Where To Market Your Business When You Have No Budget Or Funding
30 May 2017
We all know how important marketing is when it comes to any business. But how and where do you market your business with no budget or funding?
Well, it’s not as easy as if you had a truckload of money to throw at it, but neither is it impossible.
If you have no budget, things such as paid search and social will obviously be out. SEO would also be off the table unless you had a pretty rare skillset and knew SEO yourself.
So, what do you do? Where do you start?
I would personally start by trying to build a community around what you do or the area in which you do it and help people. From there you can build relationships and influence in your market and communicate to them.
There are many platforms you can use for this, but the ones I am going to discuss are Medium, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. I will also discuss using Mailchimp to set up free email marketing lists so you always have a way to contact people that you want to target, but more on this in a minute.
A blogging platform that has become very popular and taps into the credibility and authority of the site to help increase the reach of your content. This can really help you to build a regular stream of content that people can both engage with and follow.
One of my personal favourites for creating a personal brand and following. Instagram uses images as the main pull and as long as they stay relevant and look high-quality, they tend to do well. A few things you need to remember with Instagram: post high-quality pictures, use hashtags (in the main post, though, or it doesn’t count), add value with the text and engage with the people that like and comment on your posts. Also, blue filters like Hudson work really well in my experience.
You can also use Instagram Stories to build more of a personal relationship with your network in a similar way to Snapchat (see below).
If you’re good on camera and have the means to record and edit (all of which can be done on a smartphone now), you should do so. Not only can you tap in to the power and reach of YouTube but you can also leverage video to promote your brand and message. Many multi-million-pound companies were launched through a clever viral video.
As a micro-video platform, Snapchat has been instrumental in helping people build personal brands that forge a strong relationship with their follower base. The other benefit of Snapchat is that the content only stays live for 24 hours and then it’s gone, so it’s great for utilising the power of video without having to worry about editing.
I mentioned Mailchimp before for email marketing and what is important is that you try to gain the contact details from your community but also their permission to contact them.
You must remember that although you are able to use social networks, they can change their policies, go bust or even terminate or downgrade your visibility at their discretion. Although this is rare, it can happen, so you always want to ensure you keep a way back to your most valuable connections.
Email is fantastic for this and it’s relatively easy to get people to sign up for if you are prepared to give them something; for example, a free report or guide on something that will add value to them or what they do. Just remember it needs to be on topic.
Ben Norman has been involved in the UK SME market for over 12 years, working mainly with challenger brands looking to increase their market share.
Ben is the CEO and founder of Koozai, a leading digital marketing agency based in the UK. He is also the author of three marketing books, which have sold more than 50,000 copies worldwide, and has been featured in various media publications, including the BBC and Sky News.