10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Market Your Small Business
Great marketing for your business does not equate to great spending. Though much can be accomplished with an extra dollar, or a few hundred, you can still market your small business using, and even sparing, your smaller-sized budget. Here are ten great ways to do just that:
1. Business Blog. One of the best ways to market your business and establish returning customers and visitors to your site is through your business blog. Not only does it establish your business as a trustworthy source for the latest information and greatest how-to articles and top 10 lists, but it is also completely free. However, even if writing isn’t one of your strengths and you want to enlist the help of others to create your content, it shouldn’t prove too difficult to have a team member compose some articles for your blog. As long as the postings are steady, frequent, and relevant for your customers, your blog will become a valuable marketing tool for your business.
2. Social Networking. Social media is an awesome way to spread your business name and connect with customers. Whether it’s through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+, set your business up with an account and get social. The more the better, since different customers tend to favor different channels. Just make sure that you don’t pick too many as to have trouble keeping up with all of them.
3. Online Contests. Though you will need to spend a tad bit of money to purchase the due prizes, the increase in publicity and number of potential customers reached are well worth the few lost dollars. These types of contests are extremely easy to set up, especially with sites like Rafflecopter, which even allow for the embedding of the contest entry form right on your business website. And don’t stress about the prize – even just a simple keychain or water-bottle would suffice. Or, in an effort to bring further exposure to your brand and increase the return rate, choose to grant company coupons as the prizes.
4. Reuse Your Previous Content. There’s nothing wrong in reusing some of the ideas you used in the past. You can research prior article topics for a new twist on the same issue or turn a bunch of previous blog posts into a new ebook. Though the content may be familiar to a few select users, the majority of people reading probably never even saw the originals, so the new stuff will be 100% fresh for most of your viewers.
5. Product Videos. Product and business videos go a long way for consumers. They are far more likely to purchase a particular product or service if they viewed a video about it first. Though you can hire any college film student for a low cost off of Craiglist to help with the production, simply making the video yourself using your very own smartphone and uploading the video to YouTube and your website would work just as well.
6. Customer Referrals. Setting up a customer referral program is another great way to spread your brand’s name across a wide range of people. Offer existing customers free samples or a coupon for a week of free service for every customer that they refer to your business. Not only will it encourage them to continue to return, but it will also persuade them to engage in the most powerful and effectual form of advertising available – word of mouth.
7. Creative Business Cards. Think about all the people you interact with on a daily basis. Now imagine if each and every one of them walked off with a little reminder of what your business can do for them. By investing in some interesting business cards that stand out in some way or another – whether through the shape or a crazy image – you can rest assured that your card will come handy to someone someday, even if months down the road. Business cards tend to resurface often and at the most random times – give your business the chance to experience the extra exposure.
8. Business Card Drawings. Encourage visitors to your establishment to drop their business cards into a drawing for the chance to win a prize of some sort – once again, the prize does not have to be anything extravagant; people love pretty much anything that is free. Though there will only be one winner, hold on to all the cards and reach out to them using the email addresses provided; ask them to join your mailing list for the next giveaways and exclusive offers.
9. Participate in Local Contests. Look into the local events or contests going on in your area and ask to join in. Donate one of your products or services as a prize, and your business will be mentioned and discussed among not only those present at the event, but also in the event’s newsletter and the home and inner circles of the winners.
10. Use Your Car. There’s nothing wrong with utilizing a magnetic sign or sticker logo on your vehicle to spread and generate brand awareness. Think about all the people who see your car and have nothing better to do than read your business information as they wait for the red light to change to green.
See? It doesn’t take much to get your business name out there. It’s the little things that go a long way, and that way is completely affordable for your small business.