Plan your marketing strategy with our free marketing ideas
If you’re a business that’s just starting out, it can be tricky to understand which marketing avenue to venture down first. As much as you’d like to be the next Apple or McDonalds, one of the main things on your mind at this critical stage of business is probably money. Financial limitations are one of the biggest hurdles for start-up companies to overcome. However, there are still ways for you to market your company, without breaking the bank.
Here are some free marketing ideas:
1. Build your contact list
Before you begin your online or offline publicity drive, build some contacts. Introduce yourselves to people in the same industry as you. Find ‘thought leaders’ and say hello.
Promote your product to certain groups of people; for example, consider allowing a group of people to use your product or service for free, in return for good quality feedback. That way you’ll know how your customers will react, and you can iron out any creases before the big launch.
When you are contacting your chosen group of people use these tips:
- Keep it simple
- Get straight to the point
- Explain what’s in it for them
- Keep your pitch short
- Send one email and include one objective.
2. Use social media
Of course, social media had to be mentioned at some point. Social media is the biggest free tool available for start-up businesses. Consider how your business will operate on each social network. Retailers can use Pinterest and Instagram to showcase their products easily, whereas communications companies can use Twitter and Facebook to their advantage.
Consider using some of the lesser known social media sites to promote your business. They won’t be as saturated, and one you’ve gained a following you can start using the big boys.
3. Local marketing
If your business is up and running, you can now move forward and start contacting local media outlets and bloggers in your field of interest. Big media companies have millions of requests per day, and whilst they may appear helpful and useful, you should start your promotion at home.
Once you have your website and social media outlets set up, consider sending press releases to the appropriate sources. Journalists want to read success stories and great experiences. Follow these tips for great PR:
- Ask them to write about your company directly. Don’t beat around the bush.
- Have something to offer, for example, certain money off deals for specific publication readers.
- Share your entrepreneurship story, local papers will promote local people.
- Keep it short. Include in your press release only two things: what is the benefit for the user, and your website URL.
4. Take advantage of SEO
Using SEO effectively is a long term investment, but it means your business will appear in Google, Bing or Yahoo searches. If your customers are looking for a specific service, chances are they will jump onto a search engine. Find a focus keyword, and stick to it. Remember: although flash makes beautiful emails it cannot be read by the search engine robots. Keep your keywords in text form.
These tips will help your business in varying speeds. By contacting local media and starting social media accounts, you can have quite an impact in a short space of time.
The final tip is more of a long term investment as it can take time to build your reputation, but once you have, your business can be very successful.