Marketing Your Small Business on a Small Budget
When you’re running your own businesses, spending money on marketing is often the last thing you want to do - TV and newspaper ads, billboards and direct mail… it can all be very expensive and way out of budget for a small business. But, marketing doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune, and that’s why digital marketing is such a beautiful thing - you can get great results at minimal cost, making your small budget work harder for your small business.
With a bit of imagination, some time and maybe a small amount of budget, there are heaps of things you can do to market your business without taking out a second mortgage.
#1. HAVE A BLOG AND POST AMAZING CONTENT ON IT
The key here is that to be successful in this, you need to do BOTH of these things. A blog is a fantastic way to market your business - by constantly adding content to your blog, you are giving your business more online visibility. More content to meet search terms equals more opportunities to be found.
Plus, your blog content is multipurpose, you can share it on your social channels, use it to nurture relationships, and drive new leads through it. If you can write great content yourself, then the only cost to you is your time. If you don’t have the time or the skills, then you can easily find a great copywriter (like us) at a budget-friendly price (again, like us)!
#2. CREATE A GOOGLE MY BUSINESS ACCOUNT
If you want your business to be found on local website searches - and believe me, you do - then you have to create a Google My Business account. It’s a necessity really. Because it’s a Google product, it ties into Google searches, and it will also ensure your business shows on Google Maps and on Google+. And the best part, it’s free!
#3. CO-SPONSOR A CONTEST
A great way to promote your business to a new audience is to partner up with a complimentary business and run a competition. Offer a prize that is relevant to your business - service or industry based - and promote the competition to your existing customers through email and social media channels. The other business will also promote it to their base, and voila, you’re business has been exposed to a heap more customers that are likely to be interested in your business too.
For example, a hairdresser might team up with a makeup artist and each of them could offer a discount voucher on their services as the prize. They each market the competition to their existing bridal couples, and suddenly they have more potential brides (aka customers) considering their brand.
#4. OFFER A FREE INFO-PRODUCT ON YOUR WEBSITE
These days people are looking for value - they don’t want to just be sold to, they want to get something for their time spent interacting with your brand. And a free informational product does just that, on a budget. You can create an ebook or some other digital product, and give it away to people who sign up to your email list. For example - a hairdresser might make a how-to tutorial video and email that for free to new email subscribers as a thank you for signing up.
#5. GUEST POST ON POPULAR NICHE SITES
This is a great way to reach a whole new audience for very little budget. If you can find a website or blog that is popular in your industry and with your customer base, see if they’d maybe like a guest blog post from an expert in the industry - aka, you! So if you have a business selling baby clothing, you could maybe guest blog on a mummy blogger site about the essential clothing you need for a newborn. Make sure to also include a link back to your website in your bio for a little bit of extra value for your time.
#6. JAZZ UP YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE
Every email you send out is the opportunity to market your business, so make sure you include valuable information in your email signature, such as your website URL, address, phone number, company slogan, description of services or products, your operating hours and maybe even a banner or link to a promotion or offer you may be running.
#7. FEEDBACK AND TESTIMONIALS
You can work this one two ways.
1 - You can leave feedback for others on their website, and include a link back to your website. If they decide to feature it on their website, they may include your URL as a thank you for the positive feedback (think valuable backlinks)!
2 - You can ask customers to leave you feedback on your website or social channels. Word of mouth and referrals are marketing gold - you cannot have a budget big enough when it comes to positive feedback from your customers, so showcase it wherever you can!
#8. PARTICIPATE IN RELEVANT ONLINE FORUMS
You can get your brand out there by engaging with potential customers on forums they frequent. Be wary to not just sell your brand and products to them, but rather be useful - offer advice, tips, recommendations and solutions. That positive interaction will go a long way in having them remember your brand further down the track.
#9. UTILISE LINKEDIN
LinkedIn is a very underutilised channel, but it is a great place to source new leads, share your content, share your ideas and build your brand. So, invest some time into building your LinkedIn page, joining groups, posting content and reaching out to people to build your network.
#10. OFFER BONUSES
People love a good freebie, and this can be a low-cost way to encourage people to purchase, either in your store or through your website. Besides informational products like we mentioned in point #4, you can also offer tangible products - these could be directly related to the purchase made, or maybe a bit left of field. Sometimes it doesn’t matter - people just want free stuff.
Just make sure it isn’t something that will cost you more than you’re making on the purchase, keep it simple and make it easy to get. For example, buy 1 and get 1 free, or at half price offers - someone buys a pair of kids shoes off your website, and they get the other one half price. Or you can offer a value-add with the purchase - maybe a pair of kids socks to go with the shoes.
These are just 10 quick ways you can potentially market your business on a limited budget. You don’t need to do them all at once, and you can test and trial different ones that may be more suited to your business than others.
And of course, if you do need any help implementing any of these tactics, we are your budget-friendly, flexible marketing partners. Here to help you achieve digital marketing success without breaking your bank! Just contact us today to chat about your marketing goals.