If you are a small business, you don’t have the luxury of being able throw big bucks at a high-end marketing strategy that is going to reach millions of people. It’s really a chicken and egg scenario. How do you increase your income and boost your marketing efforts if you are already having financial challenges reaching your audience? Feeling trapped in and endless cycle is agonizing when all you want is to grow your business. Fortunately, Internet marketing is a great way to reach your target audience without breaking the bank, and there are a seemingly endless number of possibilities at your disposal. Instead of giving up on marketing altogether (which would be a colossal mistake) consider some of the following things you can do to enhance your online marketing efforts on a limited budget.
Make Sure You Are on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a popular social network focused on business, commerce, working professionals, and jobs. Far too many businesses and professionals under-utilize this amazing website. Not only will it get your business in front of new eyeballs, but it also helps you build a community and a following. You can actually make connections with other people, join groups, start dialogues, and even share your blog content. LinkedIn is always improving at break-neck speeds, and the fact of the matter is that it is a great place to post and share ideas, network with others in your industry, and reach your target audience. If you don’t already have one, you need to create a LinkedIn profile and make it look professional.
Take Advantage of Other Social Networks
Social networking has become central to online marketing over the last few years. When it first came out, most people didn’t know how to advertise on social networks and utilize them to grow their brands. The rare few that did, however, experienced rapid growth and capitalized on massive opportunities. Lacking social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks is a marketing blunder that is likely causing you to forgo hordes of Internet traffic, leads, conversions, and revenue! If you don’t know how to advertise on Facebook or set up your account, let us help.
Use StumbleUpon for Advertising
For those of you who aren’t familiar with StumbleUpon, it is a browser plugin that allows users to select a large number of categories that pertain to their interests and it essentially curates websites that match those interests. This helps users discover websites that they probably would have never found before because there is too much competition on the first page of the SERPs. The good news is that you can list your site with the Stumble Upon directory. Basically, this is a form of paid advertising, but it is much, much cheaper than a lot of other forms of paid advertising.
Become Known for Publishing Phenomenal Content
This one comes up in every discussion about Internet marketing. Content is king – we’ve all heard it a million times by now. But you really can’t afford to neglect publishing fantastic content. The benefits are too large and the drawbacks are almost nonexistent. Even if you don’t know how to create content on your own, hiring some who does will help spread your business’s message very inexpensively.
Create How-To and Instructional Video Content for Your Industry
While newbies think that Google is the end-all-be-all way to drive traffic to your site inexpensively, the pros understand that there are many sources of traffic streams. YouTube is an extremely powerful tool to drive unbelievable amounts of traffic to your site (and it's the number two search engine!), but creating how-to videos that teach people about your industry or niche also has another purpose. By posting this video content on your site, you can further engage your visitors and decrease your bounce rate. Once they see you as a teaching authority, you will become their go-to source for information and they will trust your business a lot more. How-to videos will help create more trust, more credibility, increase organic traffic, increase conversions, and produce a lower bounce rate. What’s not to love?
Take Advantage of Marketing Deals
If you’re a small business, you probably don’t have the funding to launch a massive ad campaign. But don’t worry, that’s fairly typical. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to launch a small ad campaign that helps increase sales! There are frequently deals to promote advertising that offer free credits on Facebook and Google. In addition, there are many hosting packages that offer free credits and discounts to entice buyers to sign up. If you were going to sign up anyway, you might as well take advantage of the free advertising!
Online Contests and Competitions
Some businesses have chosen to utilize competitions as a way to boost their marketing efforts. For example, let’s say that you wanted to host a competition for writers. By advertising on social networks, you could reach writers and offer a prize to the top three winners in exchange for their writing about various topics related to your industry. Not only do you reach a larger audience by starting this competition, but you also get some content out of the deal. Depending on your industry and the competition you set up, this has the ability to spread like wildfire. Never underestimate the power of marketing, even when you are strapped for cash and can’t dole out large sums of money for a marketing budget!
Launching a small business is tough work and trying to run your marketing campaign can be challenging for several reasons. You may not be a marketing expert, you likely have a limited budget, and you probably don’t have the time to do it yourself anyway! Instead of committing the unforgivable sin in business and completely ignore marketing, your small business will be much better off if you hire a marketing professional. Even if you don’t have to deal with low marketing budgets, there are a lot of things a professional will be able to help you do that are relatively inexpensive.