You are running your business or perhaps just starting out and you know that your products or services are terrific and that your customer service and pricing is top notch however you may be struggling to get the word out about your business to attract new customers. Regardless of your advertising budget or your business size or industry, some of the trickiest things in business can be attracting new customers and converting leads into sales.

The marketing landscape has changed and it used to be simpler to decide where to place your advertising budget as the options were more limited and traditional ad forms such as the newspaper, TV ads, and even the YellowPages were alot more effective. This is not the case nowadays and the customers have even changed with the new landscape. While there may be many more advertising platforms and channels available to attempt to attract new customers, the bonus is that many options are very low-cost and often have free marketing capabilities available.

Free Marketing Idea #1: Create Instructive Content

Customers love information. Google is the top source for customers searching for information and most searches aren’t actually for a business or address but rather the majority of searches are performed with customers looking for information. Let’s say for example that your customers are often searching for instructions on how to use a product that you shell. You can capitalize on this by writing educational content and submitting it everywhere you can possibly find that is related online so that as customers read this information they will also see your links back to your website where they can make a purchase. This works very well when creating product reviews, unboxings, and YouTube videos demonstrating a products use and maintenance as an example.

There are literally thousands of sites where you can submit your educational content for free or for next to free. Take advantage of this marketing tactic to grow your business in Ottawa.

Free Marketing Idea #2: Connect on Social Media

Social media is huge. Sorry, did we say huge… we meant to say absolutely crucial for your business regardless of the industry. We’ve heard comments like “In my industry the customers don’t really use social media”. That’s a cop out and an excuse for lazy efforts when it comes to your marketing. Facebook has half of the world’s population pretty much on their platform so how is it that ALL of your customers do not use social media. Perhaps you just think they won’t use it to buy from you. Well that couldn’t be further from the truth. You have to truly understand marketing to get this point as the reality is that rarely does any advertising lead from first sight to purchase.  When this does happen it’s pure magic and impulse buys are great however most shopping, especially these days, requires you to constantly be in front of customers as it will take several customer touches to convert someone into a customer.

For example, if someone sees a review or demonstration of your product on Facebook they may have their interest peaked but they keep it moving with no purchase. To an inexperienced marketer this would seem like a fail however the experienced marketer knows that they will see your review or demo on Facebook and then they will see your review on a website discussing the product and then again on YouTube and then again on a forum where they see others talking about the product. Next thing you know after several touch points the customer has convinced themselves that they need your product and they make contact. If you were to ask them where or how they found you they may say one of the touch points or the last one but may not mention social media and this does not mean that your social media marketing efforts are not working.

The important thing to remember is be everywhere… that your customers may be and social media is definitely one of those places. Plus with social media marketing you can target specific demographics, locations, genders etc. It’s great and you should try it out.

Free Marketing Idea #3: Harness the Power of Referrals

You may have referrals coming in and that’s great or maybe this is something you haven’t even considered. Well referrals are great because the referral’s friend, family member, co-worker or whomever referred them is the best sales person as they will hype up your service and products to pretty much close the sale for you. All you have to do is dip the stamp and sign the deal.

This form of organic advertising is great and you can encourage more referrals by offering a referral reward program or affiliate bonus. This is where some great print marketing comes in and you should definitely order some custom printed referral cards to help promote your business. In fact your current business cards should be modified to have one side related specifically to your business and the other about referrals. This way every customer you give a card to could potentially become a power salesforce for you by referring many people. When you do a good job for people they want to refer you to others so that people they know can get the same great experience. You should offer motivations for referrals as well to compensate individuals that send you referrals as a way to A) encourage more and B) thank your customers for passing on the word about your business.

If you don’t have much money to spend on your business, don’t stress as there are many free ways to market your business in Ottawa, Orleans, Kanata, Barrhaven, Nepean and Gatineau. These free marketing ideas should be able to give you a great start on how you can start improving your marketing efforts right away.

If you are interested in setting up a referral program for your business give us a call or send us an email. We have a lot of experience with referral programs and custom printed flyers, brochures, postcards, and business card size referral card printing to help generate referrals.