Small businesses can face many challenges, but one of the main ones is continuing to have a positive cash flow. Marketing and advertising are necessary to help with sales, and clearly an area where small businesses need to invest. However, it’s a myth that marketing should cost you a lot of money. There are many effective, low-cost marketing strategies you can implement to increase the success of your business. Below are our top 10 ideas.
Create a Website
Your website will be your most important tool, not just for marketing, but sales as well. It will house all the information you need to share about your business, products or services. There are many platforms out there that allow not-so-tech-savvy individuals to build a website for a much lower price than it would cost to hire an advertising agency. Wix is a great website builder for small businesses at no cost, or minimal costs ($20) for a basic subscription. If you’re an ecommerce business, Squarespace has the tools you’re looking for.
A blog is a great place to house valuable content on your website. You can develop the content yourself, or hire a copywriter or contract to develop them for you. There are many benefits to blogging, such as an increase in search engine traffic. The more content you add to your website, the more pages from your domain become indexed in search engines, thus improving your organic search visibility and pushing your company to the top of the results.
Utilize Social Media
Using Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn will help increase brand awareness for your company. Each page can reach your target audience in different ways. For example, you could promote a specific offer with a code. You can also use these as customer service platforms, or you can use them to promote your blog. All of these tactics will increase awareness and traffic to your website.
Implement Content Marketing
Content marketing helps you build authority and credibility with your current and future customers. It also provides your customers value as they move through the purchase decision. In order to implement this strategy, you really need to understand your audience, what they are interested in, what their pain points are and how they liked to be targeted. This will help you provide value and become a top option when people search for the products and services you’re offering.
Launch a Customer Referral Program
Develop an opportunity that rewards current customers who refer new customers to your business. One of the most compelling benefits of referral marketing is that customers trust referrals. Having a customer referral program will improve your customer retention rate, thus improving your sales.
Become a Thought Leader
Often thought leaders are the go-to people in their industry. Sharing your expertise and experience with others in the industry through forums, group discussions, Facebook pages or videos is a subtle marketing tactic that will position your business in a positive light and make it more well-known in the industry.
Send Monthly Emails
Email marketing is a low-cost initiative that targets and informs your customer base. Through emails, your business can build relationships with prospects, leads, current customers and even past customers. It gives you a chance to speak directly to them, sending valuable information, offers and updates. You can target each of these audiences in different emails, tailoring the messaging. For example, you could offer a 10 percent discount to past customers with a message to “Come try us again soon!”.
Hone in on SEO
Search engine optimization is another low-cost initiative that produces results. If done correctly, implementing SEO will help your website rank higher in Google, building brand credibility and therefore increasing traffic. Don’t forget that your competitors are most likely already doing this as well, so you want to make sure your efforts are placing your business ahead of theirs when your target audience is searching for that particular product or service.
Consider Guerilla Marketing
Generating an element of surprise is a marketing tactic that is sure to get your brand noticed, and it can be fairly low-cost in nature. Various types of guerilla marketing include:
- Outdoors: Something removable on a statue or artwork on sidewalks
- Indoors: Similar ideas, but taking place inside
- Event ambush: Something novel or surprising happening where people are gathered, like a sporting event
- Experiential: Requires the public to interact with the brand
Execute Public Relations
Finally, traditional public relations shouldn’t be forgotten. It’s an easy tool to get your business in the public eye and help promote your products or services. This could be done through social media, a press release, speaking engagements, sponsorships, partnerships and much more.
Not having a budget shouldn’t scare you away from building a marketing strategy that sets you up for success. These low-cost tactics can help you build recognition for your brand’s products or services — and they won’t require you to break the bank. Looking for additional ways to manage your business finances? Check out Incfile’s blog to learn more valuable tips.