Nowadays, almost every business is doing whatever they can to save money and protect their profits, especially now that we've seen no company, regardless of its size, is impervious to bankruptcy. However, though you may be able to think of clever ways to cut production costs and utilize modern software platforms to streamline tasks, you can't avoid spending money on marketing – or can you?
Of course, you'll always have to invest in advertising somewhat, but thanks to the immense popularity of the World Wide Web, there are plenty of ways to market your website for free. Needless to say, you may yield better results from investing in paid marketing campaigns, but if you're currently working with limited resources and need to grow your customer base, you ought to learn the basics of free online advertising.
Promote Your Website Using These Five Free Methods
You should never underestimate the power of online marketing because most – if not all – of your potential customers use it to search for your products or services. From growing your business with email marketing to perfecting your website's SEO, here's how you can get your name out there without spending money:
- Stay Active on Social Media
Facebook has over a billion users, and a huge portion of them check their feeds daily. If you're not talking to your potential customers on social media, you're missing out on a tremendous opportunity. You might consider holding competitions, posting about your industry and running giveaways as oppose to always pushing a hard-sell. At the very minimum, you should be regularly posting on Facebook and Twitter, but you should also have accounts on sites like Pinterest and Instagram to yield the best results.
- Focus on SEO
Some companies wrongly try to target keywords that are too broad and find their website makes merely a splash in the ocean. For example, you can't expect to rank highly for a general term such as ‘plumber' or ‘electrician,' but you can expect customers to search for keywords such as ‘cheap plumber on 5th Avenue New York' or 'emergency electrician in Back Bay Boston.' If you don't know which keywords to target, find out by using the Google Keyword Planner.
- Post High-Quality Content
If you don’t want to pay writers to create interesting blog posts, now might be the time to brush up on your grammar skills because bad-quality writing will only serve to make your website appear unprofessional. However, if you already have a creative flair and can put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – you can capture new customers by making blogs that people will enjoy reading, and, more importantly, share with others. Don't focus solely on selling your company in your blogs and instead try to write articles that people want to read to the end.
- Keep in Touch with Customers via Email
The last thing you want to do is send ‘spammy' emails to people who have no interest in reading them, but engaging emails filled with relevant content for customers with a vested interest in your company or industry can help you secure additional sales in both the short and long term. Try to think of email marketing to ensure your company sticks in peoples' minds rather than a method of endlessly promoting your products. To increase email subscribers, take the tips above on board about creating high-quality content.
- Link Building
The best way to build trust in your website among the search engines is to have as many other sites link back to yours as possible. The more backlinks you have, the more reputable your company appears, and you can start trying to attract backlinks by strategically linking to other websites in your content. There's no harm in sending a friendly email to people letting them know you've provided links to their business to see if they'll return the favor.
It's Never Too Late to Build an Online Presence
You might have run a profitable business for years without the Internet, but all your competitors now use online marketing to try and gain the upper hand. You can learn how to build an e-commerce site relatively easy if you don't already have one, and then you need to focus as much of your attention as possible on making sure it gets seen.