February 9, 2009

5 Ridiculously Cheap Online Marketing Tactics

So, you have decided to start an online business. Good idea! It does not cost much to set up one either. However, it’s the online promotion after that which could cost your dearly. People with a lot of money to spend on advertising can try using the traditional methods like billboards, newspaper advertising & radio & television advertising to promote their online business. But here’s good news for all those people who don’t have a massive budget like eBay or Amazon. You can still get people to visit your website by using these amazingly simple & cheap techniques.

Save Money

Forums: Did you know simply participating in various forums & posting your views & ideas can potentially bring new growth & life to your online business?

We are all looking for traffic to our websites & if we can get it for free with little effort, that’s even better. Did you know that when you sign up as a new member at a forum, you can usually create a “signature” line that will be attached to every post that you make in a forum. This signature line can contain your website URL & as other members read your post, this will provide a route for potential customers to find your website.

By participating in forums, you will meet other people who have online businesses & who have a lot in common with you. Not only can you share tips & tricks of the business, it’s sometimes comforting to know that there are others who share your occupational frustrations & will be there to support you if you need them.

Example: Aside from the thousands of general forums, there are also many niche forums on every imaginable topic on earth. You can go to a dedicated forum of the topic your business deals in, post a comment & leave your signature to get more traffic. If you are a real estate company then you can go to a real estate forum, start participating in the discussions & have a signature link pointing to your website to increase your brand visibility.

Blogging: A business blog can be one that tells customers more about the business & why they are a trustworthy company. This often gives a personal face to the company & instills confidence in both the business & the employees & services that are featured in the business blog. The blog should be updated regularly in order to attract regular readers who want to find out more about the business & any news that occurs within that business. Even a small business with little start-up cash can create a marketing blog.

Here a classic example of effective blogging: Nike has a blog of its own to promote its product, nikeblog.com. Here, they have detailed information of all the shoes launched & the readers can comment about them as well. By having a dedicated blog like this, Nike has expanded its marketing program without too much fuss or extra effort.

Save money cheap online marketing

Social Marketing: This helps you build your brand loyalty & the customer base. By signing up for one of the services, you can market the brand to a large number of like minded audiences & increase your sales.

Example: You can sign up with Social networking sites like FaceBook, YouTube, Ning, & MySpace & use their free services to attract attention to your company’s products & services. It is not going to cost you even one penny & you can reach out to a large number of customers who can be your potential clients.

Viral Marketing: Another innovative way of marketing is Viral Marketing. Viral marketing is a strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others by creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure & influence.

Example: Hotmail.com, one of the first free Web-based e-mail services used this strategy quite effectively. They sent free e-mail addresses & services where they attached a simple tag at the bottom of every free message such as “Get your private, free e-mail at http://www.hotmail.com” & sent it out to everyone. Then they waited for people to e-mail their own network of friends! Their strategy was simple. Amazing trick, isn’t it?

Directory Submissions: This is also another effective method of building links & marketing online. It’s effective especially when building links for niche & not so competitive search terms. If you’re not too greedy with the terms you target in your directory submissions, you could be pleasantly surprised with the results!

Here’s an example: The site statisticalforecasting.com used a directory submission service called www.directorymaximizer.com to submit its link to different SEO friendly directories. The site was submitted to directories using 5 different titles & descriptions. They used titles like ‘Forecasting & Statistics in Business’, ‘Statistical Forecasting’, ‘Methods of Forecasting’, ‘Statistical Techniques’ & ‘Statistics & Forecasting’. The most important thing to note is that this site has never been promoted by any method other than directory submissions by directorymaximizer.com & they’re still ranking in the Top10!

So, if you take advantage of any or all of these marketing strategies, you are bound to benefit too. It also saves your marketing money & start up costs!

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