Have you heard the saying “you have to spend money to make money”? Well, you might be happy to learn that doesn’t apply to online marketing. That is because there are many free and affordable ways to market your brand online. If you want to compete with larger, more established brands, we recommend reading our eight affordable online marketing tactics for small businesses.
- SEO Analysis
The first thing you must do is analyze your SEO strategy on your website. You can do this by using one of the many free analyzer tools available online, which allows you to enter your URL before it discovers a page level SEO analysis.
Some tools will even allow you to compare your website against the competition to identify where your rivals are doing right or wrong. It will also help you to identify how many backlinks you have earned and the keywords your website is currently ranking for in the search engines. You can then alter your SEO strategy to improve your web traffic for free.
- Keyword Research
Do not underestimate the importance of keyword research for an SEO strategy. Regularly review your keyword research performance each week to stay one step ahead of the competition in the search results.
If you haven’t done so already, you should perform keyword research using Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner, which you can use to search for new keywords and phrases that are relevant to your website. Competing for keywords in your industry could help you reach the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs), as you can incorporate the keywords naturally throughout a blog, which you should update regularly. This will allow you to successfully rank higher in the SERPs against your direct and indirect competitors.
- Start a Blog
Capture the attention of your target audience by starting a blog on your website. Not only does it allow you to incorporate keywords, but it will also provide your visitors with compelling, insightful content that can build trust in your brand. Try to spend one to three hours creating an engaging, well-written blog that is relevant to your website and provides value to your readers.
- Hire an Expert
The goal of every small business website is to drive as much traffic as possible, which can boost your brand awareness and increase your conversion rate. Unfortunately, many small businesses owners have a good understanding of their business, but they lack the digital marketing knowledge to create a solid online presence.
Any entrepreneur that wants to take the hassle out of their digital marketing strategy should hire an expert, who can help them grow their business online. For example, you can hire an experienced marketer to increase your website traffic.
- Grow an Email Marketing Subscriber List
It is common for budding entrepreneurs and small businesses to underestimate the importance of email marketing. However, this marketing tool could significantly improve your conversion rates, as email marketing is believed to be the leading channel for lead generation.
For example, you can experience an average ROI of $44 for every $1 spent on an email marketing campaign. It is therefore believed to be a more effective online marketing tactic than social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Turn to an affordable email marketing platform to create automated emails that are relevant to your brand. However, you must first grow your subscriber list, so you can connect with your target audience on a regular basis.
- Publish Guest Posts on Industry Blogs
In addition to updating your website’s blog with fresh blog content, you must also strive to publish guest posts on other influential industry blogs. This is an effective tactic for building backlinks, which can improve your rank in the SERPs and can drive traffic to your website, as a result.
Try to secure a guest post placement on a high-authority website, which can increase your domain authority while boosting your brand awareness. While it might take time and a great deal of effort, hard work and determination, the right angle will ensure you are published on a prestigious website.
- Marketing Automation
Marketing automation can simplify your online marketing tasks, which will allow you to focus on another aspect of your small business. You can automate almost every platform, from scheduling blog posts in WordPress, email marketing campaigns in the likes of MailChimp, or use a social media automation tool to buffer your posts to suit optimum engagement times on various platforms. So, don’t blow the budget on hiring employees to do the job that an automation tool can do at a faster, accurate and more affordable rate.
- Social Media
With billions of active users using social media platforms every day, you must ensure you have a strong online presence to boost your brand awareness and increase lead generation. However, it is vital you do not overwhelm users with promotional or irrelevant content, which will appear both unhelpful and unprofessional.
Strive to provide your followers with social media posts that provide value, which can encourage confidence in your brand. Producing compelling social media posts on a regular basis will also encourage more followers to click on your links and engage with your promotional posts. What’s more, you will not have to pay to grow your online audience, you will simply need to invest your time and effort into an effective social media strategy.
Once you start to see a healthy return for your time and hard work, you can then consider boosting your marketing budget to create Facebook, Twitter and Instagram promotional posts, which can be customized to suit your budget and target audience.
Don’t waste your budget on an expensive marketing budget to grow your small business. You might not have the marketing budget of your larger competitors, but a creative strategy could help you compete with your industry rivals, regardless of their size. Look for opportunities to grow your business online, and take advantage of the many free tools available, which could help your company grow from strength to strength.