Forming a marketing strategy for your small business can be challenging. You won’t achieve any growth if your audiences aren’t aware of your brand. Unfortunately, marketing these days is getting expensive.
While that can pose a challenge, it also brings up an opportunity for small businesses to do some creative marketing for free.
Paid ads and influencers can do a lot, but there are plenty of successful marketing strategies that you can try without spending a dime.
In today’s blog, we’ll look at a few free marketing strategies that can help your small business grow.
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Why Do You Need A Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy basically works as a roadmap for your small business — you can pinpoint where you start and where you want to end up, and plot your business revenue goals along the way.
The best marketing strategies elevate your business’s profit and growth. The goal of a marketing strategy is to bridge the gap between the business and the customer. Taking the time to work on a growth plan can help you focus your efforts on areas that guarantee success in the long term.
A marketing strategy can help you:
- identify your target audience
- identify demographics and audience needs
- set measurable objectives
- track metrics and goals
- retain a customer base
A disclaimer: there is no set formula that works for all businesses. No two marketing strategies are alike.
The free marketing ideas that we’ve discussed in this blog are just starting points. You can build on these to create a strategy that works best for your business.
These top marketing tips are a mix of online & offline best practices.
Let’s get started.
9 Free Marketing Strategies For Your Small Business
A small business often has budget limitations. However, it doesn’t have to stop you from building a marketing strategy that converts leads.
The free marketing strategies that we’ve given below are scalable, sustainable, and resource-friendly.
- Customer Reviews & Testimonials
- Organic Social Media
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Social Listening
- Co-Marketing Opportunities
- Word-of-mouth Referrals
#1. Leverage Customer Reviews & Testimonials
The first free marketing strategy we recommend is to leverage customer reviews.
Customer testimonials are critical to building brand trust because many people trust reviews as much as a word-of-mouth recommendation.
You can ask for feedback through the use of surveys or emails. Ask for service reviews from your returning customers and use them as endorsements on your website and social media pages.
Additionally, customer feedback is a great way to find changes that are required to reach a wider audience. You can figure out what the customer needs and improve your products or services this way.
Among marketing strategy best practices, leveraging customer reviews is as effective as it gets. Your customers are essentially doing all the marketing for you. Furthermore, they also get to feel like they’re part of your business process, which in turn builds customer loyalty.
Related Blog: 6 Free Marketing Software Marketers Must Try Today
#2. Build Organic Social Media Presence
When it comes to brand recall, social media is the most effective free marketing strategy.
A social media presence can help you stay in touch with your customers, build a customer base, and increase brand recall.
Several businesses tap into social media as a means of providing information – about their business, products, services, etc.
The best part about social media is that it’s visual. You can show your audience what your business provides instead of just telling them.
Social media strategies are never static, which is why you can experiment with what works in the moment, and make the most of new trends.
Consumers across industries use social media for customer support. If you don’t have accessible social media pages, it becomes difficult for potential customers to find and trust your brand.
No formula guarantees instant organic social media growth. However, creativity can make social posts viral, and consistency can make a brand attract a large online audience.
#3. Optimize for Search Keywords
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your Google search ranking to increase traffic to your website. There’s a lot of content on the Internet; without SEO, you’ll probably end up with a lot of content that doesn’t convert.
SEO is the simplest way of ensuring that your business’s website ranks front-and-center on a search engine, be it Google, Yahoo, Bing, or anything else.
One of the fundamentals of SEO is keyword research. Ranking for keywords that receive a high search volume can help boost your website’s domain authority. This will lead customers to your page and increase your website traffic.
You should also optimize your website for mobile devices, as more and more buyers are turning to mobile shopping.
The technical side of SEO is important as well. This includes structuring your internal linking, fixing broken URLs, and quality backlinking.
You can use tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Google Analytics to map out a keyword plan.
One thing to note, though — SEO is a short-term marketing strategy. You have to review and work on it consistently to see results and growth.
#4. Ace Your Content Marketing
Content is the most economical way of building a customer base organically. The goal of generating content is to inform your potential customers about your brand and its services and guide them towards your business.
Content marketing focuses on sharing relevant information with prospective customers in the form of visual media, blog posts, infographics, etc., so that they can learn more about your business.
You can choose the medium of content depending on what’s relevant to your audience. Some businesses get a lot of success with social media content, whereas others focus on whitepapers and blogs.
It’s important to choose your content type based on what your audience wants. In the beginning, try every form of content marketing and see what your target audience responds to the most.
#5. Work Hard On Your Emails
When it comes to free marketing strategies for your business, you need one that is easy to create and easy to scale.
The answer? Email marketing!
Many people who visit your site won’t be quick to make a purchase. Email newsletters allow you to showcase your products and services, and deliver relevant content.
You want your emails to be a welcome addition to an inbox. All your content must serve to add value to a customer. You can do this by sending blog posts, news insights, or whitepapers.
Starting an email marketing newsletter isn’t an expensive endeavor at all. Several online platforms offer email newsletter services. Substack is one such platform, and EngageBay has a free-forever plan that includes email marketing.
Once you build a sizable email list, you can work on sending targeted and personalized emails to your subscribers.
#6. Try Social Listening
According to Hootsuite, “….social listening is the process of monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand, competitors, product, and more.”
You can track and analyze what your customers are saying about your business. This can help you in conducting audience research and building buyer personas.
You can also interact with potential customers and respond to feedback from your customers instantly. Social listening can help you figure out where you’re lacking in your marketing strategy and implement changes to satisfy your customer’s needs.
Social listening is another aspect of leveraging customer reviews to build brand legitimacy.
You can conduct social listening and monitoring of your brand by tracking hashtags and product mentions. You can also try a free platform like EngageBay, and automate the monitoring of conversations across social media channels.
#7. Build Co-Marketing Opportunities
Co-marketing is a collaborative strategy where two companies work together on a joint campaign to promote their products or services.
Co-marketing helps build brand awareness and broaden your audience base. These opportunities are often cost-effective as well. Since two collaborating companies have their own distribution channels, the cost of advertising and promotions is low.
Smaller businesses also benefit from co-marketing opportunities as it allows them to reach a different audience niche. These opportunities are not only convenient to your business’s growth but also demonstrate your brand value.
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#8. Host Webinars
A webinar is an online presentation or discussion on a particular topic by a host or speaker. It’s generally more interactive and informal than an actual presentation, and this increases audience participation and engagement.
Webinars work as great lead magnets for capturing audience data. Creating a good webinar can increase your customer base as well as retain your existing ones.
Webinars tend to be successful as a free marketing strategy especially in the software and technology industry, where product information and value may need to be conveyed by experts.
#9. Leverage Word-of-mouth Referrals
Out of all free marketing strategies, personal endorsements are the most effective. For all the advances in digital marketing, word-of-mouth referrals still remain the top method of inspiring trust in a brand.
According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends above advertising. No amount of money spent is going to replace the importance of personal referrals.
The best way to increase word-of-mouth referrals is to incentivize your staff. After all, they know the product best. They will also be able to build a strong partner network and generate awareness about your business.
To sum up, it’s rather simple to figure out how to market your business for free. The best marketing techniques for small businesses need to be creative, adaptable, and sustainable.
However, implementing these free marketing strategies is easier said than done. As you begin and try to scale, you’ll come across a hundred different issues.
EngageBay is a comprehensive marketing tool for any business type that wants to grow online. It has a wide range of features to choose from: lead grabbers, lead scoring, promoting events online, social media automation, email automation, web analytics, and search engine optimization.
EngageBay helps marketing departments of all sizes by providing the tools necessary to manage all aspects of digital marketing.
Try it for free today!