The Coronavirus pandemic has been an incredibly hard time for many people, putting pressure on both home and work life. For some, juggling home schooling with working from home or running a business has been especially hard and, unfortunately, some businesses haven’t survived.
If your business is struggling and demand is low, it can seem pointless to spend time on marketing but that is exactly what you should be doing.
MARKETING FOR FREE
You may not be in a position to spend money on paid advertising for your business so here are some ideas of what you can do for free to help keep your brand front of mind:
Use Social Media
Regularly posting on social media will keep your brand in front of people. Do some research to see what #hashtags are trending to try and expand your exposure. Mix up your messages – don’t just focus on the products or services that you sell but post about topics your target audience are interested in, as this helps create engagement.
Use the #hashtag research to see who’s talking about the types of products or services you sell. Can you piggyback those threads? Even just commenting on something can create interest and you may find more people visiting your profile page.
Writing regular blog posts on your site will definitely help to improve your visibility with search engines like Google. This is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). What you write, how you write and the keywords that you use will all contribute to how successfully your blogs get shown on search engines.
Talk about your latest products or services, write about your company history and personal blogs always perform well. People like to know who they are buying from and if they feel warmed to the company and people they are more likely to buy.
You can then use your social media platforms to share your blogs and encourage family and friends to share it.
Do you have an existing customer base who you can ask to give you referrals? If you are or have provided a service, ask your customers to tell their family and friends about it. They may know people who would also benefit from what you offer.
You could offer a ‘refer a friend’ offer which rewards the person who recommends you and the new customer that they direct to you. Like by like audiences are a good way to grow your business.
Partnerships and Joint Ventures
Do you know someone who offers a complementary product or service that you could partner with or run a campaign with? For example, if you are a copywriter you could look to partner with a website development company or if you are a hand craft gifts business you could partner with other craft makers to fill gaps that you don’t offer.
Competitions and Promotions
Everyone loves a good competition and special offer. If you have a product on your shelves that you can use as a prize or if you are a service company who could offer a free 30 minute consultation, think of a prize that you think your target audience will want to use and then promote that across social media.
Could you offer a promotion or special offer? Could you offer a discount on a second product purchased, could you offer a free coaching session? Think of something that has a long term benefit with no or little cost to you.
If you are writing a blog and you think it could make a good PR article, then send it to the local and national press and see what happens. If you have some unique insight into a topic then it may get picked up.
Webinars and Videos
You don’t need lots of fancy filming equipment nowadays. If you have a laptop or even just a phone with a camera then you can run a webinar or record and share a video. And over the past year there has been a huge increase in online conferencing with many sites like Zoom, Teams and Skype offering free use. Attending online talks and meetings has become the current normal way of working so take advantage of this to set up presentations to your customers and potential customers. Tell them about what you have to offer.
Attend free webinars – keep up to speed with what your competitors are doing or changes in your industry and why not offer to be a speaker at these events? Get your brand in front of a captive audience in the comfort of your own home.
Email Marketing and Telephone Calls
Do you have a database of customers and prospects who you are able to email? If you aren’t regularly emailing your database then you are missing a trick. And you don’t have to email them specifically about your offering. If you find useful information that is relevant to your target audience then use that in your emails, create an informative newsletter, use it to promote your special offers, refer a friend schemes and competitions.
You can use emails to upsell or cross sell other products to your existing customers. And why not call them? See how they are and if they need anything.
Get your Website in a Good Place
Now is also an ideal time to review your website or to create one if you haven’t got one. View your website from a customer’s perspective, ask others to go through your site and give feedback on what can be improved. Make sure that your site is optimised so that it gets noticed by search engines.
There are many things that you can start doing for your business for free but sometimes you may want some help and this is where we can step in.
We would like to offer you a free 30 minute marketing consultation. Tell us about your business and we can go through some ideas of what you can be doing to promote your business. And if you feel you would like ongoing marketing support then we can give you more information on how we can support you.