Don’t have a ton of dollars left for all the fancy bells and whistles that’ll boost your marketing efforts? No worries! If you have a very small marketing budget, we should still be recommending marketing automation to you but don’t worry, we’ll hold off for now. If you’ve made it to this post chances are, today may not be the perfect time to invest in tools to assist in your marketing efforts and we completely understand that.
The good news is, most of us have been in your shoes and worked with a very small marketing budget while having high marketing expectations from our manager. It’s not easy, but it’s doable. We have rounded up a 10 low budget marketing ideas to help get your company’s name out there so eventually your budget will grow and you can get the technical tools you need to make marketing even easier in the future.
And now for our top 10 low-cost marketing ideas . . .
- Publish great content. This one shouldn’t even need to be said. However, we’d be neglecting marketing 101, especially in the digital age if we didn’t mention the importance of great content. And if you can create it in-house, that’s even better. You may be thinking “writing isn’t my strong point” but blogs and other content that are easy and fast to read are becoming so common that writing doesn’t necessarily have to be your top skill anymore. Try creating a listicle with tips, ideas (like this post), best practices, etc. for your industry. You can also create a great “How To” blog post on something you’re already good at.
- Create instructional videos. Again, you’re probably thinking “I don’t have a camera or editing crew onsite so this isn’t happening”. Turns out that the desire for quick, easy to digest content makes our jobs as marketers a little easier. Many people would rather spend a couple minutes watching a quick informational video rather than 30 minutes seeing a full production. And you don’t even need the fancy equipment anymore. Wistia has put together an entire video on how to shoot a quality video with an iPhone. Check it out here.
- Give new life to old material. If you’re hitting a content creation wall and don’t have the budget to hire new writers, try breathing new life into old content. There’s a ton of content you can repurpose on the web, start Googling. Try finding a study or something on your industry that’s already done on the web. Then you can write a blog pointing out key stats from that study and link back to the original study in your post.
- Recycle your content. Just as you can breathe new life into existing material you found on the web, you can also try rehashing your old content into new creations. Have a great eBook that people are downloading? Or what about a webinar you just hosted? Break down the eBook or webinar and turn it into several blog posts. Or do the opposite. Turn a great blog post into an eBook or an infographic. Breaking the post up and adding a few engaging images will help you freshen up old content and give readers another way to digest it.
- Enter business award competitions. Almost every industry has business awards you can enter. You can usually enter your own company for the award. If you win, you can promote the award by adding a badge to your website or writing a press release to announce your award (like we did here). Publish your press release and badge across social media platforms as well
- Encourage employee advocacy. Your employees are likely your most valuable, underused resource. Are you aware that employees have on average, 10x more social connections than a brand does? (source: SocialChorus). Encourage your employees to share brand content through social platforms like LinkedIn where they may have a larger network than your company’s. Social media tools like Oktopost have an entire platform dedicated to employee advocacy.
- Open as many communication channels as appropriate for your business. These communication channels can include (but doesn’t have to stay limited to) LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, a toll-free phone number, live chat and email. That being said, if the communication channel doesn’t make sense for your business or isn’t a valuable place to spend your time, don’t force it.
- Ask for testimonials and reviews. Customers can leave online reviews on websites like Yelp. They can also leave recommendations for your business on social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Finally, try creating a testimonial page on your website and use the quotes from your best reviews in other promotions. If customers are happy with your business, they want to share!
- Attend networking events. Networking helps you not only build positive, professional relationships for your personal goals, but you can also meet people within your industry that are looking for a product like the one you sell. Grab a stack of business cards and attend seminars, workshops, conferences and other professional events to get your business name out there.
- Put common keywords and title tags on your web pages and blog posts to help web searchers find you. And last but not least, basic SEO. While it’s nice to have if it’s in your budget, you don’t necessarily need a team of SEO strategists to help you identify keywords and titles. With a little research on top keywords within your industry, you can add them to your website and the content you create in-house.
So there you have it
Ten fairly inexpensive marketing ideas that will help you engage current and potential customers, build relationships and ultimately keep your brand at the top of everyone’s mind. The key to keep in mind is that the foundation of all good marketing is to be different, stand out in the crowd. If you play your cards right and use your creativity, you don’t need a huge marketing budget to make a huge impact.