A business can fall into debt much more quickly than it plans. Too often, small business owners overspend on expensive, wide-scale marketing campaigns. Recognize that it’s possible to make an impact without spending a fortune – with some creativity and careful focus, you can make the right gestures that will get your company noticed by new and returning customers.
So how can you make certain that your business carries out efficient, effective marketing strategies that won’t break the bank? Here are five tips to get started:
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
To maximize the value of your marketing resources, first determine your target market goals by researching and defining the primary demographics and interests, wants and needs of consumers who frequently make purchases in your industry. Once you have that information, put it to action and begin testing what works best for your audience.
You do not need an expensive ad campaign to engage consumers and draw them to your brand, products and services. Instead, set up profile pages on all of the , including , Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.
Stay active online and update regularly. Post unique, valuable content directly on your social profiles or link to “sharable” content posted elsewhere. Use your posts to promote sales and new products, offer contests, request feedback and generate discussions about topics related to your industry that also show off your expertise.
If you do not have time, hire an inexpensive social media assistant through a temp agency, Craigslist ad or gig website like Fiverr to keep your fans and followers actively engaged every day.
Create Truly Memorable Content
Carrying over from our first point, when you create and distribute information, keep in mind that these images, articles, and statistics confirm industry expertise for your customers.
Create quality posts on your company blog and guest post on websites that feature text supported by full-color images and other extras like infographics, white papers and videos. Consider offering a free e-newsletter that features attractive details, such as company news, interviews, product reviews, helpful tips and coupons or discount codes.
Instead of attempting an expensive offline billboard campaign, for example, try mailing your target audience colorful, glossy postcards with a clear message. Make certain that your brand is recognizable and uniform with the same logo, color scheme and company tagline at all times.
Network Online – and Off
Take Advantage of Freebies
The internet offers a broad range of free tools. For example, place social sharing buttons on all of your websites and tag clouds on your blog to make navigation easier. Utilize free stock images and graphics from websites like morgueFile, Pexels and Stockvault and check out , trick and tools on industry sites, blogs and Google Search Console.
Perform keyword searches for free tools like Quick Response code generators that create custom QR codes that connect customers to businesses via smartphone barcode scans. Lastly, use free advertising promotional credits or ad credit vouchers offered by companies like Facebook and Google to expand your existing investment in their advertising campaigns or try out other services to find the right ones that fit your advertising needs.
Offer Exemplary Customer Service
When customers have positive experiences, they are more likely to promote a business without the owner’s prompting. Satisfied buyers typically by telling family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances about their experiences and recommend specific products and services.
Create a customer service plan that incorporates changes which focus on better service outcomes, such as after-sale follow-up calls and real-time online responses to assistance requests and complaints. Offer – like redeemable points or cash – and consider setting up a loyalty VIP program that offers exclusive money-saving coupons and deals and free branded promotional items and product samples.
As these strategies reveal, you do not have to or take out a business loan to create and implement a successful marketing campaign. You just need to know how and where to find inexpensive tools and use a little ingenuity to grow interest in your company and generate buzz behind your fledgling brand image.
About the Author: Maricel Tabalba is a freelance contributor for who is interested in writing about personal finance for millennials and college students. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago.