Whether you’re a high-level executive or a business newbie, free marketing is always a great idea. Unfortunately, effective tactics on $0 budgets aren’t always obvious. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
We came across a helpful piece this morning that describes some valuable marketing strategies that are virtually free or extremely low cost. We break down the basics below, but whole thing is worth a read if you have a few more minutes to spare.
Use real people to design the look and message of your emails, not automated machines, and take your time with your email campaigns. Don’t force your customer to commit on the first message. It really helps to court them over time. Once you build trust with the customer, you can subtly introduce messages that are more direct.
Host webinars. There’s a lot of great platforms that help businesses host small webinars for free. This is an easy way to demonstrate your product to anyone in the whole world, and you can also use it to gauge feedback about your presentation and product. Improve your presentations over time, and you should eventually see some great results. After you hone your presentation skills, upgrade to a paid option to host bigger webinars to reach more customers in one session. and boost your odds of success.
Give away free samples, consultations or trials. This is another great way to collect feedback, but it also puts your product in the clients’ hands. If you play your cards right, you’ll make up the cost with increased sales. Extra tip: If you’re a distributor, you may have access to samples from the manufacturer at no cost to you.
It’s all great advice, but we add our own two cents below. There’s much more you can do on a low marketing budget.
Give your clients and potential clients free promotional items, which are useful office supplies, apparel or gifts with your logo, name or information on it. This isn’t really a “free” option, but it is a low-cost way to stay on the client’s mind long after contact. It is such a common tactic that it is often overlooked by impatient newbies.
A company like AnyPromo makes it easy to stock up on promotional products and gifts for face-to-face sales, trade shows, meetings, demonstrations and more. Try offering products that the client would often use - either on his own or in a community setting, such as in his office’s lunch room. AnyPromo offers customizable cutting boards, mugs, pens, bags, clocks, notebooks, portfolios, planners, USB solar chargers (for mobile devices), backpacks, safety glasses, tumblers, hard hats, business cards and much more.
Of course, you can also try your hand at social-media marketing, which is technically free, but you should have on staff a social-media guru even if he’s also involved in other areas of the company. It can be pretty easy to waste your time if you don’t know what you’re doing.
If you’re an expert in a certain field, you can offer free advice on forums, blogs or magazines. In exchange for the free content, ask for or setup a “followed” backlink to your website in a signature to help boost your SEO, but the real reward is the exposure of your brand to new audiences. More importantly, you’re showing the audience your skills and experience, so they know you’re a trustworthy and legitimate source of help or business. Virgin CEO Richard Branson is an expert at this style of self marketing, and you may have already noticed that he’s always writing articles or conducting interviews with industry-leading magazines, websites and blogs.