What is the best way to advertise your business if you do not have a marketing budget?
I have very little if no money to advertise my business. What are some inexpensive or free ways to effectively market your products and services
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No matter what your business is, the best way to advertise sans marketing budget is word of mouth! This doesn't have to be in the traditional sense, where you're hoping people run into each other at the store and chat about your business....there are a lot of free ways you can push people to talk about your business!
Everyone on here is so right: social media and website are a great way. Offer incentives for people to write a review about your business. I'm not sure what kind of business you have, but say let's hypothesize and say you have a coffee shop. You can offer 10% off your next drink if you leave a review of your experience. Or how about incentivizing a day of free in-store refills if people help you hit 500 fans on Facebook? Etc. Be careful how you word things though.....don't make it seem like you're trying to BUY positive reviews from people.
If you are a brick and mortar, host groups, events and get-togethers at your business if possible. That way other people are doing the work of bringing customers and attention to your business.
Hope this helps, and good luck!
I appreciate and liked this post. It is quite interesting as working your business to develop into what you would like it to be is quite difficult if you don't even consider of having a strategy. With a marketing plan, you may utilize what you currently have in the most effective way possible. So I am grateful to learn more from you guys. Looking forward to hear more of your ideas. =)
Here's a good low-cost marketing tool that almost no one knows about: One-to-one direct mail...
Create a good, strong, compelling but simple mailer (oversize postcards can work well) and mail it one at a time to key prospects as you identify them. Follow up with a personal phone call directly to those prospects in 3-5 days. Follow up with another mailer and phone call 3-4 weeks later. Track each one like a bloodhound, and don't give up.
Works much better than old-fashioned cold-calling. Just remember, if you don't have the marketing budget you're going to need to put in the extra personal time and effort. There is no free lunch in marketing -- regardless of all the new gurus who promise that there is.
Here are three simple things you can do:
1. Do social media marketing and networking i.e. Google+, Facebook etc... (it's best to pick one at first and then add on other networks).
2. Find out the top companies/people in your industry and build an alliance with them. This helps if you're not a direct competitor with them. You can write guest posts for them on their blogs, they can send out email promos for your products in exchange for you doing something for them.
3. The last thing is that you want to write press releases that are keyword optimized and put them on the free press release sites. You can also try to submit them to your local paper.
These things will get you off to a great start.
Obviously by using technology, social media and blogging.
This is not advertising per se but start by making sure that you are taking full advantage of all the free listings, directories, etc. that are available to you. Your business is already probably listed in quite a few places online. You can search for your competition and see what sites come up. That'd be a pretty good start for where you ought to be.
Make sure that you have claimed your business page at Google, Yahoo, Yelp, etc. Once you've let them know that you are the business owner, then you'll be able to fully enhance your listing and update it. You'll also be able to respond to every review or comment that appears. It's important that you do this to show that you're paying attention and that you care.(your responses should be well written, polite, respectful, of course, because they'll be there forever.
And, in general, start to pay close attention to your online reputation. Reply to anything written about your business and be part of the social media community by writing and replying and "showing your digital face".
You can get a lot done for free.
Go out and network. Get to know people and help them get to know you. What events are in your area that you could attend? Where does your target market go? Who are the power partners that you could connect with who can refer business to you?
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