Been thinking of hiring a marketing company to promote your business? What if you could save money by doing all your own marketing? Nowadays, many marketing tasks can be DIYed. Here are ten ways that you can market your business without having to outsource marketing professionals.
Most people don’t possess the coding knowledge to create their own website from scratch and so choose to hire a website developer to do it for them. However, you don’t necessarily need to be able to code to create a website. The likes of WordPress.com can allow you to build your own website without any need for programming – instead you can design your website with simple drag and drop options. WordPress isn’t just easy to use – it’s also free. This makes it a great tool for those on a budget.
WordPress-built sites can run the risk of looking slightly generic. However, you can spice them up by making use of plug-ins, which can help to add more unique stylings to your site. Many of these are free and similarly easy to use. There are lots of blogs and video tutorials that can help you to use WordPress.
Social media marketing
Social media is a great marketing tool that you can easily utilize yourself. The likes of Facebook and Twitter are great for keeping clients up to date with company news and promotions as well as attracting new clients. Linked In meanwhile is a great tool for networking with other companies.
Social media should be 20% promotional and 80% non-promotional in order to lure people in effectively. By having fun with it but keeping a professional tone you could find that you’re able to generate leads. You should post content regularly and engage with your audience such as responding to comments and sharing other people’s posts.
Whilst you can hire a social media marketing company to help use these mediums to their full potential, it is possible market effectively using social media without having to outsource anyone. Both Facebook and Twitter have in-built features that allow you to promote posts and pages, which can be just as effective at generating leads. You can further attract leads naturally by learning to use various tricks such as adding images, utilizing hashtags, timing posts at peak times and cross-promoting content with other businesses.
You can also use blogging to promote your business. Generating constant posts on your blog can help to keep your website busy and make your company feel busy. These could be promotional posts, but they could also be informational posts to help clients and fellow business owners, all in all helping to boost your credibility.
On top of writing your own blog, you can also team up with other blog owners and ask to contribute a guest post on their site linking to your company. Many blogs accept guest posts – you don’t have to pay other bloggers to write these posts for you.
One of hottest trends in marketing this decade has been data analysis. Many big companies are hiring analytics experts to read marketing data and create more precise and focused marketing strategies. As a small business, there’s usually no need to hire an analytics expert, however you can still make use of analytics yourself.
Google Analytics is a useful tool that can be installed on your website as a plug-in – this tool shows you data on who is visiting your website, at what times, where they’re coming from and what keywords they’re using to get there. All this data can help you to create more focused marketing campaigns, notifying you of your key audience and the most common ways in which they’re stumbling across you. There are lots of other analytics tools on the web that you can use to help with your marketing, although not all of them may be free.
SEO stands for ‘search engine optimization’. It’s a way of improving your rankings on search engines like Google, increasing the likeliness of people clicking on your website and choosing you as a company. Many people view as SEO as a complex process and tend to hire SEO companies to do the work for them. However, it’s now possible to download SEO software like websiterocket.com and do this process yourself. Such software can help to give you advice on tasks you could be doing to improve your web presence, as well as helping you to optimize keywords.
Many of the above marketing strategies are essential for improving SEO – a well-designed website, social media integration, blogging and analytics can all help you to boost your rankings. It’s also possible to create your own PPC web ads using services like Google Adwords, allowing you to display your website at the top of Google as an advert.
Decades ago, many companies could only dream of using video advertising. Nowadays, the TV isn’t the only place that people watch videos and the likes of Youtube and Facebook are great video marketing platforms. You can create your own content on Youtube by starting your own business channel and creating advice tutorials, product demos and business news videos – anything that will attract viewers whilst relating to your company. You can also create live webinars on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube – these are much like seminars only broadcasted across the internet to multiple viewers. Webinars can be made into private events with a select few people, or they can be public events that anyone can watch.
It’s worth buying a good quality camera and microphone to give your videos a professional quality. You may also want to download some video editing software. There are lots of blogs online that can help to give you vlogging tips.
When it comes to getting press attention such as professional product reviews, interviews and news coverage, many businesses hire a PR company to reach out to these media sources. However, this is similarly a task that you can do yourself. You can find the contact details for journalists, bloggers and radio broadcasters online. By emailing these contacts with a press release, you may be able to get your business promoted.
PR companies may have contact details of certain hard-to-reach people and their reputation may allow them to more easily get a response, but this doesn’t always guarantee you coverage – by being persistent when contacting to people, you may be able to get you own coverage without the need for a PR company.
Flyer & business card design
There are lots of companies out there that can produce flyers and business cards for you. However, you don’t need to use these companies – by making use of software and buying the right printing materials you can easily make your own flyers and business cards. Programs like Canva.com specialize in designing professional flyers, giving you lots of sleek templates that you can customize. You can buy glossy flyer paper to print these on in most stationery stores. The likes of Vistaprint.com meanwhile can allow you to design and produce your own business cards. You can similarly buy the card to produce these yourself – there are even special business card printers out there.
Distributing these flyers and business cards is simple and is a task you can easily do yourself. This could include posting them from door to door, or attending events where you can give them out to people such as trade fairs and conferences.
Telemarketing is a means of selling your services over the phone. Whilst you can hire a telemarketing company to do this for you, you could save money by ringing up potential clients yourself. Sometimes it can be more beneficial to ring yourself as you’re able to fully explain everything about your product and add personal credibility.
When marketing business to business, the hardest part of telemarketing is getting through the gatekeeper and sales companies may know how to get around these people so that you’re talking to the manager and not a secretary whose job is to filter out sales calls. With enough persistence and confidence, you may eventually score yourself a sale.
Another common marketing strategy is email marketing. This involves creating promotional emails and sending them off to potential leads. Whilst you can hire companies to handle your email marketing for you, this is also a job that can be effectively DIYed. You’ll find lots of tutorials online that can help you to create promotional emails and headers. Sometimes just using words like ‘free’ and ‘exclusive’ can lure people in, although you do have to be careful of not being too spammy. There are also programs such as Mailchimp.com that can be used to send emails to hundreds and thousands of contacts at once, making the process quicker – just be wary that you may have to pay to download these programs.