What are the best effective ways to promote a business at low cost?
If you are a brand new entrepreneur with little knowledge of marketing, It can be difficult to find suitable ways to promote your business on a limited budget.
As a growing entrepreneur at each stage of my business’s journey, I am used to encounter serious challenges and obstacles along the way.
I want to see goods results for my efforts and finally, taste success.
I would like to think you want the same for yourself especially those of us who are at the earliest stage of our journey.
So what are the best most cost-effective ways to promote a business with a low cost when you have zero budget?
Without having to wait for years and decades to move up the rankings on Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)
How can an entrepreneur like you and I get the proverbial word out?
With so many confusing traffic channels lurking around, coupled with having little money at our disposal, lack of knowledge or experience in this field, a number of questions may come to mind:
- Where does one start?
- What should you look for?
- How much should you spend?
- What traffic channels, better suited for your business model?
- What should be done first?
- What if it does not work?
These are the kind of concerns most people would have including newbies and struggling entrepreneurs.
Often many of us, focus on other important aspects of our businesses but neglect marketing or leave it until the last minute.
You create your website, online store, products or services, then you realize nothing is happening, no visitors coming to your site nor do you have customers to buy your products.
One, two, three, four, five, six months go by, not a single penny is being made and you begin to scratch your head.
Where have you gone wrong?
The answer is simply because You Have No Visibility.
Without being seen nobody knows…
- Who you are?
- What is your brand?
- What products or services you are selling?
- Where and how people are going to reach you to purchase your services and products?
Fortunately, there are some techniques you can use to market your business that could eventually produce a maximum return on your investment using both free and paid strategies.
However, a word of caution is required, some may take weeks or months to pan out, while others may take years.
Albeit paid strategies are more likely to help you achieve success quickly and effectively.
The bottom line here is that you must try to be consistent with your traffic creation and do whatever it takes to get the desired results whether you have a tiny or a big budget.
The more effort you put in, the more chances you have of creating and driving much-needed traffic to your business.
This article attempts to outline the 13 super low-cost ways to promote and advertise your business on a tiny budget.
#1: Create a Blog and Post SEO Content Regularly
The most cost-effective ways to advertise your business online is to build a blog where you can post and share premium quality content that adds an exceedingly high amount of value on a regular basis.
For the content to be ranked high on search engines and have high visibility. It should be SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) compliant.
There is a whole science to SEO and you may have to invest some time in learning how to implement it properly or get someone else to do it for you.
Note: This is a long-term plan, and it will certainly not pay off overnight but worth the wait.
Not only does building a unique blog in any industry or niche help to drive organic traffic by peaking the interest of Google, Bing or Yahoo search engines but it also has an added benefit of creating an authority for the blogger.
This is a bit similar to what I am trying to achieve on my site as I write and share quality content with you and the rest of my readers.
If you are a force to reckon with authority in your industry, you will garner the attention of customers, the media and business owners alike.
Which will, in turn, build more dominance, and eventually, leads to wide visibility and sales.
Thus helping you achieve the desired result you after of driving high-quality organic passive traffic to your business.
This is a long painful process, but worth every bit of the pain you may encounter along the way.
You may find that your articles are not ranked straight away, as it takes time for the search engines to recognize your content and establish authority.
Hence, it is very important to select a niche that you love and are passionate about, which you will never get tired of coming up with juicy creative content to educate and share with your readers.
If you don’t like or enjoy what you are writing, it will show up in your work. Do your best to avoid this situation.
Your readers are savvy and can easily pick up on the flaws of your writing or lack of sincerity toward them.
Investing valuable time in writing good quality content is a Must.
A trait that I have come to value and prioritize the most on my blog.
Even if it means suffering the risk of writing only one or two articles a month that geared towards capturing the attention of my readers and offer real solutions to their problems.
I consider this as, a highly valuable exercise and time well spent than anything else.
Writing fewer meaningful articles is way better in my opinion than writing lots of articles that have no purpose nor offer direction for the reader.
You want to avoid the syndrome of writing for the sake of writing.
Always prioritize quality over quantity.
#2: Implement Email Marketing
I am sure you have heard of the saying “The money is in the list”.
Just like method #1, Email Marketing is extremely important.
A method that you must invest your time in learning, implementing and perfecting, until you become really good at it.
I would go as far as saying if you leave this method out, then you would have left a great treasure for your growing business.
Why so important you may ask?
Well, partly because of the following reasons:
- It allows you as the business owner to capture your customers and market to them directly over and over again
- If the like of Google and Facebook were to disappear overnight as your main source of advertisement, you will always have your list to rely on
- Your list is simply your number one asset in your online business and has a high monetary value
- It allows you as the business owner to build trust and maintain a relationship with your customers
- More money is made with existing customers than when acquiring new ones. This is because existing customers have come to know and trust you over time and are more likely to re-purchase your products or services simply because they trust you implicitly and know who you are, even if what you are selling is not up to scratch.
- Email lists create money and without them, you are missing out on greater opportunity to generate more revenue for your expanding business.
- The people who opted in your list have already expressed an interest in your offers so it becomes easier to sell to them.
Now that we have explained the benefits of implementing a list, it is important to note that like SEO, Email Marketing is also not for the faint-hearted but certainly not impossible.
if you are willing to invest a bit of your time and money implementing Email Marketing in the correct way, know that it will serve you well in the long term.
The following are the things you will need to get acquainted with when it comes to Email Marketing:
- Creating landing/ squeeze pages to capture the leads/customers
- Signing up for an email service provider/autoresponder
- Creating email campaigns and follow up
- Driving traffic to your landing/ squeeze pages
Most of these can be done for free but you may have to pay for some of them.
The majority of email services allow you to join for free for a month or at least until when you reach the cap for free subscribers.
This allows you to test the products and decide for yourself if the features meet the needs of your business.
Popular emails services include:
A word of caution is required !!!
Remember the people who join your email list are human beings like yourself.
They have real needs, concerns and feelings just like you do.
Do your utmost best to treat them with respect and civility.
Communicate with them as if you are talking to a dear friend.
Don’t be salesy even though your main goal as a business owner is to sell something to your customers and make a profit.
Aim to offer value, and try to provide great solutions for their pains and frustrations.
I hope to write and publish a separate article on Email Marketing. Look out for new content soon.
#3: Run Facebook Ads and Strategically Target Lead Pages
Facebook Ads provide a platform for a great opportunity to reach out to the right audience in order to meet your business’s needs.
When it comes to driving traffic with a limited budget you should definitely consider creating Facebook lead pages and run a very low budget promotion for a couple of days to get the sign-ups you are after.
You could start with a small budget, let us say $5 a day for seven days and see how well or bad you Ad performs.
If it does well, scale it for another week, increase the budget, rinse and repeat.
If it doesn’t, re-examine your Ad and lead page or create a new one using different settings.
Aim to be conversant with your prospective customer, and make use of their interests, geographical location, marital status, age, income etc. to find and send strategic messages to them.
Optimizing your website for the appropriate keywords is an important part of selling your business online.
However, if your company is relatively new, less than two years old, you would have built a very little reputation or content.
You are going to have a difficult time ranking at the top of Google’s SERPs for any keyword that’s slightly competitive.
Hence Why is it important to use low hanging keywords to avoid high competition.
Having said that is not all gloomy if you follow the recommended SEO practices for your blog posts.
To ensure your blog posts stand a chance of ranking high on search engines, administer the following practices:
- Do proper Keyword Research
- Choose long tail keywords for your Title and Description
- Optimize your Title and Description
- Optimize your Alt tags in images
- Include internal and external links
- Embed YouTube Videos. Use the ones you have created yourself or other people but make sure the videos are related to your posts and the topic you are writing about
- Use Fetch as Google to crawl/index your site and let Google know of your changes
- Don’t change or delete your Links/URLs otherwise, you will get the horrible 404 page cannot be found error
- Check your site speed
These practices alone can help in ensuring your content stands a good chance of ranking high on search engines and acquire much-needed visibility.
#5: Co-Sponsor an Event or Award Prizes in a Contest
Look for something to give out as gifts and co-sponsor an event or contest with another entrepreneur, company, organization or experts in your field.
You also can make use of the social media platform like LinkedIn and Facebook to network with others, and locate another similar company or professional willing to conduct an award or giveaway with you.
The whole idea is to add value to the general public.
#6: Create a Branded Email Signature
Using a branded email signature is one of the easiest ways to market your business online.
Place your signature and any award your company might have received directly into your email signature.
This helps to calmly promote your business to people that you communicate with on a regular basis.
you can add your social media links in your email signature too, along with any relevant links to the business marketing pieces’ digital brochures or news pieces that feature your company.
Leave call to action or a catchy sentence about your business and its mission.
#7: Use Classified Ads
Look out for good classified Ads resources that you can use to create listings for services your business is offering.
It can connect you with people who are looking for what you and your company have to offer.
You can use local ones such as newspapers ads or ones available online such as Craigslist.
#8: Blast your Ads To Safe-lists & Solo Ads
Another low-cost strategy is to blast your Ads to online safe lists.
Most of these methods have been in existence for a long time and been proven to work.
You can join for free and once you have used up your free credits, you will have to pay for it.
They offer a range of low to high-end budget traffic packages.
Most reputable companies have a gigantic membership where you are Ad can be blasted to so many eyeballs to see.
You will have the opportunity to advertise your business opportunity and to promote your affiliate links.
It can be time-consuming to sign up for each safe list and set it up but hey it’s part of the job. No pain no gain.
You can do text and banner Ads, etc, whatever takes your fancy.
You can also try to do solo Ads using services such as Udimi to acquire new leads.
Note: If you do use Solo Ads, you are more than likely be expected to pay for the service.
Search for a good vendor, who may be able to get you high conversions over time.
The flexibility is there, just decide on which option work best for you.
#9: Post on Forum Marketing
This method can be very effective if done right and could easily provide you with free web traffic to your site for many years to come.
Join discussions, post new interesting posts, answer questions that people are asking, comments on existing posts and link back to your website.
This strategy will also allow you to build much-needed backlinks to your site as you engage with different content from the forums.
Follow the top writers and influencers.
Mention them in your articles and link to their sites.
You will be surprised how easy it can be to gain a new following and create a fan base for yourself.
Be genuine and be willing to help others.
#10: Adopt Direct Marketing
Another great strategy to use could be to directly talk to people about your business and what services or products you are offering.
You could easily get a set of business cards that featured your business and hand out to people.
You may be able to find these people by strategically attending any business events relating to your niches and just politely ask the organizers if you could hand out your business cards.
Depending on where you are from, you could search for local or national events in your country.
You may find something equivalent in your city/country.
People are more trustworthy when they see that you are a real person as opposed to dealing with someone behind a screen.
Forms of Direct Marketing include:
- Face to face selling
- Direct Mail
- Direct Response TV Marketing
- Kiosk Marketing
- Online Marketing
Another suggestion you could implement is adding Facebook friends and start communicating with them via FB messenger.
Be polite and slowly build a rapport with them before you start telling them about your offers.
Note: This may not appeal to everyone.
If you don’t have time to spare or feel shy to talk to people this way, then it may not benefit you.
Having said that, It is something worthwhile to consider and does not cost you anything other than your time.
#11: Ways To Promote a Business at Low-Cost: Leverage Social Media
Many people have been recommending this strategy.
It is a method that many of us use for our personal needs to keep in touch with family and friends.
Why not leverage it for our business’s purposes?
If not already signed up, do so today.
Join as many of the social accounts you can manage with.
It is free to sign-up.
List of sites that come to mind include:
Once you join, start posting your blog posts, attractive images, videos, quotes or anything of value to your followers, as frequent as you can.
Just make sure to add a call to action activity so that you gain traction by directing visitors to your website, blog, affiliate offer, opt-in page, FB messenger, etc.
You want to make sure you gain something for your efforts.
Also, try to be consistent when posting your online content to these social media channels.
I have been getting good results with Pinterest lately, I recommend you dedicate some time implementing this digital marketing strategy.
It will serve you well in the long run.
The more posting you do, the more exposure you give to your business.
If you can afford in the near future, invest in some automated scheduling tools to help you schedule your social media posts regularly at interval times.
This will save a lot of time and will allow you to direct your efforts to other sections of your business and help it grow.
#12: Embrace Video Marketing
I hear you saying Oh No! I am too shy to face the camera.
Admittedly I confess, I also feel the same way but it is something I have come to accept that it must be done.
There is no escaping it. I am pretty sure it will get easier with regular practice as times goes by.
The time will come when you will say to yourself what was the fuss all about.
We are entrepreneurs, after all, facing our fears and embracing challenges is what make us great survivors in business.
To succeed we have to be willing to try and learn new stuff, doing things we are totally uncomfortable with.
Video Marketing has become one of the most important and effective ways to advertise and share content online wherever you are in the world.
Just like Email Marketing, it is definitely not something to be ignored with.
It is said nearly 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
I am sure you don’t want to be left behind when everyone else is way ahead of the competition.
Take baby steps and start with something simple such as:
- Create a powerpoint slide of your blog content and record a video
- Upload the video in SlideShare for people to see
- Get an explainer video created for your brand, service or products with a small budget using services such as fiver.com or mandy.com and/or have people act in your video for a small fee, that is if you don’t fancy appearing in it yourself
- Have your video ranked by optimizing your keyword in the title, description and the video itself as you speak the keywords
- Embed your video in the middle of your blog post. This will entice your readers to spend more time on your site and consume more of your content
- Do a live Facebook video, invite your followers and ask them to join you when you are streaming live
#13: Place Ads On Facebook Groups
Although it can be time-consuming, placing Ads on multiple Facebook groups may help a bit.
I recommend you trying this free marketing strategy when you can, especially if you don’t have any or are on a very low budget.
Make sure to sign up for as many groups as you can relating to your niche.
You might be fortunate enough to find people who are interested in your business. Be creative with your Ad posts, messages, and videos.
Use great images and headlines that will capture your potential customer’s curiosity and touch on their pain buttons.
You want to arouse their emotions by triggering their difficulties and see how your products, services or offers can solve their problems.
People often make purchases based on impulse.
When an irresistible offer is put in front of them, they can’t help but be curious.
Note, if you decide to use this method, you will be competing with a lot of marketers in the groups, each trying to sell something to someone else.
Make sure your Ad is pretty good and offers real benefits to your potential customers.
Take Home Message
In conclusion, I would say no matter what method you choose for marketing and promoting your home based business on the web or offline.
As long as you ensure that you are adding value along the way, and are implementing the proper set of marketing habits, you will eventually reap the rewards for your work over time.
It will not happen overnight. However, then again, nothing worthwhile ever does.
Most of these methods are more likely to take effort and much of your time to implement them correctly than a big budget.
However, I would encourage you to invest your valuable time and a small budget to get the ball rolling.
There is no such thing as a free lunch.
You need to sacrifice something to get good results.
It is my hope by implementing these 13 cost cheap effective ways to promote your business on a small budget, will help in setting for yourself a good marketing strategy for your business, that will benefit you enormously in the not too distant future.
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Do you know in what are the ways one can promote a business with very low cost? If you do, please leave us your comments below.
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