So, onto Part 2 of my GREAT Low Cost Marketing Tips Presentation…
The FREE Stuff
Yes it’s there, and if you’re not taking advantage of it, the only question is why not?
- Online Directories – Search in Google for free directories and listings to register your business; you should easily be able to find 15 – 20 without any effort at all. Thinking back to my previous post (Part 1), regarding time and consistency, objectives etc, write your profile before you start, source a new profile shot, not from the family BBQ but from a professional – I can recommend Rebecca Fennell who offers a budget shoot as well as a professional studio. Call me if you need assistance with your profile, although there is lots of FREE help online if you just search for it.
- Google Places – Do sign up with Google Places and actively use this link to gain company reviews and testimonials; it will help your SEO (search engine optimisation – basically it will help people to find your business online when searching in say Google).
- Social Media – This is not a replacement for all other forms of marketing but it is free. First of all, decide which is the best platform for you and, again, consider Part 1 re time, consistency and your objectives. LinkedIn is very corporate. At the opposite end of the scale Facebook is very retail. Twitter bridges the gap between the two. And Pinterest (an online pinboard) is superb for posting product images and videos. Post regular updates and make use of the forums demonstrating your thought leadership. Actively request recommendations via LinkedIn and create bespoke designs for Twitter and Facebook. If you’re a franchisee, do check with the Franchise if there are any specific guidelines that you need to follow and, if you need assistance with any of this, give me a call!
- Blog & Guest Blogs – If you’re going to start be regular! Aim for at least weekly on the same day and time. Use subject headings that are aligned with online searches and cross-promote across all your other marketing activity. It should take you approx 20 mins to write, in a relaxed and friendly tone. Any longer than that and you’re ‘crafting’ it!
- Email Marketing – Second only to personalised letters in terms of effectiveness. It works best when its targeted and therefore the more you know abut your customers the better (Part 1 again!!). Mailchimp is probably the best at the moment, for its templated nature, integration, flexibility and because its free to send up to a volume of about 12,000 emails per month. Use it for offers, events, new product updates, your spin on current or industry news and to help promote your blog. Talk to me if you would prefer to pay for a design rather than do it yourself or need assistance with copywriting.
- Email Signatures – As a very minimum include your web address and telephone number, but also links to social media and/or your latest blog post. Use icons or URL’s as you prefer, but remember if you’re sending in ‘Plain Text’ links won’t work in the same way.
- PR – I don’t want to insult my PR colleagues by devaluing their service, because what they provide is invaluable, however there is a cost. If you cannot afford to hire a specialist, write your own. Email to a pre-defined distribution list (which you can find online and by phone for local and industry press) and also use the online free sites such as PR Log. Include the most important bits at the top and ensure you cover the what, how, why, when and who with a snappy and relevant quote at the end. Send with a relevant photograph if you have one.
- Customer Service – One of THE key differentiators and its importance is more than likely to increase. Be the best that you can be!
I hope you find these simple FREE marketing tips useful. For my next blog I’ll look at the LOW COST marketing stuff.
Give me a shout if you’ve any queries or need any assistance.