TODAY'S GUEST POST IS FROM WARREN FOWLER - A BLOGGER FOR RESUMES PLANET.
It’s hard to imagine running a profitable business without a comprehensive marketing strategy. Unfortunately, it seems like almost half of the small and medium businesses spend less than two hours a week on marketing activities.
If you want to outdo competitors and create a solid base of loyal customers, you need to make a sustainable marketing plan that doesn’t require massive investments. First of all, you should conduct thorough market research to analyze the target audience, define a buyer persona, check out competitors, and understand the shortcomings and advantages of your own business.
Secondly, use these findings to design the corresponding marketing strategy. James Edwards, a marketing specialist at Resumes Planet, explained how to do it: “You need to be clear about the objectives of your business and align them with promotional activities. Don’t invest in marketing features that cannot contribute to the realization of these goals”.
There are many ways to develop a low-cost marketing plan. In this post, we will show you 5 easy and cheap small business marketing ideas. Let’s take a look!
1. Leverage Social Media
Social media such as Facebook or LinkedIn are the cheapest and most effective marketing channels of our age. With more than 2 billion daily active users, social platforms give you the opportunity to reach global audiences within minutes or even seconds.
This is exactly why over 50 million small businesses are already using Facebook Pages to connect with their customers. However, each network has its peculiarities, and you should focus on one or two channels that can generate the best results for your business. These are the features of the most popular social media:
LinkedIn: It’s the best solution for B2B companies which target experienced professionals and decision makers.
Facebook: The sheer size of this platform allows you to find and approach all target groups.
Instagram: This photo and image sharing network is perfect for product-based companies.
Twitter: It’s a great tool to keep in touch with industry thought leaders and stay up to date with the latest niche developments.
2. Look For Public Speaking Opportunities
It is critical for small businesses to leave an impression on local community members and get closer to potential clients directly. For this reason, you should look for public speaking opportunities related to your industry or the business in general.
For instance, you can try local trade fairs, niche-focused seminars, and municipality meetings. You can gain all sorts of benefits this way. Firstly, you can establish yourself as a leader in a given industry, thus improving the overall authority of your business.
Secondly, you can promote the company’s products and services along the way. And thirdly, you can grow the network of professional acquaintances and perhaps even set the foundation for a new business project in the future.
3. Be Clear and Direct
As an entrepreneur, you don’t have enough time to concentrate on marketing activities exclusively. Besides that, almost 80% of customers research a company online before visiting the small business or making a purchase with them. In such circumstances, it is becoming increasingly important to use clear and direct language in all marketing materials.
That way, your audience will quickly understand the purpose of your business. You won’t leave anyone confused and wondering, “what are they talking about?” The same logic applies to every little piece of content: from website design and blog posts to webinars and corporate events.
The point is to answer the fundamental 5W+H questions. You need to let people know Who does What, Where, When, Why and How. It’s a simple journalistic rule that always reveals essential facts about any subject. Keep this suggestion in mind and you won’t ever have to worry about the productivity of marketing materials.
4. Reach Out to Influential Bloggers
Do you know why 80% of professionals in marketing and communications worldwide launched at least one influencer campaign in the last two years? It’s because influencer marketing generates outstanding results. Speaking of small businesses, bloggers make the most significant impact on the target audience.
This type of marketing raises brand awareness by introducing your products or services to a brand new group of potential purchasers. Influential bloggers are industry opinion leaders who already developed professional authority. That’s why people trust influencers, and almost half of consumers rely on product recommendations for their purchases.
Your job is to find the blogger who can efficiently deliver your brand message to the target audience. It has to be a person who shares the same values as you and uses the similar style of communication. And there is a shortcut here - using the right tools can help you find the perfect influencer very quickly.
5. Ask For Referrals
Word of mouth marketing is highly compelling, so you should try to take advantage of it whenever possible. Everyone you know is a potential target because you can ask family members, friends, colleagues, and clients to become brand advocates.
Past customers who enjoyed your work can make the largest impact on your business. Ask them for referrals and add their appraisals to your website and other marketing materials. Even if you offer them an incentive, it will pay off soon enough.
Putting it into Practice
A good marketing strategy has the power to boost the business and improve sales figures both in the short and long-term perspective. There are dozens of low-cost promotion ideas that generate incredible results, so it’s only up to you to put them into practice.
This post presented 5 cheap and easy small business marketing ideas. Do you already use any of these tactics? Do you have other affordable but practical tips to share with our readers? Don’t hesitate to let us know in comments – we’ll be glad to see what you think about this topic!
Warren is a marketing enthusiast and a blogger at ResumesPlanet, who loves music. If he doesn’t have a guitar in his hands, he’s probably embracing new technologies and marketing techniques online! You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.