If you want to market your business in a cheap, yet effective way, then online marketing tools are a cheap and practical option. Marketing for small businesses not only requires equipment and money but also time and energy to market effectively through non-traditional ways. Here are some of the best free online marketing tools for small businesses. ” Check out the post here:
For many people and businesses, the word ‘marketing’ conjures up visions of pricey marketing strategies and excessive expenditure.
With a high number of businesses all vying for exposure among the vast digital landscape, it can sometimes feel like fighting a losing battle, especially for those just starting.
However, it doesn’t have to be expensive: there are plenty of free ways to market a business. In this post, we share our top tips for how to market your online business for free – 30 different ways. Here goes…
Capture email data
Ensure that you have a method of capturing email data from website visitors. Integrate an email sign-up option onto your site and begin building a database of customer data.
You can then use this data for a range of marketing incentives, such as email marketing or creating custom audiences on Facebook for targeted advertising. (Just make sure you’re GDPR compliant…)
You’ve got the data, now you need to do something useful with it. Start by setting up a free account with Mailchimp, and start distributing those emails.
Avoid being overly promotional and always offer something genuinely useful to the recipients. Keep the emails regular but never bombard, otherwise people will hit unsubscribe quicker than you can say ‘digital marketing.
You’d be mad to ignore the proliferation of video over the past few years. Jump on the bandwagon and start engaging in some video marketing.
Begin by setting up a YouTube channel. You don’t have to create Hollywood-esque movies – just a simple video blog will do. If you’ve got something useful to say, then say it on video. It also makes for highly shareable, marketable content – plonks it on your website, pushes it out on social, and includes it in your emails.
Post to Facebook
Social media is one of the most valuable marketing tools out there. And it’s free. FREE. It’s best not to go signing up for every social media platform under the sun, just focus on those most suitable to your business.
Facebook is a viable option for almost all businesses. Unfortunately, the latest algorithm updates have made it harder than ever for businesses to gain visibility in the news feed without paying. But, you’ve got nothing to lose. Post regular updates – be engaging and exciting, don’t be too promotional, and be genuinely interesting.
Interact with industry experts on Twitter
Twitter isn’t for everyone, but it does carry a whole array of benefits. It’s a great platform for engaging with industry experts and customers, as it’s a place where anyone can talk to anyone.
Respond to customer feedback, retweet the best user-generated content, and offer genuine input to industry discussions.
Create an Instagram
A popular contender among social media platforms, Instagram has an ever-increasing user base.
If your business would benefit from a visual presence, then make sure you are dedicating time to building a strong Instagram account. Remember that it’s a visual platform, so carefully curated content that looks amazing is key.
Generate website traffic with Pinterest
Pinterest isn’t suitable for a lot of businesses but can work well for some. The platform has one of the highest conversion rates in terms of converting browsers into buyers.
You can also generate significant website traffic and find out more about what your target users love.
Build your network on LinkedIn
If your business is a B2B company, be sure to have a strong presence on LinkedIn. It’s also a great place for building your network. The same rules apply to LinkedIn as other social platforms – engage with relevant people and offer genuine insight.
Publish to Google Plus
Google Plus, that strange little platform that never quite hit the big time. Yet it’s still plodding along hoping that one day, something, anything will happen that propels it into social media stardom (not likely).
Still, despite the failings of Google Plus, it is worth getting into the habit of pushing out any new content via Google Plus. After all, it’s a product of Google and if you want to climb those rankings, we suggest keeping Google sweet.
Start using Google Posts
Aim to publish regular updates via Google Posts for greater visibility in the search engine results pages. Posting to Google allows businesses to share content with people that is relevant to the search queries being inputted. It’s a great way of gaining a little extra exposure.
User-generated content (UGC) is content that has been created and published by unpaid fans of your business. It’s when someone loves your product or service so much that they take it upon themselves to share their experience with friends and family, usually via social media.
UGC typically occurs naturally, but there is no harm in encouraging it – if you don’t ask you don’t get it! You can highlight the best posts every week on your social media channels, and even offer prizes to customers who get featured.
Run social media giveaways
Running social media giveaways is a sure-fire way of increasing engagement and generating new followers. Not only can it be a nice way of saying thank you to existing customers and fans, but it’s also a handy way of reaching potential new customers.
Okay, so it’s not entirely cost-free, as you’ll need to give away a product, but there’s no need to spend any money on top of that. Just be sure to follow all the best practices of running a giveaway.
Engage with social influencers
Influencer marketing is a huge industry. For those unfamiliar with how it all works, a business pays or offers free products to a blogger or influencer who has a high following on social media. In return, the influencer shares your product on their social media channels. It’s extremely effective.
The more popular influencers can charge astronomical rates, but those with smaller followings (sometimes called “micro-influencers”) have high engagement rates and are often willing to post something in return for a free product or trial.
Set up Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools
If you haven’t already, then make sure you set up Google Search Console (and also Bing Webmaster Tools). Using these tools, you can view valuable information about the search terms people are using to find your website.
You can also index new pages, meaning they will show up in the search engine results pages quicker. Plus, be sure to submit an XML sitemap – it helps the search engines crawl your site.
Update your Google My Business listing
Update your Google My Business listing and check that all information is accurate. Reorganize the images to ensure that only your best side is showing.
Do the same with your local listings for Bing and Yahoo. It’s also worth working on building your Google reviews, as they will help boost your rankings.
You know you need to be active on social media, but posting regularly can be very time-consuming. That’s why the right social media scheduler can be a lifesaver. Thanks to Buffer and its forever-free plan, you can use social media to your advantage in a time-effective manner.
This plan allows you to add three separate social media channels to your account. For instance, you may choose to add Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. From there, you can schedule up to 10 posts per week.
Google My Business
If you rely heavily on local business, then you need to claim your Google My Business listing. That way, when customers go to Google and search for a business that’s similar to yours, you won’t get edged out by the competition.
Don’t just claim your listing and leave it at that. Optimize your listing by adding photos, updating information about your business, and encouraging customers to leave reviews.
Google Alerts is one of the best free marketing tools available for businesses. You can sign up to receive alerts anytime your company is mentioned online. You can also sign up to monitor your competitors’ mentions, so it’s a creative way to engage in competitor research.
According to Hubspot, 49% of marketers consider visual marketing a very important part of their overall marketing strategy; however, more than 23% of marketers also feel like design and visual marketing are some of their biggest challenges.
Fortunately, Canva makes the process of creating images much easier because it offers templates and optimized sizes. The free plan gives you access to over 250,000 templates, over 100 design types, and thousands of stock photos.
Help a Reporter Out
If you’re hoping to gain publicity for your business, Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is an invaluable resource that connects journalists to qualified sources. You can use HARO to land free publicity when you get someone in your business quoted as a source in a well-known publication. Plus, you can use it to generate backlinks to your website, which will help you show up higher in Google searches.
Google Analytics is completely free software that provides valuable insights into who is visiting your website and how they engage with it.
It’s best paired with Google Search Console – another free digital marketing tool that helps you to identify any problems on your site and optimize it for traffic.
Some of the data points that Google Analytics makes available to you include:
- The number of visitors to your site by day, week, month, or any time period you choose
- Where these visitors are coming from – referrals from other website, organic search, ads, social, or direct
- The keywords people are using in Google to find your site
- The demographics and interests of your users
- How long each user spends on your site and which pages they visit
All this information is interesting, but it’s also vital knowledge that can help you to optimize your website and marketing campaigns (while keeping your SEO efforts low cost).
For example, you might notice through Search Console or Analytics that you’re getting a lot of traffic from a keyword that you lack content covering. Write a blog post optimized for that keyword and watch your traffic and engagement levels rocket.
Getting loads of visitors from Facebook but none from Twitter? Maybe this is a sign you should concentrate your marketing efforts on your main channel.
It’s all about the insights – not just the analytics.
No matter how large or small your business is, email marketing should be a part of your overall strategy.
When a customer signs up to your mailing list, they’re inviting you straight into their inbox. That’s why email marketing on average offers a higher ROI than any other marketing activity.
To get started with email marketing, you need a service that will enable you to capture emails, manage your lists, send out emails automatically or on a schedule, and analyze engagement.
Mailchimp is an ideal choice if you’re just starting out or if you are running a small business. Mailchimp’s basic service is free until your list hits 2,000 subscribers. It offers the main functionality you need without making managing your email marketing too complex.
Plus, Mailchimp now offers a slew of features and digital marketing tools (some underpaid plans):
- Segmentation and personalization
- Landing page builders
- Form builders
- Audience insights
- CRM tools
- Predictive insights
There’s no question. You must maintain a presence on social media to remain competitive in the marketplace. You also probably already know that social media can be a huge time sink, even if you’re using it purely for marketing purposes rather than endlessly scrolling.
Luckily, you have digital marketing tools available to cut down on this time inefficiency, like Hootsuite.
Hootsuite provides a central management platform for all your social media channels and allows you to schedule posts in advance so you can get all your social media content for the coming weeks or months ready in one session.
You also get advanced reporting tools to see which of your social media campaigns are working most effectively and use this data to calculate ROI.
You can also track mentions of your brand and manage responses, all in one dashboard.
Hootsuite also offers tools for promoting your social media posts through the platform now as well.
Your content strategy shouldn’t consist of wild stabs in the dark as you cover topics you think your audience will engage with.
That’s why 60% of B2B brands with the most successful content marketing have a documented strategy. Meanwhile, only 21% of the brands with the least successful content say they have a documented strategy.
To be successful in content marketing, you need to do your research properly, and this is why BuzzSumo is one of my favorite content marketing tools.
BuzzSumo shows content that is trending across social media based on searched topics. Following your search, you can analyze the results that are returned to see what’s so appealing about them and to get ideas of subjects to write about.
But BuzzSumo is moving beyond just basic content research and viral posts. Today, BuzzSumo offers tons of digital marketing tools like:
- Keyword research
- Influencer search
- Topic-based social media feeds
- Content analysis
- Crisis management
- Brand monitoring tools
SEO is fundamental to online marketing and it’s important to get right. Not only should you make sure your site is structured properly and optimized for mobile, but the content you produce must also contain relevant keywords that you have a good chance of ranking for in search results.
You need a special digital marketing tool to find those relevant keywords and start your search. You have several options available from the free Google Keyword Planner, to more complex suites of tools like SECockpit.
The more advanced digital marketing tools get quite expensive, with monthly subscription fees starting at $100 or more. However, options like KWFinder offer affordable, accurate, and useful insights at a perfect price point for small businesses.
Just put in a seed keyword and the tool will come back with hundreds of suggestions, search volume data, trends, and a ranking difficulty score for each word or phrase.
Mangools, the brand behind KWFinder, offers plans for individual tools or its full suite which includes a backlink tool, website analysis, SERP watchers, and more inside each one – along with a nice browser extension.
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
If you regularly publish blog posts on your website, then you want to make sure the headlines entice website visitors to read the posts. You can do that with the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. This free tool will analyze the word balance, word count, and overall clarity of your headlines.
Receiving customer feedback is an essential part of growing your business and improving your products and services. Typeform makes this easy by allowing you to create beautiful forms, surveys, and quizzes for your customers and website visitors. With the free plan, you can receive up to 100 responses per month.
Free Online Marketing for Small Businesses – To succeed in today’s business environment, small businesses must be able to market their products and services cost-effectively. Fortunately, the Internet offers a wealth of resources designed to help them do so without breaking the bank.