Nine Free or Almost Free Marketing Tips!
Welcome to the first volume of Top Nine is Fine. Every week I will be giving my nine best tips, or my nine biggest things to avoid about a certain topic. You ask why nine? Because I like the number nine, and it’s a magic number. Ok let’s get into it!
1. Social Media Alliances
There is nothing more thrilling than receiving a new message that someone is interested in buying your product. Conversely it is equally thrilling for your customers to receive a surprise reward. Why not give loyal customers a cool reward or discount for sharing your content on social media? It makes sense. Surprise rewards for “good deeds” have a profound psychological effect. We all believe that we are good people, but when we are publicly recognized and rewarded, we have powerful positive feelings of self-worth. When this positive emotion is generated by one of the brands, we associate ourselves with, we tether that feeling of self-worth to that brand. This does three things.
1) Increases that customer’s loyalty and engagement.
2) It encourages others to spread the word, so they can enjoy the reward too.
3) Over time, it creates good will among the masses.
Providing discounts, rewards or perks to followers who spread the word will not only get the word out, it creates a positive vibe associated with your brand. This gives you an opportunity to express the culture of your company, because they are open to your messaging. More about messaging here.
2. Market to your employees
One of the biggest groups that is overlooked by most companies is the staff. Staff sizes range from a few people into the thousands. Even in a three-person company, how much more reach do you think you can get when all of you are promoting together on social media? The answer is, up to ten times more. Remember this can have an exponential affect. What does it say about a company when the staff talks the company up? It gives people confidence and a positive feeling about the brand. It tells a good story about the company's culture, and people want to be part of “Good Culture.”
3. Interactive Posts
Games, quizzes, brain teasers and fun quick competitions are irresistible on social media. People simply love to play. People also love positive accolades regarding their intellect. (winning or getting the answer correct) Attaching a prize to these types of engaging posts will create a community of loyal players. It will also give a new group of people a chance to sample your products or services, who may otherwise never would have given them a chance.
4. Show Your Process
Behind the scenes pictures and videos is one of the most powerful storytelling tools you can have in your arsenal. This one is definitely not free but can be accomplished for a small budget if approached creatively.
People love to see how movies are made, how food is made, how almost anything is made for that matter. There are entire reality TV Shows produced around this idea. Giving your audience a peak behind the scenes could spark new interest in a product or service that you offer. This also can raise your company’s status on the internal credibility meter consumers use to grade companies.
The above photo is a behind the shot of the film Matched. Which we shot in Boca Raton. When we shot the film Matched we had a limited crew, so capturing the entire behind the scenes production was not feasible. However with the footage and photos we did get, we are able to tell a compelling story about how we made the film. This has helped us raise the funds for our next feature film.
5. Become a source
It can be a difficult to find reliable information online. Blogging and publishing valuable information is a great way to earn the trust of the market. For example, I am giving away nine tips that you can do to market your business that does not include you hiring our company. This sends a signal that we really care about your success, and we really do. We believe all boats rise during high tide. However, if was shamelessly plugging our services, this article would feel disingenuous. So, give out useful info, become a trusted source, and when it comes time to have the hiring conversation, your qualifications will have preceded you.
6. Introduce yourself to your neighbors
This applies to people who have businesses with physical locations. Simply print a small offer that is only applicable to your neighbors and go door-to-door and just say hello! How simple is that. “Hi my name is Sal and I just wanted to introduce myself. We have a video production studio two doors down. If you need anything like this, here is a standing discount for our neighbors.” That could be a great way to gain new customers, and if nothing else, make new friends who in turn, may speak about your business.
Partnering with realtors, or commercial property owners / management companies to offer discounts in welcome packages for new occupants & residents will put you in front of a new audience that is relevant to their location. Then, when they pass by your location or find your website, they will already be familiar with your name. This can have a positive psychological effect.
7. Get in front of a camera
Create a blog and YouTube channel. This is a long-term investment, but it could pay off big time! Writing a blog and explaining your expertise in front of a camera not only gives people expert level information, but it also trains you to become more concise and intelligible when you speak in person about your business.
If done well, you can become an authority on a multitude of topics that relates to what you are selling. This increases consumer confidence and trust in your products.
8. Put your name on it
This is certainly not a free way to promote your products and services but can be very effective. Handing out, or sending out items like coffee mugs, phone cases, and other ad-specialties with your company logo on it is a great way to stay in front of potential or existing customers. You can accompany these items with an offer, sweeting up the reception of a free gift even more.
Let’s face it. People like free stuff. It doesn’t really matter what it is. However, if you are thoughtful and give them something useful, they will attach that feeling of “usefulness” with you brand.
9. Charity events
This is an easy one. Everyone feels good when they do good for others. One of the easiest ways to earn good will in your community is participate in charity events. There are so many ways to give back. The best way for you as a business owner is having the people sample your product as part as a giveaway. If you sell soap, donate a bunch of soap. If you make pizza, donate some pizzas. If you provide a service, raffle off one of your premier services. The trick is to have the public associate your with having a great product experience while witnessing your company doing good deeds.
Free and low-cost advertising may not be the most effective methods to use in promoting your business, that is a fact. Critics may go as far to say, “Mass media, digital PPC marketing and other big budget avenues are far more effective.” I couldn't agree more. However, for the small businesses that is just starting out, there are some free or inexpensive ways to grow your business that are worth the time and effort. I wish all of you find your path to great success! You deserve it, so GO FOR IT!
Creative and Film Director
SM Media Group