Updated: Apr 3, 2020
Whether you’re in the early stages of a start-up business or reducing your marketing spend due to COVID-19, there are many ways you can continue to market your brand for FREE.
1. Facebook is King
Arguably the most valuable free marketing tool at your fingertips, Facebook should be the first social media platform you set up (or maintain if you already have an account).
Resist the urge to sign up to every social media platform on the planet, instead, think about your target demographic and determine which 2 or 3 platforms will ‘speak to them’.
Create engaging posts by thinking about what your target audience wants from you right now. Interact with your followers, ask questions, create polls and respond to their comments. Also, tag relevant people in your posts to grab their attention and encourage engagement.
2. Get on Google
If you haven’t already, register your business with ‘Google My Business’. This allows it to be found more easily on Google and if you add a physical address, it will show on Google Maps. If you already have a Google My Business profile, check that your information and opening hours are up to date.
3. Connect Online
Join a couple of relevant Facebook communities and contribute. There are communities on Facebook for every industry and for most suburbs. Each community page has their own guidelines around promoting businesses so be sure to read their rules before introducing your brand. Become an active member and build rapport by engaging with other members posts so it’s not always about your business
Noosa locals check out:
· Sunny Coast Community Board (71.5K Members)
· Sunshine Coast Community Board (74.1K Members)
· Sunshine Coast Locals Community Board (5.9K Members)
· Sunshine Coast Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine (1.7K Members)
· Noosa Community Hub (549 Members)
· Noosa Community Notice Board (42.6K Members)
• Noosa Open For Business (120 Members, New Group )
4. ‘Insta’ results
Another constantly growing platform you can use for free. Instagram is a visual platform, so it’s important to post carefully curated content that looks amazing. Instagram Stories are only visible for 24hrs and do not form part of your feed, therefore they don’t have to be as visually beautiful. But again, think about what your customers want from you, and if you’re not sure, ask them.
Instagram is owned by Facebook so it’s possible to create a post and share it across both platforms. Ditto for paid advertising.
A rule about hashtags: choose a few specific to your industry; some which describe the post you’re publishing; and a sprinkling of popular hashtags, which your target audience follow. Hot tip: avoid the crazy popular tags (#love #australia) because you’ll be competing with millions of other posts and are likely to get lost in all the noise. Instead, be more specific to your audience, e.g. #noosa #madeinnoosa #noosabusiness
5. Share the love
A product giveaway or competition is an easy way to incentivise new social media viewers to follow you and for existing followers to share you with their friends. It could be a ‘like this post and tag a friend’ or a ‘tell us why …’ (something you want to know from your audience).
Consider teaming up with a few other local businesses which have a similar target audience, viewers have to follow each of your businesses to enter the competition for the chance to win a prize which contains a product from each business.
Please ensure your competition complies with Facebook’s rules. Here is a list for you to read before launching your contest to ensure you get the exposure you want without risking your account. https://www.shortstack.com/blog/facebook-competition-rules/
6. Be Visible: ‘blog on’
Google loves blogs. By publishing fresh, relevant content, you’re increasing your chance of being found by search engines.
“Featuring a blog as a key part of your website will give you a 434% better chance of being ranked highly on search engines” – Express Writers
Here’s another biggie for you…
“94% of people share blog content because they think it might be useful to other people” – nymarketing.com
To encourage people to share your content, make it useful. ‘How to’ guides and other educational pieces are not only more likely to be shared but also grow your credibility as an industry expert.
If writing blogs is something you enjoy, writing guest blog posts for other blogs is a great way to get known in your industry.
7. Get Snap Happy
With all this new-found extra time, it’s a great opportunity to get out your camera or smart phone and create a photo library of your product or products. Natural lighting is always best but not direct sunlight, try outside in the shade. Have fun creating flat lays featuring your product with a few other items such as flowers, greenery, magazines, books, pens, coffee etc… You could also create some lifestyle shots of your products in use. Don’t publish your photos all at once, I know it’s tempting but put them in a library to feed your social media channels as you need them.
8. Go Live!
I know, the thought of being in front of a camera makes you cringe! But video content works. A good place to start is by writing a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that you get asked by customers. Record a short video answer for each one and publish one a week to increase views, following and engagement on your social channels.
9. D.I.Y. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
OK, this one requires a little more concentration and tech-ability but a hugely valuable tool for driving customers to your website. If you haven’t visited your website’s SEO settings before, jump on Google and search for a how-to guide for your specific platform e.g. Shopify, Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace. Grab a cuppa, turn off distractions and get geeky with it. It will pay off!
10. Ask for Testimonials
Prospective customers trust other customers more that they trust a business, so try to generate as many positive testimonials and reviews as possible. These can be through Google Reviews, Facebook or directly to your website. Send a gentle prompt to customers asking them for a review, not many customers will do this without being asked.
The above 10 free ways to market your business are a great starting point without touching your marketing budget. It would be crazy not to take advantage of free advertising, right?
We hope that’s enough to keep you busy for a while. Even if they’re not all suitable for your industry, we want you to make use of most of the above suggestions, which cost you nothing other than your time.
So, jump in and start growing your business presence online.
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