5 Low-Cost Ways To Promote Your Business

Starting a new business is an exciting time when checking off tasks like registering your business name and creating your Instagram account can feel like achieving huge milestones.

But there comes a point when the foundation has been laid, and it’s time to start promoting your business to attract customers, generate revenue and grow; it’s time to start marketing.  

What is marketing?

Marketing refers to the activities that your business undertakes to attract, convert and retain customers. Marketing activities span market research, branding, advertising, public relations, sales and customer service — which is where the confusion can begin because there is so much that marketing involves! 

With limited knowledge and resources, it can be challenging to decide what is the most effective and affordable way to promote your business. 

To simplify marketing, we think of it as simply reaching as many people in your target market with a clear, strategic call-to-action as possible!

How to get more eyes on your business when cost is a factor

It’s all well and good when you’re a company with thousands of dollars who can pay influencers to promote your products on social media, produce high-quality YouTube video content with well-known personalities and run retargeted Google Display ads. 

But how to promote a new business when you might not have enough funds? Fortunately, there are many low-cost strategies you can use; these don’t require a large budget, but they do require a strategic approach, a willingness to put in the effort and an awareness of your own and your target consumers’ behaviours. 

1. Optimise your website for SEO

A 2019 report by Sensis, an Australian marketing services company, found that the #1 way for Australians to find new businesses is through search engines like Google.

SEO, search engine optimization, is the process of writing website content in a way that improves the website’s ranking on pages like Google and Yahoo. By doing so, you can increase organic traffic to your website.

SEO is relevant for all businesses and especially powerful for:

  • E-commerce businesses like Go-To Skincare and Temple & Webster
  • Local businesses like yoga studios, cafés and gyms 
  • Service-based businesses like accountants, physios, electricians and hairdressers
  • Content-driven businesses like Mamamia.

How to promote a new business with SEO? 

Get into the mind of your potential customer — what would they be searching for when they need a business like yours? Think about when you are in need of a product and service and what you typically type into Google, like ‘remedial massage Canberra’ or ‘sustainable home cleaning australian’. 

Then, use these keywords and keyphrases to first, guide the type of website content you create (more on that soon), and then second, to optimise structural elements like page titles, page descriptions and image ALT tags

Our resident copywriter, Fiction Agency, is amongst the top 3 search results when you pop ‘hobart copywriter’ into Google. On their blog, Fiction shares 4 actionable steps to DIY your SEO

2. Get social and regularly share and engage on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and more

The same 2019 Sensis report found that the 2nd most popular way consumers in Australia discover new brands or businesses is social media. 

Then, beyond just discoverability, the report found social media plays a huge role in conversion and advocacy. 47% of Australian consumers use social media to research before purchasing and 38% are more likely to trust a business with a social media presence.

How should I approach my business’ social media?

Regularly share and engage on your social media accounts to reach more people and importantly, turn them into paying customers.

To start, allocate at least an hour each week to create 2-3 posts tailored to each platform and leverage scheduling tools like Creator Studio to schedule them in advance. 

Then, dedicate 10-15 minutes every morning to engage with comments and messages that you receive to deliver good customer service and foster brand loyalty, as well as engage with posts from other people and businesses to increase your visibility.  

Finally, the Sensis study found that the most common action taken by social media users after seeing a business or brand on social media was visiting the business’s website (48%); which brings us to our 3rd strategy…

3. Create useful and engaging website content

When your website is the 2nd touchpoint after social media, your target customer is already interested in your business and is seeking more information.

Your website’s job is to further capture their attention, encouraging them to explore your website and offerings, and ultimately complete a conversion activity like making a purchase, or signing up to your email newsletter. To fulfil this job, your website content needs to be useful and engaging.

How do I create good website content to promote my business?

Let your SEO and social media in the 1st and 2nd strategy guide the way.

Base your website content on your SEO keywords and keyphrases. For example, for the keywords, ‘sustainable home cleaning australian’, you could:

  • write about your sustainability commitment on your ‘About’ page
  • write about how you make sure your products are environmentally friendly on your ‘FAQ’ page
  • write a blog about why using sustainable home cleaning products matters.  

Observe your best-performing social media posts and expand on those topics on your website. For instance, if a top-performing post was about the 5 most toxic cleaning products, write a blog about sustainable and safer alternatives.

Consider your website’s UX or user experience. Is navigation intuitive and efficient or does it take the user 5 clicks to find what they want? Is the visual design pleasing or are the colours clashing with miniscule font? Poor UX can create negative impressions of your business, so consult with a UX designer to set your website up for success.

4. Take advantage of free media opportunities

Media opportunities allow your business to reach newer, bigger audiences. Traditional media and PR tactics can be expensive; however, here’s 2 ways on how to promote a new business with free PR.

Guest blog posts allow you to dive deeper into an area of your expertise and the media outlet is usually receptive to them as it saves them work. You can either write an entire piece in advance and pitch it out, or you can reach out to the media outlet and ask them what articles they are currently seeking. You’ll want to speak to their Editorial team; most will list these contact details on their website or on the inside cover of a print publication.

To score some social media mentions, be bold in tagging agencies and media outlets in your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn posts. It’s essential that you tag them only in thoughtful, high-quality posts and content and that you are not just spamming them, which will only hurt the relationship. 

What are some Australian pages and outlets with PR opportunities?

Remember to pick the one that is relevant to your business and that offers synergies; you can add value to the outlet or publication as well as benefit from their reach and influence.

Here are some to consider:

  • Pedestrian.TV – an online lifestyle media outlet aimed at millennials
  • Broadsheet – an online publication that covers the latest in food and wine, arts, entertainment and lifestyle
  • Mamamia – a women’s media company

5. Attend local meetups and industry events 

Despite the growing power of digital, IRL still matters when it comes to how to promote a new business. 

Attending events can help you build relationships, learn about the latest developments in your market and industry and importantly, promote your brand in person and put a face to the name.

To make the most of local meetups and industry events, research the event beforehand, prepare your pitch and have a quick way to connect with people, like business cards or an on-the-spot LinkedIn connection. 

In terms of preparing your pitch, it’s not about creating a Powerpoint presentation, it’s simply being able to express what your business does clearly and succinctly; have a one-liner and a short blurb ready and be able to confidently and naturally deliver them.

Remember you are speaking to someone who is brand new to you and your business. Too often on Lift Women, we see founders unable to explain what their business does concretely or without jargon. Therefore, run your descriptions by an objective 3rd party to make sure you’re being as clear as you think you are.

If you really struggle, consider engaging a professional copywriter. The investment is worth it because once you have these descriptions, you can use them over and over for other purposes like social media profiles, news features and articles and, of course, your website. 

Where can I find meetups and events in my area?

Here are some directories to check out:

  1. Meetup.com
  2. Eventbrite
  3. LinkedIn Groups
  4. Facebook Events
  5. Your local or state-level Chambers of Commerce
  6. Lift Women — that’s right, we hold regular events and masterclasses, both virtual and IRL. We list them all on our free Disco platform.

Marketing is an essential part of growing your business and even startups and small businesses with limited resources have powerful and low-cost marketing strategies to take advantage of. These strategies might involve more time and effort but they can significantly increase the number of eyes on your business. By promoting your business and growing your brand awareness and recognition, you can ultimately positively impact your revenue and bottom line.

If you would like tailored advice in regards to your business or idea, book your free consultation with Lift Women where in 30 minutes, we can help you find clarity and strategy with your business so you can launch a successful crowdfunding campaign. Then, when you’re ready, start your project on our platform that has been specifically designed to support and empower female entrepreneurs.

Article originally posted on: https://www.liftwomen.com/5-low-cost-ways-to-promote-your-business/

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