If you are a start-up or a small business with little fund available for business promotion, there are ways to market and promote your content without spending too much. The World Wide Web has made it easier for you to keep pace and compete with big and branded companies.

Here are four cost-effective content marketing strategies that small businesses should employ to promote and brand their business.

Cost effective content marketing strategies

Integrate your Employees into Your Content Marketing Plan

Do you notice how companies are integrating their employees into their content marketing strategies?

Many companies are starting to realise that their first brand ambassadors are their employees. As insiders, your employees are the ears and eyes of your customers which gives them the “real deal” when sharing information. They are your voice and can genuinely communicate your company’s story, vision and values to your customers.

This fact has been reiterated in a study conducted by Linkedin and TNS Employee Insights. Accordingly, a marketer’s greatest brand assets are their fellow employees and an increase in employee engagement can increase profitability and affect customer retention.

Mike Schroeder, CEO of TNS Employee Insights, shared that in order to make this effective, you have to determine employee engagement level. Once you know how engaged or disengaged your employees are, educate and coach those who can truly communicate your values to your customers. This can be done by sharing your social networking and online policies. Finally, when it is time for them to start sharing knowledge to the world, part of the information should come from you as well, in the form of blog articles, videos, images etc.

Use Social Media to Promote and Spread Your Content

We cannot deny the power of social media. We know how far-reaching social media channels are. It is an evergreen marketplace for leads and loyal customers. Facebook has more than one billion user, Twitter has around a billion users, Linkedin has more than 200 million users, Pinterest has more than 70 million users. Why not leverage this?

Diversify your social media strategy. Identify your target base and look into where your customers are. Sometimes the process will take time so integrate different social media strategies that will help increase your reach. However, if you are having problems with your current market base and you have used different strategies but they do not work, then don’t hesitate to look into other channels and drop those that are not working for you.

Use Free Tools to Maximise Content Management, Creation and Planning

Why spend when you can get tools for free? There are so many free online content marketing tools that can help you with your content management, creation and planning. Of course, the purpose of using free online tools is to help beef-up your initial content marketing strategies. However, free tools have limited functionalities. As your business grows, it is also imperative to invest in tools that will give you a deeper understanding on business sustainability and those that can analyse lead and income generating funnels in your marketing process.

Leverage Loyal Customers to Become Brand Ambassadors

Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) or word of mouth advertising is one of the strongest forms of promotion. It pulls people to your business especially when your brand ambassador is a highly credible person and someone who truly believes in your company.

While many big brands use celebrities and well-known personalities, your loyal customers can be your brand ambassadors. Like your employees, your customers have genuine experience that they can share to others.

They can spread the word about you through their family, friends, and sometimes, people that they do not even know. If your loyal customers refer you to another, then reward them with a gift certificate or a free item. Your ideal client or loyal customer can work hard for your company at little or no cost from your end.

Aside from WOMM referrals, your customers’ testimonials can be powerful baits for leads and potential clients. Studies show that customer testimonials can increase customer conversion. How do you integrate this with your content marketing plan? Your website content matters. Copy in your webpages or landing pages should at least show a testimonial from a customer. This adds credibility to your pitch.

What other cost-effective content marketing strategies do you know of? We love to hear about them.

Read more: Cost-Effective Content Marketing Strategy