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How to Market Your Business on a Zero (or Small) Marketing Budget

 

Budgets aren’t endless, and hard times call for making the most of the budget you do have. While big budgets are always a nice perk, they aren’t necessarily critical for effective marketing. Marketing takes many shapes and forms. The strategies we discuss in this post are tried and tested. They will help you extend the life of your marketing campaigns without digging deeper into your pockets. 

Ready for the good news? A lot of these effective strategies really only require time! While yes, we understand that time is money, but with these methods you don’t have to spend both time and money! Instead, valuable time spent results in better ROI. 

The Blog

One of the most effective ways to not only increase search engine visibility and showcase your expertise in an industry, is to keep an up-to-date blog. Blogs are great for SEO, thought leadership, lead generation, lead nurturing, and your internal linking strategy. 

However, don’t think that just scribbling something down and posting it on your blog is going to generate the results you want. Maintaining a great blog takes proper planning, well thought out ideas, and a publishing strategy.

A great and high performing blog post should: 

  • Be at least 1000 words 
  • Contain keywords
  • Answer a question
  • Include internal and external links to your website, other blogs, and other valuable resources
  • Start with a catchy headline
  • Be relevant
  • Include subheadings
  • Have a powerful call-to-action
  • Include a meta description
  • Be appealing to the eye both with the images you use and the layout

While this sounds complex, it’s easier than you might think. It takes a while to get into the groove of including all of these elements, but once you do, you will generate a highly effective post every time. 

We’ve noticed that the majority of our leads and customers visit our blog at least once. It has proved to be a substantial driver for lead nurturing, but for lead generation as well. 

One thing to note is that you want to maintain a consistent publishing schedule. Commit to a certain number of posts per week or per month. This builds trust with your readers and reinforces your thought leadership, branding, and more.

Content Publishing

Once you have a great blog post, you want to share it with as many people as possible. Content syndication is just as important as writing a great blog post. There are many places to share and re-publish your post. 

Please note that there are specific rules for reposting blog posts to avoid any negative SEO affects. If you republish your posts on another site, you want to make sure it has the right canonical link. 

Social media is the most obvious place to share your content. Most businesses have at least one social profile, and many of your team members have their own social networks. Make use of these networks and encourage everyone to share your continent with their own audience. This significantly increases your reach and impressions.

Some companies put together a social incentive bonus rewarding their employees for active engagement on social media. The more your content is shared, the more it has the potential of being viewed by that many more people. This is one of the most effective ways to increase the reach of your content without spending a dime. 

Great social networks for sharing content: 

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

If you are looking for places to re-publish your article, look at LinkedIn’s “Publish” feature. Publishing your content on LinkedIn does not result in any negative dings on your SEO, but can get your content in front of a lot more people. 

Medium is another great place to republish blog posts. However, do not just copy and paste your blog posts into Medium. Medium offers bloggers an Import function so you can import your posts from the authoritative link (your blog), so you do not risk any SEO repercussions. 

A best practice no matter what is to always include a link back to the original blog post. 

Social Media 

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. are all great social networks to start promoting your business. Not only are they free, but you can also automate some of your efforts on these channels. 

While it’s important to maintain a social media presence, you also need to gauge where your followers are. For example, as a B2B software company, Pinterest may not be the most effective social network for generating awareness. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook on the other hand could prove quite lucrative if done properly. 

Choose your networks and stick with them. First, make sure your profiles are optimized. Don’t leave anything out. Next, define the goal for each network. Is your goal to connect with current customers or generate new leads? It may be both, but your content needs to reflect this goal. Share your blog posts, company culture, case studies, customer stories, and more, but do not always include a hard sell. Save this for the inexpensive advertising these social media sites offer. 

Social networking is supposed to be fun, social, and a way to connect (not just sell) your brand to a far reaching audience. 

Social media best practices: 

  • Tag other accounts to generate more views
  • Be consistent 
  • Share other content, not just your own
  • Include powerful calls-to-action
  • Be friendly
  • Highlight your brand’s personality
  • Keep a consistent voice
  • Have fun!

While managing your social media networks might be free, it does require strategy and effective time management. While it is important to engage in realtime, you can also use tools to help you automate your daily posts. This will save you A LOT of time, and leave you more opportunity to engage rather than just post your content. 

Social media advertising is also a very inexpensive way to generate awareness and leads for your business. Use Facebook Boosted Posts to extend the reach of your content for as least as $2/day! Or set up an Awareness campaign and generate thousands of likes per month for only a few dollars per day. Plus, you can set up very specific targeting so you know you are reaching the right audience for your brand. 

LinkedIn’s advertising is a bit more expensive than Facebook’s, but can be a great way to generate leads and promote your content. For example, we spend a bit more on LinkedIn, but we also notice that the traffic we get from this network spends more time and is more engaged with our content than traffic from other sources. 

Overall, social media, no matter what type of business you are, is a lucrative strategy if you have a limited budget, but want to maximize your reach. 

 

Contribute Your Expertise

Contribute articles to industry websites and blogs. Acting as a contributor to a blog or website gives you a chance to introduce your brand to a new audience and to establish yourself as a thought leader and industry expert. 

Many industry specific blogs and websites accept contributions from guest bloggers and article writers. Seek out as many of these opportunities as you can. Find blogs that you align with. Create partnerships. Accept blog posts from them on your site in return for publishing yours on their website.

Email Marketing

Regardless of what you might think, email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to engage and convert leads and customers. Whether you have a strategically tailored series of emails for new leads or you send out a monthly newsletter, email is a wonderful way to connect with your audience.

With CRM and marketing automation tools, a business can easily segment and personalize every email marketing message. Personalization increases read and click through rates, resulting in better conversion rates. 

For example, let’s say you write an engaging article on your blog, and entice people to sign up for your monthly blog digest. Now, you have captivated that audience, put them in your funnel, and given yourself an opportunity to further develop that relationship. 

The more that contact engages with your emails, blog, website, etc., the more opportunities you have to nurture and convert that lead into a client. 

Email marketing takes on many forms. You can trigger auto-responders once a person fills out a form or trigger a drip campaign when they are added to a group within your database. You can also send them on a tailored customer journey that allows them to receive specific content based on their demographic and behavioral data. From simple one-off emails to full-fledged, complex customer journeys, email marketing is a highly inexpensive, yet effective way to market your business.

How to use email marketing: 

  • Monthly blog digest
  • Customized emails based on specific actions or behaviors
  • Customer emails based on demographic data stored within your CRM
  • Drip campaigns 
  • Auto-responders
  • Customer journeys

Click here to find out what email marketing mistakes to avoid! 

In our next article, we will discuss webinars, ebooks, review sites, and outreach as other strategies for marketing your business on a zero (or small) budget. 

Looking for more tips? Check out this article

GreenRope’s mission is to help your business succeed, so stay tuned for more tips on marketing on a budget!

 

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