Small Business Marketing Made Easy: 5 Free Ideas

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Looking for free or low-cost marketing ideas? You need strategies which are not only cheap, but which are also easy to implement.

Before you get started, think about your business. What interests do your customers have? Market to them where they congregate. When you’re marketing, you have to be visible where they are. A friend runs a hairdressing salon. She sponsors a junior sports team.

Let’s look at five low-cost ideas.

1. Make Friends and Influence People: Dive Into Social Media

Here’s a secret: you’ll get the best results from social media if you choose a network you like, and have a plan.

Don’t try to be everywhere. Ask your customers which network they use. If your customers aren’t using Twitter or Facebook, you need to know that. You can still use these networks to develop contacts.

2. Are Your Customers On Forums? If They Are, Use Forum Marketing

Forums have existed as long as the Internet. People congregate to chat about their passions, and to get information. For example, when I decided to switch from PCs to Macs in 2005, I joined a popular Mac forum. I got encouragement and great information.

3. Press Releases: Get Into the News

Free publicity is golden. It can take your business to a whole new level. But it’s a little like winning the lottery. You’ve got to buy a ticket. Press releases can be your tickets to a windfall of free publicity.

4. Advertise Using Information With “Native Advertising”

Big brands are investing heavily in “native advertising.” This form of advertising is old-school advertorials updated.

The brands using it dispute this. Nevertheless, that’s what is is: advertorials are camouflaged to look like editorial content.

You can use native advertising too. Remember, your advertising is mimicking editorial content. It slots seamlessly into the platform on which it appears.

5. “You Are Here”: Advertise Using Images

Image advertising is fun, powerful… and best of for small biz people like us, it’s easy.

Google+ and other social media sites make it easy to use images. In its latest update, Google+ showcases images beautifully, and even provides tools to edit your images after you upload them. Images with quotes are popular, and they don’t take long to create. You can use your own photos, or source them from sites, Be sure that the images you choose have Creative Commons (free to use) licenses.

No images? Check your phone. These days, cell phone cameras create images which display well on the Web. Choose a photo, add your quote, upload it, and you’re done.

So there you have it: five low-cost marketing ideas you can use today.

, and on Twitter: @angee

Author: Angela Booth

Copywriter Angela Booth's clients tell her she performs "word magic." Whether she's writing advertising materials, Web content, or ghostwriting for her clients, she's committed to helping them to achieve results, fast. Author of one of the first books about online business, Making The Internet Work For Your Business, Angela's written many business books which have been published by major publishers. She's an enthusiastic self-publisher and writing teacher.