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Are you one of the growing number of small business owners looking to market your products and services online? There hasn’t been a better time than now to introduce yourself to prospective clients on the Internet. A whole new world with cost-effective ways to market to it await you.

Best of all: Online marketing doesn’t require big bucks – just creativity – something you have plenty of. As you go about your business doing what you do best, capture your expertise in a snappy tweet or a powerful blog post. Your online presence will help establish your credentials with potential clients.

Here are 5 ways you can create the online content that will positively affect your bottom line.

1. Write the Content You Know About

It doesn’t take genius to write well, but it does take expertise. Everyone is an expert in something. You write best about what you know well. Many businesses fail to use the Internet to their advantage because they’re missing the big marketing secret – using a little creativity with your existing assets can put you ahead of your competitors.

I’ll bet you’re plugged into the latest and greatest in your field of interest. That’s an opportunity to link to or re-tweet trending news affecting your potential client base as a way to get brand recognition.

“Real-time marketing” is just a fancy term for showing people you are in the know about something THEY need to know about. That’s another client magnet: “I know your pain and I have the solution to make it go away.”

Online marketing isn’t always about driving traffic to your website. Sometimes, building brand recognition is just as, if not more, important.

2. Write outside That Box You’re in

If it’s true that you write best about what you know well, it’s also true that you can get stale that way. If your online growth has plateaued, perhaps it’s time to change things up. So venture out into the wider world of the Internet to find points of interconnect between what you know and what you don’t know to re-invigorate your creativity.

Sites like Buffer Blog do this well. Their content targets social media marketers with articles on that topic but they also include posts on a wide range of other subjects, including leadership, writing, interviewing, coaching and more. Broadening your topic pool is an excellent way to get unstuck in your thinking and to bring leads to your business from unexpected places.

A few more ways to change up your blog:

  • Post on a different day and at a different time than you typically do.
  • Invite someone to guest blog for you.

3. Look for Content in What You Already Have

Your existing assets are probably hiding from you – right in plain sight. Lots of companies are guilty of taking for granted – and missing the potential for reuse or repurposing – already created content.

Is your Customer Service department responsive to your customers’ needs? Where are the reviews that prove that? Find them and post them on your website to show potential customers what they can expect when they buy your product or use your service.

Create an FAQs page and update it regularly with content from current customers’ interactions with Customer Service. Traffic to your site will increase and calls to Customer Service will decrease.

And speaking of that website of yours: Is the site due for redesign? Is your brand in need of rebranding? As you re-envision your brand and the website that showcases it, document the processes you used to make it new. Turn that into a series of blog articles or a white paper. Voila! Instant web content.

4. Remember That Your Most Powerful Existing Asset Is Your Current Customer Base

It is a lot less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one.

When you hear hot topic terms bandied about like “Engagement” and “Leverage,” know that they are just overused, overworked terms for what online marketing can do well for you – help you gain and maintain ongoing, vital relationships with the people who want and need your products and services.

Are you paying attention to comments from potential or current clients on social media or your blog? Put a face on your company by responding to their posts. Earn a reputation for engaging with your audience.

A small, actively engaged audience is more powerful than a large uninterested one. The more people we can get people talking about our website content, the farther our influence can spread.

5. Offer Your Products and Services for Free

These days, discounts and freebies are not just for the business-to-consumer company but the business-to-business arena as well. Well-crafted ads can entice potential clients with free product trials or a white paper on a relevant timely subject.

Offering discounts or free trials is a great way to increase conversions and generate new leads.

Research shows that people will go out of their way to use a coupon, proving that this method is successful in expanding your customer base. Coupons also turn into return visits. If you give a customer a coupon for a discount to use on future business, there’s a higher probability they’ll be back.

The Last Word on Bottom-Line, Cost-Effective Online Marketing

These inexpensive online marketing strategies will help you engage customers, build relationships, and ultimately keep your brand top-of-mind.  Being attentive and paying attention to your audience and your industry can save your business lots of money. You’ll discover that it doesn’t need to cost a lot to generate new sales. Be sure to be ready to handle all that increased traffic. You will see it as a nice challenge to have.

Do you have another inexpensive, successful marketing tip that has worked for you? Tell us about it below.

Geoffrey Purkis

Geoffrey Purkis is the owner and creator of He's a WordPress / Web developer, SEO and online marketer located in Lafayette, California. He is active on all of the major social networks and enjoys writing and teaching small business owners how to leverage the Internet to promote and grow their business. Click here to follow him on Google+.