Small businesses often find it hard to compete in a world already cluttered with big-budget advertising from well-established brands and businesses. Online marketing has presented a convenient and cost effective way to get the word out about services and products for both big and small businesses. Though cost is one of the toughest challenges small business marketers face, finding an effective strategy to get your brand out there amidst the noisy Internet presents a greater challenge. Here are some unconventional strategies to market your small business online without breaking the bank.
Social networks have great marketing potential, however, most business owners focus on making direct advertisements in these platforms. Though this method works, it is not always the best way to market. People crave high quality and engaging content, thus by blogging, sharing, tweeting, and updating content relevant to your industry, you can build a reputation as an expert in your field.
Whether you are selling enterprise software, or specialty products, it is highly likely that you have significant proficiency that you can share with your potential customers. You can create educational videos or post images showcasing your products or services in action, write how-to articles, tweet out or share commentary from an industry trade show among other things. Every bit of content you share on your social media profile, blog, or on third-party sites, can significantly drive traffic and search results, consequently boosting your brand and search results at very little or no cost.
Whoever said a picture can be worth a million words was not far from the truth; this is the reason why picture Infographics are powerful marketing tools. People love to share them, are easy to digest and are a visual eye candy, thus they are a very potent weapon in your arsenal drive up referral links and traffic. In this case, you might need to hire a designer to create a top quality infographics which can hit your wallet hard. Alternatively, you can learn to do it yourself if you do not mind a challenge; thus is not only a more affordable option but can also turn out to be fun. Similarly, marketing oriented entertaining short video clips have similar effect on generating leads and referrals. YouTube presents a powerful platform to create low cost, high impact content. All you need to do is to make a small investment in video editing software, a consumer-level camera and learn a few basics on video production.
Most small businesses operate on a tight budget, thus they are not likely to afford professional content writers to keep a constant stream of content for their blogs. Moreover, it takes time to create unique content by yourself and more so you are likely to run out of ideas after blogging on the same niche for some time. So instead of creating something completely new, you can innovatively refurbish content that already exists out there. Find some interesting content that relates to your niche and then polish it up by highlighting the most interesting or important sections, add some charts, images and also throw in some of your owns ideas and predictions. Besides repurposing of the existing studies, you can also convert your old content into new useful forms. For instance, you can convert your blog posts into an ebook, or a webinar into a video tutorial. The content presented in a new form will reengage your existing audience, further attract more prospects and market your small business online.
Super users are customers who love your brand, and actively share their positivity about your brand out there. You should target to increase the number of such customers through targeting and cultivating. For instance, if you sell purses, you can create super users by searching for customers who love talking and sharing about purses and then invite them check out your online catalog and further give them an incentive to purchase and share about your product by giving them a significant discount on any item any they purchase. If any of these customers shares positively about your purses, send a thank you note and give him/her a further discount any other item he/she purchases. This way, you will be able to indirectly woo and create brand ambassadors, who have greater reach and value than direct marketing through your official channels at a fraction of the cost.
With small businesses and startups not having the access to big-budget advertising capital to put their brand names out there, having and effective online marketing strategy presents a superior alternative to generate leads to their business. Though unconventional, these strategies are simple, effective and do not require a big budget.
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