Times are hard and many businesses are to tightening their belts. However, for savvy businesses, there are several highly effective marketing techniques which require no initial outlay apart from time and effort. Use these leaner times to experiment an innovate.
Learn Search Engine Optimisation
Attracting search traffic from Google is undoubtedly the most cost effective way of marketing a business. Time spent learning how to optimise a website to maximise traffic from Google is time very well spent. Fundamentally, there are two optimisation factors, the content of the website and the quality and quantity of incoming links. Whilst getting onto page one for competitive phrases is very difficult, creating quality content and being on the look out for linking opportunities can make a significant difference to website traffic. Remember that each visitor to a website is a potential customer.
Local search services such as Google Maps, Yelp and Qype are free to register and can provide a steady stream of web traffic. This traffic is particularly relevant to location based services such as shops but any business can register. Local search results are now also appearing on Google’s main search page for location based searches.
Social Media platforms such as blogging, Facebook and Twitter are all the rage. If used properly these services can both generate web traffic and also position a business as a leader in its chosen field.
Blogging. In case you have been living on Mars, a blog is a website where users can post content in a chronological order and then readers can add comments. Blogging is highly effective form of communication for a number of reasons:
- Conversational. Blogs create a two way conversation between a business and its customers. It provides an easy to keeps customers up to date with and receive feedback
- Easy to update. Blogs add a dynamic element to a website allowing a business to provide regular updates and interact with their customers. They are typically built to be very simple to use, allowing anyone to get blogging!
- Give insight into company. Blogs help to put a human face on a company, giving customers an insight into how the business functions.
- Search engine friendly. The major search engines such as Google give preference to frequently updated content so frequently give high search placement to blog postings.
- Syndication. Blogs posts are published via RSS feeds which allows readers to subscribe to the content.
- Position Company as Knowledge Leader. By posting interesting, informative posts a company can demonstrate to customers and potential customers that they are a reputable, knowledgeable supplier.
Twitter. Twitter is a microblogging platform where users can post short updates on what they have been up to. The service has recently become very popular and is a great way for business to both interact with their customers.
- Get to know customers. By following customers you can respond to their questions and
- Keep your customers up to date. By following your tweets, customer can keep to date with your latest news and deals. By tweaking about your products you can drive traffic to your website and generate sales.
- Follow trends. By following your brand name on twitter you can see what people are saying about you.
Businesses can create their own Facebook pages, allowing them to interact with Facebook’s massive community. Companies can post all kinds of content about themselves on their Facebook page such as posts, forums, photos and video. Facebook users (including your customers) can then add their own content and become a fan of your page.
Press Releases and PR
Journalists are always on the lookout for interesting stories to cover and many of these stories come directly from press releases. Public relations firms make a business out of pitching stories to media outlets, both on and off line, however there is no need to be a professional to get coverage. By writing a press release and submitting it to free press release sites, emailing relevant publications and posting it on the company’s blog (if available) it is possible to get a message out to the right people and available to Google search. Another option is to use a paid for press release distribution service such as PRwire to increase distribution.
Write a White Paper
Writing white papers which provide useful information can be a very effective marketing tool. Writing a white paper demonstrates a knowledge of the subject matter and an open attitude to sharing knowledge. Furthermore, if the white paper is good it will be distributed via email and encourage incoming web links.If you found this post useful, why not buy me a coffee!