Marketing is hard. It’s hard when you have a large budget – but it’s simply daunting when you have a small budget, or no budget at all. There are things that you can do right now to market your product even if you have no budget.. all it takes is time, commitment, and a willingness to hustle.
Blogging is still cool. It’s the best way I know of to provide quality content to your customers. Consistently posting high-quality articles to your blog, that are highly targeted to your particular industry, will lead to long-term gains. A blog is playing for long-term success… no overnight miracles here unless you hit a grand slam with an article that happens to go viral.
2. Videos & Screencasts
Videos are similar to blogs in the way that they provide high-value content to users. Again, this is a long-term plan for success. Screencasts are good idea if you have a product that lends itself to that type of instruction.
3. Social Media
Social media is somewhat different from blogging and screencasts in that it connects you directly with your target audience. Blogging mostly requires waiting for your audience to find you (although there are ways to speed up the process). Social media is more proactive and leads to quicker results. The downside to social is that every day the noise increases just a little. More and more companies are using social to push their brand, which means it’s getting easier for your message to get lost in the shuffle.
4. Leverage Your Existing Network
I would imagine that anyone who has been in business for any decent amount of time has a large network of contacts. You should absolutely leverage your contacts for marketing purposes. Let them know that you would appreciate any referrals or leads that they can give you and they will, usually, gladly keep you in mind. The better your relationship with them the more likely they are to send referrals, so it’s always important to cultivate relationships and build strong bonds.
5. Hustle Relentlessly
It’s all about the hustle. Success in marketing is pretty similar to success in just about any other area of your life. The more you work, the harder you work, and the harder you hustle will bring you more success more quickly. Never pass on an opportunity to market yourself or your product. Relentlessly follow up with new contacts and leads. Constantly strive to get you or your product’s name out there in front of your audience.
6. Utilize Your Biggest Fans
Your fans are your most potent weapon for free marketing. They are already sold on you, so get them to help you spread your message. A true fan’s value can’t be measured. They are willing, and even anxious at times, to promote your products for you. They believe in you so much that they feel compelled to help. Identify your biggest fans and give them the tools that they need to succeed.
I consider forums and message boards to be a different animal than social media. Forums are an older type of community and require a different strategy for success. No matter what industry you’re in there’s going to be a forum that servers your desired audience. Spend some time identifying those forums and start participating in the discussion. Be sure to pay attention to the forum’s rules and make sure that you don’t come across as spammy.
What other strategies for low-budget marketing have you used successfully?