Finally, after facing many challenges, you have built your own business. You even have a website for it. The next step in the process of expanding your business and getting customers, is promoting it. But as a startup, you probably have a small budget and want to spend less on marketing.
Promotions are an important aspect of marketing a business. But you need your potential customers to know about you. And if you don’t promote your business, those audiences will never know about your business. And your business will never grow, obviously. Promotions are important, regardless of whether you’re a small business, a startup, or an established business.
There are many ways to promote your business, both online and offline. And some of them can cost you a fortune. But not to worry. Here are some of the most cost-effective ways to promote your business when you have a shoestring budget.
1. Email Marketing
One of the easiest and most cost-friendly ways to promote your business is email marketing. As a matter of fact, when you invest $1 in email marketing, you can generate as much as $38 in revenue. Just like most businesses, you can also use this method to build and establish strong relationships with your audience.
The basic requirement for email marketing is to have an email list of people who have shown interest in your business. Ask your potential customers to fill in a basic form when they visit your website for the first time. With these sign-up forms, you can collect email address from your potential customers. The email list is already qualified to receive your emails because they have willingly signed up and are interested in your business.
There are few things you need to do for a winning email marketing campaign. First, do not forget to send them an email at least once every week or twice a month.
Secondly, make sure that the emails are engaging, useful, and informative to your audiences. For instance, let your potential customers know about any upcoming offers or deals. Or, if you are launching any new product or service, let them know through emails.
The major concern with this method is that it is quite a tiresome and lengthy job if you are manually implementing it. Instead, opt for an automated email marketing platform such as SalesHandy and MailChimp, which can manage and optimize your process.
The benefits of automation include:
- Sending the right email to the right person at the right time
- Personalizing emails for each recipient
- Delivering relevant email content
- Generating higher click-through rates
For example, Kate Spade is a famous brand in the fashion business. They always make sure to welcome their new subscribers with an automated welcome email. The image below is a screenshot of one of their emails. Notice that the email is attractive, informative, and it also contains a clear call-to-action.
Image Source – campaignmonitor
2. Leverage Social Media
The popularity of social media is increasing, and so is its importance as a marketing tool. If you are not using social media, then you are simply missing out on opportunities to grow and expand your business. Social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your business.
Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter can help you to tap into demographics which are otherwise difficult to reach. With quick and easy shareable buttons on your blog posts, your audiences can easily share your content. This will help you promote your business and reach to a new set of audiences.
Social media platforms are an easy and successful way to connect with audiences. They are also the best way to build and strengthen your relationships with your online followers. Your followers can give their suggestions or feedback regarding your services on social platforms. And you should take advantage of those opportunities by quickly responding to their comments. This will further instill trust in the minds of your customers.
Before getting started on social media, you should take care of few points. It is important to decide which platform you are going to use, and how is it going to benefit you. You must find out which platform is mostly used by your target audiences.
As of June 2018, Facebook had 2.19 billion users and Instagram had 1 billion active monthly users. With a large use base and practically zero usage charges, social media is one of the best ways to grow your business on a budget.
For example, Peel, a company that sells mobile phone covers, uses Facebook to promote their products. The company posts photos and videos of new product launches, showcasing products in daily use, and other promotional content.
This way, they can promote their products to an audience of ~32k people, without spending exorbitant amount of money on traditional advertising.
Image Source – Facebook
3. Conduct Giveaways, Sales, or Contests
Organizing contests or offering discounts on your products or services is an effective way to promote your business. Promoting a contest on social media can be very cost-effective, and it help you increase engagement with your followers.
This strategy will also help you to build awareness for your business. And you can slowly build a community of people who are interested in your brand.
Once you start engaging with your followers on social platforms, acknowledge their efforts by offering them discounts. Who can pass up a great discount for a product or service they love? Discounts and giveaways on social media can help also you attract your target audience, and encourage them to make a purchase.
If your followers like your service or products, you have hit the jackpot. They may promote and vouch for your business themselves. To further promote your business, you can offer memberships at a discounted rate or free subscriptions.
For example, IMVideo, a small boutique camera gear shop in Canada, used an Instagram giveaway to promote their business. The post, which garnered 389 likes, asked people to follow their Instagram page and tag three other friends, to reach to a broader audience and increase their follower base.
Image Source – Instagram
4. Guest Blogs
Guest blogging is another impactful and cost-effective way to promote your business. It can help you to reach a new and relevant audience and showcase your expertise to them. You just need to contact an authority website in your niche and ask them to publish your content. This will help you to expand your reach, while promoting your business.
Let’s look at some of the benefits that guest blogging can offer to your business:
1. Increase in Traffic – Guest blogging is one of the best methods to increase traffic to your website. This method can work regardless of whether you have a startup, small business, or a tight marketing budget. It is also an inexpensive way to increase traffic to your website.
2. Improvement in SEO – If your guest blog post is published on a high domain authority website, it will positively impact your SEO. This increases your visibility and improves your chances of attracting relevant visitors.
3. Build Reputation – Guest blog posts can help you build your brand’s reputation. And as you know, having a good reputation can go a long way. So rather than focusing on short-term benefits, focus on building a long-term positive reputation for your business.
For example, Buffer, the social media scheduling app, leverages this technique to promote their business. The company’s COO, Leo Wildrich, writes guest posts for several websites to showcase his expertise and provide good quality backlinks for his own website.
Below is an example of his guest post on Traffic Generation Cafe’s website.
Image Source –Traffic Generation Cafe
5. Share Visual Content
Visuals are an effective way to attract and engage people. It is one of the most commonly-used types of content that marketers leverage to promote their businesses. In fact, 87% of social media marketers leverage visual content as part of their marketing strategies.
One option is to create an infographic that explains your products or services. People usually tend to pay more attention to information-rich images and hence, infographics can effectively help you get your audience’s attention and promote your business.
You can also take advantage of videos. You can post a video explaining a product or service you offer. Videos are the best way to educate your audience about your business. Just make sure that you create an engaging video.
You can leverage platforms like YouTube for posting your videos. There are nearly 1.9 billion active users on YouTube, and almost 30 million users visit YouTube every day. Take advantage of these huge numbers, and start posting your business’ promotional videos on YouTube.
For any sort of business, promotions are an important aspect of marketing. You don’t want to sit in siloes and expect your business to grow. You want your audiences to know about your presence and existence. But hiring an expert to help with your promotions can be expensive and pricey.
When you have a small budget, the above-mentioned strategies can help you market your brand effectively. These strategies are easy on your pockets and also guarantee you maximum ROI and results. If you know any other cost-effective ways ways to promote your business, please let us know in the comments.