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August 1, 2011

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5 Cheap or Free Marketing Ideas

by Marketing Made Easy

Marketing can seem like a daunting task to any small business owner.  In difficult economic times the marketing budget is the first to be culled.  It’s really a catch 22.  In order to get more business, you need to advertise more, but in order to advertise, you need to earn more money and gain new business.  In this do-it-yourself article we are going to walk you through the various methods you can promote your business for free or next to nothing.

Create a YouTube Video

This week we are going to YouTube!  YouTube is a great way to attract people to your business.  I’m often looking at YouTube videos to make things with my young son and some of my visits have resulted in a purchase.

How do customers make a purchase from YouTube?

If the purveyor has included a special offer that’s easy to access, I will generally visit the site.  However, more times than not, the website has pulled up short of providing relevant content and I leave the site quickly and don’t give it another thought.  When you make your video, make sure your offer stacks up on your website landing page.

This week I’d like you to make a video on how to make something from your shop.  For example if you sell jewelry, create a video on how to make a necklace or bracelet, if you sell soap, create a soap making video, and if you design logos or banners, make a service related video on how to choose a graphic artist with confidence.  I think you get my drift.

Be sure to include your website address and offer a special gift or discount to the people who view your video.  This will create a reason to visit your site.

Reward Your Existing Customers

Your existing customers are one of your greatest assets.  Customer reward programs generate repeat business and help build customer loyalty.  Social media provides an excellent platform for loyalty rewards.  Always make sure that all your marketing avenues are in sync with your branding efforts.

Offer an exclusive incentive to your regular or existing customer base – only your regular customers! 

Notify them via e-mail or by social media methods, and direct them to an otherwise inaccessible page on your website.  The more ways a customer can interact with your products or services, the more opportunities arise for closing a sale.

Use your Customers to Promote your Brand

Many brands have used their customers in commercials, however, there’s no reason non-brands can’t do the same.  Encourage your customers to participate by asking them to create their own ads, or videos about their experiences with your product or brand.  Turn it into a competition and get other online users to vote and let them decide the winner online.  Reward your winner with a special gift!

Visit Your Local Community

A little community exposure is always sure to boost your small business reputation and it helps attract new customers.

Design a small A5 colourful brochure promoting your products and include a special discount or competition with a 7-day expiry date. With a note book in one hand and brochures in the other, hand them out to your target audience at your local schools, local streets, cafes, shopping centres, train stations, play grounds, or where ever your target audience is located.

When you hand over the flyer, ask if you can include them in your special offer or give-away by adding their name and email address to the competition.

When you get home, immediately contact this group by email and send them details of the competition.  About 3 days later draw the winner and notify them by email.  Contact the remaining contestants also by email and offer them a discount on any orders they place between date X and date Y.  Give them a coupon code to make it accessible to these customers only.

Hyperlink Exchange

Offer your noncompeting business customers a link exchange.  What is a link? 

Links used to be called hyperlinks but the internet has evolved the word links is now used.  Links underpin the whole process of navigation on the internet and so they are extremely important to understand.

What is a link exchange? 

A link exchange is the process of setting up a link from your website to a website you don’t own. 
In a simple link exchange, contact the Webmaster of a site that you would like to do a link exchange with and if they agree you both set up links to both sites. Make sure you use appropriate link descriptions in order to generate the best possible SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) outcome.

When you hover your mouse over this link you’ll see additional information about the website it links to. The more links from and to your website, the greater increase in the PageRank of your site. Overtime this will help you get your site ranked higher in search results. The greater number of people who see your business’s links, the more people will visit your website.

Author: Peta Di Palma

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1 Comment Post a comment
  1. somethingmoorephotography
    Aug 1 2011

    Great article! Most people feel immediately daunted by the idea of marketing budget cuts, this provides a great and easy alternative to mentally giving up and feeling frantic over how you will draw in business.

    Reply

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