Marketing can be an amazing practice that helps you grow your audience and take your small business to the next level. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done — especially for small business owners without a background in marketing.
However, understanding which tools can streamline the process and make your marketing efforts more effective can greatly improve your chances of competently promoting your business. As such, familiarizing yourself with key, cost-effective tools can help turn your marketing struggles into marketing victories.
Here are affordable marketing tools for small businesses.
Why Marketing is Essential for Your Small Business
Marketing is an important aspect of business at all levels, ranging from small start-ups to giant, established corporations. This is because no matter how amazing your products or services are, you won’t be able to sustain a business if your target consumers aren’t aware of them. In addition, promotional materials are vital for convincing consumers that your products or services are worth spending money on.
Unfortunately, marketing can sometimes seem like an intimidating and expensive undertaking — especially if you’re a first-time business owner doing it yourself. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated and costly.
Marketing tools have revolutionized marketing in recent years for small business operators such as yourself. Instead of having to pay for expensive ads in various media, you now have options to create and disseminate your marketing materials affordably.
Understanding which tools you can use to make marketing your small business as affordable as possible can greatly improve your ability to promote your business and find entrepreneurial success.
Email Marketing Services
Over the last decade, email marketing has become a staple in the promotional arsenal of businesses across industries. The reason for this is that it is an effective way to speak directly to consumers and grow a following.
In addition, a strong email marketing presence can help businesses increase brand loyalty in consumers, keep consumers informed about new offerings and promotions, and even increase online sales. Given the many benefits of developing an email marketing practice for your small business, this is one of the first marketing tactics you should prioritize.
And while you might think setting up a robust email marketing campaign might be an exorbitant expense; this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Today, there are many email marketing services with basic tiers that are either extremely affordable or completely free.
However, if you don’t feel confident in your personal abilities to craft a strategy and write emails, you may need to hire someone. As such, that can add some costs to the process of engaging in this marketing practice. Despite this, email marketing can provide you with a wide range of beneficial returns and far outweigh the cost of engaging in this practice.
SEO Research Tools
Though it may seem like a lofty, complicated process for the uninitiated, SEO (search engine optimization) research doesn’t have to be difficult. While there are SEO processes that are more advanced, simple keyword research can help you grow your small business and reach a wider audience with relative ease.
In essence, SEO research tools help you identify which keywords your potential consumers are searching for. With these insights, you can craft website copy and blogs that utilize these keywords. Eventually, when people search for these specific words or phrases, your website should pop up on search engines.
However, it must be noted that to engage in SEO effectively, you’ll need to be consistent with your efforts. This often means having to craft new blogs, which utilize keywords specific to your business, for your website on a regular basis. Like email marketing, you can either do this yourself or hire help.
When it comes to the cost of SEO research tools they can vary significantly. While some services may cost hundreds of dollars a month to provide you with in-depth insights, other simpler tools are far cheaper. As such, SEO marketing efforts can be tweaked to fit your specific budget, resources, and schedule.
Though it’s not often looked at as a marketing tool, social media has the power to significantly grow your small business’s brand awareness and following. In addition, if you craft content and post it all yourself, this robust marketing tool can be completely free.
Typically, there are two keys to successfully marketing your business with social media. These keys are consistency and content. Like other forms of marketing, you’ll need to engage in it with regularity to see significant results. In addition, you’ll need to be posting content that somehow speaks to consumers, whether that’s good copy, blog posts, eye-catching design, or other important elements.
Depending on what space your small business is in, different social media platforms will be more conducive to your marketing efforts. However, it never hurts to have a robust social media presence across a range of platforms, as this can widen your reach while also making your small business seem authoritative and reliable in consumers’ eyes.
A tip for utilizing social media as an affordable marketing tool is crafting unique and creative content. While you may be able to get by just posting updates and promotions, having enjoyable content can make your efforts more potent and effective.
Some ideas you could use include providing insights into your specific business or related topics, such as informative blog articles about skin for beauty companies, or fun content that people can follow along with, such as a video series exploring a certain topic. Ultimately your personal values, creativity, and industry will inform the type of social media content you create. And like other forms of marketing, if you feel like you’re not capable or don’t have enough time to do this effectively, it never hurts to hire help.
Marketing Automation Services
When it comes to marketing a small business, there’s a wide variety of efforts you can engage in to spread your reach. Unfortunately, keeping track of all your different marketing tactics can get very complicated very fast if you’re doing many different things.
If you’re looking for a way to simplify your marketing campaigns without breaking the bank, investing in a marketing automation service is a great option. These services typically feature easy-to-use platforms that let you automate all of your marketing efforts so you can focus on running your business. This can include anything from social media ads to email marketing messages and it will considerably simplify your role as a small business operator and marketer.
While some may see this as an unnecessary cost, when compared to what small businesses can expect to pay marketing agencies, these services are an amazing deal. For a small subscription fee, you can plan and execute marketing campaigns at a high level so your small business can reach a wider audience, boost sales, and foster brand loyalty with consumers.
Marketing Your Small Business Doesn’t Have to Be Costly
It’s easy to fall under the impression that marketing a business is a huge, complicated, and costly undertaking. While it may have been a more difficult and inaccessible practice for small businesses in the past, today, online tools have made the process far easier and more affordable.
From using email marketing tools to notify consumers about sales to utilizing social media to forge a deeper connection with a growing audience, there are now a number of affordable tools you can use to market your business. As time goes on and new affordable marketing tools arise, it’s important to take advantage of them and propel your small business to new heights of success.
About the Author
Ryan Ayers is a researcher and consultant within multiple industries including information technology, blockchain and business development. Always up for a challenge, Ayers enjoys working with startups as well as Fortune 500 companies. When not at work, Ayers loves reading science fiction novels and watching the LA Clippers.