Marketing is not free, you either pay for it in time or money. And if you have a shoestring budget, you may opt for the time option. With the rise of social media platforms, you can now promote your business without breaking the bank until you got the funds to level up to paid traffic. And whether you’re an existing business or a newly established start-up launching into new territory, implementing certain low-cost marketing strategies that won’t break the bank is essential.
In this blog post, I will discuss three budget-friendly tactics that you can use to stand out from competitors, attract potential customers, and build relationships with your prospects —all while staying within your budget.
Let’s get started.
1. Create Valuable Content
In this digital era, you need to develop online content. Online content can help you reach a broader audience base, and it can be any engagement tool, such as a website, copy, blogs (written words), videos (YouTube/Facebook), images (infographics), and digital assets (eBooks, PDFs, cheat sheets, templates).
Every business should have a website to house its content since it allows customers to see the products and services you offer while allowing you to get your brand out into the public eye.
Ensure your website includes blog posts, videos, and digital assets to improve your branding. These contents are great ways of building trust if prospects find them helpful, educational, and informative.
However, this is easier said than done.
If you do not have the time to create valuable content such as websites, blogs, and videos, you can hire private freelancers who will appreciate the work, and they will ensure that your content is created promptly on the schedule that you set for them.
And with the popularity of AI-generated articles, you can create content much faster. However, beware that eventually, it will sound monotonous if you do not inject your insight, experience, and wisdom into the content.
Here are Five tools and strategies that you can use to develop content FAST!
Use WordPress as the content management platform
Although there are Wix, Squarespace, Webflow, Weebly, and many others, we still prefer WordPress as there is an abundance of themes and plugins that you can use in the marketplace to jazz up your website.
Furthermore, it is scalable – meaning as you grow your business, you can also grow your existing website without changing to a different platform.
This website is built entirely on WordPress.
For Images, short videos, and Audio:
Use StoryBlocks or EnvatoElements, It’s just a small subscription fee, and you can access millions of stocks asset. You can also use Adobe Stocks as their images are more premium.
For Blog Content:
Use MS Word and its built-in Dictation feature. Or outsource to freelancers and contractors to write for you. Alternatively, there’s a myriad of Content AI tools that you can use to create content for you, but be sure to add your insights and flair into it to reflect your voice.
For On-Page Optimisation:
Use YOAST SEO – this is a WordPress plugin that allows you to optimise your Blog, Video, and web page content so that Google and other search engines can identify your content.
And to speed up this process, you need to index your webpage (juiced with content) through the GSC.
Google Search Console (GSC):
Once you have optimised your content (webpage, Blog, Infographic), the next step is to index it on Google Search Console to start appearing on the search engines. If not, you may have to wait a long for Google bots to find your content.
Indexing is like getting priority attention from Google, almost like cutting the queue.
If you need help setting this up, click on this link.
2. Distribute Content to Multiple Social Media Channels
The second most cost-effective way to reach potential customers and communicate with existing customers is through distributing your content to multiple social media channels. Some people coin this activity as social media marketing. Others may call this strategy omnichannel marketing.
Most people have at least one social media profile and page, and many have several. And using your social media accounts to help leverage your business exposure is cost-effective and a clever marketing tactic, as one post can reach hundreds of people.
And depending on what you are selling, you may consider having social media accounts on the top major platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn at least. There are many others, but these five seem to be the most popular with people of all ages.
Now there are two types of strategies for using social media: free posting and paid communication. We will cover the paid communication in another blog (click to read more)
But, there is a catch with the free posting: it is a time-consuming process as you must create post, draft, and schedule the posts to ensure it is posted daily or weekly, create content/ images, and ensure your posts get distributed to multiple channels.
Fortunately, there is a tool to handle this arduous activity – coming right up.
Our suggestion is to use social media: free posting to establish your credibility and trust and to bring traffic to your site so that you can offer them a lead magnet when they enter your domain.
Remember that the etiquette for using the free posting platform is to provide valuable content and share your social event, not to perform a hard sell on your visitors. These media giants will not like it, and you may be banned for breaching their terms and conditions.
However, if you wish to try your luck and many have done so successfully, using free social media posting to sell their services may generate some sales. But to penetrate the barrier of success, you need paid ads, valuable content, and a lead generation system.
Tools to manage social media engagements
- Buffer, Hootsuite, and Sprout are some of the top management platforms. Depending on your budget, choose one that fits your style.
3. Engage With Past, Present, and Prospective Customers.
To engage them without appearing too confrontational, use Emails. You must invest money to have writers write emails to engage with your email list. This strategy is called email marketing.
Email marketing is a great way to connect and re-engage with customers if you don’t overdo it. Nobody wants to see emails attempting to spur a purchase in their email inbox daily.
To utilise email marketing effectively, limit your emails to 1-3 times a week unless there is a special sale or event and you want to remind people when it occurs.
Otherwise, email marketing should be a way to let your customers know that a new blog post is up, a sale is underway on products or services, or even that you’re opening a new location for your business.
Email marketing is cost-effective but time-consuming. And it is a great way to keep your current customers informed if done correctly.
But first, you need to build your list, and here’s a tip.
You can build your email database by drawing traffic from your Social Media Post (content). And once the visitor lands on your website, offer them gifts/ tools (lead magnet) that help them solve a specific problem in exchange for their name and email address.
If you need help setting this up, talk to us.
Tools that can ease the tasks of your Email marketing activity.
- ActiveCampaign, Ontraport, MailChimp, Hubspot are some of the major email marketing software to automate your lead generation system.
BONUS TIP #1.
Although I mentioned earlier that I’d give three cost-effective ways to market your business, I thought I’d throw in a new bonus as it is the most oversight free marketing strategy: Google My Business – GMB. As example, see picture below.
You’d be surprised that not all businesses have a business data panel on the side of the google search engine.
You must set it up manually to have your business appear in that panel box. Google will not set it up for you regardless of your years in the business. This activity is a simple but time-consuming process: you must provide your business details, tick the correct boxes, and perform verification tasks to appear on this panel.
Overall, Google My Business is one of the most cost-effective free marketing tools on the Google search engine. It gives you instant credibility that Google recognises your business.
Alright, here’s how can do it now.
- Create a new business Gmail account or use an existing one.
- Open a new browser and ensure your profile is active on the top right corner.
- Type “Google my business” on the search field, or find this Icon within the nine dots.
- Click on the link and follow the prompts. Is that easy
BONUS TIP #2. – Digital Business Card & WOM.
Paper-based business cards and word of mouth are old, but they are still the No. 1 cost-effective way of marketing. But the days of simply handing out your business cards are over as people turn to search engines to locate the types of businesses they seek. And now they have digital business cards that you can customise and style your business card instantly without having to throw out boxes of cards if you make a mistake.
And with word of mouth, fortunately, it still remains one of the best ways to market your business as it is super low cost, furthermore, you get instant credibility from the people who refer you. With word of mouth, you can now level up your game by incorporating a referral program webpage on your website to invite anyone to refer businesses to you and they will get a commission – much like an affiliated marketing. I’ve written an article on this, read here for more information here
But as a business owner, you need more than that. Depending on your offering, you can’t rely on handing out cards and people’s word of mouth to bring in consistent sales, as it will eventually dry out, therefore investing in content creation is your best bet as I have described above.
There you have it!
To conclude, when it comes to affordable and effective marketing strategies, there are many avenues available for businesses on a tight budget. Developing valuable content is key to successful content marketing. Distributing that content through multiple channels will ensure a wide reach. Engaging with customers on-and offline significantly improves customer relationships, leading to more traffic and sales. Additionally, making sure your business is listed on Google My Business increases local visibility and is only one step away from reaching potential customers near you.
There’s no better time to start capitalising on these tactics than now! If you’re interested in learning more ways to strategically expand your business’s success, join our workshop and get the best tactical advice.
Remember, there are a handful of marketing strategies nowadays that you can use to attract new customers and intrigue current clients. And we hope this article has provided clarity and direction with your marketing strategy without incurring significant expenses. If you need customised help to build your business, click here. If you are interested in joining a business growth program, please click here. If you need help with your marketing, click here.