Most marketers are not in a position to be forking out hundreds of dollars on pay per click campaigns, especially when they are just getting started, and therefore it is important to research the most effective cheap marketing strategies.
It is true in general that free or inexpensive marketing strategies are slower than most forms of paid advertising, but that doesn't mean that they are not effective. In most cases it is just a matter of having a sound strategy, testing and measuring, and being patient.
Don't be expecting to get results overnight though, because if it was that easy everyone would be doing it, and no one would work jobs.
Before you get started, it is very important to only pick one or two of these strategies and to laser focus on mastering them. Don't jump around from one thing to the next, as you will never get results this way.
If you try something for a week or two and get no results, then don't just give up. Try to work out where you are going wrong, and how you can improve on it. Too many people try a marketing method, and then decide soon after that it doesn't work and end up quitting.
In my five years of experience with internet marketing, here are my top six strategies:
In my opinion blogging is the best way to brand yourself as an expert, and to attract positive attention to yourself.
A blog that is dedicated to a specific niche, has high quality content, and is updated on a regular basis can generate a lot of traffic. It is important to personalise the blog as much as possible by using photos of yourself and including links to your social media profiles.
Obviously blogging is a long term strategy and requires a minimum of 6 – 12 months to start seeing tangible results. If you have a sound strategy, and work hard over a long period the sky is the limit with blogging.
The biggest tip that I can give you about blogging is to write content that is based around carefully selected keywords, don't just write articles that you think people may like to read. Choose your primary keyword phrase first, and then write your article about the keyword(s).
Don't put banners all over the sidebars, instead use an opt in form at the top of the sidebar to build your list, and most importantly write great content that occasionally recommends high quality products using your affiliate link.
2. Solo Ads
Solo ads are one of the best low cost marketing strategies to build your list quickly and cheaply.
A solo ad is basically where you pay some one who has a large list of people that are interested in your niche or industry, to send out an email (written by yourself) to their list.
Usually the person will guarantee a certain amount of clicks, and will keep resending your email until these clicks are delivered. This is a very cheap way of getting targeted people to visit your landing pages.
Be careful though, as there is a lot of fraud with solo ads, so don't just accept anybody. These fraudsters basically pay people to click on your links and enter fake email addresses (usually from the same IP address) and you end up with email addresses that are useless.
The best way to avoid this is to visit Safe-Swaps.com, a website that severely limits the chances of getting ripped off.
3. Video Marketing
Video marketing is not for everybody, but if done properly can create massive exposure quickly and cheaply.
Personally I am not very confident with video marketing at this current time, but would like to improve to take advantage of it.
The key to video marketing is to show confidence and not be boring. Do whatever you have to do to get people interested, and want to show your videos to their friends. If you can get a video to go viral you will experience massive traffic spikes to your website.
A good video is either educational, entertaining or enlightening. People love funny videos that make them laugh.
You Tube is one of the top ten websites on the internet and gets massive amounts of traffic, AND IT IS FREE.
You want to work out a certain angle on how you can get people hooked on watching your videos, and wanting to watch another one.
But, at the same time having unprofessional and boring videos on YouTube actually does your brand a disservice in my opinion, and you should only bother with video marketing if it feels right for you.
4. Facebook Fan Pages
I am not personally a big Facebook user and don't understand the fuss about it, but the fact is that it is the second biggest website on the internet – behind only Google.
Hundreds of millions of people use it daily and a lot of people spend hours each day on it. For this reason you should look at setting up a professional Fan Page and building up a list of Fans.
By connecting your blog to Facebook using an automated service called NetworkedBlogs, you can easily have your blog posts displayed on your Fan Page and visible to thousands of people.
And providing you are posting great content on your blog people will click on these links.
Don't forget to use a welcome page with an opt in form and offer your fans something in return for their email address. This way you get what is called a double lead (a new subscriber to your list, and a new Fan for your page).
If video is not your thing, then you may consider creating some content in an audio format.
Some people hate writing articles or typing, and would much rather jot down a few points and talk about them for 20 – 30 minutes or more.
The most popular format of audio is without doubt podcasts on iTunes, where people can subscribe to a podcast and download the content to their iPod. You will find some excellent content on iTunes and most of it is free as well.
There are a lot of people searching for stuff in iTunes, and at this stage it is relatively easy to be found if you know what you are doing.
Some people even recycle their content so that they turn one type of content into three types (ie. text, video and audio). So you may write a blog post about a topic, and then shoot a video about the same topic, and then use audio from the video to create a podcast.
Podcasting is a very under rated low cost marketing strategy and is often overlooked.
6. Forum Marketing
Forum marketing is a great way to get to know other people and help them, particularly if you are only joining forums that are closely related to your niche or industry.
The most important thing to remember in forums is to not spam people. This will only get you banned and make you unpopular. People don't go onto forums to buy things, so trying to sell your stuff is a waste of time.
People often post problems that they are experiencing in forums, hoping that somebody will be able to help them to find a solution. These are the sorts of people that you want to help and socialise with.
You may be wondering how this is going to benefit you and your business. Well, you can make recommendations to these people and offer them your affiliate link, or you can send them to your blog or landing page for more information.
You can put your website address and some sort of message in your signature, and this will display under your name each time you make a new post on the forum. When people see how helpful you are, and perceive you as an expert, they will click on your links and want to check you out.
This strategy is not going to make you a millionaire, but it is free and allows you to post your links everywhere – without annoying people. The trick here is to bend over backwards to help people and to provide them with value and useful recommendations to products that are going to help them.
In summary, don't try to do all of these strategies at the same time. Only pick one (or two maximum) and aim to be an absolute expert at these strategies, and over time you will definitely get results.
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