For giant corporations, a huge monthly budget for undertaking marketing and advertising activities is a no-biggie. But for small, upcoming businesses – no matter how aspirational they may be, every penny counts and investments need to turn fruitful with an impressive marketing ROI.
Therefore when your small business has a non-existent marketing budget, you are involuntarily pushed to think of clever yet effective ways to make things work.
Fortunately, we have 5 smart tips for small business marketing that are guaranteed to give the desired results:
1. Strengthen Your E-Mail Marketing Strategy
Thinking of building an e-mail list but haven’t had the time to get down to it? Well, don’t waste time! Opt for ‘free’ e-mail solutions such as MailChimp and Benchmark and start shooting out daily e-mails. Use your contact list to spread awareness about the services of your business, company vision, growth & expansion plans, etc.
This little exercise will help you build up your authority in the industrial (and consumer) community. Email marketing is of a lot of importance for start-ups. Did you know that for small businesses, this is the fastest way to secure highest return on the money invested? That is indirectly because most potential consumers or active service users browse through their e-mails for brand communication.
They will not be happy to receive a text on their phones. But they will wholeheartedly welcome the idea of communicating through ‘e-mails’ with their favourite brands. So yes, start with e-mails to see your small business grow!
2. Research, Research & Research
Spending time to research your target customers now is going to provide you maximum benefits in the future. This inexpensive activity will help you focus your marketing efforts on a specific buying behavior. Your next step of action can be easily determined if you have enough data, figures and case studies to leverage it on.
In addition to this, study what your competitors are doing. If you invest time in analyzing the competitive field, you will come across their spots of weaknesses along with loopholes in their way of functioning—this is where you can smartly learn from their mistakes and even help your small business flourish!
3. Strengthen Your Informal Partnerships
Your small business has to think from a 360 degree point of view. First of all, it is essential to have strong in-house teams that are dynamic, open to change and extremely communicative within themselves. However, at the same time, it is important for them to connect with teams of other businesses as well.
This team-bonding exercise will not only help your business market themselves in the community on a human level but also help you build humungous contact bases. By sharing contacts and forming alliances with other small business owners, your target markets will overlap each other and in turn, expand your brand awareness in the market. You will be able to grow your business sooner than you realize.
4. A Public Relation Strategy Is Important
Connections with the media is important. The power media holds in terms of making or breaking a business is unparalleled and shouldn’t be taken lightly. With a scanty marketing plan, you can’t (and should not) invest in advertorials or buying feature stories in magazines or newspapers.
The key to a successful brand image in the media is by taking baby steps. Therefore, start with press releases. They certainly offer an easy to promote your business across all platforms of media. Drafting a press release is a cakewalk. All you have to do is make a point strong (and exciting enough) for the journalists to pick up.
The editorial guidelines are simple and clear. With the help of major new distribution websites such as PRLog and Press News Wire, you can get all your press releases circulated digitally and without any cost! Press releases offer an easy way to boost your brand’s online visibility—something that’s the need of the hour.
In addition to this, you can make a cold call to relevant newspapers or shoot e-mails to their common contact data to pitch a story with significant facts and figures. There’s nothing better than media to market your small business.
5. A Consistent Social Media Presence
You don’t have to do paid social media marketing to gain likes, hearts or favorites across all social media channels. If you plan your daily activities on social media well and circulate good content across them regularly—people will definitely notice your brand.
In this time and age, forgetting the power of social media is foolishness as it is popular, cheap and even free. So make the most out of it!
Remember, all successful businesses didn’t have money from the beginning. It took them years and years of hard work, grit and determination to reach great heights. So if, as a small business owner, you are willingly to play smart—you can definitely not only market your brand within the budget but also stick to it with ease.