Your only investment will be a bit of your time, creativity, and elbow grease.Surbhi Jain
“Marketing is essential for businesses” – a hackneyed statement and the veracity of which has been established again and again. So instead of establishing the importance of marketing, let us talk about different marketing strategies that could suit your business.
An important thing to keep in mind is, not one marketing strategy suits all businesses. Depending upon the nature of your business, your growth strategy is going to be unique to you.
The techniques discussed below are just a few online/offline marketing channels that you could follow for your business on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of your products, potential customers and their online/offline behaviours, budget, type of event, etc.
Keep in mind, these are all free marketing strategies, so you might have to get creative in your efforts and be patient.
So let’s begin.
One of the best free and powerful marketing tool in a marketer’s arsenal is an Email list. Whether it is a list of potential customers or influencers, you should maintain and regularly send newsletters/ emailers to people.
To encourage customers, provide them with incentives such as – only newsletters recipients can avail a discount offer on one of your services - such strategic offers go a long way.
Content is like your younger sibling, who you tend to underestimate but later in life you realize their potential and are awe struck by their unfathomable influence.
Albeit, the initial take-off maybe slow but in long term it pays dividends. Content strategy in itself is a boundless realm which deserves a commensurate article for itself but to touch on the subject perfunctorily; it includes analyzing and distributing relevant, valuable content to attract and retain a targeted audience. An important detail to keep in mind is content doesn’t just mean blogs; it also includes videos, online courses, podcasts, memes, basically anything imaginable.
This ubiquitous term ‘social media’, although omnipresent is still recondite to most in terms of utilizing the platform for marketing. Moreover, just because social media is an option, that doesn’t axiomatically mean it would be the best marketing strategy for you. So analyze your business needs and if you feel your business will benefit by targeting individuals on social media platforms then begin with investing your time and resources on the same.
The salient thing to keep in mind is how much time, energy, resources and efforts should be put in. Once you are successful in creating hefty online reach, you would be surprised as to how much traffic it could bring to your business.
This is an extremely useful organic marketing discipline that allows for businesses to increase visibility in search engine results. There are various on and off-page activities that are executed to increase your websites awareness in search engines. From words in the code to structuring of your web page, every imperceptible change makes a huge impact in visibility. The right SEO can net you thousands of visitors and increased attention, so make sure to utilize this powerful tool that is absolutely free.
Albeit, you might feel apprehensive to share your knowledge and expertise with people for free, but this is a great way to gain traction and get some new leads. If your consultation or expertise comes in handy for a person,they are bound to come back to you and this time, they’ll pay.
You could upload that content on your blog or social media platforms; you may even get attention with likes, retweets and shares.
Even though this is the most common and perennial technique, the value of networking can never wane away. Networking takes place through social media these days but we are talking about the good old face-to-face networking that takes place at events. Talk to your friends and have them introduce you to other peoplein the business; establish yourself and your business as a brand.
Such initiations might lead to collaborations, better visibility in the market through word of mouth or who knows, even profitable partnerships. The best part is it is all free!
You should keep your eyes and ears open for established competitions taking place pertinent to your business. Such opportunities can do wonders for you even if you don’t win; you get good exposure and have ample opportunities to network. If you do in fact win or at least are in the top 5, you can establish your business on the map and most importantly, bragging rights for life.
Even though one might consider this to be under content marketing, and to an extent it is. Webinars and podcasts deserve a special mention here as these sources drive traffic adeptly. Talking about a particular product/service or simply sharing your expertise on a topic, whatever your content is, if your listener is even a tiny bit inclined towards your product; they will join in. The most basic difference between the two is: webinar is an audio-video presentation that can be watched live or it may be recorded, whereas a podcast is a recorded piece of audio. Different content calls for different approaches, so choose yours wisely.
Whether you’re a startup business or an already established one, corporate social responsibility isn’t just a way to attain a balance between the economy and ecosystems. It is also a great way to indulge in campaigns and support a cause to show your customers a warm side of you.
With that being said,don’t just spread goodwill to expect monetary returns.
This might seem unusual. How can feedback be a marketing strategy? Well it is. When you ask for feedback from your customers and most importantly, analyze and execute changes as directed; it creates a positive impact. The customer feels they are a salient part of your business and are likely to recommend your services forward. Moreover, it is a free way to understand where you went wrong and genuinely consider some innate changes that need to made to your existing strategies.
All these techniques are rarely effective alone. They should be used in conjunction with each other to create an engaging experience for your customers and leave a long lasting impact of your business on people.
In the words of Mike Volpe - “Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your marketing.”
Source : LinkedIn - Surbhi Jain