Whether you have a large, medium or small-sized business, you need to have marketing strategies in place to grow your business. Because without this, it is very unlikely that your potential customers will be able to find you.
Marketing strategies are used to make your brand more recognisable and help convert your leads into paying customers. These strategies guide your customers into making purchasing decisions depending on their current buying cycles.
Although marketing strategies are important to growing small businesses, many business owners are still unaware of the amount of exposure that their businesses can get through budget-friendly marketing methods.
So what are some of the best marketing strategies that you can use for your business?
Here are some of my tips on How You Can Use Inexpensive Marketing Strategies To Promote Your Small Business:-
Whenever we think about getting new customers, we often think about going out there and getting people who have never heard about our businesses to come and buy from us. But many times, it is often word-of-mouth marketing that builds up a more loyal customer base and following. And the best place to start is by marketing your business to your employees.
You can get them to test out your products or services or let them buy your stuff at highly discounted prices. Once they have experienced your stuff first-hand and like what they have used, they will be able to recommend it to their family members, friends or other contacts.
Encourage them to share their experiences in using your products and services through their social media channels and blogs.
You can also organise special discounts for their family and friends. And you can also have special events for their network to experience your products and services.
Most people love giving back to the community. So by partnering with non-profit organizations, you get to give back to the community through your business sales. You can give a percentage of your profits to the charity of your choice.
And in return, more people will be inclined to support your business because it supports a cause that is close to their hearts.
When choosing a not-for-profit organization to tune up with, it’s best to partner with organizations that are related to your industry or niche. For instance, if you are selling children’s books, you might want to partner with a non-profit organization that helps underprivileged children to get a better education.
When marketing your products and services, be clear to your customers exactly how much of your profit will go to the not-for-profit organizations. And also let them know why you have chosen to support these organizations.
You can also encourage them to make additional donations if they like.
Co-Branding or Partnerships
You will benefit very well by doing co-branding or partnerships with other businesses, especially if you are a newly-established business.
When you do co-branding or partnerships, you are joining hands with another business or several businesses that complement what your business is offering. So it’s a win-win situation for both. For instance, if you sell baking ingredients, you can strike a partnership with a business that sells baking equipment. Or if you sell handbags, you can co-brand with a business that sells women’s clothes.
You can conduct joint-events with the other businesses that you partner with to promote yourselves. That way, you get to tap into the contacts of the other businesses and they can also get to introduce themselves to your contacts.
And because you are not selling the same things, you are not exactly competing with each other.
You can also partner with influencers in your industry so that they can recommend your products and services to their large following. And in return for them promoting your stuff, you can give them a commission for every sale that you get as a result of their recommendations.
Earned Media / Public Relations
You can also pitch your stories to industry-related newspapers, magazines or blogs to get free exposure.
The best way to do this is by registering yourself at Help a Reporter Out (HARO). When you register yourself, you will get requests from reporters for responses. You can choose to pitch stories on topics related to your industry and that are of interest to your target customers.
And once you’ve been chosen to contribute, your content will be featured in these media. So you will get free exposure to get your business known to your target customers!
Another way you can market your products and services is by doing point-of-purchase marketing.
To do this, all you need to do is introduce products or services that complement a purchase that your customer has just made.
And when your customers buy additional products or services on top of what they’ve just bought, you will benefit by getting a higher-priced purchase.
You can do this marketing method easily by using an online sales funnel.
Social Media Marketing
Another popular way you can do marketing for your business is through social media. Most people have a social media platform that they like to frequently browse. So if you do not reach out to your customers through social media, you’ll be losing out a lot on sales.
But that being said, bear in mind that social media is a way to engage with your customers. It may not give you immediate results – as in instant sales overnight!
You can grow your social media channels organically (free) or by using paid methods. Of course, if you would to use the free method, your target customer reach will be smaller and it will take a much longer time to grow a following.
However, if you know how to tap into your competitors’ social strategies and use the right hashtags and keywords, you might be able to grow organically much faster.
The most popular social media channels you can consider are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
When your business is exposed to potential customers on social media, it becomes a recognisable brand. And when people are familiar with your brand, they will be more likely to buy from you in the future.
You can also use pay-per-click advertising methods to do marketing for your products and services. This method will enable you to reach out to potential customers much faster.
It enables you to target your customers based on their interests, keyword searches and demographics.
The good thing about paid advertising is that you will know exactly what type of people who will be seeing your advertisements.
And at most cases, the people who are clicking on paid advertisements are actively searching for solutions to their challenges.
So the probability of them purchasing from you will be high. Even if they won’t buy immediately, they will be very likely to buy from you in the future when they are ready.
If you’ve been in business for quite a while and have been selling your products and services, it’s time to increase your marketing efforts by using referral programs.
You can reach out to your current or past customers for testimonials or mentions on social media.
To motivate more of your customers to refer your products and services, you can provide them with an added incentive whenever they share about your stuff or introduce a new customer to your business
For instance, you can give them a discount on their next purchase or you can give them a free gift.
A great way to do marketing for your business especially if you are directly involved in your business is by doing personal branding.
You can do personal branding by featuring your face in your business social media channels, blog and advertisements.
You can also publish blog articles, contribute YouTube videos as well as podcast episodes.
When you use personal branding, your potential and current customers will feel as though they know you in person.
And when they feel connected to you, they will be likely to want to buy from you because you become somebody they like, know and trust.
This marketing strategy is especially powerful when you are on a bootstrap budget and want to compete with your larger competitors who have a more bigger marketing budget compared to you.
You can also create buzz around your business brand as well as your products and services by doing a contest.
Everyone loves taking part in contests, especially if they are fun and engaging. You need not spend a lot on the competition prizes. To make the prizes unique, choose to give away specially-made corporate branded gifts. That way, people will want to take part in the competition because they know that the prizes cannot be bought anywhere else!
Some examples of contest you can organize are such as photo, slogan, video and voting competitions.
To keep your contests fun, don’t make it too hard to participate. But at the same time, make them challenging enough so that people will get the thrill out of participating!
Make sure to collect the emails of the contestants so that you can use them for future marketing purposes.
You might be hearing on the internet that ‘email marketing is dead’. But let me tell you that email marketing is not dead!
In fact, more and more people are using their mobile phones while commuting to their destinations. With plenty of time to kill on the internet, they love browsing their emails on the way to wherever they are going.
The only thing is you need to know how to use the right sort of words (as in copy) to capture their attention so that they will read your emails!
With the GDPR ruling, it’s not advisable anymore to get list purchases because you won’t know whether the list providers are telling the truth that their contacts have opted-in to receiving information.
So to be on the safe side – especially if you are targeting countries that are enforcing the GDPR ruling, then it’s best to start building your email list through opt-in forms.
Your email campaigns will be better received when you provide educational content, discounts, coupon codes and invitations to free webinars on topics of interest.
When your target customer regularly reads your emails and begin to resonate with what you have shared, then they will be more likely to buy from you in the future!
You can also publish useful content that your target customers will be interested in to get them to learn about your brand as well as products and services.
The best way to do content marketing is by contributing content that will bring long-lasting free traffic to your business website. This can be done by doing blogging, contributing YouTube articles and publishing graphic images and infographics through Pinterest pins.
To get noticed faster, it’s best to focus on using long-tail keywords whenever you publish your content. That way, your content doesn’t need to compete for attention as much as if you would to use shorter and more general keywords.
This is a longer-term marketing strategy that will give you best results by providing you with an endless flow of organic traffic to your website. So this will save you money from using paid methods in the long run.
You can also focus on promoting your brand awareness. To do this, you must ask yourself what you want your business to represent.
What do you want your customers to think about when they see your brand?
Do you have a specific tone of voice you want to use to represent your brand?
Why did you want your business logo and tagline to be the way it is?
There must be a reason why you’ve chosen to do things in a certain way for your business.
You can communicate these reasons through your brand awareness campaigns.
A good brand awareness campaign should make the target customers think about your brand the way you want them to.
And when they think about your brand as the one that can solve their challenges or problems, then they will immediately think about buying from you the next time when they are ready to make a purchase.
You can use the art of storytelling to promote your brand as well as products and services.
You can tell stories about why you decided to create a specific product or service. You can also let them know why you feel passionate about a specific issue that is driving you towards serving your customers more.
Whatever story you tell, it has to relate to the purpose of your marketing campaign. And it also has to be told in a way that helps your customers to emotionally connect to your brand as well as products and services.
When your customers can relate emotionally to your business and resonate with the story that you have told, then they will be moved in a way that encourages them to support your business above your competitors.
For small businesses, this is one of the vital steps that you can take to compete with your larger competitors!
When you’re spending money on paid advertisements, you would want to do it in such a way that maximises your ROI (return-on-investment).
The best way to do this is by doing retargeting campaigns.
You can retarget people who have visited your website by using a Pixel and then running ads through Facebook. You can also do the same for Google Ads and Bing Ads.
When you show your advertisements to people who have been on your website, they will be more receptive towards your ads because they have read about you and what you do.
So your chances of getting them to either opt-in or buy from you through your ads will be higher compared to sending your ads to cold traffic who never heard about you.
You can also choose to advertise to your previous or current customers. Because they have purchased from you before, chances are that they will most likely purchase from you again. So this also increases your marketing campaign success.
So now you know that you know these inexpensive marketing strategies, it’s time for you to choose and experiment to see which ones will work best for your business.
I hope that you will benefit from the inexpensive marketing strategies that I have shared in this article. These strategies are especially useful for small businesses with very little budget to spend. Do you currently implement any of these strategies in your business and have found success in generating more leads and sales? Or do you have other strategies to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.