Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How to spend nothing on promoting your business: Web Platforms

When starting a business from scratch finance can be limited to begin with until sales are generated - however the problem is that without promoting your new product or service effectively, potential customers will not know that your business exists.

Here are the second in our series of suggestions for free/cost effective ways you could factor into your marketing plan to help reach your target customer:

1.     Website

Research shows that customers prefer businesses that also have a website not just a social media page. There are several free DIY (Do It Yourself) web builder sites such as – Moonfruit.com, Basekit.com and Wix.com (being three of many).  These sites provide templates online for you to create your own free website. It is advisable that you research the DIY websites available and the advantages/disadvantages of setting of a DIY website or acquiring a web developer. Just remember there is no point in creating a wonderful website if no one can find it, so you will need to think about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

TIP: Note that often with sites that advertise themselves as ‘FREE’ there can be hidden costs attached to the domain name, web hosting, add on features etc. So thoroughly

2.     Blogging

Blogging is a cost effective way of keeping customers interested in your business products/ services or informing them of updates such as new product launches to build excitement and encourage word of mouth. Blogging can be run on free software such as Word Press (www.wordpress.org), Blogger (www.blogspot.com) or Movable Type (www.movabletype.com) - all it costs is your time. A standard blog post will be between 50 and 500 words, and should be informative and opinion based to build a following.

TIP: Use Google Alerts to help you to follow latest news and trends in your industry. This can help to build ideas for informative and up to date blog articles while showing yourself as a real expert in your field.

3.   YouTube                                                                                                                     
Youtube is now the second largest search engine worldwide, so if you can leverage its online force to communicate your product/ service and engage your audience it can be an indispensable tool for business and marketing.  You can build your own ‘channel’ to share videos, whether it be a tutorial showing how to operate your product or use your service or showing a funny/ creative behind the scenes video to giving a personal touch to expose your business to social media users in the hope it goes viral.

TIP: Think less is more when building videos. People have a very short attention span, so short and snappy works better than a 10 minute interview.
If you missed the first in this series around social media, hop back to it here.
For more advice on starting or growing your business contact The Women's Organisation on 0151 706 8111 or info@thewo.org.uk
Blog by Enterprise Enabler Francine Taylor & Engagement Officer Jo Austin

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