I don’t have to tell you that times are tough these days. We are all pretty tired of hearing it. It can be frustrating when management cuts the marketing budget during tough times, but sometimes that’s the reality. Whether you’re facing a slashed budget or rolling in the dough, there are fat least three fairly easy and mostly free things you can add to your marketing efforts to drive more leads – even when times are tough. If you aren’t doing these already, it’s time to jump in.
Start a blog
Blogging gets people involved with your brand, gives you an opportunity to address customers on a more personal level, and gives some serious kick to your Google search rank. If you have never blogged it may seem intimidating to start one from scratch. Don’t worry, nothing could be easier. There are nearly unlimited free resources available online for the beginning blogger. Check out our blog roll for a good start. Next week I will post a blog dedicated to how to write and manage the blog for maximum exposure once you get set up.
Wage a PR campaign
Press releases have long been recognized as an excellent way to get free exposure for your brand. These days they can also help with your Google search ranking, providing both inbound links and juicy keywords. Make a plan for putting out press releases and stick to it. Once a week is great, but once a month is fine, too. Once you write the press release, you can release it using several online services, for example, PR Log lets you post press releases for free. Put together a list of local and national publications that deal with your industry, and email the story to the editors of those publications as well. Then be sure to post the release in the “news” section of your website.
Yes, I mean social media – Twitter, Facebook, Digg, LinkedIn and the rest. While it seems like social media has been hyped to death over the last few years, it is still growing as a great way to connect with prospects and customers. Not every social media outlet is going to be right for every company, so do your research and put your heart into the ones that make the most sense for your brand.
A shrinking budget is no excuse to be a shrinking violet; it is simply a call to put more effort into low cost and free lead generation. Who knows, maybe you’ll even stick with it once the economy turns around…
Have any great ideas for cheap and free marketing? Share ‘em here!