The internet has transformed the way we market our businesses. No longer do we have to spend hundreds of pounds appearing in local newspapers and magazines – instead, we turn to social media and our websites to encourage customers to part with their cash and buy our products and services. And with these changes, marketing a business has become much more affordable, but there are still costs involved (like social tools, SEO and graphic design). Below, we’ll show you how to save money when marketing your small business online.
The internet is jam-packed with tools and software to promote your business, and most of them charge a monthly fee to keep you hooked. Luckily, though, you should be able to find free alternatives to some of the most popular tools. For social media, use Hootsuite’s free tools rather than their expensive business packages. For graphic design, turn to Canva and Venngage instead of Photoshop and InDesign. For web design, look at WordPress.org and create a website with a premium WordPress theme, rather than spending thousands on an expensive web design package. For SEO, switch SEMrush and Moz for Google Extensions.
Outsourcing your marketing can be tempting, especially when you’re new to topics like social media and SEO and don’t have the faintest idea of what you’re doing. But you should, if you want to save money, learn how to market your business yourself. Social media doesn’t have to take long – you can schedule posts in advance and prepare a whole month’s content calendar in an hour or two. Content marketing doesn’t have to be complicated – you just need to write a blog post or two every month. SEO can be tough, but you can make some simple changes to your website, like installing Yoast SEO and remembering to include your keywords when writing. The basics are easy to nail and can save you thousands.
Guest blogging is one of the best ways to gain backlinks (good for SEO and referral traffic), and it can also help you to build a name for yourself online. Find bloggers in your niche by Googling something like your industry + “write for us”, and make sure you interact with other bloggers by commenting on their posts and engaging with them on social media. Of course, guest blogging can be time-consuming and confusing at first, but writing just one blog a month on another blogger’s website will boost your domain authority, increase your traffic and help you grow your business – all without spending money or outsourcing.
Don’t spend money on stock photography or graphic design when it’s already out there for you to use for free. Websites like Unsplash and Negative Space are great for finding free images to use in blog posts and social media graphics, while Pexels has a great collection of free stock videos which you could use to create roundup videos. YouTube has hundreds of royalty free songs and backing tracks that you can use for free if you want to create podcasts or audio files for your website, too. Some of these websites ask that you credit them for using their resources, but most are offered under the Creative Commons licence.
There you have it – four great ways to promote your business and save money in the process. Unfortunately, there are some things that you’ll have to pay for online – you’ll need to buy your domain name, pay for web hosting and for advertising on Facebook Ads and Google AdWords, but the rest can be found for free. Good luck and happy saving!
Max Greene is the Managing Director of Muffin Marketing, a marketing agency specialising in content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimisation.
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