In the online world, where getting lots of attention means cash in the bank, it is getting increasingly difficult to even get your target market to notice you. Not only do you have to compete with large companies that have strong marketing departments, but you also have to compete with social media and many other distractions. However, this does not mean your online marketing efforts have to be over the top, or cost you tons of money to get you in front of your prospective buyers.
Below are five inexpensive and creative ways you can market your business online.
1. Create Your Own LinkedIn Group
Creating a LinkedIn group is absolutely free, and it enables you to give your target market and other professionals in your industry a useful and engaging resource to go to. This, in turn, provides you with a way to drive traffic to your website and increase your sales.
As well, you can use your group as a venue for your members to network online. However, you must be careful not to make hard sales to your group. They may become leery about doing business with you. You will have to put in a lot of time and effort to get your LinkedIn group up and running, but the benefits will be well worth it.
Online Marketing Goal: Your goal with this free online marketing method is to get people talking, while at the same time becoming a trusted resource to your LinkedIn community.
2. Make YouTube Videos
With more than 800 million monthly visitors, YouTube is an effective online venue to market your business. In order to successfully do this, you have to go beyond just posting product videos or sharing your random thoughts. Be focused and determined with your message.
YouTube marketing videos need to have the following essential features:
- A catchy headline with researched keywords
- A clear, concise, and engaging message – don’t attempt to put too much information into each video
- A strong call-to-action
Although you can spend thousands of dollars on high-tech cameras, editing software, and lighting equipment, your smartphone camera is good enough to capture a video that will do the trick. To edit your video, you can use free downloadable software if your laptop or desktop computer doesn’t have one built-in.
Online Marketing Goal: This free online marketing strategy will capture the attention of the video market. Nowadays, people’s attention spans are short, so quick videos are very popular. If they’re created using the above features, they are a great way to show your expertise to your target market.
3. Get a Local Celebrity to Endorse You and/or Your Business
Online businesses usually want to get high-profile celebrities to endorse them. Rather than trying to get a mega star to endorse how wonderful your business is, look for a local celebrity.
How to Find a Local Celebrity
If a local celebrity in your niche doesn’t instantly come to mind, check out your local paper and see who they write about in your area. Since they live within your neighborhood or city, it will be easier to make contact with them over the telephone or personally. When you contact your local celebrity, tell them you want to send them a gift that will make their life easier. Then send them a sample of your service or product.
Online Marketing Goal: Use this method to get exposure in your local market. With any business, online or off, it is a good strategy to market yourself close to home. Later, or at the same time, you can use other methods provided to reach your global market.
4. Write an E-Book That Discusses Specific Issues Within Your Industry
Thankfully, with the Internet you don’t have to hire the services of a publishing company or spend any money to get a book distributed. For example, Amazon is a platform you can use for free and they only take a certain percentage of the sale price every time someone buys your book. If you’re short on time, or lack proper writing skills, you can go to websites like Odesk and Elance to hire a professional ghostwriter to turn your old blog posts into an engaging e-book.
In order to successfully sell your e-book, make sure it’s priced for less than $5. To promote it, you can use your existing email list, social media accounts, and online marketing strategies listed here. To get more leads, you should know that Amazon provides your prospective buyers with a sneak peek of the first couple of pages of your e-book. So you need to make sure you embed links in these pages so you will be able to capture leads, for when prospective buyers decide not to buy your e-book.
Online Marketing Goal: Your goal with this free online marketing strategy is to use your e-book as a way to get leads. Use it to direct readers to your website where they can opt-in and get more information and tips on your industry topic.
5. Get Your Articles Published in a Niche Blog or Online E-Zine
Although it’s difficult to get your articles published in popular magazines, it is possible to create your own online marketing platform by getting an article featured in a high-traffic niche blog. Find at least three blogs that target your ideal target market and contact the blog owner. Give them a couple of suggestions on how you can add value to their readership.
- Tell them about some blog post ideas you have and let them know how your knowledge will benefit the readers of their blog.
- Ask for an interview. Once they know about your product or service, this may prompt them to promote it for you because it highlights their business, too.
- Offer the owner of the niche blog a sample of your service or product for free so they can offer it to their readers. This is better than asking for a product or service review because it offers more than just written information. They get to experience an actual sample.
Online Marketing Goal: To expand your audience. When your article is posted on a high-traffic blog or e-zine, you can reach thousands of potential prospects.
As you can see, there are free online marketing methods you can use to get your business noticed. All you need is time and a little creativity to put them in motion. Once you use them and start making money, you can then use other online marketing tools like paid advertising.
Image via Shutterstock.
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