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1 THE 25 BEST FREE OR LOW-COST WAYS OF MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS 2015 Web.com Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

2 Marketing your business doesn t have to cost a bundle. Today, more than ever before, there are plenty of ways small business owners on a budget can get the word out about their products and services at little or no cost. In this Web.com ebook, you ll learn the 25 best free and low-cost ways to market your business to attract new customers and keep existing customers coming back. Many of these ideas can be put into action immediately so you can see results right away. Armed with these guerrilla marketing tips, you ll be able to win out over your competition.

3 Contents 1 List your business on local search directories. 14 Harness the power of referrals. 2 Boost your profile with public speaking. 15 Get blogged about. 3 Are you on Pinterest? 16 Start a blog. 4 Get a Google+ account and actually use it. 17 Encourage social sharing. 5 Use Twitter for real-time offers. 18 Use keywords to boost SEO. 6 Be prepared. 19 But remember, keywords aren t just for your business website. 7 Get publicity with press releases. 20 Make it easy to contact you. 8 Start an e-newsletter. 21 Make sure you rate. 9 Join the crowd. 22 Ask for the sale. 10 Celebrate your customers. 23 Exchange links. 11 Don t forget to follow up. 24 Text them. 12 Market with your signature. 25 Spur the mobile sale. 13 Make mobile.

4 1 List Your Business on Local Search Directories If your business caters to a local clientele, listing your company on local search directories such as Google+ Local, Bing, Yelp, Citysearch and Local.com is a no-brainer. It s free and makes it easy for customers to find your business when they re searching for what you sell. Make sure your listing includes all the relevant information customers might want, such as address, phone number, hours of operation and directions and/ or a map to your business. Regularly update the information to make sure it s current. 2 Boost Your Profile with Public Speaking Become known as an expert and spread the word about your business by offering to speak to local community groups, business organizations or civic groups that cater to your target market. For instance, if you own an accounting firm focusing on small businesses, you could speak to local business owners groups about tax planning, accounting tips or other useful topics. Pass out business cards, brochures and information about your business, and collect names and s from attendees to who d like to sign up to get marketing messages from you.

5 3 Are You on Pinterest? Use Rich Pins on Pinterest to provide even more info for customers and drive sales. Rich Pins include extra information right on the Pin. For example, a Place Pin shows a location map, address and phone number; a restaurant might use this so people who pin its mouthwatering burgers know where to come get them. The Product Pin adds real-time pricing, availability and where to buy. When customers pin Product Pins, they get a notification if the item s price drops. 4 Get a Google+ Account and Actually Use It Google+ is becoming more important to search results, so if you don t have an account (or have one, but aren t using it), it s time to get familiar with Google+. So far, this social media site is most popular with men (especially younger men), techies and early adopters, so if that describes your customer base, Google+ is the place for you. Sign up for a Google+ Business Page and provide as much data as you can about your business using relevant keywords. Spending even 5 minutes a day on Google+ will pay off. 5 Use Twitter for Real - Time Offers Twitter s immediacy makes it the perfect venue for real-time offers. For instance, if your restaurant is typically slow between lunch and dinner, tweet about your happy hour specials and include a secret code Twitter followers can use for a free appetizer during happy hour.

6 6 Be Prepared Be ready to promote your business no matter where you are. You never know when the person next to you in line at the bank could become a big client! Have business cards, be well-dressed and well-groomed at all times, and be ready to talk about your business whenever a conversational opening comes up. Focus on what you can provide to the person, and you ll make lasting connections. 7 Get Publicity with Press Releases Free publicity about your business in newspapers, magazines, blogs, radio or TV makes a big impression on prospective clients. Use websites like Prlog.org or PR.com to create and send free press releases. These sites offer templates and tips to help you create professional-looking press releases. In addition to sending your release out online, where search engines will grab it, also send it to key reporters or bloggers who write about your industry. Connect with reporters and bloggers on Twitter. PR.com Prlog.org

7 8 Start an E-newsletter An e-newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with customers on a regular basis. Collect addresses at the point of purchase, on your website or anytime you interact with customers. Keep things simple by using an marketing service such as Constant Contact or MailChimp to provide templates, send your newsletter and keep you abreast of CAN-SPAM laws. Be sure your newsletter includes calls to action so customers visit your business or website to actually buy something. 9 Join the Crowd Networking organizations are a tried-and-true way to find new clients for nothing but the cost of annual membership (and some are even free). To choose the right groups, figure out what your goals are and ask other business owners you know what organizations have delivered the best ROI for them. Attend several meetings of a group before you decide it s not for you. Finally, remember you ll get out of it what you put into it. For best results, take an active, leadership role in the group you ll meet more people that way and boost your profile.

8 10 Celebrate Your Customers Use a CRM system to track customers birthdays, anniversaries and other special dates, then send them an with a special offer for example, a free meal at your restaurant on their birthday, a discount or a free gift. The gesture builds goodwill and also boosts sales, since most people will end up buying more in addition to redeeming the free offer. 11 Don t Forget to Follow up The sales process doesn t end when the sale is made. To keep customers coming back and get them to buy more always follow up after the sale with a thank-you , note or call. At this time, you can make sure the customer is satisfied with the purchase; resolve any problems they may have; and suggest additional products or services to complement what they purchased. Follow up on a regular basis for instance, you may want to send customers an offer for a discount a month after their last purchase to keep your business top-of-mind. 12 Market with Your Signature Every you send can be a marketing tool if you include the right information under your signature. At minimum, include your name, company name and address, website URL and phone number, but it s also smart to include your social media handles or addresses; Sign up for my free e-newsletter at [URL] ; and a brief, memorable marketing message such as We do the housecleaning so you don t have to or Serving Boston s best clam chowder.

9 13 Make Mobile is increasingly opened on a mobile device, so make sure your marketing messages are optimized for smartphones and tablets. Text should be concise and easy to read; buttons should be big enough to click on a phone; and images should load rapidly. To increase the chance that your is saved for later reading rather than deleted, include a special offer. 14 Harness the Power of Referrals Satisfied customers can be a great source of new customers just ask them to refer you to contacts who might need what you sell. Develop a system for following up with customers post-sale to ask for referrals, whether that s sending an , making a call or enclosing a form they can fill out in their invoice or statement. Sweeten the deal by offering a reward or discount if a customer they refer to you makes a purchase. 15 Get Blogged About Media is no longer just print newspapers and magazines today, bloggers are as influential, if not more so, as traditional outlets. Get on the radar of key bloggers in your industry by commenting on their posts and including your business name. Offer to provide additional information or serve as a resource for them. Bloggers are busy and under pressure to create lots of content, so if you can help them out with information about trends in your industry, statistics you ve gathered or an interesting approach to business you re using, you ll be their best friend (and get lots of publicity in the process).

10 16 Start a Blog Blogging is one of the most effective ways to boost website traffic, rank higher in search results and get known as an expert in your field. Today s simple blog software (WordPress is the most popular) includes templates and tools that make it easy to create a professional-looking blog. Before you start a blog, though, make sure you (or someone on your staff) have time to devote to creating quality content that provides something of value to your prospective customers. Post at least weekly (ideally three times a week) for best results; share your blog posts on social media to spread the word and attract more visitors to your site. 17 Encourage Social Sharing Google s algorithms have changed and social sharing of your content has become more important to search results. Increase sharing by promoting your content on multiple channels for instance, share a blog post on social media and include a link to it in your newsletter. If you want customers to share your content, ask and make it easy for them with Forward this to a friend! or by using social sharing buttons on your website and in your s.

11 18 Use Keywords to Boost SEO Keywords are words that prospects are likely to type into search engines when they re searching for businesses like yours. For example, if you own a pizza restaurant in Houston, people might search using pizza Houston, pizza delivery Houston, Houston Italian restaurant, or other keywords. Use tools like Google s Keyword Planner, Keywordspy or SEMRush to find keywords that are likely to be used. 19 But Remember, Keywords aren t Just for Your Business Website They re also for your social media posts, pages and profiles; the content you create and share; and your local search directory listings. Using specific keywords boosts the chances that customers interested in what you sell will find you in all these venues.

12 20 Make it Easy to Contact You Include your business s phone number and physical address at the top of every page of your website. Customers today are in a hurry don t make them page down to the bottom of your site or search for Contact Us in tiny type, or fill out an form. Offering a short, simple and easy-to-find way to make contact will help you make the sale. (For a mobile site, consider including a click-to-call button, too.) 21 Make Sure You Rate Encourage customers to review your business on ratings and review sites such as Yelp. These sites are a primary way many customers find new businesses to patronize. Make it easy for customers to review you by including links and buttons on your website ( Check us out on Yelp! ), posting signage in your place of business that shows you re on review sites, or asking for reviews on your receipts and invoices. 22 Ask for the Sale Many small business owners forget to include a call to action in their marketing materials or on their websites. Every marketing message you send and every page of your website should include a call to action. This could be Call Us, Buy Now, Add to Cart, Learn More, Make an Appointment, or any other action relevant to your products and services that drives prospects one step closer to making a purchase.

13 23 Exchange Links Link exchange is the practice of trading links with other websites that are complementary to, but not directly competitive with, your site. For instance, if you own a dog-grooming salon, you might want to exchange links with complimentary businesses such as a pet-food store, a dog trainer or a dog-sitter. Contact the other company and ask if you can do a link exchange (you put a link to their website on your site, and vice versa). It s crucial to make sure any website you trade links with is of high quality, or the tactic can backfire. Regularly check these links to make sure they are still current and that the sites are still providing quality content. 24 Text Them SMS Customers are using their smartphones for everything from searching for businesses to making purchases. If your business relies on a local clientele, consider SMS or text marketing. This can be an affordable way to reach out to customers while they are near your business (or your competitors ) and appeal to them with special offers. 25 Spur the Mobile Any hyperlinks that you include in your marketing messages, social media posts, or text messages should link to mobile-optimized websites or landing pages. That way, customers can browse and buy on their mobile devices without waiting for pages to load.

14 Stay connected with us: If you still have questions, or would like to find even more useful resources, then be sure to visit Web.com s Small Business Forum at It s an online community where you can go anytime to access the latest news, insights, data, expert advice, and free resources including e-books, how-to videos and more. We cut through the clutter and get straight to point about how to gain strategic advantage in today s marketplace. We make it easy to learn, share, and grow your network and business, effectively and conveniently. It s free, part of our commitment to small businesses everywhere!

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