Plenty of small and medium-sized businesses run on tight finances and need to constantly look for places to trim the budget. In those circumstances, marketing activities can look downright frivolous. But listen, your business cannot survive and grow without a marketing strategy.
When times are tight, there’s no excuse not to try the plentiful free and cheap marketing options. Here are some top tips to get you started marketing your business on a shoestring.
- Figure out your ‘hook’
Ever heard of an elevator pitch? People have short attention spans, so utilise those first few seconds when you meet a potential customer to really grab their attention. Once you have your pitch memorised, you can market everywhere you go, the supermarket, the dentist’s office, at a football match…
- Think local
If you are the kind of business targeting a geographic area, then get seen in that area! Think leaflets in lobbies, posters in the library, cars wrapped in your logo. Maybe even sponsor a local sports team or event and get your name out there!
- Team up
Chances are, there are similar local businesses in your area which could also use a marketing boost. You could include flyers in each other’s mail outs, cross-link on websites, offer bundled competition prizes, and simply get a conversation going on social media!
- Put yourself out there
Think of finding new customers like looking for a date. You’ll never meet someone if you just stay at home!
Get out there and meet people. Shake hands, strike up conversations. Don’t just try and sell to people. Build up lasting relationships.
- Practice for your TED Talk
I know, I know, public speaking gives a lot of people cold sweats. But there are lots of organisations out there looking for a knowledgeable speaker.
Brace yourself and do it. It might be nerve-wracking, but it will help with networking, build brand awareness, and establish you as an expert in your field.
- Send out press releases
If you’re launching a product or hosting an event, tell your local paper and radio station! You never know, you could get some free media coverage.
- Tend to your flock
Don’t get so wrapped up in attracting new customers that you neglect your current ones. Reach out on social media and send regular email newsletters.
- Offer promotions
Help tantalise repeat customers and make them feel valued. Offer coupons, special discount codes, early access to new products. People love a bargain, and your customers are no exception.
- Invest in the freebie
If there is one thing people love more than a bargain, it’s a freebie. Offer a time-limited free trial, a little sample – offer just enough to whet your customer’s appetite.
Remember, smart marketing is not about throwing money at the problem. It’s about tailoring to your audience and using the great resources available.Stuck with where to start? Email marketing offers return on investment (ROI) of over £30 for every £1 spent. Try this excellent software for newsletters.