When most people think of marketing the first thing they think about is “a marketing budget”. In most cases that should be your first thought but there are many small marketing things you could implement today that will improve your business in the long run. The best part? They are free!
Have a look at some great free tools and techniques that can really increase your bottom line, without spending a penny!
- Voicemail – Everybody has (or should have) a voicemail set up for both their personal and business phone numbers. This is a great opportunity to promote your website, social networks or a great promotion.
Example: “Thank-You for calling Plum Direct Marketing. Nobody is in the office at the moment but you can leave a message and we will get back to you within the hour Monday through Friday 9 to 5! You can also visit www.plumdirectmarketing.com to reach us by email or just browse around.”
Here we accomplish a few things – The most important is to let the caller know they have reached the right company (or person). Then we gave an exact timeframe they can expect to hear from someone. Then we provided a call-to-action for them to visit the website, take a look around and shoot us an email for a faster response. We also recommended a browse on our website which will help them learn more about the company and services we offer.
We just nurtured the lead, provided a call-to-action and promoted the company within 10 seconds.
- Social Media – It’s 2016 if you are not promoting your business on social media then you should stop reading this post and go sign up! Using social media as a promotional tool is a great way to build brand awareness, nurture current leads and source new ones. Most social media tools (Facebook, LinkedIn etc.) will allow you to dive in deeper with paid tools for analytics, advertising and even automation. However, you can still be very active on social networks without spending a dime.
The key to properly using social media to benefit your business is to first decide which tools will be best for you to use. If you want to connect with your customers on a personal level, then Facebook may be the best tool. Professionals? Try LinkedIn and Twitter. Retail business…. you can try Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. Of course these are only recommendations and you may have different goals or a specific use for each tool. Take some time to figure out what will work best for you.
- Email – There are many free tools out there to help you get a grip on your email marketing efforts. Mail Chimp is a very easy to use program that will help you build, manage and send newsletters or mass email campaigns. You can start with the free version and then upgrade to the premium version as your business grows.
This is a great way to keep your contacts interested in your company and products before and after they make a purchase. You can also use Mail Chimp to create forms that can help you capture user information from live events and website traffic.
- Email Signatures – While we are discussing Email marketing we need to mention the power of the “signature”. If you are not familiar with the signature of an email it is the last thing someone sees as they read your message. It will usually contain your name, title, company, email, phone number and maybe your address.
You should use this space as free advertising space as well. You can promote your website, your social networks (see #2) or have a direct link to your services or products page. Depending on your business you can even place a new customer discount in your signature that may attract new business.
Example – “New customers who mention this ad will receive 10% off their first order.”
- Join a List - Well, join them all. Regardless of what type of business you run you should be listed on as many business directories as possible. A quick list of the ones you shouldn’t forget – Yelp, Bing, YP.com, Google Places for Business and Hotfrog. Depending on your industry you can also look into Foursquare, Angie’s List and Business Journals.
Not only will this help your customers learn more about your business but it will also help to drastically improve your ranking on search engines. Follow these five steps and be consistent with your efforts and you will begin to see a change you will love.