When budgets are tight, marketing might be the first expense you look to cut. While traditional advertising methods are costly and hard to measure, small businesses have never had greater access to cost-effective, trackable marketing tools. Well, email and social media marketing are just the start. Here are six marketing strategies that can help you market your small business on a shoestring budget.
Craft an elevator pitch
You should be marketing all the time – wherever you are. Therefore, you need a compelling elevator pitch. Research shows the average attention span of an adult is about six to eight seconds. That’s all the time you have to grab someone’s attention. If you successfully engage them, then you only have a little over a minute to really sell them on your product or service. You can learn more about this by doing a short sales and marketing course. Invest the time to craft a killer elevator pitch. The return on your investment will pay huge dividends in terms of creating business opportunities.
Leverage your community
You don’t have to think big when it comes to your marketing efforts. Think locally. What’s going on in your community? Print bookmarks and leave them at the local library. Get to know your ideal customer and think about how and where they spend their time. Then search for opportunities to get in front of your customer with your marketing message.
There’s no better way to build a business than to get out there, shake some hands, and get to know people. Networking requires a time commitment and it doesn’t provide instant gratification, but a strong network is one of the greatest assets any business person can have.
Give a speech
A lot of people hate public speaking. However, there are many organisations looking for qualified, subject-matter experts who can present to their groups. Take a deep breath and volunteer. You don’t have to be a pro as long as the information you share is helpful to the audience. And the upside: the more you do it the easier it gets. Plus, it positions you as a credible authority in your field.
It’s a lot less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. That’s why establishing strong relationships with your customer base is crucial. One of the ways you can do that is by keeping in touch with people through email marketing. Ask customers for their email addresses when they visit your store or website. Then, make your communications informative, helpful and professional – something your customers will look forward to receiving.
Give it away
If someone has the opportunity to experience your product or service, chances are they’ll want to purchase more. Don’t be afraid to give someone a free trial or a sample. In today’s economy, people are more comfortable purchasing something they’ve been able to experience first.
These inexpensive marketing strategies will help you engage customers, build relationships, and ultimately keep your brand top-of-mind. It’s not always about the money you have to spend on marketing, it’s about the time and effort you put into it and above all, the relevance it has for your customers.