Are you looking for ways to grow your small business? Are you just starting out and working with a limited marketing budget?
We share 18 marketing techniques to try in this infographic.
Here are the first five from the list:
- Get links from your service providers
- Search for unlinked mentions
- Host a webinar
- Be a blog commenter
Check out the infographic for more detail.
Profitable marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, and it’s certainly not difficult to do. In fact, there are several marketing techniques that can bring you results without costing you an arm and a leg in terms of time and effort.
Use the following 18 profitable marketing techniques that cost you time, not money to explore options that can help your business grow and thrive while keeping you free from the stress and financial burden of increasing your marketing budget.
Get links from your service providers
It’s hard to believe but many service providers will happily link to you for free or little cost.
For example: your accountant, lawyer and web designer can all be excellent choices for business and reference links. We write case studies about a lot of our clients after they have gone live, and each case study page links to our client’s website.
There are more of these types of people than you might think and getting free or low-cost links from them will get you high value, authoritative links.
Search for unlinked mentions
It’s critical that you use online tools like Google Alerts to keep track of when your company is mentioned in third-party publications.
If you find a mention of your company in an unexpected location, ask if they can add a link to your website using your company name as anchor text. This will increase your organic traffic from search results and will likely lead to more links from other sites.
Be proactive! Find websites with content related to your industry that don’t currently link back to you; then contact them directly or try leaving comments on their site mentioning specific pages or articles.
Host a webinar
Webinars can help you reach a wide audience at low cost. They’re especially effective when used to showcase products or services.
Make sure to announce it across your social media platforms well in advance so people know when they should tune in for all of your key insights and recommendations.
The goal is to use webinars as lead-generation tools that will turn into actual sales down the road.
Another great way to grow your business is to reach out to others whose content you admire and see if they’d be willing to cross-promote with you.
When pitching other people on partnership ideas, include some great ways that their audience can connect with yours by offering some unique value that will help them grow their own business.
Just make sure your approach doesn’t come across as spammy!
One way to keep it professional is to be clear about what each party brings to the table—what are you offering? What are they getting in return?—and why it makes sense for both of you.
Be a blog commenter
If you want to build your credibility as a thought leader and establish your voice as an authority in your industry (and it doesn’t hurt that other bloggers might link to or quote you), writing thoughtful comments on blogs is a great place to start.
It can also help draw attention to your own site—as long as you comment in a way that adds value to the conversation.
Never hijack someone else’s thread with self-promotion, for example; go so far over-the-top in responding to every single point they make that no one will remember who started it all.
Help a reporter out (HARO)
If you don’t already know about HARO (Help a Reporter Out), then you should. This website is a fantastic resource for journalists looking for expert sources to quote in their articles.
But it’s also a great resource for anyone who wants to get their message out there—in your case, as an expert source.
Just be sure to thoroughly read each email from reporters to make sure it’s something you can truly speak about and that it aligns with your messaging and marketing goals.
Network in person
The old saying It’s not what you know, it’s who you know is worth taking seriously. Don’t underestimate how much time networking in person can save you down the road.
It may seem like a waste of time when your business is just getting off the ground. But at some point you will have to put in an in-person appearance or someone will want to meet in person to talk business.
Most professional associations hold meetings where anyone can come and get value from the programs offered; don’t be intimidated by that prospect—go and listen.
Run a contest
Contests and giveaways can attract more people to your page…if they’re actually interested in what you have to offer. So make sure it’s worth their while before launching a contest.
Contests are a great way to drum up interest in your product or service—for instance, asking customers to submit their own uses for an existing product.
Contest winners are rewarded with prizes that you provide for free in exchange for increased exposure. Be sure to craft a good promotion strategy first, though!
Build a referral program
Creating a referral program for your business is a simple way to generate more sales without spending an extra penny. Plus, referrals also let customers do some of your marketing work for you!
Create a referral program by rewarding those who refer their friends and family with points that can be redeemed on future purchases. Make sure you clearly explain how it works and provide every customer with a personalised link to share on social media or via email.
To encourage them even further, offer additional rewards for sharing your website on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. For example: Customers earn 5% off their next purchase when they share a unique coupon code from your site.
Tweet up a storm in your niche
Twitter is one of most powerful tools available to people trying to market themselves or their products. It’s free and easy to use and works wonders when you know how.
The key is knowing your niche and who your target audience is. Choose keywords relevant to your area and tweet what people want, not what you want them to hear.
Once you build a following on Twitter, they will naturally check out your website where they can read more about what interests them and hopefully take an action that benefits both of you.
Upsell your existing customers
Upselling is when you try to get existing customers to spend more money with you by offering products or services of higher value.
A great way to upsell your existing customers is through bundling. Bundle two or three things together, with one item being offered at a discount in exchange for buying another—this way they’re getting more than one thing for their money and it’s an instant sale.
The reason why it works so well is because you are capitalising on customers wanting to save some cash; we all love discounts!
But make sure not to make any sacrifices here; if anything, try and offer extra items instead of discounts—that way you can come across as giving them something extra but not taking away from what was originally promised.
Get cozy with niche influencers
While influencers and celebrities can bring a lot of attention to your brand and generate clicks to your site or store, it’s important that you build relationships with people who are most likely to become long-term customers.
This means spending time working with niche influencers—people whose communities are closely aligned with your brand’s values and offerings. Consider how you can incentivise these influencers (with paid or free products) in exchange for promoting your business.
Rather than hoping celebrity social media hype will lead to a purchase, engage more targeted influencers. These campaigns often cost little-to-no money and have less chance of going viral on their own – but they do far more to cultivate loyal customers.
Claim a hashtag
We’re not advocating for hashtag spamming, but claiming a few that fit your niche can be a great way to pull in traffic.
If you create content often enough around one topic or area, you could build yourself a healthy community over time, but if you only post sporadically and don’t foster engagement with readers, hashtags won’t do much for you.
If you stick with it, though, as well as sharing high-quality content regularly—and responding to users when they engage with those posts—you could find success using hashtags.
Get more user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is a great way to boost engagement on social media platforms and increase traffic to your website. If you want more UGC for your business, show off your users’ work as much as possible.
Keep an eye out for those users who post useful or interesting things—ask them if they would like to be interviewed by you. Publish these interviews on your site in addition to their posts.
Talk to your followers
When it comes to marketing your brand online, building a solid following is essential. And it’s important that you know how to engage with that audience as well.
Before you do anything else, talk to your followers. Get to know them and learn more about what they want to see from you in terms of content.
See what kind of questions they have for you and answer them whenever possible.
If you’re looking for traffic and exposure to your brand, you may want to reach out to a website or two and offer a guest post on a topic related to your expertise.
If your content is deemed valuable enough, there may even be some opportunities down the road for further partnerships or compensation as you both build your individual brands.
Creating relationships with influencers in other industries that have audiences that might overlap with yours, then following up periodically via email or social media will go a long way toward introducing yourself—and potentially earning cross-industry referrals down the line.
Look at websites with high domain authority and contact sites that aren’t necessarily in your industry but are still relevant to your target audience.
Create a LinkedIn group
LinkedIn groups are a great way to connect with peers and experts. When you create a group, you can segment out your members based on skills or interests—this allows you to target people who might be interested in what you’re offering.
It also allows you to better organise your own expertise so that other professionals can contact you directly. When creating a LinkedIn group, make sure to promote it by sharing it with relevant groups and posting updates about it regularly.
Give free help to others
Giving free help to others is a great way to get your name out there. It can be in any form of marketing you want, whether its writing guest posts on other websites or giving out free tips for people who email you directly.
Even if it doesn’t translate into direct sales immediately, word-of-mouth will spread over time and soon enough people will start contacting you with paid work opportunities.