When it comes to marketing your business, it’s worth considering what options are out there that will not cost you a penny. Below, we’ve listed our top five free options that can help towards forming an integrated PR and marketing plan when budgets are limited:
- Social media platforms
Social media is a growing medium, with multiple free platforms available for individuals and businesses to use for networking, communicating and building a presence online.
Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or YouTube there are platforms out there suited to different business requirements that with a little time and effort can be used as a powerful and effective marketing tool.
- Press coverage
It’s not uncommon to think that to get press coverage in local or national industry publications you have to pay for the privilege, but this is not always the case.
See also: How to write a press release
If you have a press release to issue that is localised or newsworthy, that steers away from being overtly commercial, you would be surprised with the pick up this may get. Gaining press coverage in target publications is all about building relationships with key editors. It’s not something that will happen overnight, but start local, and start building a key contact list who you can send press releases and news updates to.
Some publications may also be looking for industry experts to contribute to articles they are preparing and therefore the more you can keep your name in front of them, the better.
It goes without saying that networking at key events is a great way to get your business and personal name out there.
Meeting and speaking to new people is not everyone’s cup of tea, but set yourself a target of meeting two or three new people at each event you go to. You never know when they may pop up again and how they may be able to help you and your business.
It’s always worth following up with the people you have spoken to via email or LinkedIn as a starting point for building the relationship.
- Speaking at events
Speaking at seminars or workshops is also another great way of widening your business reach by being in front of an engaged audience, which may not otherwise have been possible.
Many events will have speaking slots to fill, that will not require any payment, so it’s worthwhile seeking these out and exploring the opportunities.
- Email marketing
Email marketing requires a database of email addresses. However, if you have built or have access to a database, it’s a very valuable resource and opens a wealth of opportunities for digital marketing campaigns.
There are tools out there, such as MailChimp, that allow you to set-up your own e-mail marketing campaigns for free while gaining further insight into your customers and their preferences.
Although it takes time to build an email database, it’s a worthwhile exercise that has many long-term benefits. You can always start small, and aim big.