5 Tips For Small Business Marketing On A Budget

5 Tips For Small Business Marketing On A Budget

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.

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Pinterest And Instagram For Sales

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Pinterest And Instagram For Sales

An effective social media strategy plays an important role in our digitally-driven world. As a small business owner, social media is extremely useful for you. From building brand value to gaining customer loyalty—there are various benefits of being on top in the social media game.

While Facebook and Twitter have already secured a spot for driving traffic and increasing sales, the use of Pinterest (73+ million users) and Instagram (300+ million users) for the same has also seen a phenomenal rise in recent times.

pinterest and instagram for small businesses

Let us take a look at how you, as a small business owner, can use these “visual” social platforms to increase sales:

1. Reaching Out And Engaging Customers

Use both platforms to spread awareness among targeted customers about the product or service your business offers. Pinterest and Instagram allow the users to scroll through the timeline and pin boards and find all images under one umbrella with a simple hashtag.

This means that they can upload a picture of your product on Instagram and/or create a separate pin board of engaging images on Pinterest. This improved customer engagement on a personal basis is a powerful medium to create conversions on your company website.

2. Helping In Creating A Brand

As a small business owner, you must implement a proper marketing strategy on social platforms to create an online brand image. And, what more can represent a clear brand image than a photograph? Therefore, pick those creatives for your Pinterest and Instagram accounts that actually connect with the product or service of your business.

On Pinterest, particularly, go for thematic boards or How-To guides. Stick to a format and experiment with the visual content. If you have the financial bandwidth, you can even post short clips on Instagram to increase recall value among customers. If you can create a wonderful impression among the social media savvy users, you get the sales!

3. Make ‘Buying & Selling’ Possible

Although a recent development, Pinterest and Instagram now have a revenue button on their platforms. This, by the way, is of great significance for small business owners. On Pinterest, this button is in the form of a ‘buyable pin’ and is seen right next to the regular pins that are used by users to create customized boards.

If you click this button, you are redirected to the checkout where you can make the purchase. On the other hand, if you want to sell your product or service on Instagram, you will have to actually contact the team to get a ‘Shop Now’ button on your profile.

4. Encourage The Customers To Visit Your Website

The best way to increase conversion rates is to direct the customer base to the website. Whether you do it through social posts, newsletters or consumer forums—it is extremely important for you to gain maximum traction on the website.

While you can have the website link on all your prominent social networking profiles, there’s adequate space for you to experiment with this on Pinterest and Instagram. Have you ever noticed the ‘Location’ tag whenever you upload an Instagram post? Well, you can use that to insert the URL of the website, rather than the location itself!

On Pinterest, you can actually insert the link (redirecting to your company website) in the pin itself. The only catch is that links are actually clickable on this social platform, as compared to Instagram where they would appear as text. If the original URL is too long, create a short link that can go up on Instagram.

5. Focus On The Needs And Behaviour Of Target Market

The content uploaded and shared on Pinterest and Instagram is controlled by the users. What they want to see on their timeline or what they want to pin is totally their prerogative. Hence, you have to understand the behaviour of the customer base.

That is possible once your brand gets a few buyable posts on Pinterest and Instagram. Then you will be able to narrow your focus even more on exactly who is interested in your product or service. For instance, Instagram will soon integrate its new feature with Facebook Ads.

This means that small business owners will be able to sell with heightened interest and waste less in their marketing and advertising budgets.

It’s safe to say that both Pinterest and Instagram have evolved as social platforms. Pinning photos mindlessly or uploading selfies—that’s not what everyone does on those platforms anymore.

In other words, they are not just restricted to casual networking but have grown to be of huge help to small businesses.