Creative Ways to Market Your Business for Free

15 Dec, 2016 / Comments: Comments Off on Creative Ways to Market Your Business for Free / By

Starting a business is great, but what good is it if people don’t know about you? Without sufficient customers, you won’t last very long, which is why marketing is so crucial. Unfortunately, in order to create a big marketing campaign, you often need a big marketing budget. Many businesses, particularly small ones, or ones that are just getting started, don’t have the luxury of affording big marketing strategies. If you are among those without a big budget, here are a few creative marketing strategies that you can use to market your business, absolutely free.

 

Get on Social Media

There are very few people who aren’t on social media these days. And there are multiple social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram being among the largest. It costs nothing to create and maintain a page. In fact, there’s a good chance you have a personal account with at least one of these sites. You can easily post updates, photos, announcements, sales, etc. and tag important key words. In doing so, anyone using the search function will easily come across your page. For example, if you are a baker, you can use Instagram to upload photos and tag keywords such as the type of baked good, flavor and your location, greatly increasing your chances of being found.

 

Once you have followers, you must continue to entice them, without constantly throwing promotions in their faces. You can, however, use your page to advertise large sales, such as particular holiday. Again, as a baker, a photo and description of your daily special is a great way to catch attention and get your followers to share your page, but if you are offering a Valentine’s Day special, you can advertise that, too. And don’t be afraid to have a little fun.

 

Vlogging

Blogs are a popular way to share the happenings of your business, but have you ever considered starting a vlog? Rather than giving customers something to read, you give them something to watch: a “video blog.” Not only can you share the inner workings of your business, customers get to see that you are a real person. Introduce customers to your other employees. Create fun “Top 5” or “Top 10” lists, or discuss the latest trends in your particular industry. Like written blogs, vlogs give your customers a chance to interact with you in the comments section. You can even make these videos on YouTube, which gives you an excellent chance to be discovered by thousands who might not even be looking.

 

Get Out There

This might not seem so creative, but in a world that lives on the internet these days, there’s a lot to be said for a new business person to take to the streets. After all, if no one knows you exist, it’s going to be very hard to bring customers in. Get out there and talk to people. Strike up a conversation in line at the coffee shop. Talk yourself up with an established business that shares your same audience (but doesn’t sell the same product). Maybe your two products would work well together. In doing so, you can create a symbiotic relationship in which the two of you refer your customers to the other business, which can help you to potentially earn significantly more clients.

 

Stay in Contact

Your best customers are the ones that keep coming back. They are the ones who had a great experience and are willing to share your business with their like-minded friends. One of the best ways you can attract repeat customers is by staying in contact. This doesn’t necessarily mean a weekly emailed newsletter, although this is an excellent option to let current customers know what’s coming up, but you can also send emails related to the products they have purchased in the past. Staying in touch, and making it personal, makes your customers feel special, and you will always remain fresh in their minds, especially when their friends are asking for recommendations.

 

Marketing is essential to the success of any business. And the great part about it is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Doing something unique, and free, is a great way to catch the eyes of new customers and really make yourself stand out from your competition.

William Mahnic
William Mahnic is a Finance Professor at Case Western University and has spent more than 20 years in the finance industry before becoming a professor. Mahnic has appeared as a commentator on both TV and radio talk shows including NPR, Crain's Cleveland Business, WKYC 3 and The Washington Post. He has been interviewed in BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times.

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