Are you looking for free marketing ideas? If you're willing to put in time and energy, there are plenty of things you can do to promote your business without having to spend much money. That's what the concept of guerilla marketing is all about!
12 Free Marketing Ideas
Marketing doesn't have to cost a lot of money to be effective. Here are 12 free marketing ideas you can implement to help spread the word about your business without having to dip into your operating budget.
- Article marketing - Write informative articles likely to appeal to your target customer group and publish them on free article marketing sites like Ezine Articles and Article City.
- Ask for repeat business and referrals - Make a point of telling your customers you appreciate their business. Directly encourage them to return to your company the next time they are in need of the types of products and/or services you offer and suggest they tell their friends and business associates about your organization.
- Comment on relevant blogs - Tune into the blogosphere and follow blogs your prospective customers are likely to read. Get involved in the discussion by leaving relevant comments on posts that include links to your company's website.
- Distribute a free ebook - Write an ebook relevant to your business and of interest to the members of your target market. Email a .pdf file of the ebook free to people who subscribe to your newsletter or register with your website. You'll get valuable information into the hands of target prospects and collect email addresses from people who have given you permission to market to them.
- Email contact - Collect email addresses from your customers and prospects and stay in touch via email on a regular basis. Use email to send personal follow ups to customer inquiries, say thank you for purchases and to share information that may be of interest to individual customers.
- Engage in social networking - Create a Facebook page and Twitter account for your business. Provide interesting, useful information that appeals to your target audience and work on attracting a following of people who want to hear from your company.
- Fax marketing - Send announcements of special promotions to past customers and prospects via fax.
- Generate positive word of mouth marketing - There's no substitute for providing excellent customer service. If you exceed customer expectations, there's a good chance the people you are already doing business with will help spread the word about your company by telling other people about the positive experiences they have had with you.
- Participate in networking opportunities - Become an active participant in business networking events in your local community. Attend chamber of commerce events, professional association meetings, civic club meetings and other similar events where you will have an opportunity to meet people who may be good professional contacts. While some of these types of events are fee-based, many do not cost anything to attend. Those that do require payment of a fee often include a meal, so the money you spend to go may not be more than what you would pay to dine out anyway.
- Start a speaker's bureau - Do you have expertise to share that other people might be interested in? Put together a few informative presentations and offer to speak at local professional organization meetings. You just might find yourself standing in front of several captive audiences of prospective customers.
- Telemarketing - Set aside a certain amount of time each week to place telephone calls to prospective customers. While cold calling isn't the most fun thing to do, it does not cost anything but time and is a great way to establish relationships with potential customers, to set appointments for sales meetings and to make sales.
- Write and submit guest blog posts - Contact owners and editors of high traffic blogs and ask if they are open to publishing guest content from you. When you get "yes" responses, agree on appropriate topics and submit well-written content that includes your company name and a link to your website.
Choose Appropriate Marketing Strategies
While many advertising and marketing activities are fee based, it's not always necessary to spend money to get results. No matter what types of paid promotional activities your company engages in, it's always a good idea to incorporate a number of no cost marketing ideas into your plans. While you may need to spend money to accomplish your overall marketing goals, it's certainly not advisable to leave out the types of marketing activities you can engage in without having to spend a dime. The ideal marketing mix includes a combination of paid and free marketing ideas, as appropriate to effectively reach members of your company's target audience.