No-cost marketing; invest your time (and nothing else)

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No-cost marketing; invest your time (and nothing else)

All you need to do is put aside some time to implement these simple, valuable ideas into three fundamental areas.

1) Customers

Take the time to show appreciation and you’ll reap the returns.

Follow-up on your new customers.  Here’s the first step to building your customer relationships by asking for feedback from new clients - how they discovered you, how did they find your services; the sales process, your staff, etc.  Ask them at the counter or call them.  If necessary resort to an impersonal email or a pop-up online survey – however your response rate will be low and you’ll miss an opportunity to put a voice and personality behind your business.

It’s the little things that make a real difference. Take the time to thank your customers, making a call or send an email to let your customers know you appreciate them. It’s a small action that will help you build a rewarding and loyal relationship. 

Contact your inactive customers. It’s worth spending the time to try to reconnect with your more valuable clients. Discuss their business, any new challenges that you might be able to help with and let them know you want them back. If nothing else you may come away with some insights to help retain your current customers.

2) Engagement

Spend the time attracting new prospects and building networks for your business.

Where possible start writing articles for local papers, alumni magazines or professional newsletters. A spokesperson (respected and recognised) to represent your business can open up new professional and customer networks.

Create a blog for your website. Provide your customers information that they will find interesting and useful. If you’re not a budding writer yourself, look around to staff or a student marketer or journalist looking to gain some experience. For some help on getting started visit http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/02/14/blogging-for-beginners-2/

Join blog conversations. Interact with blogs within your industry, and related areas of interest for your customers. Give some free advice, helpful hints and get involved in discussions.  If done correctly your help as an authority on the topic will be appreciated and you will be reinforcing your company’s brand and values.  If there is some supporting information or a related blog on your website - add a link. This way you’re not advertising, you’re just providing a detailed response.

3) Review your website

Make some improvements to your site to increase your Google search ranking and ensure you are attracting potential customers.

Start with adding testimonials from your clients – written or video, everyone likes a recommendation; regardless if you know them personally or not.

Google likes to see when you have refreshed your website with new and relevant content. Add testimonials, add a comments or feedback page, add or refresh images.

Increase your SEO. Google search loves key words within web pages. Rewrite some of your content and add some key words for your industry – look at the terms your prospects use to search and find your business. Below is an over-the-top (real) example of content with key words:

Traditional anniversary gifts and modern anniversary gift lists can be used as a guide for anniversary gift ideas and anniversary gift giving.

Google will actually remove and penalise sites that over use terms like this example.  Ensure you have clever copy that uses key words and still delivers a powerful message.

You don’t need a marketing department to build your business. You need to dedicated time to manage your customer relationships, introduce yourself to new customers and markets and ensure you’re getting maximum results from your website.

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