand awareness in modern days.
Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs)
There are four basic types of marketing strategies including Cause Marketing, Relationship Marketing, Undercover Marketing, and Scarcity Marketing.
The basic ways include identifying who and where your audience is. Also, understand your business first and position yourself to give answers. Use direct response marketing and establish partnerships.
The survey can help you in getting more customers. Or you can do affiliate marketing, use target ads, social media, etc.
It’s important to have a trust build and also respond to your customer queries to keep the interaction going.