I cannot afford national ad fees but I want to market nationally. How can I do this on a shoestring?
It is $ 900 per quarter just for my own professional journal. There are several good magazines to be in. How can I shoestring this marketing?
Look at an industry trade shows. But first your website is global. Consider all of the parts and elements that fall under "Promotion, " in the Nine P's of Marketing. Check out http://.nineps.com, and specifically all of the components under Promotion. Use a budget. Start small, if you have a limited budget. Work on networking and Partnerships, also in the 9P's of Marketing.
Always remember that publicity is no cost advertising. You can also leverage very small media buys by telling a possibly interested correspondent about what you are doing. Media is naturally prone to support their customers.
Try SlideShare I have a growing following and also a top rated LinkedIn profile, both are free and worth the effort.
I would guess that there are a few good Groups on Linked in that people in your industry participate in. Get involved in your industry group discussions. Find as many Blogs pertaining to your industry and comment or contribute to the blog discussions. These things I mention are all free. Don't forget when you post to a blog site to include the link to your website and over time, people begin to recognize you and your company. Do Press Releases on Media sites. Many of them allow press releases to be free. If you belong to any Association in your industry, that is one of the best ways to get known. Get involved in your own association and it will reap rewards. I have belong to an Association for years that is in my industry and have served on some of their committees and their board. Your name gets out there. People from around the country started contacting me as a result of just participating more in my industry. If you are a member of the Better Business Bureau, that is another great way for name
recognition. My own local BBB charges a reasonable annual fee and in exchange I have spent years maintaining an A+ rating with no complaints. It's like getting free advertising to have a listing in the BBB no matter where you are
in the country. I take out ads in certain publications that are inexpensive, but effective. Good luck to you Deborah. You can do it and not break the bank.
It depends on what kind of product you are selling and which segmet in market you target at. Trade shows, Social media, and PR are other options for you.
There are two very good ways.
The first is using social media: LinkedIn, blogging, YouTube videos and possible Pinterest and Facebook, depending on what your product is.
The second is to offer to write those articles for those magazines. They may not pay, but the also won't charge you. It is a good way to demonstrate your expertise.
Lots of ways.
One of the best follows this structure (and yes I can be hired for more info):
Create G+ account, Business Page & Topical (niche) Community Page
Create a YouTube account and topical channel
Create a series of 2-4 minute "infomercial" videos (with your talking head!) and put them on your channel (in sets of playlists for sub-topics)
Optimize the YouTube channel, video, and playlist entries (for SEO etc.)
Start having regular Hangouts On Air (HOA, Google/YouTube free broadcast facility) this can be done "privately" within your G+ Community or publicly
Be sure to use G+ Events to help publicize your HOAs
Post topic rich articles on your G+ page and then include them in your blog via iframes (real good SEO from Google this way)
Sorry, did I mention create a website with a blog...
Follow this scheme and you will match or beat almost anyone (even those with money) in your field!
Aside from the free media, I'd start with the correct research on your ideal clients, then I might suggest the right mix of SEO and Social. Let me know if I can help you with anything.
Please register for free on all Yellow pages, Blue Pages, Pink Pages, Search Engines, item oriented sites etc.
Hi Deborah, you mention that you're spending nearly $4k/year ($900 per quarter) to advertise in your own professional journal. Question is: what does that gain you? Recognition by peers in your field? Is it effective? Achieving your goals? Leading to more business referrals? What are your goals? Who are you trying to reach? The answers to those questions will drive & create your best "toolkit" marketing solution. Perhaps you've got all these answers, yet, it's not clear from the question. If that's the case, then the PR route -- name recognition is your best bet: on & off-line, to start & grow from there. As well, the comment, re: have you exhausted your local market yet, before deciding to expand nationally. Wish you the best!
The answers so far are correct, but why not find investors to build the budget so you can afford more. Giving them limited power in the organization for advertising dollars makes sense in a lot of ways and they will want you to grow to make a return on their investment.
Hi Deborah! I'll provide an answer according to my expertise.
Have you considered barter? Barter allows you to leverage your idle time and surplus against expenses such as advertising. Through a barter exchange you can purchase necessary advertising and pay for it with future business the exchange brings to you. This has several benefits to you. When you barter purchases at your prevailing rates, you don't incur further overhead so each incremental dollar costs you less to earn. You increase your customer base and conserve your cash. Most barter exchanges provide an interest free line of credit or will purchase a volume of business up front for future use.
Look for a local or international barter exchange that services your area. Pay specific attention to the products and services the exchange promotes to ensure they have what you need available to you.
I have read through the answers so far and I agree that creating your own PR and Social Media Outreach can be very successful. This is something you can do yourself or with a small budget hire a company to do for you. Another option is Radio.
Internet Radio is dominating the virtual airwaves and you have many options since their are more than 8 Billion shows a day that air. You can contact me or visit places like blog talk radio, stitcher, and even iTunes Podcast to find a show or network that is right for your reach. The reason I suggested this avenue, is not because I own a network, but when a show is recorded it is available for download for years to come. Just as an example, we have about 500 new visitors a month. After listening to one show they want to go back and listen to some of the networks earlier work. Any commercials associated with that episode is always available. So buying ad space with internet radio can be the best investment you have ever made. Did I mention that it also has an international reach?
Consider this with any national reach you are going for.
How long you want a campaign to run
Get live on air yourself or someone in the company
You don't expect us to know how to solve your dilemma without sharing with us your market, offer and goals correct? Communication clarity is the KEY in anything you do online. All of us are pros who are very busy, I get these questions sent to my email so if I bother answering, I would like the person posting the question to spend 5 min being as specific as possible.
Whoever tried to provide a solution without knowing the real problem is just shooting out whatever comes to mind.
Forget about channels and funnels until you clarify the basics. If you know exactly who your market is, you will know how to reach them and get their attention at minimal costs.
There is some very good information here on the thread. I have been marketing for over 30 years. First what I don't do, advertising, SEO, social media, making websites and what I call the internet jargon. Saying that I am top of Google ranking on such searches as Chicago small business Google marketing - I am page 1 numbers 2 and 3. Lots of other examples of this.
Some concepts - We play where we can win. You don't want to battle the advertisers unless you have big money to do so and that was not your question.
I create authority campaigns. It is similar to a political campaign where I act as campaign manager and the professional/business is the candidate. This is for professionals and businesses which will be actively involved just like a political candidate. We create authority within their field. This requires the person has the experience, reputation and qualifies as such as if we create the authority they have to live up to it. We see who is eligible and qualifies. As Amara said well there is then a stamp of legitimacy. We are particular about this as our reputation is involved as well.
This is not about spending lots of money but it is about having the experience, knowledge, connections and authority to be able to create it.
The main thing I look for is the heart of the business. That becomes the main message. Campaigns are implemented around the heart of the business. Technology is used as a tool not the driving element so we consider ourselves artists not technicians and each work is like a piece of art unique.
I am not looking for your target market. I am looking for the heart of my client.
A suggestion -- find a PR professional (in your selected product/service or niche) have them generate some buzz, link your message to white papers, ads, etc. you have already generated. Then you come across as the expert and trade ad inquiries will be directed to you and possible do an editorial for free on your product/service.
Try PR - press releases and go digital, where you can control ad spend.
Why do you feel the need to advertise and market nationally? Are you dominating your local and regional markets?
Deborah, the name of the game in marketing is knowing specifically who YOUR target market is and figuring ways to get your message to THEM on a regular basis.
Publishing articles or getting news mentions (PR) in your trade journals -- and also many of the holistic health and related magazines -- can definitely be good. But you have to keep at it. The key is frequency, regularity.
Another good route would be regular, periodic email or direct mail to a very targeted list. You can sometimes rent or buy lists from reputable trade organizations (though there are plenty of list shysters out there, so beware). Or you can/should start building your own lists from sources like professional meetings and conference attendance.
But beware when someone advises you that the only thing you need is "social media" but they give you no specifics as to how they expect to reach your target audience. And there are thousands of new "experts" out there today doing exactly that. They imply that all you need to do is get a Facebook page, a Twitter account and sign on to Pinterest and LinkedIn -- and wait for the hordes of new clients and movie stars to start sending you all their money! I wish it were that simple, but it's not.
And nothing will happen until you start getting your message out -- not to the world at large, but to your target audience specifically.
Speaking from my areas of expertise (PPC/SEO) I can give you a few pointers.
PPC (pay per click advertising) is an advertising model where you can get an almost instant ROI. You have your ad positioned in search results from Google/Bing etc, the ad position is defined mainly by how much you are willing to spend per click. You then pay that amount only when someone clicks the ads.
My advice on a shoestring would be to do some good keyword research, find the keywords that don't have much competition and target long-tailed keywords, being in top spot is not necessary and often a really bad idea. Imagine a scenario where two of your competitors are outbidding each other, would it be better to enter an auction with these two and have to pay say $10 per click or happily take 3rd position that costs only $1? As long as your ads are formatted well, you can often get a click rate better than those above you.
Keep within budget, tailor the ads to your landing page and test test test, these are key to success with PPC.
To be more specific and to get a little mathematic, say your conversion rate when visitors get to your site is 5%, that means 1 in 20 converts. If each conversion is worth say $200 to you (profit) then each visitor is worth $10 ($200 / 20 people). If your ads pre-qualify your visitor then having a cost per click of <$10 means you are going to profit to some extent. Then you just upscale it to a level you need.
There's no need for an agency on a shoe-string, the average 20% fee would be better off spent on your ads, if you find you've hit a level and can't get further, then that's the time to bring in an agency which has the expertise to be able to better your own efforts. Bear in mind that you'll need to earn an extra 20% to be able to cover their costs but this should be adjusted by the time factor, your time will now be free to do what you're good at.
Where PPC sees almost instant returns, as soon as you stop the ads, your visitors dry up too, this is why you need to implement an SEO strategy, the results take longer to come in (months) but they continue after you stop working on them. In respects of SEO, there are many places that will show you how to set your "meta", but the real power of SEO comes through the sites that link to you.
Here's how real SEO works: SEO is based on authority (it used to be known as Pagerank, however, it's evolved over time to become Authority Rank). If a site which Google considers to be highly authoritative links to your site, some of that authority passes down to your site like a drain. Your authority is based on the quality of sites linking to you, NOT the number of sites. You could easily have 10,000 sites linking to you and gain nothing through it, yet have one authority site link to you and you can become the authority site in your field.
You should not go out hunting down links, this is against Google's guidelines, but instead, the quality of your site should ensure sites link to you. One of the best ways I've seen to do this is to investigate some market statistics via a survey. Collate all the data and prepare it into a nice presentation, then release it through numerous press release sites saying that your research can be quoted as long as you're properly noted as the author. Some press release sites are of the most authoritative on the net because of their strict moderation process. The links you'll get from the site as well as other sites quoting you will be invaluable to becoming your own authority and this will be seen in high search engine rankings.
Hope these rips have helped and good luck!