One of the main concerns for any new or small business is always the cost. Luckily internet marketing today, is a quick, effective and affordable way to promote your business on a low budget.
Below are 10 easy ways to start your online self-promotion for fee.
Brand your business
Your company may already have a name, logo and even a website, but these three elements, along with your contact details, should be on every outgoing piece of paper and electronic document that you send.
Branding your Word documents, is as easy as going to View “Header and Footer and inserting your logo in the header and adding your website and contact details in the footer
1. Brand your documents – create branded templates for any document intended for clients or providers (letterheads, faxes, invoices, etc). Send them always as a.pdf, and print only when necessary.
2. Create an email signature – add your contact details, URL and social media links to all of your outgoing email.
Social Media pages allow you to interact and build relationships with clients, prospects and the general market. However, managing your social media on a daily basis can end up affecting your productivity. So before you sign up to any of them determine:
- how much time you can spend on posting and replying comments
- which social media channels are most relevant to your business
3. Create social media profiles – the main ones are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Flickr.
4. Join online discussions – there are thousands of virtual communities where people discuss all sorts of topics every day. By contributing to these discussion groups, you can inform and help potential customers.
Even though you will not be able to promote your business in the discussion, you can do it through your signature line.
Also look for relevant social media groups in your area, industry or client's industries.
Other way to participate is by commenting in blogs. This one used to be a popular search engine optimization technique. Now blog comments are not so important for SEO purposes, but they can still drive traffic to your website when they are relevant to the topic of the blog post. Do not forget to link this back to your website.
Free directory listings
Submitting your website to directories will help you get some in-bound links to your website, which may help improve your visibility in search engines. However, this technique can take a substantial amount of time, so before you start, get yourself organized.
- Make a list of free local and business directories
- Prepare both, a long and a short company description
- Make a list of 20 keywords
- Set your social media pages, as some directories will give you the option of adding them to your profile.
5. Directory submissions – the key directories to be listed in are:
- Yellow Pages
- Google Local
- Yahoo! Local (or Yahoo! Classifieds that allows to post free ads)
- Bing Local
- DMOZ (Open Directory Project)
While Search Engine Submission is also often seen as a way to promote a web site, it is generally not necessary because the major search engines will eventually find most web sites on the Internet all by themselves. So do not spend too much time on search engines submissions, you have a business to run.
However, improving your on-site optimization can effectively increase your visibility on search engines, giving your business a better chance to succeed.
6. On-site optimization – Create rich content pages. Some tips are:
- Use unique content that you can not find anywhere else on the Internet.
- Use keyword rich text – make a list of relevant keywords for your business and add them in the words of your website. You may need your webmaster's help to include those keywords in your website code.
Writing articles and producing valuable, relevant and quality content on topics related to your business expertise can be your best website marketing strategy.
7. Start a blog – Starting a blog is an excellent way of engaging your existing audience as well as sharing unique expert content. Use free software like Blogger, WordPress or Typepad to not spend money on website designers or developers.
8. Create an e-newsletter – email is an excellent channel of distribution to your clients, prospects and general market.
9. Syndicate your content – submit articles to other websites that syndicate this content around the web. Include links back to your website on your articles. These article directories can be free or paid, start by submitting your articles to some free directories, like EzineArticles.com, Goarticles.com and Articlealley.com.
10. PR optimization and submissions – As more and more people use online news sources today, writing press releases and submitting them to relevant websites can also help to reach your target audience. Online releases can be found by publishers who may take your article to be published on other relevant sites. Do not forget to optimize your PR with relevant keywords and links. Some of the best free press release sources are 24-7PressRelease.com, PRLog.org or IdeaMarketers.com.
Even though these online marketing techniques could save you some money, before you start, keep in mind that they will require a lot of work, time and patience, before you see results. If you already have some clients to look after, think about the value of your time and whether it's worth to hire some help.