If you have a business of any sort, and you think that just the excellent service that you provide will be enough to make your business successful, you are sadly mistaken. Marketing is half the work nowadays, and not having a marketing strategy is equal to setting your business up to fail.
Maybe you’ve heard that hiring marketing consultants is a pricey business you don’t have the money for, but that is far from the truth. Many marketing firms have the option of some free consultation, and we will tell you in this article in which cases you qualify for one.
Your Strategy Needs Improvement
With the invention of the internet, the marketing field, an already complicated science, became even more complicated. Some paid advertisements and a good reputation used to be enough to make your business successful as far as it could reach. However, the internet made wider audiences privy to more content, but it also required new strategies of advertising that can reach further.
Two most popular practices among online advertisers are SEO and PPC. SEO, or search engine optimization, is bundles of data in your site’s contents’ metadata that helps generate possible customers for you by serving your content to searches concerning only your field of expertise. You can hire an SEO specialist to do that for you, or you can learn to do it yourself and have it be completely free.
PPC, or pay-per-click strategy, is similar to old-style marketing in that you pay someone to place your ads on various pages online. However, you only pay a fee when someone is redirected from those ads to your site.
It can be quite hard to determine which strategy would work best for your demographic. If you make use of free marketing consultation, the specialist can help you narrow it down.
Publish Great Content
I don’t think I even need to say this, but it’d be neglectful not to mention the importance of kick-ass content. If you can create it yourself, all the better (isn’t free always better?). Even if writing isn’t your strong point, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting someone on your team to crank out some articles for your blog. Try top 10 lists, tip collections, best practices for your industry, etc. I shared a bunch of creative content marketing ideas here, and Elisa recently rewrote the rules of content marketing for small businesses.
Be a Savvy Social Networker
Create business accounts and participate in the big social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. Add Instagram in there too if your business is image-oriented. Also check out this list of easy Facebook marketing ideas for any type of business.
Develop a Customer Referral Program. Offer existing customers a free product, free month of service, or some other reward for referring new customers. Remember, word-of-mouth is powerful stuff, so friends telling friends about your business is incredibly valuable.
You’ll need to cough up some dough for a prize, but the number of participants and new potential leads you get will be well worth the price. Really tight on budget? You don’t technically need a super expensive prize to get participants. Even a couple high-end water bottles or fancy backpacks might be enough of a draw for some users.
People are Visiting, but No One is Buying
Business terminology for this is conversion – when you want to turn casual browsing into a purchase. If you are struggling with the conversion, and many do, you could benefit greatly from a free consultation with a marketing specialist.
Sometimes, improving your conversion rates are as simple as some cosmetic changes, so your site looks more aesthetically pleasing or gives a more transparent viewing experience. Sometimes, the specialist will suggest a complete overhaul of your conversion improvement strategy, such as building a new site from the ground up, with a step-by-step guide on how to do it successfully.
Simply No Idea What To Focus On
Sometimes, as a small business owner, you are micromanaging everything concerning your business, and sometimes that can lead to you not seeing the forest for the trees. In this case, the job of a marketing consultant would be to help you fish out the best ideas out of a sea of ideas for improving your business. He can make clear which ones and in what way can be the most fruitful for your business, and which ones can be delegated or take a back seat for now.
No matter how much you know about marketing, having a professional of the field weigh in is always a good business move. When it’s free to boot, it makes even more sense to do it. It’s as easy as searching the internet for an advertising agency nearby.
 “What is SEO?” MOZ.
 “22 low-budget marketing ideas for small businesses,” WordStream, Megan Marrs, 25 February, 2020.
 “Conversion Rate Optimization,” MOZ.
“The ultimate guide to PPC marketing,” PPC Hero.