Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Over the last few years, the Internet has done an awful lot to change the way that small businesses operate. Unlike in the past, companies of all sizes have to fight to get themselves noticed in the modern world, as competition soars and customers want to spend less and less. This has forced people to take steps which their venture which they never would have expected, like paying for marketing. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of your free and paid marketing options, giving you an idea of which ones are likely to be the most successful.
Doing It For Free
Free marketing wasn’t such a big area before the Internet, with this resource making it far easier for people to make a name for themselves without spending a small fortune. If you take this route, you will usually have to do most of the work for yourself, and will have to learn a little bit about the tools you plan to use before you can get started with them. Below, you can find a couple of examples of the best ways to handle this for free. Of course, though, it will be worth thinking about your business in the process, working to tailor your marketing to the work you do.
Social Media: Websites like Facebook and Instagram are home to millions of active users. They don’t charge anyone to make an account, even if they are a business, and all of the work you need to do on them can be handled for free. Becoming popular on a platform like this is far from easy, though, with most businesses finding that they have to post everyday for a long time before they find themselves gaining much of a following.
Community Outreach: If your business sells to local people, rather than customers all over the world, you have a great chance to get some of your marketing done without the Internet. It’s rare to have companies reach out on a one to one basis, nowadays, and a lot of customers will feel better about the idea of working with you once they’ve seen your face. This will be hard at first, but will only get easier as you try it more and more.
Blogging: When you visit most business websites which achieve good search engine results, you will usually find a blog underneath it all. While a lot of users won’t bother to read the content in an area like this, Google will be looking through it all the time. This gives you the chance to push your business further in rankings without having to make drastic and expensive changes to your website. It’s very likely that you are already using a system which will make this possible.
Paying For It
When a big business is looking at doing some marketing, they will often allocate a huge amount of money to go towards it. As a small company, you might not have the chance to do this, but you will probably be able to spend a little bit of money. Paying for options like this often has the benefit of making the work which you have to do easier. Not only will you have another company to rely on for it, but you will also be paying them, and this makes it just as important to them that your website is successful.
Search Engines: Google, Bing, and Yahoo are all search engines. These tools work by connecting the searches which people make around the web to sites which are relevant to them. It usually takes an awful lot of work to get you SEO to the point that it doesn’t need improvement, but this can often be skipped entirely. Of course, though, are Google Ads the right fit for your business? In most cases, you will only be able to know for sure if you test it yourself.
Influencer Marketing: Going back to social media, a lot of business owners simply don’t have the time to build a good following on platforms like this. Instead, to make it easier, influencer marketing enables you to pay someone who already has a beefy follower count to post on your behalf. Not only does this get your business out there very quickly, it also doesn’t often cost too much, making it great for anyone who is concerned about their budget.
Flyers & Leaflets: Giving the people you want to work with something physical to remember you by is a smart idea for a lot of companies. Not only does this enable you to give them detailed information, but it also keeps you in their minds, with the flyers and leaflets you use making it hard for them to forget your name. Designing something like this can be a challenge, with tools like Canva making it a little bit simpler. Of course, though, if you want to handle this properly, it will be crucial that you put the right amount of time into it.
Which Should You Go For?
In reality, a small business can easily get away with avoiding spending a single penny on their marketing work, if they want to. When you go down this sort of route, though, you will often have to pay for the financial savings with time, as DIY marketing methods are always far more involved than doing things by yourself. This makes it worth spending a little bit of money if you have it available. It will always be worth doing some research for yourself, as each business is different, and will find that their own methods work better than others.
With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to make the choice between free and paid marketing. In a lot of cases, people will spend huge amounts of money on the wrong tools for this sort of work, eventually giving up when they don’t get the results they want. It doesn’t have to be this way, though, as long as you invest time into the right places.