It can be frustrating to not have a big marketing budget. When you want to try many different strategies to reach your customers, know this: You can absolutely connect with your customers in meaningful ways and boost sales without a large marketing budget.
Here are a few strategies that are free or inexpensive, yet still produce effective results.
Listen to Social Media
One of the most important tenets of marketing is to “know your customer.” It’s important to understand who buys from you, what problems they have, and where they spend time online.
Social media is a fantastic tool to get to know your customers. By listening to what your audience is talking about on channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you can better understand this demographic and deliver better results.
Not only that, but social media listening helps you understand how people think and feel about your brand. Monitoring brand mentions informs you about people talking about your brand specifically and the types of problems your products or services solve. By tapping into these conversations, you can respond appropriately to customers.
Enhance Email Marketing
Email remains one of the best channels for generating revenue, and the more effort you put into personalizing your email campaigns, the better results you’ll achieve. There’s no longer any one-size-fits-all strategy for email marketing. Use data about past purchases from your customer relationship management platform to customize the offers you send.
But before you start sending personalized campaigns, make sure to take care of the basics. You should use email marketing software (some, like MailChimp, offer free accounts) and grow your email list with a sign-up form on your website. Always send emails to subscribers from a professional email address so people know who’s sending them and the emails don’t end up in spam folders.
Even if you’re a one-person show with no design skills, you can create professional-looking infographics, social media images, and other graphics that enhance your marketing. Tools like Canva are free to use and offer a simple way to create from beautiful templates. No design skill needed!
You don’t have to expend thousands of dollars for a website; website design platforms like Wix and WordPress also provide appealing templates that you can customize to get a professional-looking website for little outlay.
Step Up Your Content Marketing
Another must-have (and affordable) marketing tool is content: content for your blog, ebooks to get people to sign up for your emails, or special reports you include in your newsletters. If you have at least a degree of writing ability, you can create this content yourself.
Even if you aren’t a great writer, it can be affordable to hire a professional to handle content creation tasks. Because you can pay a freelancer or agency on an as-needed basis, you invest a modest amount into your content marketing — which will quickly generate positive ROI.
Consistency is the key to great content: Publish posts on your business blog every week to establish a steady cadence. Produce a new content offer such as an infographic or ebook every quarter to build your email list and generate leads. Measure which content receives positive feedback in terms of more visits, likes, and shares. Then create more like that.
You may have heard about search engine optimization but decided that it sounded far too technical and expensive. The truth is: You can’t afford to ignore SEO. It’s critical for appearing in desktop searches as well as mobile searches (where more than half of all searches now occur).
You don’t need to be an SEO master to benefit. Just think like a customer: What would someone search for to find your site? If you sell women’s clothes online, think of each type of product as a keyword: women’s capris, blouses, swimsuits. That was simple, wasn’t it? The more detailed you can get with your keywords, the better chance you’ll have of being found, so try phrases like A-line skirt, vintage cocktail dress, and sequined jumpsuit.
If you’re willing to put in the time, these marketing tactics can cost virtually nothing and can net you a major boost in sales!
Christine Soeun Choi is an SEO associate at Fit Small Business specializing in digital marketing. Currently based in New York City, she has a background in business studies and math and a passion for business development. When not helping small business owners, Christine enjoys taking photos, exploring artwork, and traveling.