With many budgets getting crunched, marketers may need to pay special attention to low-cost marketing tactics that can help their companies. Many of these ideas can be implemented using your current resources and some extra elbow grease in the form of time and hard work. And they can all help raise the visibility of your company and make your overall marketing more effective.
Some of these tactics you may already be doing, others may be new ideas. In either case, make the most of them to achieve marketing benefits with minimal costs.
1. Use e-mail marketing
E-mail marketing, particularly to your own lists, is cost-effective and can get results. Use e-mail to stay in touch with customers, nurture prospects, and distribute relevant news and offers to your audience. E-mail marketing service providers offer affordable plans in which you pay either by the number of e-mails you send or the number of contacts in your e-mail database. Plus, most of them offer attractive and customizable templates so you don’t have to pay graphic designers or programmers.
2. Write more press releases
Write and post press releases to your Web site whenever your company has news to share. Use press releases to announce new products, new customers, and new resources (such as white papers, Webinars, etc.). Also, send press releases to editors of appropriate online and print publications. Be sure to use keywords and links in press releases to help with SEO.
3. Tap into social media
Social media is a low cost way to spread the word, build your network and get links back to your Web site. Start a blog, or post comments to other relevant blogs in your industry. Fill out a profile on LinkedIn and expand your professional network. Open a Twitter account and ask customers and prospects to follow you. Develop and maintain a Facebook page for your company.
4. Add a marketing signature to the bottom of business e-mails
Your company can create a standardized e-mail signature that all employees use in business correspondence. The e-mail signature can contain links to important pages on your Web site, promote an upcoming event or product release, or deliver other relevant news. Change the signature every month to keep it fresh and provide people with the latest news.
5. Pitch stories/interviews to the media
Your company is an expert in its field, right? Use your expertise to pitch unique story ideas to editors in your industry, or offer up executives as subject matter experts for interviews. This is a great way to get your company name out there, as well as position your company as a thought leader in the industry.
6. Promote informational resources on more pages on your Web site
If you have white papers, podcasts, presentations, e-newsletters, or technical articles, promote this content on more pages on your Web site. Every page on your Web site should have some kind of offer or call to action that helps you attract the attention of customers and prospects. Your audience craves relevant, educational content that will help them do their jobs better. Make it easy for them to find it.
7. Use local college interns to help out
Get a relationship started with local colleges and offer an internship program. Interns can help make calls to verify or acquire customers’ e-mail addresses, edit written materials, program in HTML, design graphics, spiff up presentations and much more.
8. Become more active in organizations you belong to
It’s all too common: your company joins an association or trade organization and doesn’t take advantage of free networking or marketing opportunities. Check into all the organizations you currently belong to and make sure you are participating as much as possible to get your company noticed.
9. Institute a referral marketing program
Reward customers who refer new prospects to your company. Provide them with discounts, vouchers, free support or gifts. Referrals are often some of the best and least expensive leads your company gets. Be sure all referrals get followed up on by marketing or sales, and track the effectiveness of your referral marketing program.
10. Perform Search Engine Optimization (SEO) basics
Make sure all of your Web pages have titles and description meta tags completed, and make use of keywords in them. Link between the pages on your Web site, also using keywords. Create a site map with HTML links to every page on your Web site. These SEO basics are easy to perform and can help improve your search engine rankings.