Marketing is almost always the first thing to be ignored if you are on a short budget. This has almost become a norm for the small businesses with the constrained budget because the traditional marketing methods required a lot of investment. But, the advertising market has never been so favorable for the small business. Today, you can market your business almost on a shoestring budget. Here, we are listing some strategies to help you market your small business effectively without spending a fortune on marketing and advertising.
Craft Your Elevator Pitch – Elevator pitch simply means persuasive sales pitch. Whether you are getting designed your product label or you are creating content for your website, be focused on making persuasive sales pitch. Studies have shown that average adults have an attention span of six to eight second. This means, you only have six to eight seconds of a time span to attract your prospective customers. So, be compelling in whatever you do for your business. Your product label needs to be eye-catchy so that it can market itself while sitting on the store shelf. Your online contents should be able to grab the attention of the readers in their initial attention span.
Think Small – We have been trained to think big from our childhood. We are told to target the stars if we want to land on the moon. And, so thinking small may sound counter-intuitive. But, you should remember that you cannot build a whole building at once; you need to make it brick by brick. When you are running a small business, thinking globally or nationally won’t work for you. Think local. Get some bookmarks printed with your business’s name and distribute them in local schools or bookstores. Sponsor some small charitable events in your community. Make yourself visible locally and you’ll eventually be reaping the benefits on a larger scale.
Make Friends – No, we are not talking about building personal relations. Making friends in business world also means collaboration. Search for non-competent but related businesses in your local area and build a collaborative relationship with them. By doing this you both can utilize each other’s customer base to increase your own sales. Suppose you own a rest house. You can collaborate with rental car service providers running from the railway station or bus stops. You can also collaborate online to get reciprocal backlinks from each other’s site.
Be Part of Network – Competitors are not necessarily enemies. You can get benefits by developing or joining the network of business persons working in the same industry. You may or may not get direct sales benefits from joining hands with the businesses of same industry but networking gives you the exposure to the wider area. And, you also get to learn from other’s experiences that eventually help in enhancing your business performance.
Create Your Personal Brand – Marketing your business and building its brand is very crucial. But, building your personal brand can equally help your business to grow. Be a public speaker at events organized by different organizations or join a local TED Talk to share your experiences with the audience. You don’t need to be an expert; you just need to pass on some value to the audience and you’ll get your share of recognition.
Get in News – You do not need to go viral but being in news once in a while helps you to gain attention. And, you must know branding is all about gaining attention. Psychology experts claim that if a person stumbles upon your brand name seven to eight times, he or she starts recognizing you as a brand. Obviously, you need to attract only positive limelight. Develop a good relationship with local reporters and news media so that you are contacted for a query related to your industry. Present yourself as a thought leader and you’ll eventually be one.
Ask Your Customers for Favour – When you serve your customers with the best possible product and services you have all the rights to expect little favors in terms of referrals, feedbacks, and reviews. Most of the customers do not take the initiative but are willingly ready to give referrals and reviews when asked. So, don’t feel shy about asking for the favor. There may come some customers who will give you negative feedback and reviews. Don’t get offended and don’t go into the defensive mode. See the negative reviews as the opportunity to improve your product or services. You must know referrals given by customers are the best marketing tool.
Offer Coupon and Freebies – There are many intricate points in marketing that can only be mastered with great patience and practice. You can read this marketing article to create a solid marketing structure for your business. And, for short bursts of profit, you can use tricks like offering coupons and freebies. Studies of consumer behavior have shown that a majority of consumers go out of their way to use the coupon they get. So, you can use coupons and freebies to bind your customers in a loop to keep returning to you. There are many other ways to lure customers into buying your products or services. Whatever method you use, keep in mind to focus more on making existing customers into returning customers rather than running for new customers.
Create Contests – Just like coupons, contests too attract customers with a magnetic force. By creating a contest, you can create your brand awareness simultaneously attracting new customers to try your product or services. The contest can be offline as well as online. If you wish you can give the winners gifts but this is not necessary especially in an online contest. Sharing picture and name of the winners in an attractive way too can attract many to participate because recognition too is a valuable reward. Make sure to keep the entry of the contest free so that more and more people can enter.
You can use these inexpensive marketing strategies to get and engage your customers. And, this surely is not an exhaustive list; use your creativity and you can come up with even more attractive marketing tricks and strategies.