FREE Tools To Market Your Business Online
Few years ago a friend came over with news of her upcoming boutique. Obviously she was quite excited to share her innovative plans and had decided to keep a ladies’ get-together at a 5-star restaurant to make the announcement and share her initial plans with a wider audience.
However confined a business may be, investment on marketing is always a part of it. But why spend all time and energy on expensive techniques when there are some low-cost yet effective tools on hand.
In this digital world no business or individual can afford to ignore the power of digital marketing. You must have come across ads that say “Drive your customers to your content” or “Try these low lost SEO tools” or “20-day course in online marketing”. These are nothing but some readily available paid techniques to market a business online. There are many more that we get to see online; we notice some while we ignore some such as floating ads & pop-up ads, better known as web banners; where as some companies offer techniques for a website to improve its ranking on any related web search. However, once again the question arises – Why rely only on paid sources when more economical methods are available?
Let’s evaluate some of them:
Social Media Marketing
Only few lucky ones in our generation would be free from the trap of online social networks. Or should we say the unlucky ones – they’re missing out on such a great opportunity to promote their initiatives at literally no cost. I believe if someone really wants to utilize this method of promotion there is no dearth of platforms. Post an attractive ad and web link on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or may be just a short and crisp video with an intelligent, catchy tagline on YouTube or Pinterest, and there is a wide pool of audience to view it and at the same time connect with you. What better than a real-time response to your initiative that helps evaluate your marketing decision at such quick pace?
In older days there would not be a single local business for which pamphlets were not distributed. Trend is still the same; only the mode has shifted from manual to digital. Just some web search on target emails, an attractive content design and you’re ready to go. Compared to traditional mailer method this one provides the option to track responses and modify future emails accordingly. Being digitally supported gives it an advantage to accompany additional links. Best part, it reaches thousands of people at the same time at very low cost.
Search Engine Optimization
More commonly known as SEO, it is nothing more than common sense. It uses techniques to develop a website’s organic search rankings. Though it’s a detailed process, so much that many companies run courses for SEO implementation, to an extent it can be implemented through some intelligent, in-depth thinking and smart work on your website. SEO is all about smart keyword selection. So, some careful research, using the right words along with clever page linking, and regular update might save you cost of hi-fi courses. If at all you want to attend one, there won’t be too less free online tutorials.
“Blog”- Nowadays I see this section in every other website. Is it just a trend that everyone is blindly following? Probably yes for some, and frankly in such a case this section will either remain dormant or will be taken off one day. Nevertheless, there are some sharp marketers who have understood the fact that customer has grown beyond their trapping techniques and would easily escape any ads, banners or buttons.
How do they engage customer base in that case, and that too the smart, knowledgeable lot? Well, these marketers have tapped upon the ‘knowledge-hungry’ trait of such customers and developed a completely innovative method to keep them engaged without trying to sell. The more updated your content space, the more chances of customers coming back for more. If not sales, brand visibility surely gets a boost.
And content marketing is not limited to service sellers. Some of its brilliant examples are Birchbox's how-to videos of useful beauty tricks, Intelligentsia Coffee's Brew Guides, P&G Petside’s training/behavior and adoption advice.
It is a good sign that the market is seeing players that are less desperate about sales and more concerned about conversion process as a whole that includes – Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. What is more important in such as scenario is to understand that drop-offs will happen at every stage, hence, efforts should focus on minimizing them rather than wasting energy on eradicating them.
By Deeksha Monga