5 ideas for marketing and branding on the cheap

via CNN Money – 5 solid branding efforts on the cheap: small companies have spread the word without breaking the bank

… enlisted its nearly 60,000 tutors to promote the service via social media. The Wyzant site includes profiles for tutors that carry the WyzAnt logo, with built-in buttons for sharing on sites like Twitter and Facebook (FB). WyZant also offers a blogging platform and a tool that helps tutors produce branded videos advertising their services, which then get syndicated to YouTube

… posting product descriptions that target a niche audience helps. For instance, the site sells the SEBO X4 vacuum with a set of high-powered cleaning attachments in a set called the “Pet Edition.” To write the product descriptions, Haver hired freelancers through the website Fiverr … In conjunction with other efforts like posting user video reviews of its products on YouTube, the new product descriptions have improved sales “tremendously”

… got in touch with editors of interior design blogs such as Habitually Chic, Cote de Texas, and Coco & Kelley to offer them a chance to review the products, which are handcrafted in Italy, and to award a set of linens to their followers in small contests. “They’re mini-Oprahs,” says Caradano. “They have people who are intrigued by what they say. They bring credibility.” The giveaways led to discussions of the sheets among the design aficionados on the blogs — and purchases from his site.

… Chicago Music Exchange, a legendary retailer of new and used guitars, scored more than 3 million page views in four weeks with a YouTube video of a talented employee who told the history of rock and roll by playing 100 riffs.  … After publishing the video, the store saw an extra 200,000 unique visitors to its website in the month immediately following its release.

… offering financial advisors who run e-newsletters the option to transfer those publications to his own newsletter platform through sister company Followable.com at no cost. Fox hopes that the newsletter subscribers will opt to let the advisors trade on their behalf through Ditto Trade. The site entices advisors and other “lead traders” to bring their subscribers to the site by reducing the commissions they pay for transactions. Since Fox launched the program more than a month ago, he’s been happy with the results. “Lead traders are coming on every day, bringing me customers,” says Fox.

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