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10 free marketing ideas to grow your business

Want to grow your business but have no marketing help? 

Here are 10 free marketing ideas to grow your business that you can get started with today.

They won’t cost you anything other than your time, and you don’t need to be a marketing guru to be successful.

I have assumed that you have a basic website setup, but if not, you could consider trying a free trial on a website builder such as Wix or Squarespace.

1. Spend as much time as possible with your potential customers

Simple? Yes. Effective? Absolutely! Spending time with your target customers will help you understand what motivates them, as well as how they feel about your product or service. 

Practice explaining what it is your business has to offer. Get feedback, revise your pitch, and do it with a new potential customer. If you already have customers, reach out to them and ask them for feedback.

The best products and services are generally developed over time, based on direct feedback from their users and intended audience.

Consider asking open questions such as:

  • How would/do you use the product/service?
  • What problem does it solve for you?
  • What would you change and why?

If you would like to dive deeper into this topic, consider reading The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. 

2. Share your expertise for free

Sharing your expertise is one of the best ways to attract new customers to your business. You may also have heard this referred to as content marketing.

Sharing your knowledge, whether through blogging, videos, interviews, webinars or other content, allows potential customers to witness your expertise. Your existing customers will also benefit. 

It does take time to develop this content, but a little can go a long way. 

For example, you might create a downloadable resource, which could then be published as a blog post and could then be broken into tips on your social media channels. You could even create a video on the same topic. 

Sharing your expertise can also help you get found through Google (also known as Search Engine Optimisation or SEO.) Moz has a good introduction to SEO if you would like to learn more.

3. Qualify your content topics with keyword tools

So how do you know what to write about? 

Choose topics that make you feel comfortable, that relate to your business expertise and your customer’s needs. 

There are a variety of keyword tools, such as Ubersuggest, from which you can review the terms being searched for online. You can then choose your topics based on this search data. 

Targeting long-tail keywords will help you generate not only traffic to your website, but also relevant traffic (think users who undertake the actions on your website that you want such as purchases and form downloads.

4. Create an email list

If you haven’t added an email subscription option to your website, you’re missing out on an opportunity to cultivate a direct relationship with website browsers who want to know more about your brand. 

Most email service providers offer simple code snippets that you can place on your website to enable email subscription box. You can edit these to be clear on how often you will be sending emails and what type of content you will be sharing in these. 

Mailchimp has a free subscription for businesses with under 2,000 email contacts. 

5. Network

Yes, it’s an oldie but a goodie, and it’s been challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Networking is one of the best ways to cultivate potential business partnerships, future customers and to get feedback on our business idea and structure. Avoid it at your peril!

Some Meetups are now taking place online, while LinkedIn is a great platform to network on, whether through direct contact or joining relevant groups.

Reaching out to your existing network and keeping them updated on what you’re doing is also a great way to encourage customer referrals to your business.

Zoom coffee, anyone?

6. Be social

We couldn’t put together this list of free marketing tips without mentioning social platforms. They’re good for sharing content, but they’re also great for interacting with potential customers and partners. 

Don’t feel like you need to be on every channel. Consider where your target customers are likely to hang out and concentrate on these.

Share content that’s likely to engage your intended audience and use hashtags to attract new users to your accounts. 

Social isn’t just about promoting your content into the world, however. Social media should facilitate online conversations, not just be a loudspeaker for your brand. So follow relevant brands and individuals, reply to comments and interact with other social accounts. 

7. Activate your partner network

Many organisations forget about their partner networks when they start thinking about marketing. 

Which organisations do you partner with? Which businesses could you develop complementary offerings with and offer these to your customers?

Engaging with your partners and potential future partners can create fruitful two-way relationships. This could be by co-developing products and services, or simply in asking to put a note about your products or services in a partners email newsletter.

8. Develop a prospective customer list

Develop a list of organisations or individuals you want to sell your products and services to in the future. 

While this sounds simple, it can help you focus your resources. You can work through this systematically, whether through phone or other forms of contact. Just ensure that you are abiding by the relevant privacy and spam legislation.

9. Install Google Analytics on your website

Installing Google Analytics allows you to see how many users are coming to your website, where they’re coming from, what they’re doing on your web pages and more.

It can also help you tweak your website to encourage more of the key actions you’d like users to make on your website such as purchases or form fills.

Google offers free online courses on how to use Analytics through the Google Analytics Academy.

10. Set up a Google Alert for your brand name

If you want to know if and when your brand is mentioned on the web, Google Alerts is a great free tool.

Once you’ve set an alert up, Google will email when your brand name (or other terms) are mentioned in news sources or blogs. You can ask the service to email you as these mentions as they happen, once a day, or once a week. 

Google Alerts are helpful to both monitor press coverage and feedback on your brand, as well as to identify possible public relations (PR) opportunities. 

Keen to learn more?

Contact us for more information or a free quote.