Marketing: Top 5 Free Tools Small Businesses Tend To Ignore

Today we bring you a guest post from Celina Rodger of Dialed-In Local. In this post, she covers some near obvious ways to promote a small business, all of which are often overlooked for various reasons.

When it comes to business, one of the most important rules is that you need to spend money to make money. Without denying the accuracy of this decree, small businesses often misinterpret it.

Establishing a budget for your online marketing campaigns is a smart move, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you should not take advantage of the numerous free tools available to kick start your online venture. The following is a list of free online tools that entrepreneurs should look to include in their marketing strategies.

Press releases

When it comes to integrating press releases into their marketing campaigns, small businesses often argue that professional services are expensive and they cannot afford it. More often than not, working with an “expensive” writer for your press release is recommended, as it has a great potential for attracting new customers.

However, if you simply cannot afford it, you could consider writing your own press releases and distributing them to journalists, bloggers and the local media. Even better, there are many online press release directories that can help you with distribution.

Customer referral programs

Even though this is not exactly a new marketing technique, you would be surprised to learn how few small companies take advantage of this powerful word of mouth tool.

In general, a satisfied customer will talk about you with his friends and acquaintances. To help spread the word, try introducing a system of incentives and rewards for customers, to gratify their efforts.

For instance, you could consider offering a discount for each new client they refer, or offer them a freebie based on any other desired criteria. This sort of “pay it forward” structure will help you build a bigger customer base, which should help reap you more profits.

Guest blogging

Although it may seem that everyone has a blog these days, most small ventures don’t actually have one. In fact, among all of the small business blogs you will find, only a handful will qualify as well-done, quality blogs. A good tactic that can boost your company’s image is to identify the types of blogs your audience frequents and submit guest posts to those sites on a regular basis.

Business network groups

Similar to press releases, small business owners consider business network groups is another expense they cannot afford. While a reputable business network will charge for membership, the advantages will outweigh the investment.

These networks were created to help business owners just like you grow their companies. These groups provide the perfect opportunity to find potential partners and build valuable business relationships.

Journalist networks

One good development over the past decade or so is the advent of websites that connect journalists with news sources. To help kick start your online business, become a source on these sites and browse the daily listings. You will surely find opportunities to get your company’s name mentioned in one of the major publications. Even though not all such opportunities are free of charge, they are a surefire way to attract more leads with just a little incremental effort to what you are already doing on behalf of your business.

This post is authored by Celina Rodger of Dialed-In Local. She feels people suppressing change are fools, as change is imminent and at times it is better to go with the flow then try to fight it. You can learn more about her and her work at internet marketing Nashville.

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