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How to Market Your Business With Little or No Money

Urban advertising

 

Market research

Cost: $0-$100

According to Victoria Treyger, CMO of Kabbage, conducting an extensive market research is not only inexpensive, but also crucial for your businesses marketing strategy. Research on your target market, the characteristics of your target market so that you can know what kind of messages and advertisement media is most appropriate for them. You should also research on your competitors’ marketing strategy and their weaknesses. This will help you determine the best way of growing your business.

Use Email Marketing

Cost $0-$100/month

Email marketing is one of the cheapest and most rewarding marketing techniques that any business person. For about $50 to $70 a month, an individual can connect with up to 5000 contacts. Research has shown that many small business owners tend to prefer email marketing because they have a high return on investment. In fact a recent report stated that email marketing has a return of about $44.25 for every $1 spent. Not only is email marketing effective, but also according to Victoria Treyger, CMO of Kabbage, email is also the preferred mode of advertising among clients.  Set up an account with  Aweber and begin to add emails.  You can create effective campaigns for about $19 a month.

 

Produce Information

Cost: $0-$6/month

Using blogs and forums are a good way to get some attention.  Not only do people go online to find answers to their questions, if you are able to able to answer those questions, you establish yourself as an expert.

So how do you go about showcasing yourself as an expert?  You can do it in many different ways.  You can build a blog where you can write about topics related to your business.

You can start a free blog by using Blogger.com.  The benefits are that it’s free and it takes about 5 minutes to set up.  The draw back is that you are very limited to what you can do and your design choices.  Also, your domain name is not as easy to remember and is not as professional.  For example, if your company is “beststartupllc”, to find your blog, people would have to search “beststartupllc.blogspot.com.

A more professional option is to signup with Bluehost or Hostgator.  It costs between $3.95-$5.95 to register your own domain and to build a website or blog.

 

 

Social Media

Cost: Free-$100/month

Social media can be leveraged to help you market your business for a small fee or even at no cost at all. For example, you can invest about $41-$71 on sponsored links on either Facebook or LinkedIn. Such an investment will help place your brand across hundreds of thousands of your target audience. The goal is to increase followers to your social media accounts, or to convert visits into sales.

It is possible to gain a lot of attention if your social media profile produces something that goes viral.  However, to better your odds of getting followers and fans, use the available advertising options.

Write for Local Publications

Cost: $0

One of the best ways to get free advertisement is to get local publications to feature your story. Write to local publications requesting them to feature your new business since you are a local person. Local publications like local stories, and they are bound to feature your business if you prove to have an interesting story. Alyssa Smith founded luxury jewelry brand Alyssa Smith Jewelry in 2009 and was eventually named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’.  When starting her business, she used many low cost ways to market her company.

 Alyssa Smith wrote to magazines and asked if she could write a column on how I started my business’ or the tribulations of being a small business owner’. This slowly started getting her company some recognition. Later, bigger magazines were able to feature her business and by so doing, won her business even more free advertising.

“Celebrity” Endorsements

Cost:$0 and up

The term “celebrity” has changed in the past 10 years or so.  Celebrity used to mean someone on TV or movies that are followed around by paparazzi and pose for the red carpet.  Celebrity these days can be a 15 year old that posts videos on Youtube.  In fact, the power of famous bloggers and on Youtubers has changed the way companies seek endorsements.

One of the easiest ways to get your brand noticed is to get celebrities to endorse your product. This is one of the best ways to market your business for free especially if your business entails making wearable products. Send free samples of your products to celebrities who you think will appreciate your brand and reflect it well. Celebrities have the potential to drive more sales by getting their fans to buy a certain product that they like.

As a small company, you can give your product to bloggers and vloggers for them to try.  If they like your product, they will usually review the product and present it to their followers.

 

Set up listings in search engines

Setting up your business listing on search engines offers you some visibility on the World Wide Web. It makes it easy for a business to be easily found on the internet. It also helps one know where exactly your business is situated. Getting your business listed on Google and Bing is absolutely free. For Google, just head on over to “Google My Business” to get listed while you can head on over to Bing Places for Business for you to get listed on Bing. Yahoo on the other hand charges $29.99 a month which lists you on more than 50 directories which include Yahoo Local and Yelp. Listing your business on search engines local directories helps you optimize your business for local searches.


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