Five Affordable Ways to Market Your Business
Posted by gbravo on August 25, 2008 in Business Start Up Advice, Internet Marketing, SEO, Uncategorized [ 4 Comments ]
Customers just aren’t biting like they were this time last year. This means businesses need to stretch their precious marketing dollars further than ever.
Here are five affordable ways to reach new customers and convert new sales…even if your marketing budget is a little smaller than it used to be.
#1: Refer a friend programs
Why not let your existing customers handle your marketing for you? Create a refer-a-friend program to leverage the people who know and love your business the most. Referral programs are easy – simply send out an email or postcard to your existing customer base and let them know about the promotion. Offer these existing customers a reward for telling other people about your new business. And make sure that these new customers get a nice carrot-and-stick as well. Special discounts or promotional items are both proven-successful methods for generating excitement around a referral program.
And don’t forget to make the process as easy as possible. If you are kick-starting the program via email, include copy or an image that can be easily forwarded on to other people. Most importantly, don’t forget to track the campaign using an offer code in order to see how well it performed.
#2: A viral campaign
Many companies, large and small, are getting tremendous mileage out of their viral marketing campaigns. There are several approaches to take here, but most involve creating a humorous video and submitting it to YouTube or a compelling article or site page and getting it up in the rankings at Digg or other social networking sites. These types of viral marketing will establish your brand as hip, funny and web-savvy, all while spreading the word about your products and services in a highly inexpensive manner.
#3: An email newsletter campaign
You’ve got your customers’ email addresses…now use them! Create a rich email marketing campaign filled with relevant content and compelling offers, then send it out monthly. Always keep the content fresh and remember to develop solid subject lines for the emails so that open rates will be high. Make the newsletters interactive – ask for users to submit their questions, comments or stories for upcoming issues, and offer exclusive prizes and goodies to those who submit the best user-generated content.
#4: Public relations
In today’s buzz-driven society, public relations is king (or queen). Investing a few thousand dollars in a PR agency can pay huge dividends down the road. No matter what you are selling, PR firms know exactly how to create excitement around your business. If, for example, you are selling designer T-shirts, a PR firm can get your products in the spotlight at a celebrity charity auction. If you sell widgets, they can find a magazine that is looking for a cover story about the world’s hottest widget-makers. There’s no limit to what great public relations can do for your business.
#5: Organic search
Search engine optimization is currently one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your target audience online. By hiring SEO professionals to restructure your site and develop keyword –friendly content, you can boost your rankings on Google, Yahoo! and other major search engines. Imagine coming up at the top of page ONE is your chosen area of focus! For an affordable cost, SEO professionals can help your business reach out to the people who are searching for your products and services right now.