Getting the word out about your business is one way to make sure it succeeds. In truth, many aspects of your business may depend on it. So what better way than to come up with some free marketing ideas to attract new customers.
Overall, “marketing” can mean many different things: from advertising and public relations to promotions and sales. In other words, marketing is a process in which your business is introduced and promoted to potential customers.
But there are so many ways to go about that these days—with many varying costs and associated expenses. The cost of traditional advertising in a newspaper or TV slot could put you in the red, for example.
It’s important to know that not all marketing tactics break the bank. So if your marketing budget is slim or non-existent, be sure to check out the below list of free marketing ideas—or at least cheap marketing ideas—that can help you spread the good word about your business!
1. Develop a customer referral program
Word-of-mouth marketing is an often overlooked yet super-powerful way to market your business. There’s a reason why word of mouth is number one on our list free marketing ideas. Studies show that 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.
Try offering your existing customers something—a free sample product, complimentary service, discounts, or some other low-cost reward—for referring new customers. Having your customers tell their friends and family about your business can be incredibly valuable.
2. Tell a story with data or milestones
Crunch the numbers on your business and see if any significant story comes through the data—maybe you’ve done business with over 500 clients in your area, or perhaps you provide your service at a percentage higher than industry standards.
Publish the results online or put a sign out in front of your store. People respond well to numbers—when they’re presented in an easily digestible way. For example, “The community loves us” will be outperformed by “Over 1,500 satisfied customers in our area!” every time.
3. Hold an online contest
Prizes don’t need to be extravagant—you could offer a free product or complimentary service. This can be enough to get potential customers to invest a few seconds of their time in applying to win.
Contests are a great way to gather potential customer data as well—for example, emails—while also getting them to spread the word about the content to even more potential customers.
4. Develop an industry partnership
Developing partnerships is a must-have on any list of free marketing ideas.
Team up with a business that complements yours (one that isn’t a direct competitor, of course) for a joint project. You can do this by hosting a joint special event or online with a giveaway. They can be for a short period of time or extended. Either way, partnering with another business will give you access to their customer base and vice versa. This kind of access would cost you big bucks otherwise.
5. Join a professional organisation
Depending on the nature of your business, this can be a great way to connect with others and give your business more visibility within your community.
6. Create a Blog
A company blog filled with useful posts for your industry and customer base is a great way of connecting with current customers as well as generating new ones. Once you create and populate your blog, make it known to your target audience by sharing your blog posts across any social media platforms, like Facebook or LinkedIn.
Of course, if your marketing ambitions are bigger than your budget currently permits—and your business is healthy—you might consider a business loan for some extra capital. Spending $1 (on marketing) to make $2 (or more) in revenue is always a winning formula!