Marketing Your Business with Zero Budget
August 16, 2010 8 Comments
Make sure you business is listed on the Free listing sites on the Web – awesomize.me, Google, Yelp, MerchantCircle, Google Local Business Center, Angie’s List, Yahoo! Local, YellowPages.com, SearchLocal, SuperPages, etc. These sites are the first thing your potential customer will check out the moment they hear about you. Before they contact you, they want to know more about you. They are all FREE 🙂
Make sure to include as much detail as possible about your business. i.e. phone number, URL, general contact info, etc.
Most of these sites have Feedback reviews. So, do your best to encourage your customers to give you their two cents on these sites.
2. Vlog and Blog Baby Blog
By blogging, tweeting, sharing, and updating about things relevant to your industry, you can build credibility in your field.
Don’t have large budget to pay the big advertising/marketing firms for creating your videos? not a problem, check out my previous post on Tips for marketing your business via online video – particularly, check out the Bethesda based internet company GeniusRocket.
The company is the destination for all your creative marketing needs because it uses crowd sourcing – tapping the wisdom of the masses for ideas and solutions, rather than paying high-priced agencies to do that work. It’s like “American Idol.” If the talent is out there, a wide casting call gives it the chance to rise to the top. Here is a sample video they created for my last company:
– Post pictures and tweet out commentary from an industry trade show.
Every piece of content you post online — whether it’s on your blog, your Facebook page Page, or on third-party sites — has the potential to boost your brand and drive search results and traffic at very little or no cost.
3. Get on Social media Channels
Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all free. Create a page for your business on these sites and take your time to present your company there appropriately. Your page on these channels should not be just about promoting your business. Be interactive with your users.
I highly encourage you to also create your personal page as well as one for your company, products, and services on awesomize.me that aggregates all of your other social media channels. The site is an open platform. So, much more friendlier to get indexed by Google and other search engines. This means, having a page on awesomize.me increases your chance of getting found on the search engines.
I found that by blogging and combining that with a strong social media strategy to drive potential customers back to your blog or website works very well. But you cannot do this without becoming an authority in your niche. So publishing articles and videos is a must to position yourself in the market as an expert and authority.
It doesn’t cost you money to have these channels, but the time, energy and perseverance required to make it happen is huge. Hard work in a smart fashion always pays off. No shortcuts.
I would also recommend adding Foursquare which is an especially great (and free) marketing tool for retail shops and restaurants. Build out your “venue” page with special offers and include call to action language like “check in on Foursquare and receive xxx” in your existing online and traditional marketing efforts. It’s trackable, actionable, and repeatable marketing.
Identify sites related to your service offering – like related groups and Q&A on awesomize.me and LinkedIn to post your solutions to other people’s problems, answer their questions and on the support forums. Even take your time and post articles there – both technical and non-technical. You will gain a reputation by both your technical articles and personality.
Being an expert is vital. I think something that is just as important as expertly answering questions is expertly asking them as well. Asking questions, especially on your Facebook page, is a great way to get conversations going and spark interest in your readers. By looking at who participates you can identify super users and start to build relationships with them
Depending on your business, put a donate button up on your site or blog, and let people pay you to put a small link on your site. You can also meet knowledgeable people on those exchange site who can teach you the “Social Niche & Etiquette” so you can succeed in life.
6. Offer Ad-Funded Payment Options
For companies selling relatively low-cost or web-accessible products, a highly targeted “reverse advertising” strategy could be a smart move.
Feel free to connect with me via awesomize.me