A substantial number of small business owners are solely driven into entrepreneurship by their passion for their work, products or services.
Most may lack the business acumen of determining whether to spend on marketing and, if so, to what extent.
In such circumstances, as such an entrepreneur, it is easy to convince yourself that marketing is not necessary and that the products will market themselves.
The converse is also true- a new business may similarly wind up unnecessarily spending money on unproductive marketing campaigns.
So, how do you strike a balance? How do you implement a financially sustainable marketing strategy that yields results?
The best way for those on a tight budget is to start small and test the waters using free or low-cost marketing methods.
Digital marketing presents you with an array of dependable and tremendously effective strategies that cost little to nothing to deploy. Here are five of them:
Blogs are text articles or entries made on a website. They are typically written informally and can cover just about any subject imaginable.
Blogs are an excellent opportunity to grow your web traffic as they can act as a repository or treasure trove of important factual information about a subject.
In other words, publishing valuable content concerning your products via your blog allows you to build your brand reputation. It is also a golden opportunity for you to manage the narrative surrounding your product and brand.
The more valuable and accurate the information is, the higher the likelihood that more people will visit your site to access that information.
In turn, search engine algorithms will detect this high traffic and elevated interest and rank your website as one of the critical sources of information to particular queries.
That means that whenever someone searches for the kind of services or products you offer, your site will be among the first websites to be displayed by the results page.
For a blog entry to be productive, you must optimize it for search engines through proper keywords and the coverage of current yet relevant topics.
- Email marketing
The second inexpensive way for you to digitally market your enterprise is through email marketing.
That means sending well-structured emails to likely prospects, informing them of your products and offers.
An effective email marketing strategy entails the use of targeted email lists. These are contacts of crucial decision-makers who are most likely to be interested in your product or service.
You can acquire verified contacts across different fields from Email Service Providers (ESPs) at a small fee.
With these contacts, you may either handle the email correspondence yourself or have the ESP do it for you.
The good thing about having an ESP handle the entire process is that you are assured that the email will be professionally formatted and is unlikely to be relegated to the recipient’s spam folder.
This form of marketing not only offers you warm leads but is also an excellent way to nurture your leads and build their trust in your brand for future business relationships.
- Cold calling
Cold calling means approaching new clients via a telephone call and informing them of your enterprise and what it offers.
Also known as telemarketing, effective cold calling goes beyond simply telling your prospect what is on offer or asking them to buy.
If anything, a successful cold calling strategy engages the client by learning their needs first then pushing the sale after.
You may elect to handle the cold calling yourself or outsource it to a professional Sales Development Representative (SDR). The SDR will make the calls on your behalf and even book meetings with prospects for you.
They will also keep track of the campaign, follow up with all the warm prospects and engage them further if need be.
For new businesses or products, cold calling is a superb way to alert the market of your offering while getting valuable feedback directly from your clients regarding their needs and expectations.
- Social media Ads
These are also known as social network advertising or social media targeting. Social media ads are advertising campaigns that use a particular digital social platform to run a targeted marketing campaign.
Major social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram collect vast amounts of personal data daily from their users’ content.
With this data, the platforms’ algorithms can gain market insights and offer users the opportunity of running targeted ads aimed at particular niche markets.
Besides using the automated target groups that the algorithm may generate, these channels also allow you to select your target audience by geographical location or interest area.
Also, you may opt to have the Ad targeted towards accounts similar to those that already follow your brand.
That assures you that your Ad will always reach the targeted group.
However, to be eligible to run such an Ad, one must have a business account on the platform. Nonetheless, given the massive reach these Ads can have, the amount charged (which averages $5 a day) is relatively affordable.
- Google analytics
Google analytics comprises a set of features that you can use to monitor the quantity and quality of web traffic to your website.
It is a handy tool when it comes to monitoring the overall productiveness of your marketing campaign, as you can be able to gauge whether there has been an increased interest in your services or not.
Google Analytics is available in two versions. One is the standard and free ‘Google analytics’ while the second is the subscription-based ‘Google analytics 360.’
The latter can report significant website hits of over 1 billion per month every ten minutes or so.
However, for new or smaller businesses, with fewer web hits (of up to 10 million per month), the standard version works just as well with a data refresh window of 24-hours.