If you are a small business with a limited marketing budget, there are a number of low cost or free strategies you can consider to promote your website, (if you’re not there yet, we can). I’ve broken it down below with 5 easy ways that you can effectively spread the word for free!
Put your business on the map!
If you’re a local small business, then putting your business on Google Places, Bing Local Listings and Yahoo Local, are all worth doing. They increase your chances of being found in a search, particularly when the prospect includes your location in their search term. Google has by far the largest volume of search traffic at present, but Bing and Yahoo also command a sizable audience. You can also help with local searches by including geo-position meta tags in your website.
Build your customer database and send regular newsletters.
Email marketing done with care, can be very effective. When designing the campaign, the key point to keep at the top of your mind is what you want the customer to do. You need a very specific call to action, and the email must deliver that message very clearly. Because of the variety of email clients, it makes sense to keep the content mostly simple and text based.
Engage with your customers via social media.
Create a Facebook Page or Group and post! Set up a Twitter account and Tweet! It is often argued that social media is not intended for marketing. That people are on Facebook or Twitter or Google + to connect with like-minded people, not to be sold to! To an extent this is true. However running a business, certainly a good business that wants to deliver quality products and retain its customers, is a case of building relationships, engaging with your customers, so that they feel that they know and trust you. Social networking sites are a great way to engage with your customers, and keep them updated about your business, offers etc. without it being perceived as Spam in the way excessive email communication would be. Providing links back to your website from these sites will bring more people to your site, and they are people who know you and want to engage with you.
Start a blog!
At first sight it isn’t obvious why having a blog is a good idea. It doesn’t directly bring hoards of people thronging to your website! What it does though, is keep your website fresh and interesting, and give your existing customers a reason to keep coming back. It’s another way of engaging with them, and keeping your business in the forefront of their mind. It is advisable to post regularly, but not so frequently that it would be annoying. Keep the posts relevant to your business area, and try to make them interesting and engaging, and your customers will start to comment on your posts and engage with you and each other. If you write your blog posts with search keywords in mind, you’ll also start to attract more search traffic to your website over time.
Be active in the forums of your business domain.
If you can find Internet Forums related to your business area, you have a ready-made audience already interested in your business. This is a great opportunity to engage with people and generate more leads for your business if you do it well. The most critical thing to do is to set up your signature, which will appear in each of your posts. You need to include a link to your website, and you need to write this in a compelling way to encourage people to visit your site. Many forum posts are from people asking questions. Be the one to provide answers, based on your expertise, and you will build trust and a reputation as an expert in your field. The people who click on your signature links are genuinely interested in you, and pre-disposed to like you and your business.
A combination of these techniques working together can help engage your customer base, and keep them interested in you and your business. Each strategy links back to your website and encourages customers to visit, and keep coming back for more. Best of all, none of these opportunities will put much of a dent in your marketing budget.
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