There are many ways to market your business for free, you just have to know how to leverage them. Many companies assume that the only way to succeed in marketing is to put money behind everything you do. Although paying for exposure is very effective and can be a wise choice, it’s not always needed.
Organic marketing (marketing you don’t have to pay for) can be just as useful and, sometimes, the better option…
So, what are some free marketing strategies you can use?
This blog is going to discuss two methods that we, here at JTN, find to be successful – social media and broadcast emails. Both are really easy to use and maintain, but more importantly, when done well, they provide regular interaction with your audience that is vital to both generating and maintaining relationships with current and future clients.
Most of us use social media in both a personal and professional capacity at all hours of the day. It’s a great place for people to connect with friends and family or find out about services and products that would be useful to them. Social media is allowing us to reach a much larger audience than we’ve ever been able to before, but with the introduction of more people to the platforms comes more competition, so knowing how best to use social media is key to standing out in the crowd.
The Right Platforms
You don’t have to be on every platform to optimize your marketing. The kind of business you run will determine what platforms you should be active on and which ones will be most beneficial to you.
If you’re a professional service firm with an older audience, Instagram and Snapchat are probably a little too colloquial. However, a company that targets a younger audience might see these platforms as ideal, as this is where their potential clients are more likely to be active users.
Another thing to consider is how frequently you post. Social media allows potential clients to get familiar with your brand when they are researching your company. If your profile hasn’t been updated in months, prospects aren’t able to get an idea of what you’re about. As a result, they might choose a competitor who has a stronger social presence over you.
Display Your Knowledge
Use your platforms to promote your industry knowledge and product or service offerings. Post recent blogs or articles that members of your team have written and take part in discussions on topics that relate to your company. You want to be seen as a thought leader in your industry, and by posting informative and interesting content on your profiles, you’re proving this to prospects.
To get your posts out to the right audience it’s important to;
- Follow, like or link (depending on the platform) with anyone who could be a client
- Follow, like or link with partner companies, groups or organizations who are related to your industry
- Use hashtags or tags (depending on the site you’re on) to help people find your posts
- Make sure to be posting both old and new content
- Try and share thoughts and insights from the company
- Post bitesize quotes, statistics and facts that might be of interest to your target audience
Emails are a great way to keep in touch with past clients you might have lost contact with, current clients you’re working with and potential clients who you think would be interested in your services or products. Create a segmented lists of emails and plan to send out content that you think might be useful to them. That could be a newsletter, interesting blog, link to a white paper, etc.
Personify Your Emails
The tone you choose to go with will, again, be determined from the type of company you are. Although it’s become a lot easier for consumers to spot when someone has sent them a broadcasted email, there are ways of making it seem more familiar. Most CRM (Client Relationship Management) systems have certain ‘tags’ that you can leverage to include personal information about each recipient in your email. For example you’re able to ‘tag’ someones name which means you can address them personally. Wherever possible, it’s also important to make an effort to speak TO the reader, using words like ‘you’ and ‘your’.
The Email Topic
When choosing which topics to cover, you’ll want to focus on something that will both interest the reader and entice them to learn more about your company. The main aim of these regular emails is to teach the reader more about your offerings and warm them up to your business until they become a client.
Consider the type of content you send them and make sure you’re sending your audience both useful and interesting emails. If all you do is litter their inbox with service or product information, they’re going to catch on and either delete the email straight away or unsubscribe. Send out things that will benefit your email list – show what you’re able to offer them if they were your client.
Share Your Content
If someone in your company has written a blog or a white paper, highlight it and link to it to your email. You’re emailing people who would have previously shown some form of interest in your offering, which means they’re the exact kind of people you would want to be reading more of your content.
Be careful of sending out too many emails too frequently, especially if you haven’t spoken to the prospect in a while. Bombarding them with emails out of the blue can become irritating and they might think you’re spamming them. Try warming them up to your brand by sending out a few emails a month. Once they’re more familiar with receiving emails from you and they have an idea of the kind of content you provide, start to send out weekly or even bi-weekly emails.
Something we recommend you to avoid is the use of clickbait – it’s been shown to irritate people. Here’s a great blog on clickbait to help you learn more about it if you’re unsure. All that clickbait does is increase the open rates of the email, but once the reader realises the email has nothing to do with the subject line, they will likely ignore the content and they may even mark you as spam.
Taking all this into account, if you start to practise these two free marketing strategies you should begin to see an increase in interaction with your target audience. Paid marketing can be very effective and often produces good results, but if you implement the strategies above, you can see just as positive results without having to pay a thing.
If you’re struggling or want to know more about what kinds of marketing strategies can help increase interaction with any potential clients, don’t hesitate to get in touch and a member of our team will be more than happy to help!