The marketing industry in the UK is huge and at a net worth of £21.4 billion, it’s no surprise that it’s the largest in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. And of course, for an industry to be worth that much, it means a LOT of people are pumping in a LOT of money. But what about small businesses, who need marketing to help them get seen but can’t afford to spend millions? Well, there are plenty of methods that won’t break the bank.
In case you hadn’t noticed, social media is big business and a highly effective tool when used correctly. Unlike traditional marketing tools that rely on advertising directed at customers, social media is all about transparency and honesty. Consumers can learn about your brand from their peers, and see your products in use, rather than on display.
This provides you with some leads (although not masses), but also more brand awareness and a positive brand perception (when executed well). The key thing with social media is about getting your name out there because with so many monthly active users on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin, there’s a ready-made audience just waiting to hear your message.
Social media can be an entirely free tool, with profiles and posts free of cost. If you do want to go down the advertising route then this can still be done for a relatively small cost, and it’s efficient because they can be tailored to your intended target audience, making for a better conversion rate than if you were to simply put it out to the masses.
This method remains one of the best lead generation (and lead conversion) tools around because it can end up entirely cost-free.
Directly communicating with your prospects and targets with engaging emails, offers great conversion rates. It’s also a popular tool for generating new leads from existing customers because it provides the opportunity to showcase what else you offer, without much introduction to your brand.
Emailing people is, of course, free of cost. However, to pull off a successful email marketing campaign, you may want to invest in a platform such as MailChimp or Vuture. These will help you design better templates, add “call to actions”, rely on automation and report on the success (with open and click through rates). These tools remain fairly low cost though, meaning email marketing is a highly accessible method of lead generation.
Creating, curating and distributing valuable or useful content is a great way of attracting potential new customers. There are many forms, which makes it a flexible way to market yourselves, depending on your budget. Content marketing ideas include low cost options like blog posts, how-to guides and opinion pieces, as well as slightly more costly options like videos or podcasts. Again though, even at the upper end of the scale, they remain cost effective.
Content marketing is especially good for generating new leads from entirely new customers. Showcasing expertise or engaging with people is a great way to pull them in, and it’s an organic way of getting yourselves in front of people, instead of advertising to them.
Of course, it’s no good creating great content if no one is going to see it. You need to make sure you’re implementing SEO in order to rank highly on search engine pages and therefore get noticed by potential prospects.
This is done by ensuring a good density of keywords, organic yet well-placed backlinks and high quality content. Search engines continue to get smarter every day, so it’s not enough to cram some keywords in there. The strategy needs to be about quality, not quantity.