If you own a small business and have a limited marketing budget, you may be looking for cheap but effective ways to promote your company. It is often a challenge to compete with other businesses, especially if they are much larger than you. Don’t give up though as there are ways to market your business that will not cost thousands of dollars, you just need to know what they are and how you could benefit from them.
Master social media
Social media has to be one of the cheapest and most effective forms of marketing to emerge in recent years. Engaging with friends and followers is a great place to start but you need to make posts as well. Build relationships with some of the users and join in conversations to get better known.
Answer questions and offer advice where you can and you will soon start to discover who has an interest in your products.
Do not make all your posts promotional, as people will start top scroll past them. Use them to tell stories about your business, how you started perhaps and what you envisage for the future. If you can add some humor that always goes down well and is more likely to be shared by many more people.
There are over 2 million people log into their social media accounts every day and although there is no chance at all that you will reach anywhere near that number, your brand could be seen by many existing and potential new customers.
You could even run a contest on social media. Make sharing the post and liking your page a condition of entry and you may be amazed by how many new followers this results in.
Connect with your local community
Becoming part of your local community does not have to be expensive but can be a brilliant marketing strategy over time. Attend events, or even arrange an event yourself. As every person arrives, present him or her with a choice of enamel pins that have your brand on them. You will find that for a very long time afterward they are still in use and showing off your brand everywhere they are worn.
Offer your time to help with the local school or somewhere else that needs volunteers. Every time you do this people will remember where to come when they want to buy one of your products and you will create a base of local community customers.
Make the most of email marketing
For a while, it was thought that email marketing was finished, but then marketers realized that it can still be effective and that a great opportunity was being missed.
Do not be put off by the thought of having to send thousands of emails yourself. There are several online resources where you can pout your email on a template and it is automatically sent to everyone on your mailing list. There is usually a small fee for doing this.
You just need to make sure that the email is interesting and that there is a link to your site on it. Sending out a monthly newsletter is a good way to utilize this marketing strategy.
One of the cheapest forms of marketing is to start a blog. You have to make sure that the content is interesting and post to it regularly, but then for no more than your time, you could reach a great number of people.
When people used to speak about content it was always assumed to be written. These days, that is not the case. You can include images and videos as part of your content and in fact, some researchers say these are more effective. It is thought that is because viewers do not have the patience to read a written piece when they can see or hear the same thing on a video.
A good blog can also help to move your website up the search engine rankings. This can be really important as Google estimates that users only look at the first couple of pages of results it provides. Of course, you can pay for an advert that will put you in first or second place, but then you are defeating the object of marketing on a low budget.
In reality, there are many ways to get your brand known without spending a lot of money. Think of something newsworthy in your industry and getting the local paper or radio station to interview you about it is just one other idea of many. There are lots of online resources that will help you to find more.