12 Cost-Effective Ways To Promote Your Business or Website
Updated: Sep 24, 2019
Follow steps 1 - 12 closely, and you’ll see your clientele base grow – and grow fast.
As a new business owner or an up and coming web entrepreneur, one of the first priorities you should have is to promote your business or your website. Only when your potential customers know that your website and storefront exists are they going to come by, check out your products or services, and convert to paying customers. If you're not sure where to begin, I have 12 simple and cost-effective steps you can take to significantly increase your business's or website's traffic. These promotion techniques are so effective they are almost guaranteed to work! Also, guess what? This advice is free! (so no money-back guarantee... lol)
Follow steps 1 - 12 closely, and you’ll see your clientele base grow – and grow fast. Most of these steps are free or low-cost, making them accessible to even the most budget-tight startups! I numbered the steps in a strategic way according to cost, meaning the first few steps I show you are freeways or very inexpensive ways to promote your business/website. The rest are highly effective ways to promote but you might have to dig into your pockets a little, but eh sometimes you gotta spend money to make money right? Ok, let’s get into it…
Step 1 – Market Knowledge
This is the foundation step – so don’t skip it! Without it, the other steps don’t have the right groundwork to stand on, and your promotion efforts won’t come together with the way you want them to. To get started promoting your business or website, learn everything there is to know about your product or service and know who you are targeting as your ideal customer.
Why? Your product or service will be much easier to sell when you are an expert in your field. When you know and love the product or service you're selling, are crystal clear on the benefits, the pros, the cons, how it works, and are passionate about how it can improve people’s lives, you can then convince your target customer of your products' worth as well. If you aren’t knowledgeable and passionate, they aren’t going to be into it. When you understand your target customers, you know exactly how your product or service will benefit them specifically. You also know what marketing narrative to use to communicate with your target customers. Armed with this type of important information your brand message will more effectively be able to resonate with them, their wants, their needs, and preferences.
Step 2 – Footwork
Yep, next comes good ole' fashioned footwork. Get the word out there! Print out a couple of hundred of fliers – make sure they are printed with a high-quality logo and design – and pass them out locally. Get them in the hands of people who will most likely be interested. Ask local shops in the area that might complement your business if you can pass fliers out to their customers or even put one or two up in their shop if it's OK. Don't overdo it though( a little exposure is better than too much exposure). And one last very important key factor you have to remember for this step and it plugs back into step 1. Try and stick to your "target customer" in other words don't go passing out fliers for your new lingerie store in the church parking lot on bingo night...somehow I don't see that ending too well lol. Go to places where people will be interested in what you have to offer.
Step 3 – Word of Mouth
Next, one of the most powerful marketing strategies – word of mouth (WOM). With WOM marketing, other people promote your business or website FOR YOU, telling their friends, family, co-workers, and social media networks about your business or website. Tell somebody that knows somebody then tells that person to tell someone else..lol...Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get yourself out there because it's more personal and it is more likely you will get new customers or even repeat customers through word of mouth. Encourage people to share what they think about your product or service with their social networks. Also, think about creating incentives for people to tell others about what your business or website has to offer. (coupons, discounts, etc…) Word of mouth is a great way to promote your business or website because it’s more personal than other types of messaging. People are more likely to trust information that comes from their friends, family, and personal networks than they are messaging that comes directly from a brand.
Step 4 – YouTube
YouTube is the second most popular search engine – it’s bigger than Yahoo, AOL, Ask, and Bing combined! You need to have video content on it! When you upload your marketing videos to YouTube, you’ll reach more than your local market but also the global marketplace – which can be hugely advantageous if you are a website entrepreneur and you sell your products or services online. Even if someone is visiting your area from across the country or across the world, if you have video content with the right local SEO, they can easily look up your business online when searching for local providers of your product or service when visiting the country. One thing to remember also, try and keep the video creative and not too cheesy remember sometimes less is more.
Step 5 – Social Networking
Get out and mingle – cyber mingle that is! Create and maintain a consistent presence on social media. Create a following, make some friends, socialize, and make meaningful relationships because people are more likely to buy from you if they trust you. Make sure to use your brand voice in all your social media promotional content so that people associate your business with your content. And, keep posting, responding to questions, sharing relevant content from your industry, and making meaningful relationships to help boost brand trust!
Step 6 – Blog
Just one more golden digital marketing technique – blogging will help to establish your brand as an authority in your niche, and it will help promote and drive traffic to your website and your business. I firmly believe that all businesses large and small should have a blog, it's a great way to be found and establish your online presence. Also, reach out to relevant websites in your industry and ask to write a sponsored blog that they can post on their own site. This will help to spread the reach of your messaging and create invaluable backlinks to your site. Make sure to keep your blog quality high and only write about useful, relevant information to the business that your readers will love. This is the key to making your written promotional content work for you to generate high-quality leads.
Step 7 – Trade Traffic
Some websites will trade traffic with you. Basically, make a list of potential partner businesses, try to keep them related to your niche. Then, see if they’d like to trade web traffic with you. In exchange for your putting one of their links or banners somewhere on your website, they’ll put one of your links or banners on their website. As a result, you both get a traffic boost, and both of your target buyers get to learn about a product they may be interested in. Everyone wins!
Step 8 – Email
Email marketing is still one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. Just make sure your email messaging doesn’t come off as spam. You can create a newsletter and ask people who visit your website to sign up. Or if you have a storefront politely ask your customers for their email address to keep them in the loop on upcoming promotions. This way, you’ll be sending emails only to those who are already interested in your business. Then, make your emails worthwhile. Sprinkle their inbox with special offers, discounts, interesting updates or how-tos they may be interested in – and they’ll keep opening your emails. This is a great way to stay connected with your leads and customers.
The affiliate marketing space has proven to be a highly successful promotional and marketing tool that has made businesses large and small millions if not billions of dollars on a regular basis and everyday individuals multi-millionaires.
The concept is pretty straightforward, simple and quite effective. Affiliate marketing is driven by performance, if no sales or results are generated no money is paid out to the marketers who market your product or service, it's that simple.
For example, if "Teds" online sock store wants to sell more socks and he sets up his own affiliate program, it would probably look something like this:
Ted's socks retail for $19.99 and he makes about $4 - $5 profit off every sock
To increase his sales volume Ted is willing to part with $2 of his profit for every sock sold.
The affiliate marketer who Ted contracts with refers potential customers to Ted's online store using their OWN money, or form of promotion and for every sock sold through their referral link, the marketer gets $2. Make sense?
There are typically 3 major players in the affiliate marketing program field the Brand ("Ted"), The Affiliate Marketer (online salesman or blog like this one!) and The Affiliate Program (a company) that facilitates everything. "Ted" can also establish his own program if he chooses to do so. Establishing an affiliate program has its advantages and disadvantages but in my opinion, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. One major benefit being free promo essentially. You don't pay unless the other parties involved produce results. So if you are looking for a creative way to market your business or website. Setting up an affiliate marketing program may be just the solution you are looking for. Here are 8 good ones you can choose from
Step 10 – Branding Materials
Once you’ve established your brand, it’s time to make your logo and branded images work for you. You can put your branding on t-shirts, stickers, signs, hats, pens. If you want you can even go as far as to get your car graphically designed with your business logo on it ( this is where a little money is coming out of the pockets) but all in all it will definitely pay off if you do right - anything that your target demo would appreciate. Make sure to use only high-quality printing and materials, and you’ll have something your customers will be proud to wear and share!
Step 11 – Traditional Ads
Digital marketing is massive today, and it will probably make up a good part of your marketing and advertising strategy. Still, traditional ads, like printed material, newspaper ads, radio, and television advertisements, are still useful for spreading the word about your business. This type of advertising will cost more, but hopefully, you’re operating with healthy cash flow from the other steps mentioned earlier. Think about what mediums would make the most sense for your target market and consider how best to spend your ad dollars, whether you want to mail out attractive promotional material or catalogs, pay for a 30-second spot on the local radio station, or contact your local TV station about running an ad.
Step 12 – Go Green
Today’s consumers want more than just a great product or service – they want to feel good about who they’re buying from. We all want to preserve the environment we share, so taking steps to keep your business’s carbon footprint down will make buying from you more appealing.
There are a lot of ways you can go green:
Start accepting e-payments. You can use services like Square, Intuit, and PayPal for this. This isn’t just about being efficient; not having a digital payment option can be a deal-breaker for a lot of your customers. (Trust me I KNOW I won't set foot in some places if they won't accept my ApplePay!)
Use recycled packaging materials.
Make sure your business is recycling.
Use energy-saving and water-saving appliances, windows, and equipment wherever possible.
Now you are armed with 12 cost-effective ways to promote your business and gain both sales and recognition. I don’t suggest doing everything at once, but when you focus on one or two steps at a time, you’ll be able to grow your business gradually, and you’ll establish a strong foundation for sustaining that growth.
Good luck! And if you found this blog informative in any way. Please don’t forget to share and spread the love!