The modern marketing landscape has changed drastically over the last few years. Moving from static marketing in magazines and on billboards, to an online frenzy of emails, posts, and expensive AdWord campaigns.
A common issue for small startups is that they don’t have the budget to compete with big companies on the social marketing scene. We explore four creative ways to increase business with a $0 marketing budget.
Facebook & Instagram
There’s a reason why we’ve put these two social powerhouses together. First, let’s talk about Facebook – it’s huge, it’s free, and if your business doesn’t have a page, you’re dead in the water. It’s the best way to communicate information about your business to a captive audience.
Your Facebook profile has information on your business hours, contact details, and your products. Facebook links to Instagram and the benefit of this is that when you post on Instagram, you can have the same post appear on your Facebook page, saving you time.
Instagram is a graphic platform, so pictures or photos are what get people’s attention here. Take a pic of your products, and if you offer a service, then create a service-related photo to share. You can bounce between the two platforms using graphics on Instagram and informational posts on Facebook.
Some marketers say a website is a dying tool, but we beg to differ. The appeal may have lost a little of its initial spark, but sites are still a reliable fallback for clients looking for information. Search engines have powerful features that can help clients find what company they want and in what area. A function that social media has not perfected yet.
Your website is your online portfolio, and you have full control over its content. Fill it with relevant information that would interest your target market. Think out of the box here and don’t limit your website to only explaining what services you offer, expand on the information to encompass complimentary info. You can create a free site too, to begin with.
For example, if you sell stationery, don’t just list your products, because let’s face it, stationery in itself is unexciting. Place content on your website surrounding advances in office technology, improving the work environment, office workers’ mental health, etc.
There’s so much information that’s related indirectly to the stationery industry that you’ll find customers drawn to the content, which end up purchasing products.
YouTube is a fantastic platform for businesses to build their exposure. Product reveals and instructional videos can be used to educate customers and be linked to Facebook. The video links can also be embedded in direct email campaigns.
What’s magical about YouTube is that users who are interested in a particular genre or subject are prompted to watch other videos within the same interest spectrum, which in a way, is free push marketing for you.
Be sure to create a video that’s not too specific. If you’re selling car tires, don’t just make a video on the particular brand of tire, but also include general information such as how to prolong the life of the vehicle, save money on maintenance, etc.
Your Facebook and Website pages are a portal to a captive audience. Use the platforms to gather your customer’s information and email them often with new product launches and ways that they can improve their lives.
Remember, it’s not only about pushing your products and services, but also the need to drive brand awareness. It sometimes means not directly promoting your company but sending out general information that will improve customer’s lives, and at the same time, keep your company name in their minds.
The biggest mistake that many small businesses make is that they don’t take the time to make a great social media content strategy plan. They have a website and Facebook page, but post rarely and don’t update content. Use email and video to reinforce your exposure and appeal to more people.
With any marketing campaign, it needs to be done consistently to have any effect. Create a plan, implement it with enthusiasm, and your business will be sure to make its mark.