While businesses can (and do) spend a ton of money on marketing to see results, they don’t necessarily need to. With some creativity and clever strategizing in the marketing department, a company can see similar results doing it all on its own.
Developing an effective organic marketing strategy on a low budget isn’t exactly a piece of cake, but it is possible. Here, 13 members of Business Journals Leadership Trust share some key ways to do so.
1. Interview your executives and clients.
Interview your executives and clients (together if possible). Interviews are a quick and scalable way to generate deep thought leadership content. Include your clients and prospective clients to get a two-for-one deal that promotes you both. Integrate social media postings of the published interviews into your and your clients’ platforms for a simple social media campaign with expanded reach. – Ryan Blanch, Repute PR + Law
2. Help current clients with their needs.
Focus on customer service! There are millions of ways to bring in new clients, but customer service is by far the best and most productive strategy. By helping our current clients with their needs, we receive referrals. We feel that our clients are our best spokespersons. The key is to provide top-of-the-line service. – Arnold Garza, Houston Center Real Estate
3. Use measurable tools for assessment.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Focus is essential and having measurable tools to assess success. Public relations and customer relations are the two most affordable programs for early-stage companies. However, to drive social revenue, direct marketing also needs to be part of the program for growth. – Donna Michaels, LMGPR
4. Narrow your audience.
Narrow your audience and then narrow it again (and maybe one more time). Too often, businesses think their audience is “everyone,” which is the fastest way to have an audience of no one. Drill down. Today, you can market online based on gender, race, age, location and interests — the options are nearly infinite. Define exactly who you want to talk to and then go find them. – Sam Davidson, Batch
5. Set KPIs that matter, and keep up with them.
Set key performance indicators that matter and ones that you keep up with! Whether it is paid or organic, it is important that you identify what measurable number you want to focus on. If you’re not sure where to start, do a competitive analysis and see what your competitors have that you want! – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency
6. Deliver an incredible customer experience.
Deliver an incredible customer experience. Deliver incredible results and your business will grow without marketing and advertising. Quality is still king, so there are always opportunities for new business because someone is always letting their client down! Deliver a world-class service and you will have more business than you can handle! – David Wescott, Transblue
7. Build meaningful, engaging experiences.
Build experiences that are highly meaningful and engaging, and be able to measure the responses. Give customers opportunities to embrace what you do and what you offer, encouraging them to also invite their communities to join them in supporting you. Conversely, be sure to embrace the community around you by using engagement strategies that leave a positive, lasting impression. – John Harris, Digital Environment LLC
8. Have a defined point of view.
Have a well-defined point of view you want to share. Create a strategy that provides for specific and consistent representation in various channels where your customers are. Create avenues for customers to provide input about what they would like to see and use those customer ideas publicly as you then see to meet those needs. Ask for testimonials and referrals, and use them to market the company. – Kimberly Janson, Janson Associates
9. Join industry-specific associations.
One of the most effective approaches to developing an organic marketing plan is to join industry-specific groups or trade associations. With insights gathered through active participation, an organization can build a targeted marketing plan that will reach prospective customers where they are likely to visit for content relating to their industry. – Quoc Nguyen, Arthur Lawrence, LLC.
10. Create informative content.
Creating high-quality, informative content focused on the right keywords can do miracles for driving organic traffic to your website. This has been the most cost-efficient strategy to generate leads for our company and it’s fully scalable. The key is consistency. Figure out the frequency at which you can post new content, whether it’s daily or weekly, and stick to it. – Peter Abualzolof, Mashvisor
11. Know your core audience well.
Knowing your core audience and segmentation. Also, knowing which customers convert the strongest and have the largest purchase history should be your main target to generate the most amount of ROI. You then can test at varying levels with other marketing channels and diversify the audience. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
12. Collaborate with a microinfluencer.
Collaborate with a budget-friendly microinfluencer with an authentic appreciation for your products or services to strengthen your online marketing strategy. Compared to the classic influencer with tons of followers, microinfluencers have smaller audiences, but can be equally persuasive among their niche audience. To start, look for a well-matched microinfluencer who is open to in-kind trade. – Lincoln Jacobe, 6 Pillars Marketing
13. Speak at events and write articles.
I’ve found the most powerful organic marketing strategy is public relations. PR provides authentic, credible and affordable awareness and perception-building. Speaking at industry events, writing articles for industry publications, submitting for awards and making yourself available to the media are all foundational PR strategies that move the needle. – Kent Lewis, Deksia