You likely have heard the phrase, “you need to spend money to make money.” I'm not here to argue that from either side but digital marketing has allowed businesses with very small budgets to make a big impression. While it hasn't exactly leveled the playing field, it certainly has helped businesses gain a larger audience with very little investment.

Most of these tools and strategies are free. But it's important to note that when it comes to social media or online advertising, you will have to spend some money. In these situations, it's best to create a very targeted audience for the strongest return on investment. After all, Facebook and other online platforms are very happy to take your money. But if you tell them exactly who it is you want to place your message in front of, you will spend less of it and achieve greater click-throughs.

4 Tools and Tips to Gain a Larger Audience Through Minimal Investment

Before we get into the tools and tips for better marketing on a small budget, it's important to layout the assumptions. We are assuming you have a website and social media profiles on the platforms your target market visits most frequently. If you don't, those are the first things you need to secure.

Also included in this list at the end of each tip or tool is advice on things to do later. These items require a little more investment but should be on your To Do List when you have additional money or are drawing up your next budget.

Now let's get back to that list.

Keywords

What do people use to search for you? What phrases and questions might they ask to find a business like yours? Incorporate these into your web copy. The top keywords and phrases you want to place for should be used in prominent spots on your website such as headers and titles.

But don't stop there.

Make sure that these words as well as the cities and areas you serve are used throughout your web copy. Write articles around these phrases as well.

If you have a website, you can go make this change now in a few minutes and then brainstorm ways you’ll create content around those words, phrases, and questions.

Thing to do later: redesign your website with a professional writer or SEO expert who can make the most of your web copy to bring in more interested potential customers and increase your organic rankings.

Call to Action 

This is probably one of the most commonly overlooked ways to improve your sales. When people are reading your posts or content and they've gotten to the end, they have spent time with you. Unless they are related to you or they owe you a lot of money, to make it that far shows interest. Capitalize on that by asking something of them.

Your call to action should fit the stage of the sales cycle they are in. For instance, if someone is checking out your about page they generally are just finding out about you and want to know more. Ending your about page with a “buy now” button Is probably a little premature. On the other hand, ending a demo video with a buy now call to action is not.

Thing to do later: Track and test your calls to action. Words, fonts, colors, sizes, buttons, and locations all feed into a person's likelihood to follow the call to action. Test these things by creating multiple ways to format the same call to action. Analyze your data to see which are your most effective.

Blog

A blog is a great way to allow your audience to get to know you on a more personal level. It's also the perfect way to tell your business story and allow it to evolve over time. It provides a way to let your personality shine through encouraging people to do business with you.

Keep in mind blog posts should have calls to action as well.

Thing to do later: create a written solution to your customer’s biggest problem. Use it as a lead magnet to increase sales.

Explanation and Framing

While you are reworking website copy, make sure you use some copyrighting skills. One of the many “tricks of the trade” is explaining why your company is the best. Then, use that reason to shape the best buying practices. For instance, if you provide Solution A in your business, create content around how Solution A is the only way to get the best solution.

Marketing your business doesn’t have to be expensive. Now is the ideal time to use some of these inexpensive practices to grow your audience and establish know, like, and trust to improve sales.

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Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots. She helps chamber and small business professionals find the right words when they don’t have the time or interest to do so. 

Christina hates exclamation points and loves road trips. Say hi on Twitter or reach out on Facebook.