In today’s digitally driven world, online marketing is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to spread the word about your business. Especially if you are starting out, you don’t need a big-budget marketing strategy to get your small business off the ground. Got fifteen minutes? Here are three things you can do today to market your business for free:
1. Create a free Google My Business account
A free Google My Business account can help you provide your potential customers with basic details about your business, such as your phone number, address, images, and even directions to your store or office. A Google My Business account is a must-have for local businesses. Using this free account, you can allow prospects to reach out to you directly without going through third-party directories. A GMB page also offers an excellent opportunity for businesses to leave a positive first impression on their customers. Not only can you display day-to-day work photos and provide a link to your website, but you can also build trust by showcasing customer reviews and ratings.
Creating a GMB account is fairly easy and straightforward.
- All you need to do is visit this page and click on the ‘Manage Now’ button.
- Sign in using your email ID and follow the instructions to create an account.
- You can customize your profile by adding business hours, images, address, phone number, and directions to your company.
Once you have created the account, you can perform regular activities to engage with your target audience. Create posts, talk about your business events, promote deals and offers, etc. You can even respond to reviews on your GMB account or receive direct messages from your customers.
A GMB account also offers analytics that helps you determine various traffic sources so that you can identify and improve high-performing lead channels to boost sales and revenue.
2. Establish your social media presence
Twitter and Facebook
Engage with users. Sign up for a Twitter and Facebook account for your company. Post regularly, the best times are Tuesdays and Fridays. Start simple and post 2-3 times per week. You can post the same message on both Twitter & Facebook. Join Facebook groups talking about relocation and Tweet to users about moving.
LinkedIn is the go-to platform for businesses of all sizes. Especially in the B2B space, marketing on LinkedIn can help you connect with potential clients and build meaningful collaborations with other businesses in your industry. But here’s the caveat. Just like any other social media platform today, LinkedIn has reached millions of users and has stopped doling out engagement to content creators. So, in order to get maximum visibility and engagement, you might want to purchase a premium subscription. However, if your content is compelling enough to move your target audience to action, you can build a strong LinkedIn presence without spending a dime.
Although Instagram and Facebook are owned by the same company – Meta – both platforms differ in terms of positioning and how users consume content. People use Instagram primarily for entertainment. The last thing they want is a business selling a product or service. So, if you are planning to dabble in Instagram marketing, make sure you are creating engaging content that can break the scroll and make your target audience pay attention. By posting consistently high-quality content and engaging with potential leads through direct messages or comments, you can build a positive, top-of-mind brand image.
3. Develop an email marketing plan
Email is one of the best free marketing tools that can help you generate leads, increase brand awareness and get repeat business. When done the traditional way, email marketing can be time-consuming. However, with email automation tools, like Mailchimp, you can ease the burden and do a lot more in a lot less time.
Plus, by creating email templates with adequate room for personalization, you can get your campaign running with minimal business marketing efforts.
The biggest challenge marketers and entrepreneurs face is getting their email lists right. It is important that your email reaches the right people at the right time. For that, you can collect the email addresses of your existing customers and reach out to them later with deals and offers they might be interested in. You can also start sending out newsletters to educate your customers about your moving services or provide helpful tips and tricks to reduce the use of packaging materials, for instance.
Another way to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns is to retarget customers who move frequently—for example, tenants, people with transferable jobs, etc.
4. Do Some Local SEO
When people look for a moving service, they prefer someone operating in their vicinity. That is why it is important to boost your local SEO presence so that your potential customers can find you and connect over the phone when they need you. Local SEO can be done in various ways. If you have a website, you can consider optimizing your content for geo-specific keywords. For example, if you are based out of Tampa, Florida, you can use keywords, such as ‘moving services in Tampa, Florida’ or ‘movers in Tampa, Florida,’ etc. Using a combination of these keywords throughout your website content, you can enhance your local visibility and generate leads that are ready to hire you.
Local search engine optimization can also be done through off-page channels. For instance, you can regularly publish GMB posts, submit brand descriptions on local directories, or post in social media groups that target the local demographic. Once your campaign is in motion, you can use Google Analytics to measure performance and improve results as you go.
If you operate in multiple locations, consider adding dedicated location pages to your website. Doing so will help your potential customers get relevant information about your services in the location of their interest.
5. Manage Business Review Websites
Moving businesses receive a lot of customer reviews – both good and bad. The fact that these reviews are posted on third-party websites, such as Yelp, Better Business Bureau, ConsumerAffairs, Foursquare, etc, you need to be vigilant about your public image and what customers say about you behind your back. It is important for you to track and manage your customer reviews on these websites in order to protect your brand image.
The only thumb rule to manage review websites is to address negative reviews first. If a customer has taken the pains to post a negative review about your business, there must have been a solid reason behind their actions. Respond to their review promptly and encourage them to contact you through proper channels so that the desired resolution can be reached.
On the other hand, it is also important to acknowledge positive reviews and appreciate their time and effort for giving you free publicity.
6. Start a Blog
Customers tend to trust a business that commands authority and demonstrates unparalleled knowledge of the trade. As a moving business, you can educate your potential customers on various aspects of moving so they can be fully prepared on the day of the move and avoid mistakes that cost time and money.
You can also use your blog as a communication channel between you and your customers, wherein you can talk about your new service vertical or announce your presence in a new city. If you recently upgraded your fleet, you can inform your prospects through your blog.
A blog offers endless possibilities to connect with your customers and build a reputation people can rely on. However, there are certain challenges that come with starting a blog. First of all, it isn’t easy to stay consistent, especially when you are hardly getting any engagement. Secondly, you might run out of ideas after a few weeks of posting. Thirdly, writing blogs takes time and effort.
While outsourcing this task to a content marketing specialist is the right thing to do, that will require a certain investment. If you feel you are better off handling revenue-critical tasks instead of blogging, then delegating this task to a niche writer is the best way forward. P.S. Stay away from beginners, though.
7. Form Industry Partnerships
Regardless of how competitive and ruthless the moving industry is, you can still find people worthy of partnerships. Partnering with trustworthy moving businesses allows you to explore opportunities that would otherwise be off-limits. Plus, in case you land a big client, having a helping hand will enable you get the job done right the first time.
Having someone watch your back is reassuring, especially in the moving business where everyone else is trying to cut each other off. Furthermore, you can form partnerships even outside your industry. For example, you can collaborate with realtors, who can supply you with quality leads – people who are ready to move into their new homes. Or, you can partner with a warehouse owner or commercial fleet business just in case you need extra space or wheels for large consignments.
While some partnerships can help you with moving projects, others can give you qualified leads or generate free publicity. Therefore, it is recommended to nurture every relationship that you build within or outside your industry.
8. Post Helpful Videos
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is at least worth a million. With the rise of smartphone devices and Internet services, most users now prefer watching videos to reading plain text. Although textual content will always stay relevant, it is crucial to tap into the demographic that prefers videos over texts.
As a moving business, you can create videos to give your customers a sneak-peek into the behind-the-scenes action so they get to know how you work and the attention to detail you ensure with every moving project. Even if you don’t have the time or resources to create a professional video, you can shoot snippets here and there to give your customers insights into your business processes or get familiar with your team.
When it comes to distribution, you can share your videos across your social media handles or embed them on relevant landing pages to increase visitor retention.
9. Set Up a Customer Referral Program
Customers love to recommend a business that they have had the pleasure of working with. But what’s in it for them? Why should they recommend your business? This is where a customer referral program provides the necessary motivation. You can set up a customer referral program and promote it aggressively to new and old customers. Leads that come through referrals are more likely to convert and offer repeat business.
However, you have to plan strategically so that you don’t keep losing money without generating meaningful leads. The most straightforward referral model rewards the lead source after the sale has been made. You can either offer a flat dollar amount or give them exclusive discounts on their next move. You can be creative and think of several ways to reward your customers while earning quality leads for your moving business.
You can set up a customer referral program on your website, wherein a unique referral code is assigned to each customer. Or, you can hand out physical referral cards to help you quickly trace the lead source and ensure the reward goes to the right person.
10. Run Informative Webinars
If you have been in the industry for a long time, you may have gathered a lot of information and insights that you can share with your peers and patrons. Running informative webinars is the best way to spread the word, and the best part is that it is free of cost.
Conducting webinars is not as difficult as you might think. All you need is an Internet-enabled device with a decent camera. There are several video conferencing tools, like Zoom, where you can host your webinar without paying anything to the platform. Zoom, for instance, offers 45 minutes of free uninterrupted calling. You can even record your webinar and share snippets across social media for maximum reach.
Before creating a webinar, define its purpose and what you seek from it. Do you want to discuss a new service vertical or the latest innovations in the industry? Whatever your agenda is, jot it down and prepare concise points that you can elaborate on during the webinar. Also, encourage your audience to ask questions and participate by offering their views on the topic.
11.Host a Social Media Contest or Giveaway
Everybody likes free stuff, and they can’t turn a blind eye to a giveaway contest. You’d be surprised to know that most people participate in giveaways on a regular basis to generate side income. On the other hand, businesses consider it an essential part of social media marketing to boost engagement and traffic. The best part is you get to define the rules and sway your audience whichever way you want. You can ask your audience to comment on your blog or engage with your social media posts. The search engine algorithms will see this as an organic activity and will reward you with better visibility and ranking weightage.
Social media giveaway contests can attract hundreds of entries, and managing them manually can be difficult. There are certain tools like RafflePress, Woobox, etc, that you can utilize to set up and manage your giveaway contests. The tool will also pick a winner at the end of the contest based on predefined criteria. And you can adjust your giveaway pricing according to your budget.
12.Send Digital Newsletters
Newsletters are an essential part of digital marketing, and they are known to generate repeat business and convert warm leads into paying customers. Sending out newsletters keeps you top of mind with your subscribers. As you continue to send meaningful newsletters to your customers without asking for anything in return, they will trust you even more and will most likely hire you again or refer you to a friend or family member.
You can make your newsletters enjoyable by incorporating visual content. If you are handy with graphic design apps like Canva, you can easily put together an infographic to make the information easy to read and understand.
13. Donate to or Sponsor Fundraisers and Charities
Fundraisers and charity programs give you recognition and visibility as you contribute to a noble cause. While it’s a great way to give back to the community, fundraising programs help you stand out from the competition and create networking opportunities that may lead to growth and expansion.
You can collaborate with charities that share your beliefs or support a cause close to your heart. Another advantage of donating to charities is tax benefits. And above all, it feels amazing knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of people.
14. Send Out a Customer Satisfaction Survey
Sending out a survey is a great way to feel the pulse of your customers, and it also shows that you care about them and value their feedback. A customer satisfaction survey is generally handed out after the successful completion of the moving job. You can draft your survey with questions that probe into the customer experience and any obstacles they came across during their moving journey with you. You can also ask your customers if they would like any additional services or options to enhance their experience.
Once you have these insights, you can work on improvement areas and minimize the room for error for subsequent customers.
Free press! When you signup for a free subscription you’ll get inquiries from reporters. Select the articles relevant to moving and you are cited in the journalist’s publications. For urgent requests they have you can follow them on Twitter @helpareporter
16. Who always knows people that are moving? Realtors!
Stop by their office with a few donuts and business cards. Call up the top three in your area and introduce your services. Share your rates with them and the best way for clients to reach out. Do you offer storage? Staging assistance? Realtors may need additional services that you can help them with throughout the move process.
Business owners are usually skeptical about investing in expensive marketing software or CRMs like Hubspot. If you are marketing on a small budget, the above strategies can help you acquire new customers and retain existing ones without spending a fortune.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!