For those business owners or managers who are strapped for time, and looking for ways to market your business with little cost or effort, look no further than these 7 great marketing ideas to get you started:
1. Capture customer testimonials. Call your clients on the phone and “interview” them for five minutes, and see if they’d be willing to be “featured” on your website, or in marketing material. Many of them will be happy to oblige. Testimonials are great because they offer a completely objective viewpoint on your business. You can also add their photos or even video testimonials to your website.
2. Create a referral program. Who better to promote your products or services than those who sell to the same target audience? Find companies who might sell a related product or service, and see if they would be interested in doing some cross-promotional advertising or offer them a percentage of sales or some other incentive for referring business your way. You can even implement employee incentive programs.
3. Add title tags to your website pages. No element of the page is more significant for search engine optimization than the title tag. Ask your webmaster to alter these tags for each page of your site, using keyword phrases that are most commonly searched upon in your industry or in your region.
4. Create a “free report”. If you would like to capture more subscribers for your email newsletter or gather additional prospects from your website, offer to give the prospect a free report with valuable information that they can use. It could be as simple as a one-page article, or it could be ways to save money on your energy bills, or advice, depending on your product or service offering and what might be valuable to your target audience.
5. Create a USP. Many companies prefer to be all things to all people, but differentiating yourself in the marketplace can help your company stand out. Think about why you are different and why people buy from you and create your own USP, or unique selling proposition. Use this statement or concept in all of your marketing and sales efforts.
6. Add a signature line to your emails. Many people overlook this opportunity to up sell or announce a special promotion. How many emails have you already sent today? Add a simple line at the bottom of your email signature (below your phone numbers) with a phrase such as “Subscribe to our monthly eNewsletter and receive exclusive coupons and special offers”. Change your signature line when appropriate, such as “Sign up for our educational session on search engine optimization at www….”.
7. Leverage your website statistics. How many of you have no clue how many people are visiting your website, how long they’re staying and what search terms they’re using to find your site? This is valuable information for your sales and marketing teams, and most Web hosting companies offer this information as part of their monthly hosting investment. Make a habit of pulling this information monthly and looking at how you can alter your site to drive more traffic or keep people on your website longer. If you’re not sure how to access this information, ask your webmaster, hosting provider or website design firm to set you up with a username and password.
I’ll be sharing more tips like these in upcoming blog posts. Get started on at least one of these marketing ideas today, and I guarantee you’ll benefit from the small effort that it takes.