Marketing can be the discipline that is sidelined when budgets are tight. When companies are cost-cutting, it’s the marketing departments that are cleaned out first, especially within micro and small businesses. However ask any entrepreneur how vital marketing is in growing their business, and you’ll hear: it was critical to leveraging new opportunities to grow, rather than merely cashing in during the good times .
As a small business with a meagre marketing budget, there is a lot that can be done using online and offline services and products. Here are a few marketing ideas to help you reach out to your prospects successfully, without spending a fortune.
Google Local Listing
Google Local Listing provides local businesses with a great opportunity to reach their target audience without spending a single penny. You can enlist your business on Google Local and provide your contact details, address and a brief description of your offering. Want to boost your credibility? You may ask your customers to review your business and give ratings based on their experience. Excellent ratings and positive reviews will help your business go places.
The bottom line is: It’s simple, effective and free of cost.
Who doesn’t like free gifts? Handing out free giveaways is one of the best ways to reach your customers’ heart and leave them thinking about you. Ideally, you can provide a giveaway like an ebook or guide via a content marketing campaign and ask for an opt-in email address in exchange for the free gift. This strategy will grow your email marketing list. We call this a long-tail marketing campaign that continuously extends your reach with prospective customers.
There are also promotional products that can draw a broader and more immediate uptake from your targeted audience. You’ll need a budget for some of the most common yet practical promotional products that include: umbrellas, pen drives, promotional gift bags, cleaning tools and mobile phone covers, to name a few. These products are often given out at a corporate event like a golf day for your clients.
Rewarding loyal customers is paramount to the ongoing success of your business and hosting events and handing out promotional products can also be a part of your new business marketing strategy. Promote the ‘word of mouth’ marketing through video, photos of your successful corporate events.
Word of Mouth Marketing
A happy customer is a perfect salesperson for your business. Your business can go places through word of mouth marketing, third party endorsement is what all companies desire. For this to happen, host events for your customers, and they’ll welcome the opportunity to thank you with a testimonial or business referral.
Your business prospects are more likely to listen to what your existing customers say about you, so make sure your marketing campaigns include sharing your customer reviews and testimonials in social media.
Use Social media To Your Advantage
Social media offers a treasure trove of marketing opportunities for small businesses to grow whilst enabling big businesses to maintain their high stature. It’s worked for all business types too.
Nowadays, everyone is online in some form or another, and your prospects are most likely on social media with their friends and associates, so your business needs to be there too. All you need to do is create a Social Media profile under your brand name and apply the 80-20 rule in publishing your posts.
The rule says 80% of your posts should be informative or engaging while the remaining 20% could take the direct marketing approach. Using analytics and online surveys, you can know the time interval when your target audience is online, and that’s exactly when you must publish your posts.
There are so many marketing opportunities to attract prospective customers and also keep your existing customers satisfied and loyal with strategies, including one to one marketing for your small business. An example of one to one marketing is personalised email marketing campaigns. Capturing customer data and then using it to communicate with each customer with unique messages.