Online Marketing on a Budget!
Marketing is one of the single most important things you need to do to succeed in the business world. The problem? It can use a lot of cash to make it work. For an entrepreneur just getting started, marketing budgets can often be practically non-existent.
Fortunately, the age of the Internet has made it easier to run a full-scale marketing campaign with very little cost up front. Here we’ve put together a list of ways you can utilize online marketing resources, often for free. Yep, FREE!
Online Review Sites
Making sure your business is listed on online review sites is important. Not just for traffic and product sales, but for ensuring your online reputation stays positive. The following sites are some of the most influential review sites out there.
- Google My Business Page: Setting up a page here will get your business on Google Search, Maps and Google+, as well as allow customers to review your business. Local business reviews usually receive high rankings in the search results, giving you some great, and free results real estate.
- Yelp: Since it’s the biggest online review site, creating a Yelp listing is definitely worth it. It gets you in front of the site’s more than 140 million monthly users and, it’s free.
- Yahoo: Yahoo offers local businesses the option to get a basic business listing in its directory. Listings are incorporated with other of their products like reviews, maps, and events. And yes, it’s free.
Social Media Marketing
- Industry Groups: Choose two or three groups in your business’ industry on Facebook and LinkedIn. By offering advice and support, you help establish yourself as an expert in your field. You can even take it a step further and create your own groups. Eventually, these outlets will build your reputation and drive sales.
- Facebook: If you haven’t already signed up with social media platform, Facebook is probably one of the best places to start. Since its inception, Facebook has been in the fore front of social media advancements and has developed and perfected a number of tools for small businesses.
- Twitter: This platform has proven to be a powerful, platform for immediate information. By studying and following people in your industry or expertise, you will quickly learn, some dos and don’ts figure out the best way to use it, then set up your own feed and start to Tweet.
- LinkedIn: The fastest growing and most influential professional platform online, LinkedIn has done for Professional Media what Facebook did for Social Media. Set up an account to meet, engage and, connect with other professionals about jobs, careers, and branding
- YouTube: Visual marketing, especially in the form of video, is still at the top when it comes marketing. With You Tube, this form is now more accessible. Use it to tell a story, showcase your personality, or demonstrate a product without having to pay for ad time on TV. You can be as casual or formal as you want, as long as you are ready to be on camera.
- Monitor Brand Mentions: It’s now easier to keep up with what’s happening. Using a social listening tool like Social Mention to monitor and contribute to conversations happening in your industry will help you stay current on trends without having to spend every hour surfing postings.
- Blogging: In addition to your own blog, find other blogs and websites within your industry and create Guest posts. Comment thoughtfully on blogs and then leave your website URL in the appropriate field, just be sure to use your real name or business name, not keyword-rich anchor text. Noticing others will get you noticed as well.
Installing a free social sharing plugin on your blog, like Share Buttons, makes it easy for your readers to share your posts and increase your audience.
Other Ways to Get Yourself Noticed
- Hold free webinars on your site: If you’ve researched this prospect before but decided it would be too expensive, consider some of these alternatives. WordPress has a webinar plugin called WebinarIgnition, with a one-time cost of $97 for unlimited webinars with unlimited attendees. Or, you can utilize your Facebook account and do a Facebook Live event.
- Join Forums and Answer Questions: These days there are multiple forums out there for just about anything. Take the time to make meaningful contributions to conversions by providing real assistance to those posting the questions. This will get the attention of other readers and make them more inclined find out more about you. You can get started on sites like Quora, where real people are looking for answers to questions. Search the site for relevant questions you can answer intelligently.
- HARO (Help A Reporter Out): Sign up and get free PR by responding to relevant media queries. This will turn into free mentions and links in publications like Huffington Post, Forbes more.
- eBooks: Anyone can be an author and publish now. Whether it’s about business or, choosing the best wine, you can create an eBook simply and for free. Just input your content into chapters using MS Word. Add some images and links, edit, review and spell check. Then save it as a PDF and you have an eBook. Post it on your website, blog or offer it in exchange for a person’s email address, aiding you in growing your email database.
By now you may be experiencing the feeling that the room is spinning out of control, knowing that there are so many options out there that you can implement.
Not to worry. Look at the list and narrow it down to 2-3 options you are really excited about. Once you have them under your belt, move on to a few more.
In selecting your preferred social media platform, take in mind that Facebook is notorious for banning ad accounts, especially brand new ones. This doesn’t mean it’s not worth bothering with Facebook. As long as you know what Facebook does and doesn’t like, and what to avoid in your Facebook ads, you don’t need to worry.
MOST COMMON REASONS FOR A FACEBOOK BAN:
If your ad includes outlandish claims at all, don’t be surprised if Facebook shuts it down. Whether it’s about getting rich quick, or a miracle diet plan for rapid weight loss, Facebook is strongly against false promises.
Bad ad copy that’s riddled with spelling mistakes will get your ad disapproved. As will bad ad images – piles of money, shocking images and the like.
Your landing page and your website should be clear about what you’re offering. A squeeze page that asks for an email address, but is not transparent about what’s being offered in exchange, is not going to wash with Facebook.
Especially if you appear to be offering a business model but hiding the details of what the business model involves, you’ll be on the fast track to a Facebook ban.
Always avoid direct affiliate links on Facebook. Many of these sites are banned and blacklisted already, and advertising them is like catching a disease.
OTHER REASONS FOR A FACEBOOK BAN:
Sometimes Facebook bans can arise for reasons outside of the ad itself.
Facebook wants to know you are a real business and you know what you’re doing. If you appeal your ban by asking “what did I do wrong?,” you are sending Facebook the impression that you are amateur and incompetent. That’s not going to help your case.
Be very careful when opening a new ad account after being banned once. Especially if you use the same credit card, Facebook can easily tell it’s the same person and they will often ban your new account as well.
If your ads receive a lot of bad feedback from users, it can also lead to a ban or at least a disapproval of the ad.
Finally, it may go without saying, but don’t try to game the system. If Facebook can see you have made repeated violations, they won’t hesitate to ban you.
HOW TO AVOID BEING BANNED
In the copy of your ad, avoid words such as “wealth”, “cash”, “money”, “success”, “guaranteed”, “earned”. If you’re selling a business product, talk about the lifestyle it can afford your customer, rather than talking directly about money. Be creative.
Sometimes Facebook bans ads for seemingly no reason. Even if you have carefully read the guidelines and trying to stay within them, you’re never immune from being banned.
As with anything in business, be prepared for the worst case scenario and always have a backup plan.
Beware of Bad Business Advice!
In business, you will be surrounded by people who lie to you. Some do it on purpose for their own short term financial gain. Don’t get too worried about this type of liar, because they’re usually easy to spot when you do your due diligence.
The liars you should be most concerned about are your trusted friends who have good intentions but lead you
astray with their bad advice. They think they’re helping you but they don’t really know what they’re talking
EXPERTS CAN BE WRONG
You don’t need to look very far for proof that even the most trusted of “experts” can be wrong.
In 1899, Charles H. Duell, Commissioner for the U.S. Office of Patents, said, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” We all know that turned out to be a “lie,” but that doesn’t mean he was purposely trying to lead people astray.
In 1962, Decca Recording Company rejected the Beatles. Their reason? “Guitar music is on the way out.” Whoever gave them that advice sure cost them a lot of money.
In 1963, Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” If you believe that advice, then maybe you should rethink your decision to learn online marketing, since no one actually has a computer through which you can reach them?
HOW THIS APPLIES TO YOU
Most people think very highly of their own opinion, and they won’t hesitate to give it to you. Just remember that being an “expert in their own mind” doesn’t mean their advice is good.
Some people will tell you that you can’t be successful. Some people will tell you that staying in your job is more secure than starting a business. Some “experts” will advise you that online marketing is too saturated and you
should stick to offline marketing. Others will advise you that offline marketing is “dead” and all the money is online these days.
Some people believe absolutely everything other people tell them without questioning it at all. Don’t be one of these people. They are doomed to forever go around in circles and never achieve any significant results. Don’t let other people tell you what can and can’t be done. Let them give you their opinions but take them with a grain of salt. Then, test the limits for yourself.
You can access more beginner business strategies like this one, and learn how to model the “thinking patterns”
of the world’s most successful business owners and entrepreneurs, in the MOBE Silver Masterclass.
To learn more about the Silver Masterclass, click HERE.