6 No Cost Online Marketing Methods For Business
No matter what type of Internet business you have, you need to be promoting it at all times. If you don’t make the effort to tell the right people about it (i.e. those people who are going to be interested in buying whatever it is you have to sell) then your business is not going to be seeing the number of sales it could be seeing.
And in the worst case scenario, you might lose your business altogether.
- the problem is that marketing is expensive
- every advert costs money
- you could spend several hundred dollars on an advertising campaign if you aren’t too careful
Or then again, perhaps not.
You see, despite what other people might say, you don’t HAVE to spend a fortune on your marketing efforts.
- if your budget is tiny or you are just starting out
- you don’t have to spend a single cent if you don’t want to
It’s true – sometimes the best things in life really are free.
And marketing your business online can be one of them. So let’s find out how it’s done, shall we?
Your Game Plan – Who Are You Trying To Reach?
Before you start marketing your Internet businesses in the ways we are going to discuss, you need to think about who your audience is. There are lots of ways to market your business for free, but depending on your audience you may not need to use all of them.
For example, if you have a product that is aimed at retired people:
- the chances are you won’t find too many of them on social networking sites
- always know exactly who you are trying to reach from the outset
- that way you won’t waste time on methods that aren’t going to give you a good enough return
In other words, a small amount of time spent figuring out who you are looking for and where you are likely to find them will pay huge dividends later on. So with that said, let’s move on to the next step you need to think about.
Putting a Plan Together
When an Internet marketer is investing money in a marketing campaign, they tend to put a lot of effort into it. After all, they want to be sure they are going to see a good return on their investment.
But when it comes to marketing a business online for free, some people just don’t put enough effort into it.
It’s understandable – after all:
- you aren’t putting any cash on the line
- so it doesn’t really matter if you do something and it doesn’t work
- it also doesn’t matter if you forget to do something
- or you skip a stage when you are too busy with other things
But you need to think differently.
You need to take the same professional approach to a free marketing campaign as you would if it was going to cost you $10,000. Not only will you learn a lot by doing this, but your business will thank you for it too.
- start to think about what you are aiming to achieve with your free marketing efforts
- think about how you could develop your business in this way
And as you read through the rest of this guide, you will soon find yourself starting to come up with fresh ideas and plans that can make you a decent amount of money in the weeks and months to come.
Use Social Networks To Promote Your Business
Many marketing strategies require big budgets that small and medium businesses simply cannot afford. If you want to air a commercial on television, prepare to reach deep into your pockets.
Social media, however, has an extremely low cost of entry that makes it easy for you to get a quick return on your investment. It’s completely free to set up accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and most other sites.
Once you have your profiles established, you will need to spend some money making your posts more visible to people who might want to follow your business.
- The expense, however, is remarkably low, even compared to the amount you would spend on a radio ad.
- No other type of marketing will give you a return on investment as quickly as social media networking.
See also: 5 Social Media Tips You Should be Using
Lots of businesses do this and it doesn’t cost you anything to get it started.
You do need to invest some time in it to get the best results though, and this is where planning ahead really helps. You can put in just a few minutes a day on this, so we’re not talking about taking on a full time task here. But you need to be doing this regularly so that people will come to realize you are around on a regular basis.
- when they realize this they will be more likely to follow you and what you have to say
- and that can be a very important step towards turning them into a future customer
What Kind of Site Are your Potential Customers Going To Frequent?
This is another example of why it is worth spending that little bit more time thinking about how you are going to proceed with your free marketing plans.
Ask yourself this question:
When you think about social networking sites, what is the first one that comes to mind?
Now unless you already happen to be using another one, I can virtually guarantee that your answer will be either Twitter or Facebook. That’s understandable, because these are the main two contenders that everyone knows about.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be the ones that are ideal for finding the people you are looking for. So investigate ALL the possibilities before diving in, and don’t spread yourself too thinly either. You are always going to be better off concentrating on using just one or two sites and really making a mark there, at least to begin with.
Always Make Sure You’re Using Twitter
You only have 140 characters in which to communicate with anyone reading your page, so you have to be brief. That’s why it is so easy to fit into your day, no matter how busy you are.
- Just launched another new gadget?
- Tell everyone on Twitter about it.
- Just added a new page of products to your website?
- Make sure everyone knows.
You can see the possibilities here, and once again if you put a little regular effort in and tweet your updates every day or so, you will get a merry band of followers who will also check out your website to see what else you are up to. Job done, and no cost involved. Perfect.
Favor for a Favor
This is another free technique you can use to help you enhance your marketing efforts.
- a lot of people simply overlook this one
- because it is not perhaps one of the most obvious ways to go about things
- and it does take a little more work
- it also relies on making connections with other marketers online
- and some people don’t appear to like doing this
But don’t knock it!
A lot of associations with other marketers can really help advance both your and their business in the long run. So look at this as a long term venture that will help you to promote your business for free AND find a whole new audience in the process.
How does this work?
- well, there are a number of ways you can do it
- but basically the idea is that you exchange services with another person
- who is in a similar business to you
Now I know you are thinking that means talking to your competition, but if you do it right they could become a valuable ally instead. Let’s check out the various ways you can make this happen.
If you have a blog that you use to help you promote your business and find new customers, see how many other marketers you can find in the same business who also have one.
- make sure you pick those whose blogs are of a standard that is at least equal to yours
- one that you would be happy to see one of your own blog posts on
The thing is, as you know yourself, writing a blog constantly can be tricky at times.
- You may run out of ideas here and there.
- You may struggle from time to time to keep it looking and feeling fresh.
So wouldn’t it be nice to get an injection of knowledge and advice that is somewhat different to your usual mix? And who better to ask for such an insight than a fellow marketer in the same arena to the one you are making your money in?
What you need to do is approach them and ask them whether they would be willing to write a guest blog post for your blog. Make sure you confirm that in return you would write one for their blog, and you could both link back to your own websites at the foot of the post.
- this gets both of you free publicity for your businesses
- and of course it also means you can tap into an established audience
- that won’t be exactly the same as the one you already promote to
Let’s suppose for example that you both have a visitor rate of, say, five thousand people a day to your blogs.
- That’s 35,000 a week.
- Now there is no way that you are both going to be reaching the exact same five thousand people every day.
- So there is a chance that you could as much as double your reach just by writing a blog post for someone else.
And of course, you don’t only expand your connections to other marketers online and open up the possibility of more free marketing chances later on down the line. You can also write for each others blogs once a week or once a month if you wish. This turns a one off freebie into an ongoing event that really builds up your marketing efforts and doesn’t cost a cent in the process.
This is basically the same as the blogging opportunity.
- some websites have room for articles on topics that are related to the main subject matter
- this may not be a regular item like a blog post would be
- but you can still approach the site owner with a similar proposal
And of course the articles would remain on the site for the foreseeable future too.
This means that half an hour spent writing a 500 word piece to go on a website would get you a steady stream of traffic for the foreseeable future as well.
If you’re not that keen or confident about your writing skills, don’t worry. You can still approach other people with similar websites or blogs and ask them if they would be prepared to enter into a link exchange agreement with you.
You provide a link back to their website (together with a one or two sentence review or description about it) and in return they do the same for you. If you do this with several other websites and/or companies, you can create a recommended links page on your own site which contains all these recommendations.
This has a couple of advantages.
- Firstly you will increase the number of places that could lead to your site being found by new visitors.
- But most importantly, quality links which lead back to your own website will help your search engine rankings.
If you are struggling to rank highly in the search engines, this will definitely be of use to you.
And a better search engine ranking will of course lead to more visitors and hopefully more sales. And all this happens because you asked for a few reciprocal links – all completely free of charge.
- Who said that anything worth getting was worth paying for?
- As you can see, it doesn’t always ring true when it comes to Internet marketing.
Important Things To Avoid
You might be tempted to try any number of free ways to get more attention and more traffic to your website. That’s understandable – after all you want to make sure that your website is seen by the right target audience.
But don’t let that tempt you into trying anything and everything without considering the consequences first.
For example, link farms are a definite no no.
They basically exist just to provide links to peoples’ websites, and Google has taken to frowning on them as a result. That means you won’t get any benefit from being listed with any of these link farms, and you might actually do your website some damage as well, as far as its reputation is concerned.
Another method that a lot of new Internet marketers do involves traffic exchanges.
- I am not dismissing these entirely
- but you need to know exactly why you are using them if you want to go down this route
A lot of people put their website home page address on there and surf for hours to get credits.
These credits are then turned into visitors to your own website. But how many of those visitors have any interest in what you are showing them? In truth, the only reason they are looking at your website is because they want to view sites in order to earn credits and get their own websites seen.
Do you see how it works? You might be getting visitors, but they won’t be the people you want.
The only people who really use these sites are other Internet marketers. That means that unless you have something that is relevant to that market, you are better off devoting your time to some of the methods I have shown you above.
- it can take quite a while earning enough credits to really make a difference to your traffic levels
- and once they run out, you are back to square one again, with no traffic at all
This is very different to the other methods you now know about, such as creating pages on Hubpages, writing articles and press releases, and using those social networking sites. Once you have put these into motion you can reap the rewards from them even when you aren’t actively working at developing them any further.
All of the methods I have shown you can be targeted to your specific audience.
There is no point going for free marketing opportunities online that send your message out to the world at large. You might reach a lot of people – but a lot of those people simply won’t be interested in what you have to tell them.
So always make sure you evaluate any future free marketing opportunity you come across before you dive.
You are now in a position to drive your Internet business forward and reach even more people than you ever thought possible. And the great thing is that you won’t have to spend a single cent to do any of it.
All you need to put into this is time and effort.
Those lenses won’t create themselves, but they will reward you with traffic once you have got them going. The same goes for articles and guest blog posts. All it takes is half an hour here and there and you have something that will send you traffic for the foreseeable future and beyond.
So take some time to think about how you would like to promote your business.
Generate some fresh ideas and then go about finding the people who would be interested in hearing about them. Remember that not everything takes a huge (or even small) amount of money to get started, and good luck!