- Posted by Karolin Bierbrauer
- On 30. March 2016
- 0 Comments
- #business, #businessmarketing, #howtomarket, #marketing, #smallbusiness
Mark Twain once said: “Many small things has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” How true. But advertising can be expensive, and in a tight economy many (small) businesses don’t have enough budget to invest in heavy marketing. But even with a small budget it is important to know how to market your business and keep the brand up front and visible.
Sometimes an economic downturn happens, and clients, customers and consumers have less money to spend. But nevertheless it is important to be visible anyway. Social media is one undoubtedly one of the most effective and affordable ways to engage your clients, customers and other consumers and keep your brand in their minds, but that is not the only way.
Here are another 10 ways that show you how to market your business on a shoestring budget.
1. Craft an elevator pitch
You should be marketing all the time – wherever you are. Therefore, you need an elevator pitch. A study from Microsoft Advertising shows that the average attention span of an adult is about 6 to 8 seconds. An elevator from bottom to top take around 15 seconds. That’s why it is called an evelator pitch. That’s the time you have to grab someone’s attention. If you successfully engage them, then you have 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 return on investment will pay huge dividends in terms of creating business opportunities.
2. Leverage your community
You really don’t have to think big when it comes to your marketing efforts. Think locally. What’s going on in your community? Sponsor a team or a 5k charity walk/run. Print bookmarks and leave them at your local library. Get to know your ideal customer and think about how and where they spend their time. Then search for opportunities to get in front of your customer with your marketing message.
Put together a group of synergistic, non-competitive businesses in your area and agree to cross-promote. You can use coupons, fliers, reciprocal website links, bundled promotoons or social media platforms. By collaborating with each other, you can expand your customer base because you’ll be reaching new people.
I’m a huge fan of networking. I don’t think there is any better way to get new business going than to get out there, shake some hands, and get to know people. Networking requires a time commitment and it doesn’t provide instant gratification, but a strong network is one of the greatest assets any business person can have.
5. Give a speech
A lot of people hate public speaking. However, there are many organizations looking for qualified, subject-matter experts who can present to their groups. Take a deep breath and volunteer. You don’t have to be a pro as long as the information you share is helpful to your audience. And the upside – the more you do it the easier it gets over time. Plus, it positions you as a credible authority in your field.
6. Create buzz
I started my corporate career in the field of telecommunications and the business has changed significantly because of technology. Even my business now, is changing all of the times, because demands change and new aproaches to online marketing change as well. Today, a small business owner can do a lot without hiring a professional firm. Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out. You can respond to reporters’ queries that are looking for story ideas and resouces. Some are small media opportunities, but others are major media outlets that use this service too. If you get chosen, then you might get a backlink to your website, which helps the authority of the website a lot too, especially if they are huge media companies.
7. Ask for referrals
Don’t be shy to ask for customer’s referrals. The majority of people say they are willing to provide a referral if asked, but very few take the initiative to do it on their own. Referrals make it easier to get in the door with new customers because recommendation marketing is huge and very effective.
8. Build relationships
It is a lot less expensive to keep a customer than to get a new one. That’s why establishing strong relationships with your customer base is crucial. One of the ways you can do that is by launching a email campaign. Make your communication informative and helpful – sometimes your customer will look forward to receiving your email. Social media campaigns are another way to keep the communication channel open and also build powerful relationships.
9. Offer coupons
Coupons are a good way for many (small) businesses to attract new customers. Research shows that people will go out of their way to use a coupon, providing that this is successful in expanding your customer base. Coupons can also generate return visits, eg. if you give your customer a coupon for a discount to use on future business, there is a high probability that they come back.
10. Give it away
If someone has the opportunity to experience your product or service, changes are they will want to purchase more. Don’t be afraid to give out free trials or a sample. In today’s economy, people are more comfortable purchasing something they have been able to experience first, the buying it blind and being not sure if they really like it.
Do you have another inexpensive, successful tip on how to market a business that has worked for you? Tell me more about it below.