Small businesses usually start on a shoestring budget. Most of the capital is spent on the physical shop, equipment, initial fees, and inventory. If any, there’s little left to marketing. But if you think of it, what’s the use of that shiny, new couch in your store if there are no customers to sit on it? This is why marketing should never be an afterthought.
Fortunately, there are affordable methods to get your business out there. Read on and learn the places and ways you can promote your company, from the farmers’ market to the digital world.
You don’t have to go far and think big when it comes to marketing your business. Look around your community. Where do people hang out, and how do they pass the time? Are there any upcoming events?
Keep your eye out on various opportunities to reach out to the members of your community, especially your ideal customers. For instance, if you own a sporting goods shop, sponsoring a charity run would be a great idea. On the other hand, if you offer services to other small businesses, a little local networking goes a long way. Visit the farmers market and have a quick chat with your fellow entrepreneurs, attend your local trade show, sign up to industry-related events and workshops, and the like.
Make Some Marketing Buddies
What’s the shop next to yours? If it isn’t a competitor, maybe you can make it an ally. Talk to the owner and propose to cross-promote. This win-win marketing strategy allows both parties to extend customer reach and save on advertising.
Here’s how it works: partner up for specific marketing efforts. If you plan on giving out brochures and leaflets, for instance, send out your marketing buddy’s materials, too. Then, they’ll do the same for you. That way, you get your message across to a new pool of customers without much effort and expense.
People spend more than three hours a day looking at their phones, mostly on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. Imagine diverting a fraction of that attention to your business.
What’s good about promoting on social media is that you can start within seconds and without shelling out big bucks. All you have to do is create an account for the business and build a community on the platform. Of course, the latter requires a bit of work. You have to create relevant content for your target audience, get people involved, and address inquiries rather quickly.
Make Google Your Best Friend
Social media is a powerful marketing tool, but it’s just a small corner of the digital world. If you want to widen your reach and drive more traffic to your business, search engine optimization or SEO might be the key. Whether your business is in Tampa, FL or in Tucson, AZ, you have a lot to gain from investing in a solid SEO campaign—especially one that focuses on local search. While this strategy isn’t exactly free, when done right, it’s going to pay for itself in the long run.
This tip is all about giving your prospects a chance to experience your product and service. Draw them in with a free sample and make them feel comfortable with the idea of using whatever it is you’re offering. Once they become acquainted with you and your goods, they’re more likely to make a purchase. Even if they don’t, you’ve already built brand awareness.
If you can afford to go big on marketing, good for you. If not, all hope is not lost. As illustrated above, there are plenty of ways to generate buzz about your business. We’re sure you can think of other strategies, too.