While paying a marketing agency can cost you a fortune, your own efforts on the part of your small business employees shouldn’t have to. It does, however, take time to develop and execute marketing materials, even if you prefer to use low-cost or no-cost marketing tools.
Before spending a single penny on marketing, you need to develop a marketing strategy. You need to identify your business goals in order to ensure that all marketing efforts will support those goals. Once you are able to determine these, developing a marketing plan is the next step. Part of the marketing plan is to research your competition. This will help you focus on your target market, as well as your business’ strength and weaknesses. Exploring potential consumers will also help you derive your very own unique selling proposition.
After completing your research, use the data to create a road map for the first marketing campaign. There are various free and low-cost tools you can utilize for the plan execution, including social media, engaging with consumers for referrals, creating a community that cultivates speaking engagement, as well as encouraging online bloggers to vouch for your business. Another useful tool is LinkedIn, which allows you to connect with potential clients.
Here are some low-cost marketing ideas to help you launch your business without breaking the bank:
Offer to speak to business audiences or other organizations. Show off your expertise to build connections and hopefully find new clients. Getting yourself to speak in front of the crowd helps you establish an image of being an expert. Rather than be a sole speaker, however, look into working with local organizations to put on an event with a panel of speakers on different topics. This will make for an informative discussion, and keep it from looking and feeling like a sales pitch.
Engaging Talking Points
The content you use in all of your marketing materials should be clear, concise, and entertaining. Your message points should touch on your customers’ emotions, highlighting personal stories over product features. Your goal is to move a consumer into buy a product. For example, Dove is a beauty brand of soap and body care. Their promotions focus on genuine storytelling of woman and their struggles, rather than focusing on Dove’s gentle effect on the skin.
Creating content that hits all those points can be tricky, and you may need help from professional writers. It can get expensive, but there are other options available all over the internet. Services like customessaymeister.com, for example, offer different writing services. Their work is quality, guaranteed, as it is done by professional writers. There are numerous services like this out there, and it’s up to you to find one that will work best for you.
Bloggers are the celebrities of the internet, so reach out to them. Developing a relationship with influential bloggers will drive potential customers to your business, especially once they start talking about the benefits of your product or service. Getting a blogger to write a glowing review will increase brand awareness, but how do you get these bloggers on your side? Entice them by offering incentives like discounts and giveaways for their readers. You need to understand that this is how they make a living too, so everything must be a win-win situation.
Finding the right blogger for you will take time, however. It will help to create a list of blogs in your industry, and research each one. From there, identify which one will work best for you and make contact.
While seemingly simple, don’t underestimate the power of referrals! Current clients, business associates, and even friends can help tell your unique story to encourage potential customers. Don’t hesitate to ask them for help in referrals. But of course, do try to offer incentives for successful referrals. These could be discounts, gift cards, and gift certificates to restaurants or boutiques.
Small business usually pour all of their efforts into social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and many overlook the power and influence of LinkedIn. This platform is a powerful tool that offers access to numerous discussion groups, focused on different topics. This includes business networking. There are niche industries and other entrepreneurs you can reach out to. The trick is to join a group fit for you, and from there share any updates, news, and trends to establish yourself as a thought leader. If you can provide information and answers to questions your targeted audiences care about, you become a resource, which will increase your sales.
One of the best ways to keep in touch and stay relevant to your current clients and potential consumers is through monthly newsletters. Utilize a piece of useful information each month; one mistake most small business owners make is thinking they need several stories to create a relevant newspaper. One useful topic each month is enough to keep readers engaged.
In order to stay in afloat, businesses need to be seen and heard by their clients all the time. A customer may suddenly have a need for your products, and you have to be on your toes.