The challenge is real.
For many business owners, marketing doesn’t come naturally. They want to raise their marketing level but are unsure where to start.
There are so many channels and techniques, which give results in varying capacity. It can be expensive and time-consuming to try them out. This means a lot of businesses don’t even start.
This is why I have listed here 9 low-cost marketing techniques. They can help you boost results from your marketing efforts and give you the kind of success you are looking for:
1. Customer Advocacy
It is a surprise, that so many businesses fail to properly use their customers for marketing. They don’t realize that their customers are their biggest ambassadors.
When customers buy from you, they place their trust in you to deliver success for them. If you do a great job, you need to leverage their trust to grow your business.
To start with, you can write case studies and publish it over the web. However, you shouldn’t stop there. There is a lot more you can do with customers than just writing case studies:
- Ask them to refer businesses who might be facing a similar problem that your customers were
84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process with a referral
- Jointly write thought leadership articles. They can then be published in top publications or on your blogs
- Invite these customers to your events so that they can share their story with your prospects
There is so much you can do. Salesforce has built an entire business by asking their customers to work for them.
Read: The Hidden Wealth of Customers by Bill Lee to take your customer advocacy to the next level
2. Speak in Industry Events
This is one of the fastest ways to increase your presence in front of relevant people.
There are multiple benefits associated with speaking at industry events:
- You get to showcase your thought leadership in front of a core group of audience
- You get to network with these people who, if they don’t have any business to give, can introduce you to others in their group.
You can also enter awards, if any, in these events. If you win, you can shout them out across all your marketing channels and also get some press coverage.
3. Conduct a Survey
This method is a golden goose. It’s a surprise why it hasn’t been adopted till yet. And no, you don’t need a research company for this. You can easily pull it off yourself.
So, the process goes like this – You draft a small survey around industry trends and then reach out to your prospects and customers to fill it out.
Once you get the results, you pack them in a nice blog or an infographic and publish it while tagging everyone who has filled it.
What are the benefits?
- Those who have filled it would love to share it with their network thereby giving you organic reach
- You get a rich load of information which gives you ample customer insights
Inbound Success has a whole podcast on this method. If you are really interested in trying it out, you should give this podcast a list.
4. Marketing Partnerships
You are not alone. There are so many companies who are struggling to launch their marketing initiatives. They need support just like you do.
A good way is to partner with these related businesses who can promote your services, in exchange for you promoting theirs.
For example: If you are a social media marketing agency, you can refer a website design agency for your customer’s web design requirements. In return, the web design agency can refer your company in case anyone wants to get into social media marketing.
Simple and highly effective.
Here is a great podcast by Inbound Success on this technique
5. E-mail Marketing
While this is something most businesses are already doing, they aren’t making the full use out of it. The usual process is to collect a bunch of e-mails and then run a mass e-mail campaign on them. Moreover, these e-mails would be written in 250-300 words.
It’s funny how prevalent these practices are. Hence, I have included e-mail marketing in my low-cost marketing wins because I believe businesses can do better to leverage the potential of this channel.
You can quickly do a couple of things to boost results from e-mail marketing:
- Segment your reach out list by industry, use cases, and designation and have separate messaging for them (Takes only 5 minutes if you know how to use basic excel)
- Formatting – Nobody has time to read your long textual e-mails. Does that mean you need to have a good design? No, a simple textual e-mail works perfectly fine and, in most cases, performs better than designed e-mails. You just need to cut it short and format it to make it easily readable.
6. Employee Advocacy
One of the biggest challenge companies face when they adopt content marketing is how they can get a steady stream of relevant and good quality content flowing on the web.
They hire content writers for this, who are unable to grasp the business knowledge. Some of them hire agencies and settle with mediocre quality content.
So, they give up the initiative or just let bad content flowing on the web.
What these businesses fail to realize is there are so many people within the company who can contribute good quality content for this initiative.
They meet customers, understand their issues, solve them and make those customers successful. Safe to say, they have an in-depth understanding of what the customers want. You just need to channel their understanding into content.
The best part is that once you give them an online presence, they love sharing it with their network, allowing you to reach a wider audience.
7. Guest Blog
We have already talked about marketing partnerships. That part delved more on the referral front.
Guest blogging takes this partnership to a whole new level. It gets you high quality reach and helps you build thought leadership in the industry.
It is a simple 3-step process:
Step 1: Identify companies or blogs in your industry who have developed a decent following
Step 2: Reach out to them and tell them that you have written a great piece of content which would be extremely relevant for their audience
Step 3: Write killer content and share it with them
Here is a great guide by Backlino on this subject
8. Engage with Influencers
Marketing is all about creating trust. You can do that by showcasing your knowledge about an industry.
A great way to do that is by engaging with influencers on the web, by regularly commenting on their blogs and sharing those blogs in your network.
It’s a simple process even if you are just building your knowledge in this space:
- Identify top influencers in your space
- Identify the topics they are talking about
- Keep yourself updated on these trendy topics
- Start commenting on the influencer’s blog post
As you start doing it, the influencer’s followers (i.e. your prospects) start recognizing and trusting you and your brand.
9. Sales Collaterals
I hear a lot of companies saying that we don’t have time and expertise to create content. And I am like, you don’t have to start with that.
You already have content with you – sales collaterals, FAQs, case studies etc. You just need to format it to make it web ready.
If you are just starting out, marketing expenses shouldn’t break your bank. There is so much you can do without spending much and still achieve great results.
Got any other low-cost marketing technique to share? Please comment below