Even though best practice is to set aside at least 10% of your revenue to go towards promoting your business not everyone has the budget to do so.
Sometimes you're just starting out using your own money and other times you may just be having a bad year. Maybe you have a good budget, but not enough to hire a full-time employee or an outside agency to partner with on marketing.
Here's the thing; even if you do have a healthy budget, it's still good to know a few things you can do to save yourself some money here and there. This way you can use the money as efficiently as possible for the best ROI.
So without adding a bunch of fluff, here are 3 ways you can market your business for free.
I'm sure you've seen this list before or at least heard of one of the things on this list. I'm honestly not sharing anything new. These have been around for a while now.
These are still 3 of the most effective ways to market today. I will share a few things that will hopefully add a new sense of respect for each and provide ways to get an edge up on your competitors.
The truth is sometimes we get so caught up in the latest trend we forget to just do what actually works and stay consistent. We see this most often when people aren't getting the results they want when they think they should get them.
So let's dive in.
1. Social Media
This is an amazing branding tool and a great way to promote your business, generate leads and engage your audience.
Don't expect to make a few posts and viola get leads and sales. Social media works best when done consistently over time with relevance.
Your social posts should work towards a common goal. They don't need to promote your business or services as much as share the heart of your business.
Your posts need to be helpful. They need to speak toward a specific persona. They need to allow room for people to engage.
You need to engage promptly. Don't let days go by without responding to comments on posts or in chat.
Use video and images more than texts. Use live video to share or connect with your audience.
Share posts from people outside your company who have a similar audience as you. Monitor your competitors' social feeds.
Use social to promote everything about your business. Use social to generate traffic to your website with calls-to-action.
Use social to build and share your company's brand story.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Organic search is still the number 1 generator of website traffic. In today's world search has evolved quite a bit with the introduction of smart phones.
So why search? Because people search for content in so many forms. Do a search on Google. Go ahead, open a new tab and do it.
Look at all the types of results. Sure you see the default search results, but look at the tabs across the top; images, videos, shopping, maps, news, books, and more.
Look at all the types of content that you can create to make sure that you show up in search.
The truth is SEO is so competitive because it's become easier. It's as simple as producing content that helps the people who search.
Consider a "How To" blog post. Something like "How to record video on a Google Pixel Smartphone".
This blog would simply list out the steps on how to create a video on the Google Pixel smartphone.
Now take this post and do a video walk-through using the same steps. Then create an image that has all the steps listed.
Make sure that they all are named "How to record video on a Google Pixel Smartphone".
You created 3 pieces of content from one idea that are now searchable for the same keyword and all point back to your website.
Consider how you can apply this to your business with your content. Who are you trying to attract and what do they search for that's relevant to your business?
Create pillar pages. Blogging is an easy way to build authority with search engines.
Not sure what we mean by pillar content? Check out this blog post by HubSpot outlining pillar pages and why they matter.
3. Email Marketing
In our opinion email is still the number one form of marketing. Even better is that it's free using platforms like MailChimp.
The best thing about email is that you own your list. If social platforms were to ever start charging, go out of business, as many have, you'd still have your email list even after you lose your social contacts.
Consider all the work it would take to move your Facebook contacts over to Snapchat. With email list, you don't have to worry about which social platform is trending. You simply need to write good emails with good subject lines.
Email allows you to nurture contacts. Amazingly your email list, when done properly, is a list of contacts who have asked for you to email them.
Through email you have a direct line to their inbox and in most cases their smart phones.
What can you promote for free?
In case you're wondering how you can use each of these strategies or what you can promote, I'll list out 30 ideas to get you started.
You can promote each of these on social, through email, or use them for SEO.
Hopefully this gives you a good place to start. If you have questions or would like to share some of your own ideas, please feel free to connect with us. We'd love to hear from you.
Are you looking for ideas to market your business? Do you want to generate more leads? Absolutely!
You should download this free eBook: 47 Ways to Promote Your Website. It will start you on your way to becoming a master in lead generation.
Written by Tim Jones
As the founder of E-W, this comic artist has always held a passion for entrepreneurship and helping people—this grew into helping small business compete with larger competitors through branding and online marketing.
Eternal Works has found success under Tim's unique leadership in the creative industry and a strong focus on accountability.
"My goal is always to develop long term relationships with our clients that are built on blunt honesty, transparency and accountability. When it comes down to it, our clients have to know we are in their corner first."
Tim's hobbies include hanging with family and friends, watching NBA games, eating good food, music and drawing.