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10 Free Marketing Ideas for Small Business From Experts

By Tim Brown
Updated March 13, 2020
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Free Marketing Ideas
Tim Brown
Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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A question that’s often asked is, what can I do if I don’t have a marketing budget?

There are quite a few things you can do! We polled our LinkedIn community to learn about some of the ways they’re using no money to produce results.  Let’s see what’s working!

Free Marketing Ideas

Here’s what we asked:

Here’s what we heard back:

1. Optimize your Google My Business listing

Tracy Kelly, head of Business Development at our very own Hook Agency, says Google My Business is his go-to. Google My Business! Maximize the crap out of it. Get more visibility on Google.”

At Hook, we’ve talked to a lot of our clients about this and have worked to help them maximize what Google my business offers. If you’re looking for more info on this, we wrote a post about it.

2. Get aggressive with no-budget video

Eric Johnson, CEO + CCO of You Betcha Creative Agency had this to say, This is cheating because it’s straight out of the Hook Agency playbook, but I’ve been kicking myself for not getting aggressive with no-budget video sooner. I’ve been posting a few we shot with no money, and the doors it has opened are insane.” 

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Eric is right on with that. Something we try to do weekly and sometimes even daily is communicating with our social media audiences through video. We’ve found fun topics and ways to do it that are basically free. If you have a smartphone and access to the internet you can make great videos. This is a great move for any business!

3. Go live on Facebook to engage your audience

Alison Cromie, a talented creative at Cromie Creative Consultants, There are SO many excellent answers here already. Content, Networking, GMB, Facebook Live. The thing I might add-in is to start reading up and learning more from the experts! A little knowledge goes a long way and may open up opportunities for you to try something new on your own.”

Facebook Live is a great touchpoint here. Something that can boost a lot of engagement quickly and help your brand stay on people’s minds. We’re definitely going to be doing this more and more.

4. Rewrite your website, and use Search Console & Google Suggestions to answer people’s questions

Mike Reid, Marketing Consultant at Encore Business Solutions, “Tighten up the writing on the website — write for customers first, for google second, and for your ego not at all. Check your Search Console (free) to find out what people search that leads them to your site. Check Google suggestions (free) to find out what related searches are. Then answer those questions better and more clearly than you are now (and better and more clearly than your competitors). Turn walls of text into tables and bulleted lists. For many companies, improving their existing content is a bigger opportunity than making new content.”

Copy is king in so many ways. All too often it’s completely overlooked and not optimized for conversions. At Hook, we regularly look into our copy strategy and make sure that it’s always pushing the limits of creativity and excellence. Don’t forget to target your customers that are searching for your business with Google’s free tool Search Console.

5. Create a content strategy and actually execute

Adam Lofquist, Marketing and Brand Strategist, “Develop a sound content strategy and execute the hell out of it. In today’s world we all have the power to create content and distribute it with our phone and computer.”

A content calendar or content strategy can make all the difference. Consider measuring your engagements and finding what days and times are working best. Focus in on one strategy and stick with it. Don’t get distracted by trying to optimize every social media platform at the same time. Instead, focus on one platform at a time and learn to do that platform really well.

6. Collect and analyze your data – understand your revenue and brainstorm for more

Mitch Larson, Director of Marketing Technology at Titan 47, “1. Data. Start collecting and analyzing your data at least in a Google spreadsheet. Understand where your revenue is coming from and brainstorm how you can get more. Use this data to justify raising your budget in the coming months.”

Understanding data metrics can be an excellent tool. If you don’t know what’s working then how are you supposed to keep it working well?

7. Get your team together and train them on free networking tactics

Steve Slater, Supervisor SEO and SEM at HealthPartners, “This really all depends on the size of the company and what we define as budget. For a small company just getting your team together and training them on free networking tactics could be huge. Just don’t think about the cost of getting all of those people in a room and training them. Could be an expensive meeting.”

We can totally agree with this! At Hook, we’re consistently offering training and courses. In the end, better-equipped employees are going to do better work.

8. Community events, networking and podcasts

Zhara Davies, Marketing Specialist, “Spread brand awareness through community events, networking, contact podcast hosts for that industry, and even initiate an event. It’s a bit tough to do these with what’s going on, but building a one-on-one connection is still golden for conversion.”

Connection is a key metric for conversions. Especially for companies with premium services or more expensive products. Take this one to heart and reach out to a few more people on LinkedIn or attend the next marketing event that you can. No matter what industry you’re in, it always pays off to have more connections.

9. Look closer at your analytics and double down on what’s working

Trevor Stolber, Digital Marketer at STOLBER.com, Drilling down in more detail into your analytics data costs nothing other than time and can yield very useful and actionable items. Continuously building on what is working and what isn’t is very valuable. Furthermore, it can even uncover budget that could be put to better use. If you find something that only has very minimal or negative ROI use the data to help free that budget up and be used where it is working.”

This is a great insight. Don’t throw money into what isn’t working, spend it on things that will make your company more money.

10. Optimize your reviews and keep on creating content

Michael G., Senior Paid Media Specialist at Perrill, If your business is review driven optimize your reviews. If not then it’s content creation.”

Reviews are crucial for many businesses. Reach out and ask for reviews, respond to reviews, and never stop pushing for better content.

Summary

There are many great points above and plenty of good ideas to put into practice without having to spend any money at all. Here’s a summary of what we heard:

Check out the articles we linked above and feel free to reach out or drop a comment if you have any questions! We always want to be a resource.


 

Watch this quick video to see how savvy businesses save time and hook better leads:
 

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Tim Brown
Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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