Being a small business owner means you have a lot of hats on your hat rack. As an entrepreneur, you’re already a natural marketer for your brand, but with the help of additional tools and strategies, you can create a successful DIY marketing strategy without a large financial investment. 

The best approach is to create your strategy first and then find the tools to help you implement it. The more visibility you create for your brand, the easier it will be for new customers to find you and learn what your business is about. 

There are plenty of free or low-cost resources that will help you create a data-driven plan to achieve your goals. Keep on top of emerging technologies and platforms to find new opportunities to reach new demographics.

Here are five marketing tools and strategies you can get started with right now. 

1. Use a Marketing Automation and CRM Tool 

Integrated CRM and marketing automation tools provide your sales and marketing team with critical data that will help you create organic leads for your business. The data you collect will tell you exactly how your consumers interact with your content — how long they read your emails, what emails they open, and what promotions they click on. 

A CRM is a database that keeps track of every interaction a customer has with your product or software. It consolidates all of your customer relationships into one dashboard. Marketing automation assists you with managing email marketing campaigns that nurture your CRM leads, funneling that data in your dashboards for simple analysis. 

For eCommerce businesses, a CRM can help provide recommendations to customers based on past purchases, keeping track of items customers have placed in their carts and abandoned. You can also set up triggers based on consumer behavior, so if they download a guide or piece of content on your site, you can deploy an email series that provides them with similar content. 

Automation is an especially useful tool because it creates a personalized customer journey for each consumer, which lets your sales team share content and resources with leads that will be most helpful. Together, these tools will allow you to track each lead, focus on those most likely to make a purchase, determine lifetime value and profit generated, and explore where there is room for improvement.

2. Don’t Neglect a Social Media Strategy 

Social media is not just a tool for escapism. It’s an imperative marketing tool every business needs to leverage. 

Before you choose which social media platforms and tools you want to use, sit down and figure out what your business goals are for your social media strategy. Some questions to think about: 

  • What are your qualitative goals? 
  • Are you looking to sell more products? 
  • Do you want to create visibility for your business and the people behind it? 
  • Do you want to grow your following organically
  • Or, are you simply looking for another channel to push out and distribute your content through? 

Whatever it may be, know that there are tools at your disposal for you to use. Take advantage of free templates and videos online to walk you through creating a strategy that maximizes social media growth

Once you have your strategy down, choose the specific tools and platforms that will best help you reach your goals. Keep in mind that most social media platforms require you to post at least once a day in order to stay relevant and on the top of the social feed, so your best bet is to create a social media calendar and schedule posts ahead of time to keep up. There are many free apps available that will help you manage all of your social media accounts from one dashboard; these apps will also let you schedule posts, respond to comments, and track analytics. Try them out and see which one works best for you.

3. Get the Most Value out of Your Paid Ads

When you invest in paid ads, it’s best to choose a platform that will push your business to consumers who are already interested in your product. When you have a specific goal and budget in mind, research which platform will work best for you to reach that target audience. 

Start out by picking a budget range. What’s the most you’re willing to spend, and what’s the least you expect to spend? Analyze your marketing strategy and pick a specific goal you want to reach. 

Facebook, for example, allows you to target specific audiences by demographic, interest, or geographic location, and they also provide ad consulting services to help you meet your marketing goals. Take advantage of these free services at your selected platform in order to maximize the potential reach of your paid ads.

4. Practice Consistent SEO 

Keywords are still king in SEO, so don’t forget to work them into your content. Take advantage of free SEO tools that help you research which keywords to focus on for each piece of content you create, whether it’s social media, a blog post, or something else. Moz’s Keyword Explorer, for example, will search through over 500 million traffic-driving keywords to find the best keywords for your website. Brainstorm which keywords are relevant to your business and build an SEO strategy around them. 

The key to staying competitive is to be consistent with your strategy. As you add more SEO-friendly content to your website, Google and other search engines will slowly recognize the value and rank your site higher and higher over time. 

It’s worth investing in SEO strategy because it can create an alternative revenue stream for your business. For example, a new customer who has never heard of your business can find you by searching for a keyword that you’ve built an SEO campaign around. 

5. Don’t Forget the Analytics

The most important part of any marketing strategy is analytics — if you’re not tracking the results of your implementations, you can’t know whether your strategy is successful. Setting data-driven goals will ensure that your online presence grows at a continuous rate. 

Data is at the core of any SEO, social media, paid ads, or marketing automation strategy. Whichever marketing software you choose should provide you with important insights into how your content lands with the specific audience you target. 

Setting reasonable but motivating deadlines will help you reach your goals faster. Try setting quarterly goals for growth and having regular check-ins to review your inbound marketing metrics and progress towards the goals you’ve set. 

A successful DIY marketing strategy relies on information; you have to look at what you’re doing well so you can do more of it and note the content that’s not performing so you can make adjustments to your strategy or try something different. 

Above all else, be prepared to experiment and play around with new ideas. You might be surprised at what grabs the attention of your consumers; it’s not always what you expect.