We’ve all been there, whether a Marketing Manager without or little budget or a new start business, you know you need to do some marketing but just can’t spend the money. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying that you should never spend money on marketing, in fact the opposite; a well spent marketing budget can bring its rewards – why else would every major company on the planet have a marketing department? – but sometimes, needs must! So if you’re going to do marketing on a budget at least you can try and do it well. Here are my top tips to low cost and free marketing activities anyone can have a go at!
1. Get Social – on the internet that is!
The introduction if social media has given everyone the power to market themselves. Done correctly you could soon find this free…yes FREE channel an indispensable marketing resource to you and your business. Depending on your type of business, whether you have a product or service and if you are B2B or B2C – will help you decide what social media platforms are best for you but I recommend; Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn . The other channels have their merits but these are a great place to start.
2. Become your own PR agency
A little research and putting a few words together isn’t too far beyond most people’s skills – so why not seek out Editors names at your local newspaper or industry magazine and send them your news – keep it interesting though, not everyone may think that your recent purchase of a coffee machine for the office is big news! And remember PR doesn’t just stand for ‘press release’! you can use other channels like social media and your own website to get your news out there – why rely on publications?
3. Get out there!
Networking – yes I know, who has time to network?! Well, those people that get business from networking and don’t see it as an extra job to do, but just take it as part of the day job. You only need to do a quick search online or join some local business discussion groups on LinkedIn and you’ll find free and low costs networking events everywhere!! Why not go that step further and get yourself some free exposure and offer to speak at an event about your industry?
4. Build your data base – don’t buy it!
Nothing beats a warm lead, don’t you hate it when you get an email or a call from a company you’ve never heard of? Instead of buying an expensive (often out of date) data base why not start collecting your own contacts? At lease you know these people have opted to hear from you. You could try holding a competition, with an attractive prize; think about what your target market would be interested in – this could help steer the right people to enter, not many OAPs out there will be pulled in by an extreme sports weekend away!
5. Get listed!
Whatever your industry there is more than likely lots of websites and directories that will happily list you. Not forgetting good old Google Places for Business too who let you list your business for free!
6. Measure and analyse effectiveness
This costs nothing, except a little time, but knowing whats working and what isn’t can save you both time and more importantly money! Track where your leads and customers are coming from and where they are not. Make sure you have Google Analytics set up on your website, this will allow you to track and monitor all sorts of useful things about your website from how many people visit through to how they get there…and much much much more – did I mention its completely free?!