Marketing our business to potential customers is a necessary part of having a successful business.

The issue with traditional advertising, such as newspaper, radio, and television ads, is that they can be expensive and may produce little or even no return on investment.

Advertising online may be a better option. You can track the effectiveness of each advertisement. Then, you can focus your marketing strategies on the techniques that are the most profitable. Plus, there are options for online advertising that don’t cost you any money at all!

Here are some free online marketing methods that you may want to consider for your business:

  1. Partner up with another expert or complementary business in your field. Consider joining forces with another brand. You can then offer a more substantial product together than either one of you could offer alone. In addition, you’ll automatically get the attention of both audiences, resulting in more sales and adding more leads to your email list. In the future, these new leads can drive more sales of another one of your products. Partnering on even one marketing campaign can bring long-term benefits to both of you
  2. Encourage user-generated content. If you can acquire user-generated content, your website will grow without you having to create your own content. This type of content also increases your website visitors. Enable comments on your website and contribute to the discussions. Allow visitors to submit their own articles and encourage guest posts from other experts.
  3. Affiliate or Referral marketing. When you create an affiliate program for your business, you will be getting other experts in your field and the public to send business your way. This can be mutually beneficial, and you will only be paying commissions (after the sale) if the affiliate makes a sale. As with the partnering technique, many of these new visitors will sign up for your email list, even if they don’t buy something right away, bringing you long-term benefits and sales.
  4. Be active on social media. There are millions of users visiting the various social media platforms daily, so it makes sense for your business to have a presence there.
    1. Share funny or interesting images or videos that are relevant to your business.
    2. Post insights and valuable information.
    3. Let your audience know when you have a sale on your products. Give your social media followers coupons or discounts.
    4. Encourage engagement by participating in discussions. Ask questions and answer theirs.
    5. Run a survey, poll, or contest
  5. Use free online tools. There are plenty of tools online that can help your business. You can sign up for websites that will enable you to create free surveys, or you can use a free online service to send emails to your customers. You do not have to pay a premium to receive top-notch service.
  6. Change and reuse old advertisements. Rather than going through the expensive route of creating new articles with every marketing campaign, try reusing parts of an advertisement that worked well. This will save you time and expense. Plus, keeping consistent brand imagery through every ad will help with brand recognition too.
  7. Build an email list. If people are visiting your website, chances are good that they are interested in what you have to offer. Make a form available for them to join your email list and be kept in the loop about future product releases or special offers.
    1. Once they’ve signed up to this email list, you can send emails to these prospects with news and further information about your products. Let them know whenever something goes on sale.
    2. Email marketing is one of the best ways to drive sales. Treat your list members like gold, because that’s what they are to you and your business.
  8. Create some video content. Video content is incredibly important nowadays as the younger generation would rather watch a video than read a blog post. If you can create interesting videos, you’ll create interest in your brand.

It’s certainly possible to do online marketing without spending money. Some of these methods might take some time and effort to implement, though, before you see profits.

For example, it can take a while to build an email list. However, once you have a list, making sales can be as easy as sending out an email to your list. Once you’ve built a social media following, making sales can be as easy as making a post on your social media accounts.

If you want to see an immediate ROI, like for a special promotion, you may want to consider paying for ads online. But if funds are tight, be patient as you put these free strategies into place, and soon you’ll have plenty of ways to make immediate sales for free.

Not every business has the budget to spend big on digital marketing, but today, getting the word out about your company and its products and services online is more crucial than ever.

So how can businesses with smaller marketing budgets go head-to-head with the competition that has much more available spend? The team at fusionZONE has compiled a list of budget-friendly digital marketing initiatives that can help you promote your business at little to no cost.

Whether you’re an independent, franchise, Powersports or group dealership — or in an entirely different industry altogether — the following digital products, channels and strategies are designed to provide affordable (or completely free) solutions to your online marketing needs.

Maintain Social Media Channels

Social media has been a big deal in the digital marketing realm for well over a decade, so the chances are great that your business has already tried its hand at this potentially free marketing channel. Paid social ads can certainly help boost your business’s profile, visibility, reach and engagement online, but they’re not necessarily a prerequisite to success through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the like.

If your business already has social media profiles, are you merely using them for promotion, or are you posting informative, entertaining and interesting content? You can enhance your budget-friendly social media marketing efforts by providing valuable content, news, deals and specials to your online community.

Remember, social media isn’t advertising or public relations, but rather a chance for you to connect with customers, fans, potential buyers and other members of your community in a fun and informative way.

Join or Create Facebook Groups or Other Online Communities

Maybe you’ve promoted your business through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for years and even dabbled in paid social ads, but are looking for another way to communicate with your community and potential customers online. You could create a Facebook Group or join some of these online communities tailored to people in your immediate area.

While these groups can provide potential customers for your business, they also help you build relationships within your local community. Joining or building an online community or group through Facebook or another social media channel is a great way to keep your ear to the ground or stay informed of consumer sentiment in your city and neighboring areas.

You can also start and join in on conversations that may not have been as possible on your company’s social media pages.

Set Up a Google My Business Profile

Google My Business (GMB) helps consumers find your company’s location and contact information without having to sift through your website: your business details show up right in the search results. This completely free Google product also lets you promote different areas of your business — say, your sales, parts and service departments — at the top of the search results page when a user seeks out your company online.

Creating and optimizing your Google My Business profile can help potential customers find your company, products and services online and offline by displaying a link to your website, phone numbers and a map with a link to directions. That’s why we believe that a GMB profile is one of the most affordable and productive marketing methods, especially for local businesses.

Run Google Local Service Ads

If your business isn’t quite in a place to fork over serious dough on Google pay-per-click (PPC) ads, then you may want to consider Google’s local- and leads-based alternative: Google Local Service Ads. Set up a budget in Google Local Service Ads, and you’ll pay per lead instead of per click, meaning you could better manage your budget based on actual leads versus potential leads.

Businesses are required to apply and qualify for categories that Google offers through its Google Local Service Ads. However, once you’re able to create these local pay-per-lead ads, your business can become Google Guaranteed, which could help your company show up at or near the top of local search results.

Utilize Email Marketing

There’s nothing new about email marketing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still a highly effective tool in your arsenal — and an affordable one. Building an email list is a lightweight way to keep your past, current and potential customers updated on news and special offers, and you don’t have to pay to reach them in their inbox.

Create a Blog

If you’re wondering what interesting and value-added content you’ll share through your email marketing campaigns, social media pages and Facebook groups, enter the blog. Creating a blog on your website is an affordable way to develop SEO-friendly content that’s unique to your business.

Your company’s blog is where you can provide real-time updates about your business and its current operations, educate visitors on your products and services, discuss your organization’s community involvement and so much more.

Check Google Analytics Often

Lastly, you’ll want to keep tabs on your website’s Google Analytics account. Why? Seeing traffic spikes (however big or small) and traffic sources (where that traffic is coming from) can help you determine how your digital marketing initiatives are performing and where you should focus your efforts.

If you’d like assistance with any of these budget-friendly digital marketing options, don’t hesitate to reach out to fusionZONE Automotive. We’re experts in developing affordable and effective marketing solutions that can help your business stand out from your competition online!