Updated: Feb 19
Being smart with marketing ensures the success of your business by attracting more customers, and keeping them coming back. Trying to promote your product or service can be costly and ineffective. Moreover, putting yourself (and your business) “out there” feels uncomfortable to many new entrepreneurs. However, the good news is that any small business can make a big marketing splash with little or no cash outlay, particularly if you can put a little time and sweat into your efforts. There are thousands of ways you can promote your small business. With the right mix of activities, you can identify and focus on the most effective marketing tactics for your small business.
1. Plan Your Marketing Strategy
You'll waste precious time and money if your marketing activities are random and unstructured. The key to success – irrespective of the size of your budget – is to define your marketing strategy. Ask yourself these questions :
✦ What is the geography, demographics, behaviour and lifestyle you would want to target?
✦ Will customers be searching for your type of product on Google or Bing?
✦ Do they look for coupons in newspapers?
✦ Will you find them on Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram?
Your target market should have a need for your product or service and be willing to pay for your offer.
2. Create A Facebook Page
Almost everyone is on facebook these days, so social media platforms, specially facebook is great for creating a buzz for your product or service. Create and post valuable engaging content to get people excited about your topic of focus as well as excited about your product by staying updated with what it has to offer in a non-salesy way.
3. Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing is the perfect tool for building customer relationships to help you generate leads and sales. Start by sending a personal email to your friends, family, and acquaintances letting them know about your business and inviting them to think about someone they know that might benefit from your services and products and ask them for a referral.
4. Add Some Personal Touch To The Post-Purchase Experience
Make your customers feel special by adding something to their post-purchase experience. Whether it’s adding a nice hand-written note to the package you send with your product, or asking them for reviews and posting them to your social media handles, or sending them a heartwarming welcome gift through mail. They’ll be left amazed and happy, and will be more likely to tell their friends about you as well.
5. A Unique Business Card And Business Stationary
If you're just starting out and don't have a business card and business stationery, have them made up -- immediately. Your business card, letterhead and envelope tell prospective customers you are a professional who takes your business seriously. Be sure to list your website address on your business card, letterhead and any handouts you create. Include your main social media profile link, too, if possible. Hand your business cards to anyone who can help you in your search for new clients.
6. Guest Writing
Write an article that demonstrates expertise in your field and send it to the newspapers, magazines, and websites in your field that accept submissions from experts. Be sure your name, business name, phone number, and a reference to your product or service is included at the end of the article.
7. Attend Tradeshows And Conferences
Regardless if you choose to have a booth at tradeshows or simply go as a participant, you will find there are several advantages. Choose your trade fairs and conferences carefully and look for those with an emphasis on small business development and B2B sales. Always have business cards or brochures ready.
8. Contests, Coupons And Incentives
Offer coupons or special discounts to those who came to your business to entice them to come back. You can also create a "frequent buyer" rewards program for encouraging the buyers to buy more. Free giveaways is also a great way to attract more customers.
9. Find Bloggers To Review Your Product
This is the online guerrilla marketing method of PR. There is a unique benefit of getting product reviews from popular bloggers, that helps increase brand credibility and trustworthiness in addition to word-of-mouth marketing. You’ll be surprised at the amount of traffic and interest you might get when you get reviewed by these bloggers.
Talk publicly about the work you’re doing, don’t be shy or overly humble. “I’m writing a book” or “I’m creating a new product” not only helps with public accountability but you also never know who might be listening. If your product or service is appropriate, give demonstrations of it to whatever groups or individuals might be interested. Or, teach others how to use some tool you use in your work.
Whether online or offline, inexpensive marketing techniques like these can get your business humming with the energy from new customers and clients.