Every business needs an online presence. Agencies will insist you pay for PPC ads and SEO, but if you’re patient and committed enough you can market yourself online effectively without having to dish out the dosh. Here are few ways that you can promote yourself online whilst saving money.
Don’t pay for a web designer
Many web providers such as eHost already have in-built web platforms that allow you to build your own website from scratch without having to use any coding skills. Web platforms such as Wordpress are widely used by many businesses – big and small. There are meanwhile multiple tutorials online that can guide even the least tech savvy persons. Use family and friends to assess whether your website looks professional enough and make any recommended adjustments.
Start a business blog
Running regular blog posts on your website will make it more active as well as offering more doors for visitors to come through. The best way to maintain a professional blog on your website is to make your content informative in some way. This could be advice to other business owners in your trade (a ‘how to start a business’ post drawing from your experience) or advice to clients related to your trade (for example, if you’re a car dealer you could advise clients on places to go for insurance or tricks to increase fuel efficiency).
You can get further get yourself out there by creating video content on sharing sites such as Youtube. Like a blog, this content should be professional and business-related, the most effective concept being advice and guidance. If your business owns a product, you may wish to give users an online instructional video on how to use it. You can also run promotional videos and effectively create your own ads.
Use social media
Facebook and Twitter give you a point of contact to the whole world. Set up business pages on both social media platforms, invite friends and family to like and follow and encourage them to invite others to do the same. From here you may attract some clients through word of mouth. You may also be able to network through social media by making friends with and following influential people – although generally LinkedIn is better for this use. You can also use Instagram to visually promote your business through creative pictures of your product or service.
One cheap way to market yourself online is to cross-promote. This involves promoting another business, in exchange for them promoting yours. This way your clients get to learn about their business, and their clients get to learn about yours. There are multiple ways of doing this from tweeting about each other’s products to writing a guest blog post on one another’s website. Some businesses may also create bundle deals that include their services and the services of another business. These can be advertised online on your website and on social media. Just make sure that the business you are cross-promoting with does not offer the exact same services as your own, otherwise you may as well be advertising the competition.