It’s getting harder to attract customers online with the number of companies jumping into online ads with big budgets. They realize that magazine and newspaper advertising has decreased in effectiveness as the prices have gone up. Sending out fliers is still possible but getting expensive too with paper cost and mailing. Besides, I don’t like getting junk mail, do you?
Now, back to online marketing which is still reasonably priced if you know where to look. Lewis Howes has written a very useful article for Entrepreneur, calling himself a lifestyle entrepreneur, coach and advisor. He points out 5 ways to avoid high prices and get your website, products and services publicized. Actually there are more than 5 since many of his ideas have several parts that could be considered separate ideas.
1. Find a local celebrity to endorse your product. A new company can’t afford an international celebrity but if you sell locally, find someone local that speaks well and is willing to help out. The alternative if your market is larger is to find a local celebrity in each community where you work, to be found by the branch office in that place. You will need pictures, a short video would be a plus and certainly you want other testimonials or endorsements as well. While some people pay for these, just finding satisfied customers who will talk is enough.
2. Create a LinkedIn group. Howes points out that this strategy takes time to form a group of networkers since they won’t want a hard sell, but eventually this free group of professionals who are members in LinkedIn will spread your company name by word of mouth, the best type of advertising.
3. Get published on niche blogs.
While it may be difficult to get on the front cover of a major magazine, you can create marketing opportunities by being featured in a popular niche blog. Identify three to five blogs that target your market then contact the creator and offer a few ideas of how you’d like to bring value to his or her readers. You can:
- Demonstrate good will by offering the niche blog owner a small amount of your product or service for free, which they can give away to their audience as a gift. This is different than a product review, which only offers information.
- Send ideas for blog posts you’d like to write and explain why they would be helpful for their readers.
- Ask if you can interview them for your site. This might entice the blog manager to promote your content since it highlights his or her business.
To read the original click here.
This third choice is actually several choices of how to work with other blogs and borders on another possibility of posting banners for your products on these other sites by contacting the owners and seeing if you can work together. Of course you would pay to put up your banners unless you arrange an exchange where you are both posting on each other’s sites.
4. Create videos on YouTube. This is easier than it first appears with cell phone cameras, free video editing software and lots of topics. Posting to YouTube is easy as well. The best way to learn is do a search on YouTube for how to post! It’s important to use researched keywords in your headline, to keep the video short (less than 10 minutes) and to give the listener a call to action (something you want them to do) at the end.
Don’t have a topic? There are endless topics that need exploring. I just watched a series of videos this marketer took in his car driving around. Talk about multi-tasking. The information was worth listening to as well.
Feel this task is too big? Howes points out that you can hire a worker on Fiverr.com for $5 to make your video. However, from experience I can say that the quality of the videos there is sometimes low. Choose carefully.
5. Write an e-book. Find some problem that is bothering many people in your industry and write a short book about one or more solutions. With a bit of online research you should be able to put together a unique way of meeting the situation. Again, not sure how to put a book online in Kindle form? It’s quite easy, and Amazon will help you out. Once more if you don’t have the time, go to oDesk.com or Fiverr.com and hire someone to put it in the right format. It’s a great idea to at least hire someone to come up with a cover design for your book.
6. Social Media presence – while the cost of advertising on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest is rising, it is still very reasonable compared to Google AdWords. However, don’t forget ads on Google+ or some of the smaller companies like Tumblr or TypePad. Remember too that you can put up pages on these sites for free and post article, pictures and even videos without cost. Facebook allows you to “promote your page” by taking an ad or post from your site – very easy to set up and you can set an end date with the budget.
7. Ads with a somewhat small budget – You might be starting out but can spare $2000/month for ads. What gives you the most bang for your buck? I recommend targeted ads according to location, age, interests, even organizations customers have joined. The two most tightly targeted are presently Facebook ads and Bing ads. Both are set up similarly. You might find out how on YouTube! I understand Google AdWords are improving as well. Please monitor these ads carefully every day as you want to find ads that are successful and are bringing you in business and eliminate the ones not working for you. This is called optimizing or testing to see which version of the ads work. You can try these out for as little as $5/day.
This is a huge topic and difficult to cover completely in a few paragraphs. The important things to take away from this article are: 1) try one or two of these methods, not all of them. Then once you get proficient in these you can move on to others. and 2) it is still possible to start a company online with a meager capital budget. Compare this to starting a “brick and mortar” business or even a franchise business such as MacDonalds or Starbucks where you would need at least $100,000 US. People are starting their online businesses with $50 and some of them making millions.
Want to know more about a successful startup business you can enter for only $49? Then click on this link to find out more.