Tag Archives: social media

Marketing on a tight budget

Money in business is always tight. And even more so when starting a business. There are so many initial costs, renting costs, monthly expenses and business expenses. Now you want to add in a budget for marketing?

The marketing department can easily be overlooked and brushed off as not a priority cost to the company. But the truth is, if you want to bring business in and find more clients, marketing is essential to do that. And there are budget-friendly ways to efficiently market your business so, cut down on the take-away coffees if you need to, it’s time to go for marketing courses, create a budget and get your business out there.

Piggyback

So there are shortcuts for most things in life. And when it comes to marketing, there are some shortcuts here too. Piggyback marketing is when you use the success of another brand to boost your own marketing campaigns. But it obviously happens in a more professional way.

Find a company with complementary products to your own, and they’ll end up incurring most of the marketing costs on your behalf, while your product offers additional value to the complete package.

Target

You’ll save yourself a lot of time and money if you thoroughly define and research your target market and audience. Focus on the market of customers that are near to you, it’s more cost-effective and, especially if you’re just starting out, it makes the most sense. Why spend all your marketing efforts on an audience who are miles away from you and not aware enough of your brand to drive all the way just to buy your product?

Newsworthy

Get involved in innovative or community-change projects that will be worth mentioning in the media. Call in to local radio stations, make your way into the local newspaper and get people talking about you and your business. There are many simple ways to get free publicity for the company which won’t require a cash budget, just some time set aside to put in a bit of effort.

Referrals

Love the customers you already have. It can’t be over-stressed how important it is to keep current and returning customers, well, current and returning customers. As a small business with a tight budget for marketing, these people are what keep your business afloat. More than that, they have the ability to serve as marketers for your brand.

Ask your customers for referrals or testimonials that you can put up online or have them share within their own circles. Word-of-mouth marketing is a traditional marketing method, but should not be underestimated. Words have power, as do satisfied or dissatisfied customers.

Internet

The internet truly is a wonderful medium for marketing. Three channels that we’ll look into include email marketing, website and social media marketing.

There are free email marketing platforms, like MailChimp and Constant Contact, that allow you to send out mass mailers to a customer database you create. They are painless, have free templates and are a great way to communicate and share with your audience.

Another marketing method made possible by the Internet is creating a website. Again, there are free website platforms for you to make use of and having a website linked to everything you market will drive traffic to the site and, ultimately, to your store. Use your website to create tailored content that is brand specific to your business and promote your business message.

And then we have social media marketing. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and LinkedIn are top social media platforms to work with to run organic or paid marketing campaigns (paid campaigns that work according to your budget).

In the online world (and the real world for that matter), quality is king and you’ll be wasting your own time and money if you skimp on quality to save a few bucks. It’s a quick way to establish your reputation as cheap and not be taken seriously or as a professional business. You need to be aware of what you put out there and how people respond to it.

Measure

Whatever you do end up doing with your marketing department, be sure to test different methods, measure success and analyse pitfalls. There will always be room for improvement, whether it’s from marketing during a certain time of day or knowing when would be the perfect time to extend your range.

Measure the statistics, change it up, and measure it again. It’s an ongoing cycle and you will learn what works for your brand and what you should never do again. Hopefully, you’ll start seeing an increase in ROIs from your efforts and you’ll be able to implement new marketing strategies that you couldn’t previously afford.

Social media marketing benefits for your business

There was a time when social media was considered by some as a passing fad. Something that the kids were using that businesses couldn’t really benefit from. Over time, the skeptics were proved wrong. Popular social platforms have become marketing giants, offering businesses valuable data about their customers and a free way to reach them. Social media for businesses is no longer optional.

Businesses big and small are realising the huge benefits of social media marketing and its increasing importance in the race to stay relevant and attract new customers. Long gone are the days when your secretary was the first point of contact between the outside and your company – that role is being replaced by websites and social media profiles.

Here are a few benefits of social media marketing for your business.

Increased brand awareness

Social media is one of the most cost-efficient digital marketing methods used to syndicate content and increase your business’ visibility. Implementing a social media strategy will greatly increase your brand recognition since you’ll be engaging with a broad audience of customers. To get started, create social media profiles for your business and begin interacting with others. Get employees, business partners and sponsors to like and share your page. Simply having people interact with your content will increase brand awareness and begin building your reputation as a business. Each post that’s shared will be introduced to a new network of individuals. Which then can lead them to becoming potential customers, and the more people who know about your business, the better.

More inbound traffic

Without marketing your business on social media, your inbound traffic is limited to your usual customers. The people familiar with your brand are likely searching for the same keywords you already rank for. Without utilising social media as part of your marketing strategy, you’ll have much more difficulty reaching anyone outside of your loyal customer circle. Every social media profile you add to your marketing mix is a gateway to your website. Also, every bit of content you post is another opportunity to acquire a new customer. Social media is a melting pot of different types of people with varying backgrounds and behaviours. With different people come different needs and different ways of thinking.

Higher conversion rates

With increased visibility, your business gains more opportunities for conversion. Every blog post, image, video or comment may lead viewers to your company’s website and increase traffic. Social media marketing allows your business to give a positive impression through a humanisation factor. When brands are interactive by sharing content, commenting and posting statuses on social media, it personifies a brand. People prefer to do business with other people, rather than companies. People use social media platforms to stay connected to their friends, family and communities. Since people are already talking, why not throw your brand into the mix? More likely than not, they’ll mention your brand to a friend when your products or services are needed, overall providing your business with social proof of its quality.

Better customer satisfaction

Social media is a networking and communication platform. Creating a voice for your company through these platforms is important in humanising your company. Customers appreciate knowing that when they post comments on your pages, they’ll receive a personalised response rather than an automated message. Being able to acknowledge each comment shows that you’re attentive of your visitors’ needs and aims to provide the best experience. Every customer interaction on your business’s social media accounts is an opportunity to publicly demonstrate your compassion for your customers. Whether an individual has a question about mining equipment finance, social media allows you to address the matter using interpersonal dialogue. A brand devoted to customer satisfaction that takes the time to compose personal messages will inherently be viewed in a positive light, even if responding to a customer complaint.

Improved brand loyalty

One of the main goals of almost all businesses is developing a loyal customer base. Considering that customer satisfaction and brand loyalty typically go hand in hand. It important to regularly engage with consumers and begin developing a bond with them. Social media isn’t just limited to introducing your brand’s products and promotional campaigns. Customers see these platforms as a service channel where they can communicate directly with the business.

Thought leadership

Posting insightful and well-written content on your social media is a great way to become an expert and leader in your field. There’s one way to become a thought leader – it requires work that can be supported by online networking tools. To establish yourself as an expert, be sure to utilise social media platforms and build your presence. Be communicative, connect with your audience, share content and promote your authority. When your social media campaign is aligned with other marketing efforts, your skills will be highlighted and followers will look up to you.

How to boost your company’s online presence

If you’ve been working hard on the day-to-day operations of your business and neglecting your business’ online presence, you’re not alone. It’s easy to get caught up in immediate needs, and once you have a website up and running, it’s even easier to call it a day. Staying on top of your company’s online presence, building it, nurturing it – and, unfortunately, sometimes putting out fires – should be on your to-do list every single day.

Here are six steps for boosting your company’s online presence.

Blog consistently

Two days a week or more is ideal, but if you can only commit to blogging once a week or twice a month, then do it. Blogging feeds your website with new content that attracts visitors and holds them on your page longer. A regular blog update shows that your company is active and has valuable information to share. Google will also index your site more favourably if it has regular updates.

Guest post

A great way to get your name out there – and a link back to your website – is to provide blog posts to other websites whose audiences overlap with yours. Contact the owners of these blogs and make them a proposal. Perhaps they’ll want to provide you with a blog post for your blog as well. More content in more places – everyone wins.

Be active on social media

Shout it from the mountaintops – in other words, from your Facebook or Twitter page. Post content on the social media channels that make sense for your business, and also take the time to read and comment on what others post. If you don’t have someone to run your social media platforms, perhaps you could hire someone who did a media, writing or marketing course. When posting, aim to share material that’s likely to engage your prospective customers and get them excited about having a conversation with your company.

Monitor social channels

Keep tabs on what others are posting about your business on various social platforms. Thank users for praise and address any negativity or concerns. There’s a real art to this, though – don’t fall victim to unproductive back-and-forth.

Contribute to expert forums

Be active on expert online forums related to your industry. Over time, sharing good advice and contributing to conversations will give you a reputation as a thought leader in your industry. You can also use LinkedIn to find other industry professionals you can reach out to.  

Stay on top of trending topics in your industry

Make sure your brand’s image stays consistent with important trends in your industry. Keep your online presence up to date, and always look at your online efforts with a view of improving them and tweaking your image accordingly.

It’s one thing to boost your company’s online presence in general. Now you need to nurture it. Make sure you monitor your company’s online reputation, respond quickly to any negativity, and connect with your prospects on a regular basis. Boosting your online presence can be time consuming, but it’s effort well spent for the long and short-term vision of your company.