Cost-free Marketing Channels You Shouldn't Overlook
With so many choices when it comes to marketing channels, it's overwhelming to decide which one or ones to use. And while a good suitable channel will prove a profitable asset to your business, an unsuitable one can yield bad results, hindering your marketing efforts and wasting valuable time. So how do you know which marketing channel is best to choose?
What Is a Marketing Channel?
A marketing channel consists of strategies, platforms, and tools used by businesses to convince their target audience to buy their products or services. This could be in traditional forms, such as direct mail, newspaper, radio, and TV advertising. Or by more modern methods, such as promoting your online store's products through Instagram Shop. Although there are numerous avenues of marketing channels to explore, many digital marketing channels are free to use.
Types of Free Digital Marketing Channels
- Your company's owned digital marketing channels: its website, blog, and email campaigns
- Social media marketing channels: such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Quora, Reddit
- Organic search engine marketing channels: such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube
- Other digital marketing channels: influencer marketing, unconventional ("guerrilla") marketing, podcasting
Spotlighting the Top Free Digital Marketing Channels
Social media marketing is an ideal free channel for a new business in the making to announce its presence and generate customer sales. With nearly 50% of people worldwide using social media every day, tremendous opportunities await those who take advantage of social media marketing. Just one social media platform alone could have billions of monthly users. And with nearly three-quarters of Instagram users eager to consume brand content, you'll have the perfect target audience.
When venturing into social media marketing, pick the platform that best suits your brand and target audience demographics. For B2B marketing, LinkedIn is most ideal, while Millenials prefer Instagram and the preference of Gen Z is Snapchat. Make sure relationships have priority over sales to build a loyal audience following. This, in the long run, will generate repeat customers who will not only purchase your products but spread the word of your brand to all their connections. Consistency is the key to maintaining your audience connection with a constant posting schedule. So choose social media brands sparingly to avoid being overwhelmed by having to continuously post throughout numerous platforms.
Many influencers on social media will form a partnership with your brand to promote its product or service to their base of loyal followers. Your products will have an effective spotlight before a target audience, thanks to "social proof," a studied phenomenon that one's recommendations, opinions, and actions can greatly influence others. Other forms of social proof include testimonials, case studies, and product reviews. Influencer marketing is divided into six main categories: sponsored content, collaborated content/products, reviews/testimonials, contests/giveaways, long-term social media ambassadors, and "social media takeovers," in which you grant an influencer posting privileges to your social media platform.
While popular influencers with a larger following may require payment as compensation for promoting your brand, smaller influencers may only request complimentary products or your promotion of their social media account in lieu of any payment compensation.
Before venturing into influencer marketing, do your homework. Does your potential influencer have followers that are part of your target market? And of those followers, how engaged are they in this influencer's content? Concentrate on micro-influencers. That is, those with 5k to 50k followers. Those with more than this range of followers tend to be more choosy, expecting higher compensation. On the other hand, not only are micro-influencers more effective, they're more likely to be flexible with your allotted budget. Research has shown that celebrities influence just 3% of shoppers. But by forging a stronger connection with followers, a non-celebrity recommendation can influence 30% of followers to a potential purchase. In contacting potential influencers for your brand, send a direct message to their social media account, keeping your request clear and precise. Once your influencer partnership has evolved into a long-term relationship, your influencer has become your brand ambassador. By that time, a larger percentage of the brand ambassador's followers are more likely to turn into customers.
Content marketing is content that is created, published, and distributed for the purpose of attracting and engaging a target market. There's an endless variety within the types of content you can develop, and all at zero cost with highly effective results. These include blog posts, videos, podcasts, GIFs, images, case studies, infographics, white papers, and ebooks. Content marketing can bring you three times the leads at over half the price when compared with traditional marketing. In addition, content marketing plays a large role in SEO and social media marketing.
To begin developing content marketing strategies for your business, remember to concentrate on content value. Your content must interest and engage your viewers, such as through entertainment or tutorials. To save from having to create so much new content, reuse previous content for other marketing channels. A lengthy blog post on your site can be remade into a YouTube video and a YouTube video repurposed into a blog post. Small snippets of this video can be displayed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat. A small section of your blog post can be condensed into a Facebook post. It will take time before seeing the full results of content marketing and its rewards. As with Social Media Marketing, success depends on constantly providing your audience with quality material.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the method of improving the search engine result ranking of a website or web page in order to improve the quantity and quality of traffic. Developing the right SEO is as time-consuming as any other marketing strategy, but your efforts will be rewarded. Finding and implementing the most effective keywords will allow searchers to find your site more easily and give Google a better way to index your site. Chrome's free browser extension, Keywords Everywhere, will help you find keywords that attract a considerable amount of web traffic. After collecting a group of search keywords that reflect the type of audience you wish to attract, create the web content around them. If you use Shopify, the platform makes it easy to integrate keywords to your Shopify site. For blogs, there are helpful online tools such as Yoast, SEMrush, or SEO Review Tools. After your site has been optimized, don't forget to constantly renew it with fresh content, as Google's rankings give priority to the latest content. Your older content can be refreshed by replacing any outdated content with newer material and keywords.
When it comes to internet marketing, email marketing is one of its earliest tools and still offers low budget overhead with substantial profitability. There are numerous campaign varieties for email marketing. Among them, sending emails to new subscribers, emails to shoppers who have abandoned their shopping carts, emails to encourage new and inactive customers to repeat their purchases, or emails to solicit feedback and reviews. You could send emails for announcing new products, discounts, contests, giveaways, or other offers. Captivate your audience with a lead magnet that entices them to keep engaging with your brand. This could be through a special offer or sharing information of value with your readers. Use email templates to make your email content more effective and not as time-consuming. Generate an email list segmentation to divide your subscribers by certain criteria into smaller segments, such as geographic location or purchase history.
Maintaining a successful marketing campaign no longer requires a large marketing budget. In the days of traditional advertising, businesses typically had to pay a hefty sum to get their message out. It took a big financial investment in advertising before companies could turn a big financial profit. But welcome to the 21st century. Even with a $0 marketing budget, anyone connected to the world wide web can make use of the unlimited outreach of no-cost digital marketing channels. Now, the major expenditure for running a successful marketing campaign is effort and consistency.
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