Building your Business with Zero Budgets

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 445 , Published on 04 July 2016
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So you finally got a great business idea and have stared your business. However, unfortunately you don’t have huge budgets for promoting your business. Don’t worry. You don’t need money to promote your business. All you need is creativity and of course your time and energy. There are various strategies that will help you in achieving early promotions for your business. Though, you need to keep in mind that great promotions are no alternative to a good product. If you have a bad product no amount of marketing will be able to drive sustainable profits.

Mostly marketing with zero budgets is aimed at creating leads and at times pitching your product to your customer. It is aimed at bringing new customers although various strategies can also be used for other purposes like increasing customer loyalty. Here are 7 strategies that you can use to market your business.


Image: pixabay


1. Use blogs

Blogs are useful for engaging the customers with your brand. It is not only a good platform to tell your story but is also a good way to emanate information. If you are not already using a blog start using it. There are many websites which allow you to use blogs for free. You can also leverage some famous blogs by posting a comment on them. Then you could use this comment to drive the traffic to your blog or website. The important thing to remember over here is to make your comment relevant to the post and drive the customer to your blog or website subtly. Another method of using blogs is to become a guest author for other websites. This allows you to engage people which may lead to increased traffic for your website.


2. Leverage search engines

People are prone to use search engines for numerous times a day. So why not leverage this platform. Search engine optimization is a technique which allows your page to be ranked higher in the list of results to a search query. Even if you cannot hire a professional to do it for you there are numerous articles that will teach you enough to apply certain basics for your website.


3. Leverage Networking

This is one of the oldest form of marketing for B2B companies. Though over times the ways of networking have changed its importance hasn’t. One of the major method of networking is to you use social networking websites. Several social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter etc. already have users logged onto it. All you need to do is to engage those users. These websites allow you to create a page for free and certain websites like Facebook also provides you tools to enhance your campaigns by providing analytical tools. These websites can be a major medium of increasing traffic and engaging customers. YouTube and other such websites allow you to post videos on their websites. Leverage this by creating videos relevant to your brand and posting them on such websites. Email marketing is also an efficient and effective method of generating leads and upselling or cross selling your product. You can also log onto various forums and answer the questions to promote your brand. Remember that your answer should be relevant and not just a cheap way of selling your product. The idea is to engage users through relevant answers and creating an interest in your brand.

You can also network offline. One way of doing this is to attend events and conferences. Attending the events will help you network with people and can also help in generating useful leads. If you can be a speaker at such an event it will improve your chance of generating useful leads. Networking has been a major tool of generating leads in earlier days and its importance has not reduced in any manner.


4. Leveraging happy customers

Your existing customer can be excellent endorsers for your product. So try to keep your customers happy. Not only will they help you through word of mouth publicity but they will also help you in marketing your business in cost effective manner. One such way is to write case studies about some of your happy customers – what problems were they facing, how you helped them solve that problems, what is their experience with you etc.

You can also ask the customers for referrals. If you are doing a good job of keeping them happy, majority of your customers will give you referrals and will also promote your product to their friends. Creating a distinctive and superior experience for your customers can go a long way in driving sustainable profits for your business.


5. Providing tools for self-expression

One thing that is common between Facebook and YouTube apart from being super successful in their respective fields is that both of them provided users with easy to use tools of self-expression. Note that users of Facebook and YouTube have an inherent incentive to promote their creations and driving more traffic to the platform. This is a very efficient and effective tool for marketing.


6. Guerilla Marketing

It means using unconventional means to market your business. You can use guerilla marketing ideas to promote your business for minimal costs. Some of the ideas include using your premises as billboard, painting on your shutters, windows walls etc. You can also do in-house exhibitions to catch the attention of people.


7. Gamification

This one is a fun way of attracting customers. Games are a good way of engaging your customers. It is also a very effective way to tap into their competitive streak and drive sales. Simple ways of gamification include loyalty points systems, rewards, lucky customer, treasure hunts, spot the product etc. Online forms of gamification include running campaigns and competitions.

These were some major tactics for marketing your business with limited budgets. I am sure there are various other methods of doing the same but these can be a good start for your marketing campaign. Though, it is imperative that you have a proper marketing strategy and align these strategies to your marketing strategy. It is beneficial to have a common theme across all the platforms. You may need to tailor these strategies to your requirements and also select the right mix if you do not have enough time or resources for all of these.

 

This article is authored by Harshil Patel from IIM Kashipur


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