6 Best Cost Effective Online Marketing Strategies
For most small businesses, successful online marketing depends on a diverse and persistent approach. However, this doesn’t have to cost you the earth. Below, are 6 cost effective online marketing strategies that could really help your business soar without the need to break the bank.
1) Set-up a Website or Blog
Even if your business doesn’t sell anything directly online, having a website, blog or combination of both is absolutely essential to its success. These days, if a business doesn’t have an online presence people simply won’t take it seriously. A website or blog provides a quick, convenient way for your customers to find details about your services and forward them on.
It is also important that you keep your site as up to date as possible, if you have a website, having a regular blog section is a great idea. Remember, anything a potential customer may find current or interesting is going to increase your marketing efforts as web users are highly likely to share these items with friends.
2) Get Emailing
The most powerful online marketing strategy is undoubtedly email marketing. From day one you should be working to develop (not buy) a strong email list of customers or potential customers that have expressed an interest in receiving information about your products or services.
Regular updates and newsletters sent to these people will generally be better received than other types of advertising and could boost repeat business as well as word of mouth customers.
Check out VerticalResponse and Constant Contact, programs that allow you to customize your email to individual customers so you can send them information that may be more relevant to their interests.
3) Advertise Online
This is the most neglected online marketing strategy amongst small businesses, as generally, small business owners prefer to stick to free marketing. However, free marketing takes-up a lot of time, which means it can actually be more cost effective to pay for advertising.
There are two cost models within online advertising, CPM and CPC:
CPM is short for ‘Cost Per Mille.’ With this model you pay for each thousand times your advert is displayed on a web page (‘mille’ being Latin for ‘thousand’). Most banner ads are charged on a CPM basis.
CPC means ‘Cost Per Click,’ and with this model, you pay for the number of times someone clicks on your advert. Google AdWords is a popular CPC model as it ties the appearance of ads to the keywords people enter into Google meaning they are likely to already be interested in the services you provide.
Online videos are also an excellent online marketing strategy that can become advertising gold if they go viral. Check out YouTube Rocks for business advertising.
4) Get Listed in a Directory
Listing your business in a relevant online directory is a quick, easy and often free way to increase exposure. There are a plethora of directories on the internet from local directories, business directories, niche directories etc. As mentioned, many are free to submit a listing to while others may charge.
5) Use Social Media
Getting involved with social media through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flicker and online forums can be a great way to get people talking about your business. However, social media marketing involves a far more subtle technique than advertising – you need to meaningfully contribute to conversations rather than spam everyone with your web address. This of course can be very time consuming, which is the downside of this type of online marketing, but it can really pay dividends if you can generate a buzz around your products and services.
must read : 10 Mistakes on social networking sites
6) Get Networking
Online networking is as important as face-to-face networking for business owners, especially where LinkedIn is concerned. Originally designed to help professionals connect with each other, LinkedIn now has 40 million members in over 200 countries and is an invaluable way to connect with potential partners, colleagues and customers.
Forums are also a fantastic way to network with people and can be a great source of support and advice. They give you a unique opportunity to chat with like-minded professionals and potential customers on a more personal level. Treat online networking as you would face to face networking – always give more than you get and eventually, like all good marketing, it will pay dividends.