How to Market a Small Business
Advertising can be pricey, and in a tight market, many small business owners cut their marketing funds because of cash flow concerns. However, when times are rough, it more vital that you keep your company brand front and centre.
During an economic slowdown, customers, clients, and consumers have less money to spend. What this means is that when they’re ready to purchase, you want your own brand to be on top of their list. Social media is definitely one of the best and affordable means to engage your customers and keep your brand top of mind, but it’s not the only means. Here are ten tried and true marketing strategies that can allow you to promote your business on a shoestring budget.
1. Craft an elevator pitch
You should be advertising all the time — wherever you are. Thus , you need a compelling elevator pitch. Research shows the average attention span of an adult is about 6 to 8 seconds. That’s all the time you have to grab someone’s focus. If you successfully engage them, then you just have a little over a minute to really sell them on your product or service. Invest the time to craft a killer elevator pitch. The yield in your investment will pay enormous dividends with regard to creating business opportunities.
2. You don’t need to think big as it pertains to your marketing efforts. Believe locally. What’s going on in your community? Sponsor a Little League team or a 5k charity walk/run. Print bookmarks and leave them at the local library. Get to know your ideal customer and think about how and where they spend their time. Afterward search for chances to get with your marketing message in front of your customer.
Put together a group of synergistic, noncompetitive companies in your town and consent to cross-promote. It’s possible for you to use social media platforms, fliers, reciprocal web site links, bundled promotions or coupons. (Okay, I had to add a little bit of social media to the mixture.)
I’m a tremendous fan of networking. I don’t believe there’s any better way to build a business shake some hands, than to get out there, and get to know people. Networking requires a time commitment and it doesn’t provide instant gratification, but a powerful network is among the greatest assets any business person can have.
5. Give an address
Lots of people hate public speaking. Take a deep breath and volunteer. You don’t have to be a professional so long as the information you share is helpful to the crowd. And the upside — the more you do it the easier it gets. Plus, it positions you as a credible authority in your field.
6. Create buzz
I started my corporate career in the area of public relations and the company has changed significantly due to technology. Today, a lot can be accomplished by a small business owner without hiring a professional firm. You can reply to reporters’ queries that are seeking resources and story ideas. Some are modest media chances, but others are major media outlets that use this service also.
7. Request referrals
Don’t be timid about asking for customer referrals. The vast majority of people say they are willing if asked to provide a referral, but very few take the initiative to do it by themselves. Referrals make it simpler to get in the door with new customers. You’re missing chances if you aren’t asking for them.
8. Establish relationships
It really is a lot less expensive than it really is to get a new one to keep a customer. One of many ways you can do that is by launching an e-mail campaign. Make your communications helpful and informative — something your customers will anticipate receiving. Social media efforts are another means to keep the communication channel open (and there I go again.)
9. Offer coupons
Coupons are a great means for many companies to bring new customers. Research demonstrates that people will go out of their way to use a coupon, proving this system is successful in expanding your customer base. Coupons can also create return visits. For example, if you give a customer a coupon for a discount to use on future company, there’s a high likelihood they’ll be back.
Chances are they will desire to purchase more, if someone has the chance to to experience your product or service. Don’t be frightened to give someone a sample or a free trial. In today’s market, people are more comfortable buying something they’ve been able to experience.
These ten, affordable marketing strategies will help you engage customers, build relationships, and keep your brand top-of-mind. It’s not always about the money you have to spend on marketing, it’s about the time and effort you put into it and most importantly, the relevance it’s for your customers