The expansion of the internet has changed the way small businesses market themselves. No longer do we need to spend thousands of dollars on expensive TV ads, billboards, and magazines. Our websites give us the opportunity to build an authentic online identity, while social networks, email marketing, content marketing, and SEO help us engage the right audiences and enhance their awareness of our brand. You just need to know how to implement these tactics strategically.
Here are a few simple steps you should take to save money on marketing your small business.
Promote your business all yourself
One of the major problems small businesses face when building a marketing strategy is the lack of experience. This is why they decide to outsource their marketing efforts to digital marketing agencies. But, what if you cannot afford to hire one? Well, you can always do marketing on your own.
Now, digital marketing is extremely layered and it may be overwhelming for you, consider taking a few digital marketing courses for beginners to learn the basics. Then, to simplify repetitive processes, invest in the right digital marketing tools. For example, instead of investing in lots of fancy and pricey tools, you should choose just one comprehensive DIY SEO tool, designed to cover different aspects of their SEO efforts.
Choose free tools
As a jack of all trades at your company, you need to equip yourself with the right tools. Luckily, you don’t have to pay a small fortune for them, as there are numerous free digital marketing tools that may back you up.
- Canva is a nice free design tool you can use to create sweet visual content. You can use it to either refurbish your old images or design brand new ones. Unlike Photoshop, Canva works on simple drag-and-drop features and has numerous inbuilt templates, meaning it’s super-easy to use even by absolute beginners.
- Buffer is a powerful social media management tool that offers a wide range of options, from content curation, monitoring, and scheduling to thorough analyses. Apart from business plans, it offers a free starter plan.
- BuzzSumo offers a free content analyzer that presents you with the most popular topics around the keywords you enter. It lets you classify the topics based on the site’s TLD, language, and type, as well as tells you how people engage with it on social networks.
- MozBar and SEOquake extensions for Google Chrome provide you with valuable SEO insights, from doing the thorough on-site analysis to finding keywords on a page and classifying them.
- Trello is a task management app that offers free plans for the teams that are just starting off. This is a great way to boost your team’s collaboration and keep track of your digital marketing tasks effortlessly.
Building a solid digital marketing strategy on a limited budget
Finally, to promote your small business effectively, you need to invest in the right marketing tactics. Here are a few powerful and yet affordable ideas you should use.
Invest in social media
Social networks give you an amazing opportunity to build a solid online presence. When used strategically, they help you establish a unique tone and voice and position yourself as an authoritative source of information. Most importantly, they let you build strong relationships with your customers, show the human side of your brand, and offer exceptional customer services. For example, with social media monitoring tools, you can track your brand and product mentions and participate in your customers’ conversations in real-time.
Of course, the key to unlocking your social media marketing success lies in choosing the right platforms and knowing how to harness their power. For example, Facebook is ideal for presenting your company’s values and engaging wider audiences. Twitter lets you share your hottest content and industry news, while Instagram helps you humanize your brand and build a unique brand identity. Finally, LinkedIn is all about connecting with other industry experts.
Create quality content
Today, outbound marketing strategies don’t work anymore. Personalization, storytelling, and targeted messaging have become the backbone of any powerful marketing strategy. And, this is where content marketing shines. Publishing relevant, industry-specific, and engaging forms of content not only boosts your SEO efforts, but also helps you prove your credibility in the niche. Once they see the value your blog brings to them, people will consult it whenever they face a problem. Also, they will start sharing, commenting, and linking to your posts regularly, which is great for your SEO.
Sure, you don’t have to focus on creating articles only. There are other, highly interactive forms of content you may want to try out, such as infographics, videos, case studies, or podcasts.
Invest in local link building
No matter if you’ve already built links or not, you probably know that this is one of the most important SEO practices. As it contains numerous tactics, you need to choose the ones that align with your small business’ goals. For example, you could start with local building.
- Write guest posts. Publishing high-quality guest posts on authoritative blogs in your niche allows you to build quality links, expand your online following, and boost your online authority. Precisely because of that, you need to create truly insightful articles that resonate with your target audience. Most importantly, choose reputable sites that are relevant to your niche and that have a decent domain authority and following.
- Get listed on local directories. You should those directories that are relevant to your business’ location, industry, and category to get yourself noticed by your target audience.
- Leverage business review sites, such as Yelp, Glassdoor, or Angie’s List. According to the recent stats, customers review online business reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- Host a giveaway and promote it extensively on your site and social networks. For starters, encourage the participants to share your content or user-generated content. You could also reach out to the local newspapers and influencers to give your giveaway promotion a boost.
Over to you
Sure, there are still things you’ll have to pay for, including your website development and design, your domain name, web hosting, or paid ads. Still, there are numerous great ways to promote your business like a pro and yet, save money. These are just some of a plethora of examples and I hope you’ll find them useful!