By Uju Obuekwe
Marketing is an integral part of businesses that want to succeed. Here, I outline three cost-free marketing strategies that you can use immediately to boost your revenue and profits.
Referral Program: – One of the best ways to market your business is to create a structure that lets your customers do the marketing for you. The truth is that we trust personal recommendations more than a company’s advertising or messaging. Research actually shows that people are four times more likely to buy a product when it’s referred to them by a friend; this is also known as social proof.
Establishing a referral program is relatively easy and practically free depending on how you structure it. You have to start by offering a great service or product to your existing clients to make it more likely that they can refer you. Offer your current clients a discount or other value in exchange for referring a new customer.
Let’s take the case of Dropbox, the cloud hosting service that offers cloud storage and file synchronization. When Dropbox was founded in 2007, they were competing against other giants in the industry without the same size of marketing budget. So in 2009, Dropbox implemented a referral program whereby a user who referred a new customer received additional storage for free. This singular technique grew their business so much that by January 2010, Dropbox was growing 15% – 20% a month with about 35% of those new signups coming from its referral program. Dropbox was able to grow from a valuation of $5m in 2007 to $12 billon ten years later.
Content Marketing: – A great way to build trust with your target audience is through your content. By delivering high-quality, relevant content that will engage your audience, you will build brand trust and awareness. Tailor your content to provide value and post content which your audience will find useful, relatable and will keep them engaged.
There are online tools to help make content creation easier. Content encompasses all mediums used to share messaging online. This includes images, videos, infographics, eBooks, website pages, customer testimonials, user-generated content, to name a few. This has the power to improve your brand reputation and complement your other marketing strategies.
Email Marketing: – This is the single most powerful channel to reach your audience and it is also one of the most cost-efficient marketing strategies with a return on investment (ROI) of over 30%.
According to a McKinsey Report, Email Marketing is 40x more effective in acquiring customers than Facebook or Twitter with 60% of marketers ranking email marketing as their best marketing channel.
If you don’t have a list already, start to build one by offering a mouth-watering incentives and value driven content for your target audience to opt-in to your list.
An organically created list and a regular but non-invasive stream of outgoing emails should give you a return on the effort you put into it. As you attract more leads, it will lead to conversions. Ultimately, this means additional revenue for your business.
Uju works with entrepreneurs who want to create financial success through the power of their brand. Follow her on LinkedIn & instagram @ujuobuekwe