Business How To

Inexpensive ways to grow your business online

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Find out how to grow your business online without breaking the bank with this top advice.

Whether you’re a business start-up or you’re simply operating your business on a shoestring budget, you’ll still have the same dreams and aspirations as the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg – to succeed and grow your business. However, the prospect of marketing and increasing the exposure of your business online can seem daunting. Particularly when you don’t have the multi-million-pound advertising budgets that Mr Gates and Mr Zuckerberg now rely on.

The good news is that marketing to and capturing the attention of your target audience needn’t cost the earth. This article is geared towards those seeking low-cost marketing techniques to drive traffic to your business online and build a customer base with longevity.

Establish a presence on relevant social media channels

Take some time to figure out the right social media channels for your brand. Decide where your target audience regularly hangs out on social media. If it’s the younger demographic, you might want to focus more on Instagram and Facebook. If it’s B2B or you’re targeting a more professional audience, Facebook and Twitter could be better suited. Often, the success of any social media strategy is being able to share your content with the right people and let them do the hard work in spreading the word. If you are thinking of using multiple social channels, software such as HootSuite can be hugely beneficial in managing your social communications.

Craft interesting, helpful content that solves problems for your target audience

Of course, users on social media will want a reason for sharing your content with their friends and followers. That reason is normally that it answers questions or solves common problems for them and others. Creating interesting blog articles and infographics doesn’t cost money, only your own time. Not only do the major search engines like Google appreciate original, shareable content, your target audience will also get on board with your brand quicker. Helping prospects to become customers and customers to become loyal brand advocates in time.

Entice customers to your website with attractive initial discounts

If designed properly, discounts can appeal to a new wave of customers without damaging or cheapening your brand. Using discounts is proven to be hugely effective at attracting first-time customers in a plethora of industries. In the world of iGaming, operators such as Casino Cruise give out 200 free spins on video slots to show them the ropes. Some will move on and won’t play any longer, but others will enjoy the experience and deposit some of their own funds.

It’s the same in e-commerce where big brands like Banana Republic offer discounts on seasonal clothes, offering as much as 40 per cent off the retail value without damaging their brand. Food and drink delivery services such as Deliveroo also offer a way in to new customers by offering cut-price first meals to demonstrate the enjoyable experience of having fresh restaurant food delivered to your door. It’s all about giving customers a metaphorical taste of what’s to come.

Harness the targeting power of paid advertising

The beauty of online advertising is that it is 100 per cent manageable. You can control every aspect of your paid advertising, from your budget and ad copy through to the users you wish to target. Whether it’s paid adverts on Google’s search engine (AdWords) or social ads via Facebook or Twitter, you can get your brand into the right conversations with users online pretty cheaply. Facebook ads allow you to set daily and lifetime budgets for your ads and target your ads to users with a personal interest in the services you offer.

The old adage “Rome wasn’t built in a day” applies very much to low-cost marketing techniques. There is an element of trial and error involved, but these low-risk strategies can also pay off in a big way if you can start to generate some traction around your brand online.