Content marketing is one of the most effective and economical ways for a new business to increase brand awareness and engage potential customers. Content marketing encompasses several forms of online marketing content, including blogs, social media posts, and videos, all of which can be tailored to fit any budget. One of new business owners’ primary goals but biggest challenge is maximizing their return on investment while keeping costs low. Writing blogs is the best way to get the most bang for your buck right out of the gate. Well-written blogs can encourage interest in a brand’s product or services. Did you know that Google’s algorithms focus on websites that regularly post and refresh their content multiple times weekly? With millions of people searching the online web daily, what better way for a business to expand its reach, find its target audience, and establish itself in the marketplace than by providing the masses with relatable and relevant content that steers them directly to your landing page or website?
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) improves your website’s positioning in search results through search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. If your target audience is searching for your product or service, SEO can work for you by providing consistent, engaged traffic organically. About 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. Factor in the millions of people searching online daily; it’s a no-brainer.
Social media marketing
Research has shown that people love social media. It is reported that 7 out of 10 Americans use some kind of social media platform. Whether to connect, reconnect, or expand our communities, social media has become a mainstay in today’s culture. Including social media marketing in your marketing plan is a sound strategy when considering your target market and the popularity of various social media platforms among different age groups. Here are the top 3 social media sites by age group in 2023:
- Instagram – 63% of all users are between 18 and 34.
- Facebook – 53% of Facebook users in the US are between 25 and 54.
- Twitter – Sanonimous with breaking news and the latest industry trends, 65% of Twitter users are over 25.
Best of all, social media marketing packages can cost as little as $399 per month whether you choose an individual consultant or agency and even less if you have someone in-house that is social media savvy.
Referral marketing is one of the least expensive forms of marketing out there. Simply put, people trust referrals. Consider launching a referral program as an incentive to reward your loyal customer base. This is a win, win, win situation. Improve customer retention, build your brand by gaining new and loyal customers, and increase customer engagement. Offer existing clients a complimentary service or discount for referring a friend. Or offer an entry into a drawing for a grand prize for each referral. And remember the power behind happy and engaged employees! Creating influencers out of your employees is another great way to shine a light on your brand and generate loyalty. The skies are the limit on this, so get creative and tailor this strategy to the needs of your market and business goals.
Low-Cost Marketing Ideas
Starting a new business comes with challenges. Resources are typically minimal, leaving small business owners challenged to be creative and strategic with their spending. Creating and maintaining an effective marketing campaign does not need to break the bank. Let’s uncover a few additional low-cost marketing strategies that can work with any marketing budget.
Write guest blog posts on relevant websites.
Guest blogging posts have become a very popular means of content marketing. Love it or hate it, guest blogging on relevant websites can be a powerful tool for your business growth. Guest blogging involves writing high-quality content for other websites. What is guest blogging, and is it an effective use of your time and resources? Here are a few pros and cons to consider:
- Grow your brand.
- Build an audience.
- Improve your SEO (search engine optimization) performance.
- Generate referral traffic.
- Establish yourself as a leader or expert within your industry.
- Pick up more leads.
- You need to know and understand the target audience for the market you are speaking about to connect with your audience. Do yourself a favor and do your research before committing.
- It can be time-consuming. It may take several months to begin enjoying your labor’s fruits. You’ll want to commit to blogging regularly if you want tangible results.
Now that you’re more familiar, deciding whether writing guest blogs is worth creating a spot in your marketing plan is ultimately up to you.
Create infographics to distribute online
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A well-designed infographic can convert complex facts and data into an interesting and engaging picture for social media. As you can imagine, this can be an extremely effective way to boost brand awareness. Hiring a professional to develop a visually stimulating infographic could set you back, but not to worry! You can easily DIY this with free online resources such as Canva or Visme.
Offer something for free
Think that giving products or services away for free can’t possibly make you money? Think again. One of the driving factors that may be holding potential customers back from buying your product or service is cost. When you remove that barrier, existing customers and new customers alike will stand up and take notice. Of course, to make this strategy advantageous, you’ll need to be sure that the product or service you are giving away is relative to your business and not a high-ticket item. But when someone wins something from you, they’ll want to share that experience with friends and family. This model may only work for some and highly depends on your business model. But all start-ups must consider multiple ways to generate revenue.
Create a video
Videos are a great way to generate visibility for your brand and engage with customers. They have the potential to quickly become one of the most effective tools in your marketing campaign. Depending on your budget, video creation can be outsourced to a professional or done in-house. Consider showcasing employees who are comfortable on camera in your marketing videos. Your employees directly connect your product or service and your client. By allowing them to showcase their expertise, they’ll have a new sense of pride and accomplishment in their work and your company.
Write an informative blog
We discussed how a blog is one of the simplest and least expensive ways to create brand awareness. Here are a few tips for writing informative, relatable, and engaging content that we hope you’ll find helpful:
- It is crucial to know your audience and what they are seeking.
- Use bullet points – You have a limited window of opportunity to grab people’s attention. Bullet points allow you to highlight your most relevant information to maximize your chance of engaging your reader.
- Write about what you are passionate about, and be genuine.
- Search Google and find popular topics for your blog.
- Why you are writing a blog: Do I want to educate my reader? Do I want to increase my customer base? Do I want to develop my brand?
- Answer your questions, commit, set the time aside, and get started!
Don’t sleep on LinkedIn
You may have already decided to use social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram in your marketing efforts. Have you considered including Linkedin on your list? With over 690 million users, LinkedIn is where professionals who want to do business and network go. One of the reasons that LinkedIn is such an effective marketing tool is its audience. With LinkedIn, business owners can target their marketing efforts to the right profession in the correct location. It’s a great way to get your name out there, connect with like-minded people, and earn trust and respect within your industry.
Create a free Google My Business account
Creating a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a free business listing through Google. Considering that Google boasts over 92% of all online search engine traffic, you’re almost guaranteed to increase your startup’s visibility and attract new customers. The Google Business Profile allows users complete control over updating their business hours, contact information, and any other helpful information that potential customers may need. Google Business Profile is user-friendly and navigates new users through several prompts when setting up a new account. Here are some of the benefits of Google My Business:
- A Google Business Profile allows business owners to build trust with online reviews, respond to those reviews, and answer customer questions.
- Add videos or photos to make your product or service stand out.
- Google is the world’s most visited website.
- Increase brand visibility and connect with your customer base.