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7 Ways To Market Online On A Budget

Starting a business is an incredible venture, but marketing costs can quickly add up if you’re unsure of your approach, and most of the time – it pays to trial a number of different methods. The great news is, there are so many free or low-cost options available to help you market your brand online that won’t cost you a cent.

While you’re in the infancy of your start-up, it’s important to test the waters before you invest in an all-out marketing or branding campaign so until then, here are seven ways to make the most of marketing on a budget.

1. Create brand profiles on Social Media

With social media the main driver of brand awareness these days, establishing your presence on a number of social media platforms is as pivotal as it is vital. Not only does it cost nothing to start up, but it is the best way to spruik your company. Depending on your brands tone of voice and target audience, some platforms may be better suited than others.

Hot Tip: Use hashtags to expand your reach and tag other brands or people of interest to get more eyes on your post.

2. Comment, like, engage as often as you can

Having previously managed a very well-known businesses social media account, let me tell that you the biggest uptakes in new followers, comments and likes was by going and commenting on other profiles that were in a similar or competing field. You’d be amazed how quickly your profile gains traction and converts brief visits into repeat users on your social media.

Pro Tip: Comment on posts, but also comment on user posts. Keep it positive and avoid posting comments such as ‘come and see what we’re about’ or ‘our product is better’. There’s plenty of room at the top so as long as you’re all playing by the same rules!

3. Create a Google My Business Account

Often overlooked, Google My Business is a simple and effective way to drive engagement online. Its main functionality allows users to connect with you via phone, email, direct message and it also offers the ability for a user to check out your website and view your location on Google Maps. Much like social media, it should be one of your first steps to marketing your business for free online.

Hot Tip: Don’t have a website yet? Don’t worry. In the website functionality, link to your preferred social media platform!

4. Sign up to Canva

Canva is a great go-to when you don’t have the budget to hire a graphic designer, and although it’ll take a little playing around, it’s a great way to explore and expand your presence online by creating unique imagery based off pre-made templates. Get ready for inspiration overload with Canva! There is a template for literally EVERYTHING which will keep your costs down and your online design game high!

Hot Tip: Once you’ve wrapped your head around the free account, consider upgrading to the paid version. With just one click, you can turn one design into many, spread over all different types of sizes

5. Make a Pexel Account  

What’s Pexel I hear you say? It’s a bit of an industry secret, and one of the better-kept ones. Again, it’s another free marketing resource to help you grow your brand online, and best of all – it’s all video content! Video production can be costly and lengthy, and DIY jobs while they’ll do the trick will often cost you plenty of time and may not always hit the mark the way you’ve envisioned. That’s where Pexel comes in and offers you great videography, similar to stock videos, to help you get and stay creative.

Hot Tip: Videos are the go-to form of media, so utilise Pexel for Instagram stories or use it as overlay in any video production you’re planning or enhance your website with motion video to give your site a point of difference.

6. Get Writing

With the assumption you have invested in a website for your company, or you’ve tried your hand at setting it up yourself – blog writing is such a homerun when it comes to promoting your business online while on a budget. It’s a great way to discuss your vision, principles, share stories, promote product – if you can write about it and it relates to your company and its mission, then it belongs in a blog post. Keep your blogs light, formatted well and concise. No more than 1,000 words to keep your audience engaged, particularly while you’re in the infancy of your blogging. Use a website such as Word Stream to help your find key words on your topic and scatter those phrases throughout your blog to amplify your research.

Pro Tip: At the end of your blog, ask your readers a question. This promotes engagement and is a great way to nurture relationships and capture leads.

7. Join HARO

Let me tell you, this might be one of the coolest free online marketing strategies in existence, and that’s because nobody knows about it. HARO (help a reporter out) see’s industry journalists, reporters, and content writers post questions for business owners or experts in fields to provide commentary on. ‘What’s in it for me?’ I hear you ask; well, free PR, brand exposure and links from national magazines and websites straight to your website or social media profile.

Pro Tip: Find your field of expertise, turn on notifications to be alerted as soon as new opportunities present. The more you can talk about your knowledge in your field, and the more link backs to your website and social media, the more you will grow your profile on social media and start turning interested parties into genuine customers.