The other day I was talking to a friend of mine who said that she had recently invested upwards of $15,000 on a marketing program to help her develop a web site and get the word out about her new business. If you don’t feel like saving money – that’s totally fine. But if you do, then you’re going to need some creative marketing ideas.
If you currently have some kind of “marketing pain” that’s grabbed you by the gut and then you run into some shiny object, silver bullet that promises to make everything wonderful for a “small investment” — stop and think for a minute.
What is it that I TRULY need? What are my goals, and what tasks will help me accomplish those goals. Create a list of all of these things. THEN and only then start looking for the tools that will help you get the job done.
You’ll find that if you IGNORE your gut for a few moments — you’ll save yourself a lot of time and money.
7 Examples of Tips and Tools That Won’t Cost You a BIT!
We recently scoured the net for creative marketing ideas that you can try on a shoestring. Here are seven of them along with links to the articles where we found them. The great news is that each article has even MORE tips – so definitely check those out.
Video is HOT HOT HOT –?remember YouTube is a search engine. They are owned by Google and people search YouTube to find out how to do things. YouTube is FREE and you can create a YouTube channel for your business in just minutes.
1.Use Google Hangouts or Skype to Record Interviews with Experts
Time, distance, and budget constraints? make it nearly impossible to visit everyone in person. Although with technology like Skype and Google Hangouts, we don’t have to. Instead of traveling on site, we can capture interviews in video calls then bring those recordings into the videos we create. Capturing Skype, Google Hangouts, or any digital video communication can be a useful way to interview subject matter experts, customers, or even market research subjects. The footage you take can be used in a variety of ways: marketing videos, internal presentations, market research, etc. –TechSmith
Google Hangouts is a power creative marketing tool.It’s FREE – and that’s a great reason to use it. But there are so many more. If you keep your interviews to less than an hour, Google will do a FREE voice to text transcription. No, it’s not perfect, but it’s a great head start.
Another benefit to Google Hangouts is that it’s searchable on YouTube. All you have to do is describe your video using keyword phrases and tags and you are off and running.
Creative Marketing Idea— BEFORE you do any interviews, brainstorm keyword rich questions. Only don’t think of them as just questions — imagine that each question were actually an article headline. Ask your expert the questions and then every time they answer you have a nice video clip to include in your article or other content.Click to tweet
2. Build an Alliance With Your Competitors and share Leads and Prospects
This works especially well in service markets because successful people have more business than they handle. Plus one competitor might specialize in a certain size or type of project that you prefer not to handle and vice versa.
When you collaborate with your competitors, you can sometimes surprisingly double your business with very little effort. –Charlie HuttonClick to tweet
3. Apply Online for Business Awards
Most industries have business awards you can win, providing you with an online badge you can place on your website. Badges like these can boost credibility, and as a result, increase sales.
Creative Marketing Idea:?If there aren?t any awards for your industry, host your own! You’ll get a ton of attention from other industry businesses who want to apply for your award, which means even more connections and more possible future collaborations! –Word StreamClick to tweet
4. Leverage HARO to Get Free Exposure
A powerful tool that any small business owner can leverage to get free exposure in the media is HARO, which stands for Help a Reporter Out. “HARO is, hands down, the best tool you can use to regularly get in front of journalists who cover your industry. If you regularly read and respond to HARO queries, you WILL get coverage if not of your business or service, of your expertise in your industry,” says Kari DePhillips, owner of digital PR firm The Content Factory. “We’ve used HARO to get our clients in publications like the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, CNN, the Today Show and many, many more. And it’s free. What’s not to love about that?” –Nasdaq
Creative Marketing Idea: Not feeling creative enough to write a blog post from scratch? Submit a query on HARO and watch the expert tips and strategies roll in. Not only is HARO a great source for experts and tips, it’s a wonderful way to engage your audience and drive new traffic to your site thanks to the influencers you featured.Click to tweet
Create an Affiliate Program
If you offer a digital product (like an ebook), set up an affiliate program with a service like E-junkie. At just five dollars per month, you can’t go wrong! –Entrepreneur
Don’t Be Shy — Ask for Ratings
If you already have a great following (or at least a few special clients who love what you’re selling) thank them for their business. Ask if they’re willing to give you a rating or review on your Facebook page. You’ll get value even if you only have 1 or 2 reviews.
Never underestimate the power of a couple of 5-stars on your Facebook page.Reviews can show up in search results when customers need more info about your brand. That’s important. You should always assume that your target consumers are doing their research! According to Moz research, 67.7% of respondents in their survey said that reviews have an impact on their purchase decisions. –Post Planner
Creative Marketing Ideas: Use these awesome tools to generate a ton of reviews for your business!Click to tweet
Hyper-Target Your Advertising
Running ads and sponsored posts on social media is always seductive to small businesses. The ability to reach such a large audience for such a small amount of money promises the kind of results that almost seem too good to be true. Which is why sometimes they are.
Your best bet for running an effective campaign on social media is to hyper-target your ads. Do a little research to determine exactly who your target audience is (get as specific as possible). By targeting a small niche, you have a better chance of reaching that individual that is most likely to be interested in your company. –Inc.
What are some of your no budget? marketing hacks for small business? Comment below!