Is your small business just not getting the customer volume that you believe it can handle, but you think marketing is too expensive for your budget: think again! While every business should invest in some kind of marketing, most small businesses have limited funds and put more important business expenses first.
By getting creative, business owners can find ways to wring the most value out of their marketing efforts.
Making every (marketing) dollar count
Before employing any marketing schemes, your first step should be to do some market research and define what your audience is and what their needs are. After you’ve discerned whom you’re targeting, you can develop a marketing plan that works for your business.
- Engage your community
Put yourself out there. In addition, make sure that you become someone worth listening to and an expert in your field.
- Put social media to good use. Comment on and share content in your field.
- Offer to guest post on other blogs.
- Volunteer as an act of charity—it’s a win-win.
- Go to local networking events and meetings.
- Try and email marketing campaign
Just as social media is good (and cheap) for marketing, email is another good option. Read our blog for tips on how to design a successful email marketing campaign.
- Get free advice from marketing professionals
It can’t hurt to try to get a free consultation with local marketing firms. Remember that they may not offer specifics on what your business should do (without paying); however, you will gain advice that can point you in the right direction.
- Hire for programs, not projects
By hiring multiple marketing companies, you’re flushing money down the toilet. Rather, you should hire one marketing firm to cover all the projects within one program. This way they become more familiar with your company and its projects and customers. Not only will you gain consistency for your brand, but you may also get a loyal client discount.
- Let your customers market
After you have things running smoothly, don’t forget the power of word of mouth. In order to keep things moving, you can:
- Customer loyalty program
- Contests requiring people to tell their friends
- Offer amazing service
- Ask people to help
- Provide your own collateral
Take photos and videos of your business, products, services and employees; however, if you’re financially able, hire a professional photographer. Give logos and company designs to your marketing company and provide them with your own content.
- Stick with it
In order to strengthen your visibility, customer relationships and brand image, you should include search engine optimization, social media marketing and blogging to your marketing strategy. The problem, however, is that these services cost money and time. Nevertheless, you can’t simply set up a Facebook account and hope for the best.
Remember that every business is different and not every solution will fit every business. You should start with employing a few marketing ideas and then add more when/if your business needs them.