Affordable Ways To Do Marketing
Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, some of the most effective traffic sources (organic search engine, for example) can be tapped-into without outsourcing, assuming you’ve got the time and expertise to do it in-house. There are a lot of SMBs, non-profits, startups, freelancers and other entities that don’t have a huge marketing budget. For them, the duct-tape route might be the only route to go. For those looking to market on a budget, here’s some low/no-cost marketing channels to consider.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing can be done 100% free of charge. Pretty much everyone already has a Facebook, and there’s a good chance you’ve also got a Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr or Google+ account as well. Although social media marketing is technically 100% free to do, there are advertising solutions offered by the various channels as well. Some networks (like Facebook) keep making it harder and harder for page content to appear in feeds, essentially forcing businesses to pay to come up in the feed. Expect social media to keep moving in this direction in the future.
Website And Search Engine Optimization
Search engine traffic converts better than pretty much any traffic source out there. That is because Google (and other search engines) are highly trusted. It’s also because the search engines match up results based on what the searcher is looking for. If someone is searching for a product or service, and your site comes up, that is a very valuable lead.
Although outsourcing search engine optimization can get really expensive, this is something that you can do in-house. It does take some time and effort, especially if you’re in a very competitive industry and/or location. But once you’ve got web properties ranked for the valuable keywords and search terms, it’ll provide a wealth of organic traffic for as long as that website is ranking.
The website itself will have some overhead. There are platforms such as WordPress that make it insanely easy to build your own website. A shared hosting account (will work for smaller / starter sites) is only a couple bucks per month, and registering the domain is something like $15 per year, depending on who you register it with, and what the TLD (.com, .net, .org, ect) is.
Email marketing is another highly affordable marketing channel. There are some free email marketing platforms that you can use. MailChimp is an example of this. All the free services are somewhat “Watered Down”, however. A premium email marketing platform is not that expensive. You can get into an insanely good suite (like ActiveCampaign or GetResponse, for example) for only a handful of dollars per month.
Video marketing is not only very effective, but it can be very inexpensive to produce. If you’re able to do all your own production in-house, and already have the camera and other production equipment, this is a channel that can be marketed through 100% free! Platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo make it insanely cheap and easy to do. No paying for bandwidth (Vimeo does require a premium plan for businesses) and you’ll also reach a large audience through either of these platforms.
Live broadcasts and hangouts is another option to consider. YouTube and Facebook both offer live streaming services. There are also platforms that specialize in live broadcasts. LiveStream is a perfect example of this.
Videos are also able to show up in search results, meaning that video marketing shares a lot of synergies with SEO, and both marketing channels can compliment each other very well.
Podcasting is also a very inexpensive marketing channel. There will be some overhead for podcast hosting, but this is very minimal. Podcasting is one of the few ways to market through iTunes, Google Play and tons of other networks and directories. Because podcasting is RSS-driven, once you upload a new episode, it’ll automatically be added to all the various podcast directories and “Feed Catchers”. This makes podcasting a very streamlined marketing channel as well. If you’re doing video “shows”, making a podcast can be as simple as stripping the audio layer and creating a podcast out of that.