Marketing is an essential aspect of any business, whether it’s a startup or an established one. It’s the way businesses communicate with their target audience, build their brand, and attract new customers. However, marketing can be an expensive and daunting task, especially for small businesses with limited resources. Fortunately, there are proven strategies that small businesses can use to market their businesses for free.
In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most effective free marketing strategies that businesses can use to build their brand, attract new customers, and ultimately grow their business without breaking the bank. Whether you’re just starting or you’ve been in business for a while, these strategies will help you to market your business without spending a dime.
Leverage social media platforms
As of 2022, there are approximately 4.59B social media users around the world. That’s more than half of the world population! In the upcoming years, this number is projected to increase even more.
Social media platforms are some of the most popular and effective ways to market your business for free. According to recent findings by Sprout Social, surveys ranked social media as the number one way for businesses to connect with their customers. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer your business the opportunity to connect with your target audience and build your brand trust. Here’s how you an get started:
Choose the right platforms
In order for social media to have an impact and reach your desired target audience, your brand needs to be on the right social media platforms. Each social media platform serves a different purpose and people who log in to these platforms use each of them in different ways.
Start by identifying the social media platforms that your target audience frequents. If you’re targeting consumers, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are a good place to start. If you’re targeting other businesses, LinkedIn is an excellent choice.
By choosing the right social media platform for your brand and tailoring your strategy for each, you will be better able to reach your target audience.
Create a business page
Once you’ve identified the social media platforms you want to use, create your social media business account. Make sure to include all relevant information about your business, such as your logo, contact information, and a description of your products or services. Make your page visually appealing and easy to navigate.
Post engaging content
Post regular content on your social media pages to keep your audience engaged. Your content should be relevant, valuable, and entertaining. Use captivating captions, images, videos, and other visual content to capture your audience’s attention.
Engage with your audience
Engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and reviews. Show your audience that you care about their feedback and are committed to providing excellent customer service.
Hashtags are a great way to make your content more discoverable on social media platforms. Use relevant hashtags in your posts to increase their reach and visibility.
Attaching relevant hashtags to your post will help increase your exposure and chances of getting discovered by new audiences. All of these factors are needed to beat the Instagram algorithm.
PRO tips: In order to get the rights hashtags for your post, type “#” with specific keywords in the search bar or in your caption and Instagram will reveal to you relevant hashtags ranking from most popular to least popular.
Focus on search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher your website ranks, the more likely your target audience will find you.
If you’re not easy to find with a quick Google search, you risk missing out on a ton of visitors. 82% of smartphone users say they use search engines to find local businesses.
In order to get discovered locally, you must rank on page 1 because many people never go past the first page. It is not enough to just put out interesting content and hope for the best.
Create valuable content
Content marketing is an excellent way to build your brand, engage with your audience, and drive traffic to your website. Creating valuable, relevant, and engaging content can help you establish your business as an authority in your industry.
To get started with content marketing, consider creating a blog and publishing articles that address the pain points of your target audience. If you have already done your keyword research, your blog is a great place to put these keywords to use to reach your target audience. You can also create videos, infographics, and other forms of visual content that resonate with your audience and publish them across your online channels.
Leverage email marketing
Email marketing is a form of inbound marketing as well as digital marketing that uses email to promote your business’s products or services, as well as to incentivize customer loyalty. It can help make your customers that subscribe to your email list aware of your latest items or offers by integrating it into your marketing automation efforts.
In today’s digital age, email is one of the most powerful tools available to marketers to reach out to potential and existing customers. Effective email marketing can help businesses build and maintain relationships with their audiences, drive sales, and increase brand awareness.
When creating email marketing campaigns, make sure to segment your email list to ensure that each message is relevant and valuable to the recipient. Use a clear call-to-action (CTA) to drive engagement and conversions.
However, with so much competition in the inbox, it’s important to use the right strategies and tactics to ensure your email list is high quality and your emails stand out and engage your subscribers.
Partner with other businesses
Partnering with other businesses in your industry or local community can be a valuable way to market your business for free. Look for businesses that share your values, and collaborate on joint marketing campaigns, events, or other promotions.
By partnering with other businesses, you can tap into their audience and expand your reach. You can also build relationships with other businesses, which can lead to new opportunities and collaborations down the line. Here are some tips to foster your business’s partnership:
- Identify potential partners: Start by identifying businesses that share your values and target the same audience. Look for businesses that complement your products or services and have a similar customer base. You can also attend industry events or local business networking events to meet potential partners.
- Develop a partnership strategy: Develop a partnership strategy that outlines the goals, benefits, and expectations of the partnership. Determine how the partnership will work, what each partner will contribute, and how the success of the partnership will be measured.
- Collaborate on marketing campaigns: Collaborate with your partners on joint marketing campaigns that promote your businesses. For example, you could co-host an event, offer a joint discount, or create a joint marketing campaign. Make sure that your marketing campaigns are relevant, valuable, and engaging to your target audience.
- Cross-promote each other’s businesses: Cross-promote each other’s businesses by promoting your partner’s products or services to your audience, and vice versa. You could feature your partner’s products on your website or social media pages, or include their business in your marketing materials.
- Offer joint packages: Offer joint packages that include products or services from both businesses. For example, a wedding planner could partner with a photographer to offer a joint wedding package. Make sure that the joint packages offer value to your target audience.
Grow your business with effective marketing strategies
All the strategies mentioned above are under the umbrella of digital marketing, which helps businesses reach and connect with more audiences more effectively, as the world is going digital. By leveraging social media, focusing on search engine optimization, creating valuable content, using email marketing, partnering with other businesses, and other proven strategies, you can build your brand, connect with your target audience, and grow your business without breaking the bank.
However, keep in mind that while these strategies are free, they do require time, effort, and dedication. You need to be consistent and patient with your marketing efforts to see results. But you can definitely save a lot of your time and effort by having a tailored digital plan and roadmap for your business to make sure every step is taken with certainty and success.
Through the Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), your small to midsize businesses can get access to up to $15,000 in digital grant to work with a digital advisor to build a tailored digital action plan for you. Get in touch with us today for more information on how to get your application started.