It’s hard being a small fish in a big pond. But with the right marketing, small businesses CAN create an impact in a competitive market. Here are five awesome marketing techniques for small businesses that won’t break the bank.
Social networking is free and can help generate new leads for your business. It also helps to support existing activity by allowing you to communicate with your customers/supporters in ‘real-time’ and in a relatively informal manner. If your business does not currently have Facebook and Twitter profiles, then create them straight away. They are free and can provide perfect platforms to advertise your events, products, offers and news. It also opens your business up to a different demographic. If you are more used to direct mailing, the target of which tends to be older audiences, then your business may benefit from reaching out to younger customers, which could in turn boost business. There is also potential for online business-to-business (B2B) networking opportunities.
Get Business Cards
It may sound old-school, but business cards are still as important as ever when it comes to building business. At busy trade shows and exhibitions, people do not always have the time or patience to stop and write down a number of names and contact details. Business cards – which should feature your company, name, telephone, website and email address – can be handed out in even the busiest of times, so get some printed!
A business blog is a great way to boost your search engine rankings. Regularly updating your website blog with topical, relevant and informative content (news, special offers, events etc) keeps your website appealing in Google terms, and also gives current and potential customers a chance to ask questions, leave reviews and generally interact with you. Also, consider guest-blogging or writing for industry websites and trade magazines who often provide your contact details and a link to your website for free.
Reward the Loyal
In this ever competitive market, it is important to make sure you hold on to your existing customers. Your customers already know and trust you, and therefore it is easier to get business from them that targeting new leads. Reward your customers by creating deals just for your existing customers. Compliment them with special offers, invite them to exclusive events, offer a referrals scheme and even take them out to lunch for an informal business discussion; these can all help to keep them sweet and prevent them from taking their business elsewhere.
Be Bold with Multimedia
Support your company’s products and services with multimedia to get your message across to a range of customers. Uploading YouTube videos (these can be short, straight forward demonstrations – they do not have to be Hollywood blockbusters!), posting and sharing pictures on Pinterest/Flickr, creating downloadable podcasts; they can all help to reach a broader audience without having to invest in a costly marketing strategy. If you offer a service, it may be worth creating statistical infographics; highly-visual downloads which can be printed off and shared with clients that are much more appealing and modern than spreadsheets.
Rachel Stone is a main contributor to Project Print and there Digital Printing Service.
Photo Credit: djwtwo