by Taline Badrikian
Companies are always looking for marketing advice, especially small businesses that don’t have the right resources to know best practices or the budget to pay an expert. Here’s some free marketing advice that can help small businesses build their marketing, grow their online following and their leads.
Post on social media after hours
It may be easier for you to post updates while you’re at work but you should invest in social media tools so you can post after hours when more people are online. In some cases this means even overnight, especially if you’re doing businesses outside your primary time-zone.
Attend free events and meet new people
In a time when online communication is so prevalent, it might be strange to hear that you should be out networking in person, but because online is such the norm, face-to-face has an even bigger impact than ever. You’re the best advocate for your business. Go to events in your community and start networking. Meeting the right people could make the difference in growing your business.
Use print media
We’re an inbound agency, so it may seem like we’re suggesting you do something different than what we preach, but ultimately each business needs to do the kind of marketing that helps meet their goals. So, if your audience is still consuming information from print media, that’s where you need to be.
Capture website visitor information
If you don't already have a prompt on your website to capture information and join a mailing list, you're missing out on a lot of potential customers. By capturing their information and asking them to opt-in to your mailing list, you can contact them and work on conversion.
Set up a mailing list
To go off of the previous tip, if you don't have a mailing list to reach previous and potential customers, you're not tapping into your potential as a business. Take some time to develop an email marketing strategy and email them educational or promotional information at different times of the day.
Whether you're focused on being social online with your followers or you're simply planning events for the community, engage with your online community on social media. Address customers directly and publicly. This is typically how you an build trust and transparency.
Create a well functioning website
Even if people initially find you through other channels, they still need to be able to come to your website so they can get more information and maybe even become a customer. Test and review your website regularly to ensure everything is working in a way that will optimize conversion.
It can be difficult to have a personal reach with your audience. You can't always be face-to-face with them, and if you can, that's not really a model that will scale. A good way for your audience to feel more connected is to host webinars. During these sessions they can learn about your products, your industry, and really anything else that might be of interest to them and will help usher them down the sales funnel. Webinars have the advantage of including live video, so this can be a chance for people to see who they're working with and make a connection.
Start your own podcast
Another good way to reach people is by creating a podcast about your the work your business does. Like webinars, podcasts can be recorded in advance and can be a good source of information for potential clients. Additionally, they help solifiy you as a subject matter expert.
Create and leverage partnerships
Partnerships are beneficial for any business. Partnering with another business for a campaign, event, webinar, etc can help you reach more people. By cross promoting to each others' email list of contacts you will have access to more people and in the context of a source that they already trust and do business with.