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Marketing can be confusing, time-consuming, and an unknown territory for a small business owner whose focus is to keep the business running. If your business isn’t getting new customers, you might want to give your current marketing strategies a tune-up. Each business is distinct in their operations so it’s crucial to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all marketing rule. (Click here to read our article Overwhelmed With Marketing? You Need a Marketing Plan! )
If you are looking for inexpensive ways to market your company without running up your marketing tab, here are some examples:
10 Marketing Tips
This is a must! Nowadays, everybody relies on the internet for information. Need to find out what time a store closes? You Google store hours and phone number, rather than looking in the Yellow Pages. Need some information on how to grow a garden? You Google instructions on blogs and company websites rather than opening up an encyclopedia. The key thing to remember here is to create a buzz around your business to showcase value to your consumers.
- Set up and MAINTAIN a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Youtube, etc. One of the best ways to reach people is through social media. You must maintain your pages with content to keep your audience engaged. This is a great way to show your consumers that your business has a personality; feeling connected is important.
- Your website. If you already have a website, assess whether it is user-friendly. Can everyone easily navigate through your site? Is information easily found? Is it too wordy? And most importantly, is it mobile-ready? 50% of people are now mobile-users. With the internet now at the palm of our hands on devices like smartphones, Ipads, tablets, etc., the smartest move for your business is to make sure your website is also mobile-ready.
- Run contests. Run a fun contest to entice people to register and stay engaged on your page.
- Pay-Per-Clicks. Give pay-per-clicks a try, it is one of the necessary tools for traffic results. Use it if you need to increase your traffic for any seasonal campaigns, if you need help targeting certain keywords in the search engine, and need to gain exposure.
- Affiliate Marketing. A way of making money online where you as a publisher are rewarded for helping a business by promoting their product, service or site or vice versa. Try not to push so hard because that can backfire on your reputation and overall brand if you provide low quality products/services. This could also break trust with your audience.
If you have a limited budget for marketing, you should be focusing your marketing ideas on more relationship marketing.
- Referral programs are one way to easy to start and don’t cost very much to maintain. Ask your current customers to refer you to their friends and families and give them an incentive or reward for doing so.
- Find industry partners and affiliates to endorse your products and services to expand each other’s network.
- Networking is another great way of relationship marketing to promote yourself, your company and your products to others locally. Attend local meetings with other business owners to introduce who you are and ask for business cards.
- Leverage your community to promote your company. Attend local events and pass out flyers, brochures and get to know the commoners.
Relationships take time and work, so they may not always come very easy. Don’t get discouraged, it will take maybe even a couple of follow-ups to reach your goal.
Print Material (business cards, flyers, brochures)
Small business owners have relied on this method very heavily, but having collateral is important. You’ll want your business card to stand out from your competitors’. You’ll also need the graphic design on your collateral to represent your company’s personality.
Samples and free offerings
Consumers are careful before purchasing. They research options before they buy to find out what choices are most valuable, so give them a taste of what you can offer them. Giving away services or products that you make is usually an inexpensive marketing strategy that will leave customers appreciating the value of your products. Whether your company is a B2B or B2C, offering coupons is another great way to encourage purchasing decisions.
To get your business in the news, send a press release to every newspaper in the area. The trick is to give an angle that makes the story interesting to readers; examples would be such events as a grand opening, a contest, a new product line, a new service launch or charitable activities your business is sponsoring.
Marketing is most definitely time-consuming. I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t have time for that!” Instead of doing it all yourself or even spending your payroll on a marketing team, outsourcing some of your marketing tactics can save you tons of money. We can help with all of the above. We start with a no-obligation free marketing review.
BizCentral USA is a small business resource center dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start and grow their business. We offer marketing plan writing, online marketing, social media services, and much more!