Seven Effective Marketing Tools That Don't Cost a Dime

by Marcia Layton Turner

What does it cost to market your business to thousands or even millions of potential customers? The true answer is: as much as you want to spend — or as little. Sure, you can pay for advertising, sponsorships, PR firms, trade show participation and SEO help, but you really should only be doing that if you have the cash flow to support it.

The truth is, some of the best marketing tools available are completely free. Some have upgrades you can pay for, but those are optional. They do take time, however, so be prepared to invest a few minutes or hours to get up-to-speed and maximize the value of each.

To boost the effectiveness of your marketing program by adding some new tactics or improving on what you’re already doing, take a look at these 7 helpful tools:

Marketing assessment. Before you start overhauling your marketing approach, consider taking a look at where you stand, at least online. HubSpot’s Marketing Grader gives you a score out of 100 to indicate how well you’re doing marketing-wise, and then offers specific tips for improving your score. It’s useful as a one-time checkup or a regular evaluation.

Customer insights. The most successful businesses know what their customers want and expect from them, and they consistently deliver. What is it your customers really want from you? Are they getting it? Where could you improve? You can ask all these questions and more using SurveyMonkey.com. Up to 100 responses are available at no cost.

Pursue free publicity. Everyone knows that media attention, or publicity, is the most valuable type of marketing. Landing an articulate quote in Businessweek or getting a positive product review in Cosmopolitan can be worth serious money. Fortunately, connecting with reporters isn’t as hard as you think. Register for a free account at HelpAReporter.com and you’ll receive three emails daily, Monday through Friday, telling you exactly what reporters need in the way of sources.

Monitor your mentions. To stay on top of when and where your product or company is mentioned in the media, sign up for free Google Alerts. Receive email notices as media mentions happen, daily or monthly. You can also set up alerts for your competitors or for hot industry topics, so you’ll always be ahead of the curve.

Schedule social media. With more and more business happening online, through social media networks, it’s important to be present on these online channels. But you can’t spend all day posting Facebook updates or tweeting and still run a business. That’s why HootSuite is invaluable. It aggregates all your social media accounts and allows you to post to multiple platforms at once.

Content strategy. For many companies, keeping up with the constant need for content can be killer. Fortunately, there are services that offer free blog posts and articles you can use to fill your pipeline. EzineArticles.com is the largest of such services, which allows you to search for topics of interest to your customers and use them with permission as long as you credit the writer.

Look to video. Like most marketers, you’ve probably been avoiding creating videos. Fortunately, video today is easy to create and post, especially when you have YouTube available for distribution. Set up a YouTube channel, post simple videos, and watch your web traffic skyrocket. Yes, it’s that powerful. And it’s free.

Getting in front of your target audience doesn’t have to cost lots of money. Using these free tools, you can find out what your customers want from you, position yourself as an expert, and attract more business — at no cost.

Sources:
Ezinearticles: http://ezinearticles.com
Google Alert: http://www.google.com/alerts
HelpAReporter: http://www.helpareporter.com
HootSuite: https://hootsuite.com
HubSpot’s Marketing Grader: https://marketing.grader.com
SurveyMonkey: http://www.surveymonkey.com
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com

About This Author

Marcia Layton Turner writes regularly about small business. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Entrepreneur, Bloomberg Businessweek and Black Enterprise, as well as at CNNMoney, Amex OPEN Forum, and Entrepreneur.com.


Sign Up Now
Receive a weekly email with featured articles and valuable insights for today’s business owners, as well as access to our entire archive of articles.
Subscribe »


Start Your Cash Flow Conversation
Give us a call at 1-855-PNC-CFO5 (1-855-762-2365) or fill out our simple form and a PNC Business Banking representative will get in touch with you.
Request a Contact »

Important Legal Disclosures and Information

Sources:

Ezinearticles: http://ezinearticles.com

Google Alert: http://www.google.com/alerts

HelpAReporter: http://www.helpareporter.com

HootSuite: https://hootsuite.com

HubSpot’s Marketing Grader: https://marketing.grader.com

SurveyMonkey: http://www.surveymonkey.com

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com

PNC is a registered mark of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (“PNC”). This article has been prepared for general information purposes by the author who is solely responsible for its contents. The opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of PNC or any of its affiliates, directors, officers or employees. This article is not intended to provide legal, tax or accounting advice or to suggest that you engage in any specific transaction, including with respect to any securities of PNC, and does not purport to be comprehensive. Under no circumstances should any information contained in the presentation, the webinar or the materials presented be used or considered as an offer or commitment, or a solicitation of an offer or commitment, to participate in any particular transaction or strategy or should it be considered legal or tax advice. Any reliance upon any such information is solely and exclusively at your own risk. Please consult your own counsel, accountant or other advisor regarding your specific situation. Neither PNC Bank nor any other subsidiary of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., will be responsible for any consequences of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained here, or any omission.  Banking and lending products and services, bank deposit products, and Treasury Management products and services for healthcare providers and payers are provided by PNC Bank, National Association, a wholly owned subsidiary of PNC and Member FDIC. Lending and leasing products and services, including card services and merchant services, as well as certain other banking products and services, may require credit approval.