Marketing a small business or brand doesn’t necessarily have to be a major challenge due to budget constraints. With a little creativity, knowledge and the desire to work even harder, you can easily market your business on a shoestring budget. It’s quite true that traditional advertising methods come at a high cost but in today’s digital-driven economy small businesses with tight budgets can access a wide variety of cost-effective marketing tools and platforms. Most of these tools are available at zero or very low costs and can easily be tracked to know how well or poorly your business is doing. Here are five ways you can use to market your business on a shoestring budget.
Use Social Media Platforms
Social media is not just a 21st century buzz but a place where all your current and potential customers congregate every day. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and hundreds of other social networking sites provide the best platform to give your business the exposure it critically needs. However, you need to know how to effectively use social media in promoting your business. It all starts by knowing your audience then crafting an effective marketing plan to reach and influence them in a positive way. Build trust among your audience using valuable and relevant content and they’ll soon convert to customers.
Think Locally And Leverage Your Community
Don’t try to over complicate your marketing efforts by thinking too big. Find out what is happening in your community and how your business can participate in the events. You can sponsor a charity walk or the local Little League team. Leave a few well-printed bookmarks at the local library too. Basically, look for simple advertising opportunities in your community and exploit them in the most cost-effective way possible. Check out volunteermatch.org to find a non profit that fits your needs.
Have A Google My Business Account
You can exploit Google and let it market for you through local searches. Creating a Google My Business account ensures your business appears in local search results, on Google Maps, and Google+. A majority of consumers today use Google to find relevant information about products and services.
Use Email Marketing
Someone once said money is on the list so you too should have an email list by now. Building an email list may seem a bit expensive at first but there are many free options available online. Use autoresponders such as MailChimp who provide free services to companies with less than 2000 subscribers. Once you have built your first list you can then move over to companies with advanced email marketing services such as GetResponse and aWeber.
Guest Post To Industry Magazines
Most small business owners shy away from trade magazines because of the high costs of advertising on such publications. However, you don’t need to run expensive ads on trade magazines when you can contribute an article to the same magazine for free. You can promote your business in your bio and get free exposure from industry magazines.
These five free or inexpensive strategies will help you reach out to more customers and engage with them effectively. Your goal should be to build relationships with your clients who will later recommend your business to others.