Most start ups have a great idea or a splendid product that may very much have the potential to revolutionize an industry. But chances are, these start ups may either lack the insight to market their business ferociously or if they do recognize this need, they may most likely not have the necessary funds for it. So, what to do in that case; drop your business in a bottomless well and forget about it? Well, there's no need to.
Earlier, marketing could only be done with fat wads of cash, in the form of print and media ads, flyers, banners and so on. But today, internet has opened up unimaginable new paths to get your business the recognition it requires for success. What’s even better is that the online platform allows start up entrepreneurs to make very prompt, effective and wide reaching digital marketing, without having them to spend recklessly to get that desired effect.
Make use of these wonderful ways to market your business online, without spending a single penny.
1. Get Your Business Listed on Local Listing Services
To make your business visible and within reach of potential customers, it is necessary to register it with Google Places. This allows your business to show on Google Maps too along with Google searches. The process is simple which requires you to fill out a small form and registering. You can then get your business verified via a confirmation process making use of a phone call or postal service. Yahoo! too has a business directory called Yahoo! Local which is free and the registration process simple. A similar database of businesses is offered by Microsoft’s Bing which can be easily signed up at.
2. Have Your Business Search Engine Optimized
Today when the world cannot be imagined to function without Google, it is highly vital that you get your website SEO. Simply pick a book on the basic know hows of the task or ‘Google’ an online guide to help you increase your site’s performance on search engines.
3. Make Use of Social Media
Social media is no longer simply a means to stay connected to friends or get public exposure. It has now become an essential tool to promote your business, demanding substantial time investment in it. You can showcase offers and various ads on your Facebook page or engage your customers directly via Twitter. Professional networking with LinkedIn at both personal as well as organizational level can help you stay informed and hence help your startup.
4. Start a Blog
A blog is a fantastic way to spread your company’s name while connecting and helping your potential customers. Churning out regular blog posts, relevant to your niche, helps to keep your site updated and also rewarded higher ranking on SERPs by Google and other search engines.
5. Employ Multimedia on YouTube and Flickr
YouTube provides a convenient and cost free channel to circulate promotional videos. However, to succeed through this endeavour, the videos need to be creative and such that are not only relate to your business but also hold content that the viewers want to see. A simple video ad won’t work here. Another advantageous way to promote your business is by aggregating all your business photos on Flickr adding a back link on each of them to divert the audience to your website.
6. Engage with Customers Through Email Marketing
Obtaining the email ids of potential customers is a very powerful way to market as well as gain many customers. But in order to gain their email addresses, you should be willing to give away a free incentive in return. This can be a free eBook, PDF file etc. Although aimed to gain customers, refrain to sell at every instant, rather develop a good relationship with them then make a lucrative offer. Mailchimp or Get Response are good systems for email campaigns.
7. Publish Press Releases
Each time your business launches a new product, offers a new service or does anything like this that’s worth news, issue a press release to create awareness among consumers and publicize your business. There are many websites like PRLog that help to freely distribute them.
8. Participate in an Appropriate Online Community
Every industry niche has a community or online forum of its own where the people interested or working in that sector get involved to help each other. Sign up for such a community and build a rapport for yourself and eventually your company by genuinely contributing to it. Keep your business or its promotion out of it and only passively do so by either putting a link to your website in your signature or mentioning your business only when the context is pertinent. Quora can prove to be good place to start for most businesses.