recent times, using social media costs very little. Whether you use Facebook, Digg It, LinkedIn or Squidoo, these all cost nothing except perhaps the cost of getting some photos or a video included. You can use these to build a profile of your business, connect with your customers meaningfully and conduct a dialogue with them.
2. EmailSending out email is quicker and less costly than most other methods of communication. Make sure you follow legal requirements such as spam regulations and privacy legislation.
You can use emails to do many of the things you can offer via direct mail such as new services, products, news items, newsletters, special offers & promotions.
Networking also provides opportunities to mix with business people facing the same problems and issues as you, and can provide a useful bouncing board for new business strategies and ventures. As well as raising your profile, some of your new business colleagues may become your clients and may refer their clients to you as well.
4. P.R. (Public Relations)
PR is an area which is quite low cost when you do it yourself as long as you have a cut-through idea or an interesting story to gain attention. The main trick to getting media attention is to give journalists a story that is newsworthy and credible, not just a self-promotion spin which interests no-one except you.
PR can involve a range of activities from media releases, to getting expert spokespeople to provide pertinent comments, educational programs and high profile activities.
Co-Promotion refers to developing some type of partnership agreement with one or more other non-competitive companies. Partnering with another business that has the same target customers as your business can have a number of benefits and be very cost effective. This can range from a simple arrangement with business contacts on a one off basis through to more comprehensive programs that involve detailed marketing promotional activities.
Having a website for your business is now considered a must-have and in some markets, a condition for doing business. While you can construct a website for free using DIY technology or get a friend to do one for you at almost no cost, it is recommended that you look at other options such as getting a website developer as this can still be done with a relatively small amount of money using website templates or add-on modules, rather than one built up from the ground.
Like any communication you will develop for your business, your website needs to look professional, be easy to navigate, provide value to your clients or visitors, and be easy-to-use.
7. Ad Words & Directories
Low-cost online promotion can be done using Google Adwords which can still be relatively inexpensive versus other promotion methods. A lot depends on which key words you sponsor and what category you are competing in. Similar advertising can be obtained in Yahoo, although Google still dominates the field.
There are numerous ad directories available online for communities & local geographic areas, trade groups, specific industries and more. Many of these have free basic listings and are worth getting onto. Paid listings need to be reviewed for their relevance to your specific market and industry.
8. Direct Mail
Direct mail is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools for any business to use. However, the effectiveness of this tool rests largely on the quality of the list used. Make sure your list is up-to-date and a ‘clean’ list – one with up-to-date email addresses that are from genuine email recipients. No matter how good your communication or offer is, if your list is not up to scratch, then you are wasting your time.
9. Public Speaking
Public speaking is one of the easiest ways of getting business for practically no cost. Because it does not appeal to all business people and not everyone is suitable for this type of task, it can be relatively easy to get engagements as a speaker. The main opportunity it offers of course is the chance to impact many potential clients at once and to establish your credentials as an expert in your particular field.
10. Article Marketing
Writing articles is a great way of establishing your credentials as an “expert”. You can either provide these articles via a website or use them as part of a direct mail campaign (as the offer). You can also offer them to other newsletters to use or be part of your own. You could even submit these to search engines with appropriate meta-tags and titles to help the search engines find them.
Even implementing a few of these ideas can improve your current marketing activities significantly.
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