The marketing of your business doesn’t happen by itself. It takes regular work and constant promotion to attract new customers, but you can DIY your own marketing and have fun doing it!
Here are my top suggestions for marketing on the cheap for your online business:
1. Hold an online contest
People love competitions. They love to win things, but more importantly, they love to participate! Here are two ideas for your contest:
(i) Photo contest: Ask customers to show your products in the most creative way and post on social media. Make sure you ask the winner to post a photo of themselves with their prize, too!
(ii) Voting contest: This is a great way to get a lot of entries because it’s easy to participate and normally quick to do. The great part about it is you can collect data from the votes for your own data analysis to improve your products and services.
Just make sure you meet contest regulatory guidelines for your state or territory for running the contest and prize. For example, in most states if you are to avoid the requirement for a permit to run a contest, it must be a true contest with a skill-testing question or involve judging entries to win the prize.
2. Showcase your new products and services with visuals
People love visuals and it can be a great way to advertise and show how your new product or service works. Consider trying:
(i) Infographics: You don’t need to pay a lot to have an infographic done, or use fancy software, you can do it yourself using PowerPoint. It is a great way to get picked up and shared on social media and other sites. The internet world loves to share infographics!
(ii) Videos: You can make some fun and interesting videos and capture attention quickly. Video content can be a powerful tool to get your message across and can become a huge exposure for your business if it is shared across a large audience through social media. The more clever and interesting you make your videos, the more likely they are to be shared.
3. Offer good quality free and helpful content on your site
So many people are willing to DIY everything these days and they look to the internet for assistance as a first port of call. Draw them in to your website by
Helping your customers: How-to guides, free checklists, helpful tips and tricks are always a popular way to get customers and potential customers engaged on your website.
Offering a product/service comparison guide: People love comparison guides. You can compare complimentary products to your own, for example, if you are selling hairbrushes you can do a comparison on shampoos or hair care products or, if you offer health coaching services, you can compare health food delivery services or fitness plans. Just be careful to be objective if you are comparing your products with a competitor- even constructive critique can sometimes backfire.
4. Start a blog
It’s a really great way to promote yourself and business, and provide interesting information for your current and potential customers. Consider the many benefits, including:
(i) Establish yourself as an expert: You can either set up a blog on your own website or offer to blog elsewhere in exchange for a link back to your site and products. Good quality information in your blog posts will help grow your online business, but only if you are supplying well-written and good quality content.
(ii) Guest blog: It can be a good way to reach a larger audience you would not have access to otherwise and potential customers who are interested in similar products or services. Look around to see who the top influencers or bloggers are, contact them with a sample idea and offer to share it on their site. Make sure you sell yourself by convincing them of the benefit of including your knowledge and information on their website.
5. Invite people into your world
Everyone loves to see how another business works, meet the owners and experience a more personal effect. Contact is not entirely lost in the world of the internet! Have you thought of:
Hosting an event or having an open day: If you have a consulting or services business, offer to respond to people’s questions for free for 24 hours, or offer a discount day to trial your products.
Offer classes or courses: Say you make kids clothes for your online shop, or sell flower arrangement delivery services, or offer consulting or social media services, have you thought of offering a master class/course/workshop to show people how it’s done? It can be a great way to spread the word, promote your brand and cement your expertise.
6. Show your creativity
Get creative, have some fun and raise awareness:
Do a webinar series promo day: Organise some colleagues together with complementary products or services and offer 15 mins each of advice in a webinar or podcast series.
Support a cause: it gives you an opportunity to access customers who would not normally be in your purview. Supporting and raising money for a charity can also be a great way to gain exposure and show your human side!
There are so many options that you can do to market your business and these are just a few. Think of things that are not expensive, easy to implement and add value to both your business and your customers.
There is lots of room for creativity and invention to market your business –you don’t need a massive budget to be successful.
Get creative and get cracking! And share a comment to let us know any great ideas for marketing on the cheap that have worked for your business.