Starbucks, our favorite coffee chain, spent a total of $305.1 Million in 2021 alone on its marketing and branding efforts. That staggering amount is more than the overall GDP of the world’s four poorest countries in 2017! Think about it. This company spends more on advertising than an entire country’s GDP.
Such astonishing figures often demotivate aspiring entrepreneurs. These individuals with brilliant products and services never even step into the market, thinking that they will never be able to compete with the big guys. They often overestimate the cost of starting a new business and promoting it.
This blog is for business owners looking for some cost-efficient ways to build their online presence without spending millions of dollars. The following tools can help you build a remarkable online presence without breaking your bank account.
Psst, if you are an entrepreneur just starting out, check out these four mini-blogs that talk about what it takes to succeed in business!
Creativity stands as the foundation of a great digital marketing strategy. Products that look and feel good always have the potential to outsell the ones that do not. If you want to build your social media presence and channel that creativity to produce fantastic branding material, Canva is the perfect tool for you.
On Canva, you can create content for branding, marketing, social media, education, and personal use. Even the free version of Canva gives you access to thousands of templates that help you get started in no time. If you want to use Canva to its full potential to build your online presence, you can get started with a pro license that costs about $10 a month (billed annually). Moreover, if you get an enterprise license for a team of marketers working together to create content for your social media channel. Get access to Canva’s latest pricing here.
Almost all businesses start building a solid online presence using a website first. However, some business owners will still be successful without a website, as long as they manage a robust online presence on social media. That said, if you run a B2B business model and want to attract customers from the enterprise space, a website is a must.
Now, you don’t need to hire a professional web developer to build the initial drafts of your website. In fact, you can start building your website for free using an intuitive and no-code interface on Wix. You can also buy a custom domain to build trust amongst your customers for a few dollars a month. Squarespace and GoDaddy are excellent website builder alternatives to Wix.
You should remember that building a website is not enough. You need to stay active online and regularly update it with excellent content to pop up on Google Search. Ideally, you should write for your business and do a bit of guest posting on other websites to get the best out of organic leads from search engine results.
Shutterstock, Pexels, Depositphotos, and Storyblocks
Canva has a massive library of stock images that you can use with a professional license. However, there will be times when those images do not fulfill your needs. Under such circumstances, you cannot pick up any random image from Google to use for your business. These images could invite costly copyright strikes and lawsuits. If you need an even more extensive library of images, you can check out Pexels, Depositphotos, or Shutterstock. They offer monthly and annual subscription plans where you can download the image of your choice from millions of stock images.
Storyblocks is an excellent option for business owners who are looking for great video and audio content for their social media platforms.
Business owners that use their creativity to establish a solid brand online start getting leads within a few months. They need a way to handle all incoming queries and serve their customers better. Calendly is one online tool that helps sales teams automatically schedule meetings with potential customers, especially in the B2B space.
More than just a scheduling tool, Calendly also helps in outreach and staying connected. Sales development reps and Account Executives in B2B organizations often use a Calendly link on their email signatures. Prospects and customers will use this link to view the rep’s open calendar times and schedule a call according to their convenience. This kind of self-serve mechanism helps reduce back and forth between the reps and the customers, thereby increasing the overall efficiency of sales processes.
Have a large team of sales reps and want new prospects to schedule a meeting with them on a round-robin basis? Calendly let’s you do that too with team scheduling and workflows.
Postcron or Hootsuite
Most local businesses cannot afford to hire an individual dedicated to posting consistently on social media during the initial stages. Posting regularly could be a huge hassle, especially for business owners focused on building their brand on multiple social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more. Postcron comes to the rescue here. This tool helps you schedule your posts well in advance so that you don’t need to go back and post manually every time.
Hootsuite is the most popular alternative to Postcron. Most large marketing teams use this tool as their social media content scheduler. Hootsuite can also help you design full-fledged marketing campaigns, manage incoming leads, and analyze the performance of marketing efforts.
Hosted Payment Pages
Now that you have successfully launched your business and are getting customers willing to pay, it is time to mint that money! But how do you do that online? That’s where a hosted payments page, aka hosted payments portal, come into the picture. A reliable hosted payments page helps business owners accept online payments via ACH and credit cards. It lets you maintain PCI compliance and ensure that no sensitive customer data stays on your system after completing the transaction.
A well-designed hosted payments page is indistinguishable from the business owner’s website. It provides a seamless payment experience and decreases the chances of cart abandonment. Business owners should prioritize building a solid payment system as it forms the base of a growing business.
Several business owners commit the mistake of overspending on their marketing technology (Martech) budget early on. They focus on getting the best of the best tools on a strict budget.
While getting the most feature-rich tools is great for enterprises, they are not nearly as cost-efficient for the entrepreneurs just starting out. Entrepreneurs on a budget should carefully evaluate their product needs and potential for scaling before choosing the right tools. Efficient planning will help these entrepreneurs save money and grow simultaneously without compromising their needs.
Need help setting up seamless payment processes for your customers? Get in touch with the payment processing experts at iCheckGateway.com here.