Costly marketing strategies and high-budget spending – that is what many people think when advertising is mentioned. Being the proud owner of an online shop, advertising in the digital space is vital to your growth and survival. However, many other online businesses are targeting the same consumer base as you, and it can be hard to remain competitive in the advertising arena on a limited budget.
The good news is that you don’t need an unlimited marketing budget to get a competitive edge when it comes to advertising. There are ways to do it all for free and generate leads with a high potential to be converted into loyal customers.
Wondering how you can advertise your online shop for free? Here are seven ways to do it.
1. Social Media Marketing
Social media has emerged as one of the biggest game changers when it comes to brand recognition and building a loyal following. With social media, you can connect with consumers to develop and sustain relationships with them by posting interesting, non-promotional updates. This, however, doesn’t mean you should join every social media platform imaginable. Relevant ones include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and Reddit.
Blogging presents an opportunity to establish yourself as an authority in your respective industry. If your online shop is centred around selling fashion accessories for women, then offering them information and advice on accessorising (how-to tips and latest trends) can help you grow an audience of potential converts.
What’s more, your blog posts can be mentioned in your social media posts and forums, where you also ask your audience to share. And the more people read the post, coupled with an effective search engine optimisation strategy, the more Google will deem it important and will make it appear on the first page of relevant search engine results. This will allow you to grow your audience even more.
3. Video Marketing
Video marketing is synonymous with YouTube marketing, as this is the leading platform for this type of marketing. YouTube has more than one billion users, which is a third of all people that use the internet, making it one of the best places to launch an engaging vlog. You can also re-post your videos on social media platforms and your blog to kill three birds with one stone.
4. Email Marketing
When it comes to customer acquisition, 81 percent of SMEs say email is their number one marketing channel, according to a report by Emarsys. The same report also noted that 80 pecent of SMEs use email for customer retention. In other words, email dwarfs all other marketing channels due to its sheer power for direct reach and impact.
5. Customer Testimonials and Reviews
Modern word of mouth marketing comes in the form of customer testimonials and review websites. But only 33 percent of businesses are actively seeking them. Considering that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as the traditional word of mouth (recommendations from family and friends), asking satisfied customers to review your online shop could do wonders for your customer acquisition efforts.
Now that you know ways in which you can advertise in the digital space for free, you don’t have to stress about excessive expenditure on marketing if you don’t have to. But there’s no reason you can’t mix and match free advertising with paid advertising when you can get loans specifically for online sellers and business owners to cover any deficit in your marketing budget.