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By Lina Martinez

Paying a professional to market your business online is recommended, but that isn’t to say you should pay someone to deal with every single aspect of your online presence. There are some online marketing tricks that you can cut the cost of by doing yourself. Here are some of those marketing methods.

Create your own website  

You needn’t know how to code nowadays. Thanks to the likes of Wordpress and Joomla, you can now make and manage a website all by yourself. All you’ll have to do is pay a few quid to a web hosting company for a domain and they’ll set you up with a platform for you to start customizing at your leisure. It may take you a little time to navigate your way around but even if you do get lost, there are hundreds of sites and videos on the web on how to use platforms like Wordpress to help you out.

Participate in online forums

Online forums are a great place to network, as you might do at a convention or as part of a business group. You should be careful of being too promotional in these places – most people use these forums for advice and not to receive sales spam. Post enough however and you may become a recognized figure on the forum. Most forums generally allow you to have profiles in which you can give personal information such as information about your business. Once recognized on the forum, more people will click on your profile where they can read about your business at their leisure.

Cross promote on social media

Instead of tweeting and posting about your business all the time on Facebook and Twitter, team up with another business and endorse their product in exchange for them endorsing you. This works best by teaming up with a product related to your business but not in direct competition. For example, if you’re a plumber, try cross-promoting with an electrician company. If you’re a digital security company, try teaming up with a IT repair store where they can recommend your services to clients who have just had viruses.

Start a vlog

A vlog is a video blog. Youtube’s increasing popularity has led to many businesses taking to video sharing sites in order to market themselves. Content should be engaging, so try not to make it all promotional. A series of business advice videos or news reports in your area of business may be the best way to gather an audience. Get popular enough and Youtube might even start paying you!

Encourage online reviews

Don’t be afraid of online reviews. Every time you have a happy client, encourage them to leave a testimonial that you can put on your website, or a review on Google Plus or Trip Advisor. Many clients will choose a service based on its positive reviews. Occasionally you may get a negative review from an unhappy client, but encourage enough positive ones and you will outweigh these (sites like Trip Advisor also allow you to publicly comment and apologies to these unhappy reviewers).